The Rothwell class light cruiser was a type of Federation starship on active duty during at least the late 23rd century. Construction of the class was authorized in early 2287 and the first ships of the class were commissioned probably ca. 2289 or 2290. (Jackill's Starfleet Reference Manual: Ships of the Fleet, vol. 3)

The design lineage of the Rothwells was derived from the Excelsior-class heavy cruisers. However, ships of the Rothwell class had two warp nacelles — of type LN-72 or similar — on pylons connected to a primary hull. (Some critics referred to the Rothwells as an "Excelsior version of a Loknar-class frigate.") Standard crew complement was 808 officers and crew plus 50 surface action specialists.

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