(covers information from several alternate timelines)
|Owner:||United Federation of Planets|
|Status:||Active (prime reality) (2233)|
Destroyed (alternate reality) (2233)
The USS Kelvin (NCC-0514) was a 23rd century Federation Kelvin-type starship operated by Starfleet. In 2233, the Kelvin was under the command of Captain Richard Robau, while his first officer was Lieutenant Commander George Kirk.
On stardate 2233.04, the Kelvin was on a mission 75,000 kilometers from the Federation-Klingon border. George Kirk's wife, Winona, was also aboard the ship at that time, pregnant with their son, James T. Kirk.
In 2233, the Kelvin encountered a black hole created in 2387 by the detonation of a red matter device, subsequently creating the alternate reality. As the Kelvin was observing the black hole, an unidentified vessel, the Narada, a 24th century Romulan mining vessel commanded by Captain Nero, emerged from the future. The Kelvin was then attacked by this vessel, leading to a battle during which Captain Robau was murdered, leaving George Kirk in command, and James T. Kirk was born. The engagement culminated in the Kelvin being evacuated by its crew – comprised of eight hundred people, including Winona Kirk and her newborn son, but with the notable exception of George Kirk, in addition to several other crewmembers who were killed during the Narada's attack – and the eventual destruction of the vessel. (Star Trek)
- Commanding officer
- First officer
See also: USS Kelvin personnel
The Artisan prop and model shop of Quantum Mechanix, QMx FX Cinema Arts, was asked to illustrate the history of space flight with models for Star Trek: Into Darkness. They constructed fourteen models in total. On their website, there was a picture of the USS Kelvin model. 
The Kelvin breaks from convention with regards to its registry, having a zero preceding the primary three digits, whereas previous ships with a three-digit registry had no preceding zero, such as the USS Grissom (NCC-638). According to Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual the registry NCC-514 was assigned to the Saladin-class destroyer USS Rahman (β).
Identifying the Kelvin
The Kelvin was named after physicist and engineer Lord Kelvin as well as Harry Kelvin, the grandfather of Star Trek director and producer J.J. Abrams.  The registry number of the Kelvin is Harry Kelvin's birthday. (audio commentary, Star Trek Special Edition/Three-disc Blu-ray)
In early stages of the film's development, the ship was named the USS Iowa.  While known by this eventually unused name, the vessel was given a registry number of 1201.  In a later interview with screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Kurtzman explained that the ship's initial name was to have been "our nod" to the fact that the prime universe James T. Kirk had been semi-established as having been born in Iowa. "Then we decided that was too radical," Kurtzman said of the reference. Technically statements in Star Trek IV stated that Kirk was from Iowa and only worked in outer-space (indicating he was not born there).
Furthermore, Orci explained that the writers imagined that – in the prime timeline, shortly prior to the birth of James Kirk – the Kelvin would have successfully completed the return journey to Earth, safely delivering the as-yet unborn boy, as well as his parents, to the planet, (Star Trek Magazine issue 146, p. 38) though it is unclear if it would have been January 04, 2233 or a slightly later date as trauma and stress can trigger a delivery.
Robau actor Faran Tahir once made several speculations about the Kelvin, such as suggesting that – prior to its destruction in the alternate reality – it had a long history that included having been in previous battles. He reckoned, "The Kelvin is a ship that's been sent out to the uttermost reaches of the explored universe at that point [....] The Kelvin has been out there and has run the gamut of creating peaceful situations out of dangerous situations [....] I think it's a great parallel that the Kelvin is very much what Enterprise ends up being later in the story. It is a prototype and I would suggest that the events of that ship were taught as a model at the Academy." (Star Trek Magazine issue 145, p. 87)
Creating Kelvin scenes
The opening shot of the Kelvin, a sweeping forty-second camera move, was not planned for in initial previsualization footage, created during the early stages of production by David Dozoretz and an affiliated team at Paramount. It was only once J.J. Abrams and his editors began combining live-action and previz footage that they realized they wanted the previz to be different from what had originally been planned. "They decided they wanted to tell a different story in quite a few sequences," recalled Industrial Light & Magic animation supervisor Paul Kavanagh. ILM consequently began creating their own previz shots, including the initial view of the Kelvin, which was orchestrated by ILM during principal photography at Paramount. "J.J. wanted to create a sense of mystery in the shot," Kavanagh explained. He ultimately thought this notion was achieved, commenting, "Each piece of the shot revealed a little bit more of the story, keeping the audience intrigued until the end, when we finally revealed this starship." (Cinefex, No. 118, p. 48)
Of all the shipboard scenes in the film, the ones set aboard the Kelvin were filmed first. As such, Director of Photography Dan Mindel considered the shooting of the Kelvin scenes to be a "trial run" for the upcoming filming of the Enterprise sets. "We went onto the Kelvin knowing that we were going to be blind for the first few days until we started seeing dailies from those sets, then we could take notes and add whatever we wanted to for the Enterprise, which hadn't been built yet," Mindel remarked. "We wanted to make the Kelvin a lot darker and less welcoming and positive than the Enterprise was going to be, so everything is muted in there." (Star Trek Magazine issue 146, p. 44)
One of the viral promotion sites, at NCC-1701.com, occasionally showed a picture of a mysterious corridor, supposedly on the Enterprise. It was, in fact, a corridor from the Kelvin, seen very briefly while George Kirk was in command.
A computer-generated depiction of the Kelvin was included in the 2011 edition of the Ships of the Line calendar, in the image for February (entitled "U.S.S. Kelvin–On Patrol"). Created by Tobias Richter, this image shows the starship passing through a planetary system with its warp nacelle energized, nearest a ringed planet with two other planets nearby.