The New Class Modernization Program was a standardization project by the New Republic Defense Force. The name also refers to starships developed as a part of the earlier Defender (ship-design program).
The Rebel Alliance fleet consisted of ships obtained in various ways. Unlike the Galactic Empire, which contracted its standardized vessels, the cash and resource strapped Rebels received their ships from donations via various contributors, ships captured by numerous rebel groups, outright theft from shipyards, stolen from Imperial defectors, purchased under the black market or obtained in junkyards, others supplied by Rebel sympathizers whom had ships of their own. Nevertheless, the maintenance and logistical issues brought on by the wide variety of vessels and ship types from various eras and manufacturers and ships not initially build for combat; put tremendous strain on the fleets already scarce resources. In addition, as the Rebel Alliance military structure matured, it became increasingly difficult to train, rotate and promote crews and officers across the multitude of ship types. As the Rebel Alliance transitioned into the New Republic, the need for an organized military, rather than a ragtag force was clear thus they began to commission a standardized navy.
The initial goal of the New Republic's New Class program was to design and build starships that increased the degree of standardization across internal features (like command consoles) and external features (like hull panels). The products of this early phase of the plan included vessels that were essentially upgrades to existing, but common, vessels. These included the Corona-class frigate, Belarus-class medium cruiser, and the Republic-class Star Destroyer. Another vessel that incorporated a high degree of standardization was the MC90 Star Cruiser, which was the first Mon Calamari built warship for the New Republic that was built to a standard design. The project also developed two reconnaissance vessels, yielding the droid-controlled Ferret-class and the larger, crewed Prowler-class. As these ships were deployed, the New Republic phased out aging starships, particularly those that were converted from commercial or civilian service. Designs of the New Class were based on Bevel Lemelisk's analysis of the captured Worldcraft.
The first truly New Class vessel type was the Sacheen-class light escort. After finding success with the Sacheen-class, the Republic Engineering Corporation, who spearheaded the engineering side of the program, chose to use the same engine, systems, keel and hull to build the Hajen-class fleet tender. The practice of using a base design to build multiple ship types became the standard practice for the New Class program. The final format of the program used four base designs at the keel lengths of 190 meters, 375 meters, 700 meters and 1040 meters, with two ship types, named for the first of each type, for each base design.
The Fifth Battle Group was the first battle group to be comprised entirely of New Class vessels. Under the command of General Etahn A'baht, the Fifth Battle Group demonstrated the power and flexibility of the New Class during the New Republic's battles with the Yevetha.
The New Class Modernization Program was completed approximately by 20 ABY.
- Cracken's Threat Dossier
- Starships of the Galaxy
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Chronology
- Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
- The Essential Guide to Warfare