As soon as I heard that Nelson Mandela passed away, I knew I had to design a Federation starship to carry his name, as I knew that his is one of those names that the Federation would have a great deal of respect for, and probably even still have an influence on it's politics. I'm surprised that I haven't found any other starships that carries his name yet. http://www.flickr.com/photos/40445677@N06/with/11406398445/ There are two aspects that I'm unsure of, and could use the opinion of fellow starship designers. There are two options for the Point Defense Phasers (PDPs for short, not to confused with the Quad Point Defense Pulse Phaser Turrets, which are designed to take out big threats; the PDPs are meant to take out fighters, other small spacecraft, and projectiles). One is like akin to the units Malcolm Lu originally designed for the Majestic class, and used on the Legacy class, while the other is compact, and half-spherical shaped, with an emitter sandwiched into the middle. Then there is the shuttlebays: one design is like that of the Miranda and Sparrow class frigates, while the other design has the doors mounted along the side, like on the Insignia class. A vote of opinions is necessary before I am to continue the design process any further. The design of the Nelson Mandela was based on the Diplomatic Courier U.S.S. Robert F. Kennedy (NCC-921), and yes, there are many references to some of Forbin's designs in the starship's bio. Information (subject to additions and changes): Armament (subject to change): 14 Quad Point Defense Pulse Phaser Turrets (concealed) 12 Point Defense Phaser Emplacements Laid down on Stardate 12.16.91, the Nelson Mandela-class Diplomatic Courier was the be the latest designed diplomatic vessel. Designed with Quantum Slipstream, she was capable of even reaching nearby galaxies within hours if the mission called for it. In spite of opposition, due to the incident with the U.S.S. Grand Alliance (NCC-72800), in which her escort, the U.S.S. Claymore (NCC-69426) had been destroyed by Orion mercenary starships, it had been decided that by 2380, all future diplomatic vessels must be designed to be capable of fending for themselves. As a result, the U.S.S. Nelson Mandela (NX, and later NCC-91921) carries not only 12 Point Defense Phasers (PDPs), but also 14 Point Defense Quad Pulse Phaser Cannon Emplacements and Deployable Armor Generators, based on the technology equipped to the U.S.S. Voyager (NCC-74656) upon her return from the Delta Quadrant. The Nelson Mandela class, being designed to carry dignitaries, diplomats, and ambassadors, and if necessary, their families, from whatever worlds she might be required, is equipped with a manner of luxuries, many of which are shared with luxury star cruisers, including 5-star suite cabins, which can be completely re-equipped within a couple of hours due to industrial replicators and nano-constructors inside each cabin, for whatever environment that may be required, a swimming pool, mess halls designed like a 5-star restaurants, and arboretums, not to mention holo-suites, in spite of not being the largest of the Diplomatic Starships in Starfleet's Diplomatic Corp's disposal (Starfleet One, the Quantum Slipstream capable replacement for the U.S.S. Grand Alliance is to take that honor). The U.S.S. Nelson Mandela was involved in one of the last attempts to maintain diplomatic ties with the Klingon Empire, before the Klingon Empire cut diplomatic ties with the Federation. This attempt ended with a Vor'cha class-Attack Cruiser firing at the U.S.S. Nelson Mandela's port bow (not across; the Nelson Mandela's port bow was hit). Fortunately, the shields completely absorbed the attack, but she was forced to return to the Federation border, clearly not welcome in Klingon space.