The experimental Bradbury class prototype, completed in the mid 2360s, is the first Starfleet vessel at all that successfully puts into practice an elongated ellipictical saucer section, an angular-curved hybrid design and a on the whole very straightened appearance, which fairly differs from the established starship design with a round or horizontal elliptical saucer section. The middle-sized Bradbury class designed for research missions is therefore the direct predecessor of the smaller Intrepid class and the larger Sovereign class, that adapted the revolutionary new design of the Bradbury and specifically improved it. For a long time, actually a "Bradbury class" didn't exist, because firstly, only the experimental prototype, the USS Bradbury, was intended to be constructed, and this vessel remained the only ship of its class for many years. Although usually being more receptive to new technologies and designs, Starfleet's wariness with the Bradbury class was more than than justified, taking into account the long period of development of the relating specifications which date from the 2340s. At that time, a corresponding design was considered for the first time, however, due to the then understanding of warp field geometry, which for instance led to the very curved Galaxy class design, it was never put into practice. The first project of this kind, the Cora class, and all following projects failed because of these theoretical hurdles. Starfleet did not succeed until 2356 in developing a propulsion model that would really enable a high-warp starship with such a design. In the same year, the Bradbury project was started that should check these new possibilities in starship design - a angular-curved, straightened hull. The models showed that this would result in numerous advantages, for instance a increased propulsion efficiency and therefore a maximum speed beyond warp 9.6, and indeed, the USS Bradbury, constructed from 2359-66 in the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, could more than fulfil the expectations. Nonetheless, series production was delayed in order to test the experimental prototype for some years in practical use and to intregate all obvious possibilites to improve the design into the Intrepid and Sovereign projects started at the beginning of the 2360s. However, after the new design has finally proven with these ships, and Starfleet's general need for quick and powerful ships since the conflict with the Dominion the series production started in 2370 and in the meantime, the first Bradbury class starship have left the drydock to keep the peace in the Federation and to explore the vastness of space.
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