I'm with Dayton3
on this one. The Galaxies
already represent the cream of the cream of Starfleet, and are a major investment.In times of war, they should be given the absolute maximum of fighting potential.
Moreover, they are built with this bit of modularity to begin with. While other multimission starships would need to return to dock for lengthy refitting to the latest military standards when war broke out, a Galaxy
could simply undock a saucer and receive a "fighting top", thus being among the first ships to reach the battlefields in fighting trim.
IMHO, it would be very cost-effective to prepare just one fighting top per Galaxy
to wait for times of war. Reaction time would be a non-issue: the Dominion War took about two years to get started. The fighting tops would not be there for dealing with the occasional enemy encounter in deep space. They would be there for the day when the Federation decides there will be major war in the next six months.
Dedicated fighting vessels would be a poorer investment. In peacetime, they'd be useless. And they'd take time to build if you only opted for them during wartime. A fighting top for a Galaxy
or a Defiant
would be a lesser misinvestment when sitting idly than an entire warship, even a small one, would be.
The fighting tops would be for the biggest ships only, of course: from certain ship size down, it would begin to make less sense to put a major chunk of fighting gear in a separate module, as there would begin to be intolerable duplication of systems for the ship and the module: you don't pack a warp drive -less Defiant
onto a Defiant
and call it a module. But you could very well pack a warp drive -less Defiant
onto a ]Galaxy
as a combat booster, an easy means of adding pulse phasers and q-torp launchers very quickly.