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ahkyahnan October 19 2012 04:44 AM

U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
The "U.S.S. Equinox" from ST:VOY was described in general as a science vessel, and somewhat more specifically as a planetary research ship. Although to me personally, she always seemed like a general purpose small starship at heart, with this variant of the design maybe configured more for research. Afterall, unofficially her design started out as a small warship that ultimately lost out to the "Defiant". Anyway...

In the final episodes, we see the "U.S.S. Rhode Island" which is obviously a variant of the same design, yet seems to be more combat capable. My question is, if you had to classify this ship, what would it be? And what would her mission profile include? Just curious to see what others think.

And if you think that the "Rhode Island' we saw onscreen had undergone a significant refit sometime in the past, (I tend to assume she was originally built not long after the original Nova class, though there's nothing to support that...just my own speculation) what do you think her classification and mission profile was originally?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


Timo October 19 2012 07:36 AM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
I'd personally go for the smallest possible classic warship designations applicable.

- If you want easily associable late 20th century, corvette is probably the way to go. Those are the warships the most closely matching small survey ships of today in size and design.
- If you want WWII, some sort of an escort might be your bet. The Flower corvettes were essentially armed whalers, while the assorted sloops and frigates of the era were more like miniature destroyers, so again corvette might get my votes. But that's sort of British - destroyer escort would be the American option, although it sounds clumsy to me.
- You can go back to the sailing days, too - the Royal Navy certainly did when "inventing" names for its innovative WWII vessels. A Starfleet sloop or brig might sound funny, though, to modern ears.
- Perhaps the tiny vessel isn't really a ship (save in the sense a runabout can be called "starship" by a pompous pilot), though. "Patrol boat" would be quite fitting, too.

Timo Saloniemi

Dukhat October 20 2012 01:56 AM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
Ships of the same class can be utilized for different purposes. Take the Miranda class. Throughout its appearances in Trek, it's been used as a science vessel, a transport/freighter, and a ship of the line.

Furthermore, a ship can be a science vessel and also have badass weaponry at the same time.

ProwlAlpha October 24 2012 03:28 PM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
In my star trek ship world, I have always classified the Rhode Island as a frigate.

137th Gebirg October 24 2012 07:57 PM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
My vote would be a Perimeter Action Vessel. High speed, moderately armed (compared to other ships its size), small, maneuverable and able to quickly engage in border patrol and interdiction missions. IMO, too small to be a frigate.

Undead October 24 2012 10:28 PM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
I've never really liked the PAV classification myself; it seems like the same mission profile that could be handled by a destroyer or corvette, with frigates handling a larger role.

Timo October 25 2012 09:56 AM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
High speed? The similar Nova was famed for her exceptionally low top speed of warp eight. Does the slight tinkering of the fins on the Rhode Island alter that somehow?

Timo Saloniemi

137th Gebirg October 25 2012 01:56 PM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
No, but 30+ years of potential propulsion upgrades would not be unreasonable to infer greater capabilities.

Timo October 25 2012 02:04 PM

Re: U.S.S. Rhode Island Classification?
Other ship types would probably have been upgraded as well, though, still leaving the Rhode Island the slowest warship in Starfleet's arsenal...

...Perhaps comparable to the fisheries protection vessels of today, with abysmal top speeds of about 12-14 knots. Say, these?

Timo Saloniemi

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