The Istanbul Class is Starfleet's dedicated emergency evac and transport vessel. It remains the largest Federation starship capable of planetfall. Though no longer a production vessel, some 208 vessels are in service, the class' run having begun in the late 2320's. Equipped with large scale transporters, heavy impulse-only shuttles, and the ability to land on and take off from a planets surface, the Istanbul Class is expected to be in service for many years to come. Indeed, following the dramatic rescue of several hundred civilians by the U.S.S. Marikesh during the Dominion War, some have speculated that a renewed construction contract may be in the starship's future.