USS KG5 wrote:
It is unlikely Starfleet is allowed a standing fleet of thousands of warships sitting in dockyards waiting for war, no modern navy is after all.
Why not? If scarcity is no longer an issue for the Federation, why couldn't it have massive fleets sitting in spacedock in case of a new war?
I didn't say it was no longer an issue - just that resources and technology are sufficient that market forces as we know them do not exist. Technology could easily supply enough food to keep all the planet fat one day just from the resources we have here on Earth - sunlight, water, nitrogen etc. This would end the need for a market in food for example. Cheap affordable housing is again partly a function of technology.
However some resources are likely to be scarce, like they are now. Skilled people, dilithium. antimatter, almost anything else that cannot be replicated. Starfleet would doubtless be allowed to employ as much of this as possible in war time, and its facilities would be scalable to cope with this. Utopia Planetia might have 100 construction docks and only use 25 in peacetime.
Starfleet clearly does have a massive mothball fleet in peacetime. It is mentioned in ST6 (albeit briefly) and we see so many old Excelsiors and Mirandas in DS9 we can safely assume they were not all active before the start of the war. They were kept cold in storage (space presumably preserves perfectly, if protected from meteor showers and the like), and activated over a six month period.
I like the idea of the Steamrunner class as a super-cheap warfighter as well. We see so many at the start of the war and towards the end they seem to be supplanted by increasing numbers of Akira and Nebula class ships.