just curious, is there any similar system for classifying embarked craft in real militaries? and the star trek registry system has always been rather silly; what's the point of having NCC if there isn't any other designation? the USS indicates it's naval, so it can't be that... it serves no rational purpose unless there are other alternative classifications...
sorry for ranting, but it's just something that irks me...
Well, I've always like the idea that "NCC" stands for "navigational contact code." This is basically the key designator broadcast by a Starfleet ship to identify itself to other starfleet ships (and friendly or neutral non-starfleet ships... as well as hostiles, when appropriate under OPSEC rules, I guess).
That's not "canon" any more than "naval construction contract" is "canon." But it's the explanation I like the best.
This explains why a ship might be broadcasting a different sequence... an NX tells anyone who flies by that this ship is "experimental," for instance.
We've seen several prefixes, however... canonically, here's what we've seen, and the first time we saw it:
Registry Codes and Ship Types
- NX Federation, Starfleet, Experimental (USS Excelsior, NX-2000) ST III:TSFS
- NAR Federation, non-Starfleet, Research (SS Vico, NAR-18834) TNG "Hero Worship"
- NCC Federation, Starfleet, Active service (USS Enterprise, NCC-1701) TOS
- NDT Federation, non-Starfleet, Transport (SS Milan, NDT-50863) TNG "New Ground"
- NFT Federation (Lakul, NFT-7793) ST:G, Nemecek
- NGL Federation, non-Starfleet, Freighter (SS Odin, NGL-12535) TNG "Angel One"
- NSP Federation, Vulcan, Science (T'Pau, NSP-17938) TNG "Unification: Part I"