Again, the drone-ship plan of Valdore had quite the opposite effect: The Andorians, Tellarites, Vulcans and Humans united to
fight the drone ships and engaged in further peace talks. It also led to a shift of power within the Romulan Empire: More conservative members of the senate accused the Tal Shiar of supporting
the enemy’s politics and sabotaging the expansion plans in order to reroute more funds to the Tal Shiar. The praetor settled for a more direct approach and called for an extensive military
build-up. As the Romulan cloaking systems had proven to be not sufficient to fool Starfleet’s sensor systems, the Imperial fleet retrofitted their ships, exchanging multispectral emitters with
shielding systems. As those where extensive modifications to be made to almost the whole fleet, the pre-emptive strike against Humanity was scheduled for around 2156.
Meanwhile, United Earth had just overcome the first serious political crisis after her foundation. The Terra Prime terrorist attacks in January 2155, the Xindi Crisis and the attack of a Klingon bird of prey in the solar system had opened a public debate about Humanity’s involvement in interstellar matters. A surprising speech made by Vulcan minister Soval in front of the UEP turned public opinion just after the founding of the Coalition of Planets. He reminded the delegates that Earth was not able to isolate itself from interstellar politics, having to choose between being dominated by interstellar powers or becoming an equal among them. As Vulcan had just entered a period of domestic re-evaluation, the strategy of first minister T’Pau was clear: Vulcan’s allies, including Andoria and Earth had to be stable and strong in order to fill in for Vulcan’s now mothballed fleet. T’Pau knew that the new pacifist way of Vulcan life did not necessarily avoid the danger of being drawn into a military conflict. Additionally, the Coalition of Planets (CoP) was a purely economic cooperation, bringing trading goods and scientific cooperation to the Coalition’s members. The Coalition’s contract explicitly excluded military cooperation, leaving this area of politics to bilateral treaties.
Having gained powerful allies, United Earth wanted to contribute to interstellar security itself. While the NX program was seen as very successful in scientific and diplomatic ways, it had clearly shown that military capacities of UESPA were limited. Photonic torpedoes, an effective weapon first used aboard the S.S. Enterprise were extremely expensive and not yet be suitable for mass production due to limits in anti-matter creation. In May 2155, UESPA redirected many resources to its military branch, the Military Assault Command Operations (MACO). MACO tended towards more conventional armament and issued the development of two new classes, orientating on Andorian and Vulcan examples. The first one was to be constructed in order to help maintain sovereignty over Human territories. The second class had the sole purpose of being able to take a more active role in interstellar matter:
The first military vessel to be produced by humankind was the Lexington class, re-establishing the military tradition of giving a name to a class. The Lexington class was designed to be a border patrolling ship. MACO had started developing the class on the drawing board as soon as 2151, resulting in the thread by the Suliban. The second class, the Coalition class, had another approach in mind. It was developed to help members of the Coalition in order be able to repel any force invading allied territories. The Coalition class incorporated many features of the NC-class and was to be designated as a cruiser, hence the later famous registry prefix NC-C. The Coalition class was also the first vessel to utilize a designated engineering section together with a saucer section. Both vessels would carry a warp 4.5 engine, phase cannons, plasma cannons and spatial torpedoes. The Coalition class also had a combat transporter system, being able to beam explosives aboard enemy ships.
Until September 2155, both classes had entered production, with the help of a team of Andorian engineers and the increased resources provided by the CoP. The S.S. Lexington NF-F 01 would enter service in May 2156; the S.S. Coalition NC-C-01 would be commissioned in September.