USS KG5 wrote:
There are probably between five and eight thousand ships of the line in Starfleet in TNG era. Before the Dominion War, it is probably around the higher figure, and afterwards it's probably the lower figure.
See I don't get this idea that the Federation had fewer ships in commission at the end of the war.
Historically wartime fleets are always massively larger than their peacetime equivalents. Even Starfleet has some limitations on resources, and cannot have fleets of 500 ships each sitting around in peacetime.
I would expect Starfleet probably doubled in size during the Dominion War, probably lost overall around 3000 odd ships of all sizes by the end, but would likely have built as many if not more.
You are probably right that serious ship-building efforts were underway, and I was trying to account for the fact that they appeared to be getting really pasted. However, Starfleet doubling during the war seems incredibly unlikely when you factor in said pasting with the fact that it typically appears to take a lot more than two years to build a starship. In Best of Both Worlds, Shelby appears to be suggesting that it will optimistically take less than a year to repair or replace the thirty-nine ships lost at Wolf 359. I can't reconcile this with building many thousands of ships per year, especially measured against losses of ships and shipyards.
As for the 5000-8000 figure, that came from conversation with Ron Moore, and he claimed it sprung from some DS9 writers' room discussions on the topic. While his contribution on tech issues is usually nil, I think it's a solid figure