In May of 2268 the following directive was issued by Starfleet Command:

Starfleet Directive 10247:

In order to meet the expanding need for multi-mission capable vessels, construction will begin immediately on 12 new Constitution Class Heavy Cruisers at the following facilities: Sol III (San Francisco Orbital Shipyards), Sol III-A (Copernicus Shipyards), Sol IV (Utopia Planetia Shipyards), Sol VI-A (Titan Shipyards)

Proposed vessel names and hull registries:

USS Ark Royal NCC-1723 USS Forrestal NCC-1718
USS Birmark NCC-1725 USS Hornet NCC-1714
USS Challenger NCC-1719 USS Invincible NCC-1732
USS Discovery NCC-1722 USS LaFayette NCC-1720
USS Endeavor NCC-1716 USS Victory NCC-1726
USS Essex NCC-1727 USS Yamato NCC-1715

The first of these new Consitution Class cruisers, USS Yamato (hull registry NCC-1715) was commissioned July 16, 2270 at the Copernicus Shipyards on Luna.