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Star Trek’s USS Enterprise – every version of the starship explained

From Kirk's adventures to horizons new with Seven of Nine, the USS Enterprise has a long story. The best Star Trek starship, we've compiled its timeline below.

Star Trek's USS Enterprise explained - A and D, and Shatner as Kirk

The history and timeline of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, explained. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise… you know the rest.

Since it began in 1966, Star Trek has been tracking the adventures of the USS Enterprise right the way through the Star Trek timeline. Some spin-off Star Trek series, like DS9, Voyager, Discovery, and Lower Decks, have directed their focus elsewhere on other ships (or stations), but the USS Enterprise is still synonymous with the franchise.

The USS Enterprise is undoubtedly the best Star Trek starship to ever grace our screens. And the beauty of it is whether you’re still in love with Kirk’s original ship, or if you have a soft spot for Picard’s Enterprise-D, the USS Enterprise’s long history has something for everyone. We’re now on to the Enterprise-G, introduced in the recent Star Trek Picard season 3, and it can be hard to keep track of the evolution of Starfleet’s flagship. No longer! Here’s the complete timeline of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, showing its aesthetic evolution, important dates, and captains.

Star Trek's Enterprise NX01

Enterprise (NX-01)

  • Active between: 2151-2161
  • Captains: Jonathan Archer
  • Class: NX-class

The first starship Enterprise, and the only version not to bear the prefix ‘USS’. The beautiful NX-01 established United Earth as an inter-planetary power to be taken seriously, exploring the Alpha and Beta quadrants, and paving the way for the creation of the Federation.

Led by Captain Jonathan Archer and manned by a small and specialized crew, the Enterprise was vital in beginning diplomatic relations with the Tellarites, Andorians, Klingons, and more. The ship’s missions also included the search for the Xindi, who posed a great threat to Earth. After the ship was finally recalled, its crew members were hailed as legendary heroes.

Star Trek's Enterprise original

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)

  • Active between: 2245-2285
  • Captains: Robert April, Christopher Pike, James T. Kirk, Will Decker, Spock
  • Class: Constitution class; Constitution-II class (refit)

The pioneering adventures of the USS Enterprise began under the command of Captain Robert April with its launch in 2245. After April accepted a promotion to the rank of Admiral, he transferred command to Christopher Pike who led the ship on exploratory and diplomatic missions across the galaxy.

After over a decade in the captain’s chair, Pike stepped aside. James T. Kirk transferred from the USS Farragut in order to take command of the flagship alongside his first officer Spock. They led the crew on a five-year mission of exploration, during which Kirk made first contact with a record number of alien species.

Star Trek's Enterprise in Search for Spock

Following on from the success of his period as a captain, Kirk was promoted and chose Will Decker as his successor. Along with Scotty, who remained the ship’s chief engineer, Decker oversaw a huge refit of the USS Enterprise, which was completed as the V’Ger incident began.

After V’ger, Spock assumed command of the USS Enterprise as its captain, and the ship became a training vessel for cadets. Kirk stepped into the chair once again during the battle with Khan, and took the USS Enterprise back to drydock after Spock’s death. As the ship was being repaired, Kirk stole the USS Enterprise with the help of his crew in order to resurrect Spock, but during this mission the USS Enterprise was destroyed in a confrontation with the Klingon Kruge.

Star Trek's Enterprise A

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A)

  • Active between: 2286-2293
  • Captains: James T. Kirk
  • Class: Constitution-II class

Following on from the destruction of the Enterprise and the demotion of Admiral Kirk, a new Enterprise was constructed for the now-captain to command. The Enterprise-A had a short service history, with only seven years worth of missions.

These included the journey to Sha Ka Ree and, most importantly, its final mission to negotiate peace with Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. After internal sabotage, the USS Enterprise-A became embroiled in a plot to wreck the peace process, though played a vital role in the eventual signing of the Khitomer Accords prior to being decommissioned.

Star Trek's Enterprise B

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B)

  • Active between: 2293-unconfirmed
  • Captains: John Harriman
  • Class: Excelsior class

Only a year after the Enterprise-A was decommissioned, the Enterprise-B was launched before technical work had been completed, with Captain John Harriman leading the new ship. Its early launch was primarily for the sake of publicity, however the ship was quickly drawn into an energy distortion field called the Nexus while responding to an emergency distress call.

This led to massive damage on the ship, and the presumed death of James T. Kirk who was aboard the Enterprise-B for its launch. The history of Harriman’s command, and of the ship following on from the Nexus incident, is largely unknown.

Star Trek's Enterprise C

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C)

  • Active between: unconfirmed-2344
  • Captains: Rachel Garrett
  • Class: Ambassador class

The USS Enterprise-C is one of the most significant ships in Starfleet history. Not only is it the first version of the Enterprise to be permanently captained by a woman, Rachel Garrett (one of the best Star Trek captains), it’s also the ship which prevented the outbreak of a new Federation-Klingon war through brave self-sacrifice.

While responding to a distress call from the Klingon outpost Narendra III (which was under attack by Romulans), the Enterprise-C was sucked into a temporal rift which brought it into the future. However, in this future, the Klingons and the Federation were locked in a desperate and bloody battle which had claimed 40 billion lives.

To prevent the war and correct the timeline, the Enterprise-C was sent back through the temporal rift. It sacrificed itself at Narendra III defending the outpost against Romulan aggressors, which the Klingons saw as a pivotal act of bravery. The ship was completely destroyed, however, along with its crew.

Star Trek's Enterprise D

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)

  • Active between: 2363-2371; 2401
  • Captains: Jean-Luc Picard, Edward Jellico
  • Class: Galaxy class

20 years after the sacrifice of the Enterprise-C, the Galaxy class Enterprise-D was launched as Starfleet’s flagship. The ship was under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard for the vast majority of its service history (barring a brief period of command by Captain Jellico during Picard’s mission to Celtris III), during which time first contact was made with numerous powerful alien species including the Q Continuum, the Borg, and the Cytherians.

Decades after its destruction, the Enterprise-D was rebuilt by Geordi La Forge at Starfleet museum, and in 2401 the reconstructed ship was vital in the final battle with the Borg.

Star Trek's Enterprise E

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)

  • Active between: 2372-unconfirmed
  • Captains: Jean-Luc Picard, Worf son of Mogh
  • Class: Sovereign class

Captain Jean-Luc Picard was assigned command of the USS Enterprise-E, a state-of-the-art Sovereign class ship, after the destruction of the D. The Enterprise-E led many significant missions, with the time-travel to Earth’s past to prevent interference from the Borg being (arguably) the most pivotal.

In Star Trek Picard season 3, it’s confirmed that Worf was promoted to the rank of captain and took command of the USS Enterprise-E at some point after Picard became an Admiral in 2381. However, Worf was also blamed for the ship’s destruction, indicating that the USS Enterprise-E’s service history came to an end under his command at an unspecified date.

Star Trek's Enterprise F

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-F)

  • Active between: Unconfirmed-2401
  • Captains: Elizabeth Shelby
  • Class: Odyssey class

The service history of the USS Enterprise-F, an Odyssey class ship, remains the most ambiguous to date. The ship is only seen just before it is decommissioned in Picard season 3 under the command of Fleet Admiral Shelby prior to the Borg attack Sol Station. This attack led to the death of Shelby, and the F was decommissioned as planned in 2401.

Star Trek's Enterprise G

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-G)

  • Active between: 2402-unconfirmed
  • Captains: Seven of Nine
  • Class: Neo-Constitution class

In 2402, the USS Titan-A was rechristened as the Enterprise-G and command was handed to the newly promoted Seven of Nine. Previously, while still the Titan, the ship had been commanded by Captain Liam Shaw.

What’s next for the USS Enterprise?

The adventures of the USS Enterprise look set to continue into the 25th century, with Captain Seven of Nine at the helm and Commander Raffi by her side. Should we ever get a Star Trek Legacy release date, we’ll see what these adventures look like, and the continuing voyages of the USS Enterprise.

The history and legacy of the USS Enterprise looks set to continue as long as there are new letters in the alphabet.

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For more on Star Trek, take a look at our picks for the best Star Trek characters, and check out our guide tp watching the Star Trek movies in order. You can also learn all about the Strange New Worlds season 3 release date and the Star Trek 4 release date, before seeing what’s new on Paramount Plus.

Or, find out why Leonard Nimoy said The Voyage Home was inspired by the best TOS episode, and check out our feature on why Data isn’t Starfleet’s best artificial officer.