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Old March 26 2012, 02:38 PM   #28
Ian Keldon
Fleet Captain
Re: How big is Starfleet in men and ships?

Timo wrote: View Post
"Only ship in the quadrant/sector" is easily explained by the vast scope of their area of operations.
Quite so - but this also establishes that Starfleet is powerless to fight the issue, and thus colonies are lost to disasters that could have been averted had a second or more proximal ship been available. If the situation can be remedied in war where resources necessarily are concentrated and diverted, why not in peace where they are available in abundance and the enemy does not dictate their application?
Because even in a generally prosperous "post-scarcity" economy such as the 24th century Federation, there is a trade off in use of resources, if only in manufacturing time for large items like starships.

There you go again, trying to substitute your "unique" notions for canon fact. You do that a lot.
Why not? It's not as if the canon facts add to anything much: they're only a thin spiderweb pretending to be a solid canvas of art, with the audience filling in the gaps and tying together the ends flapping loose.
More like "Hey, let's put sunglasses on the Mona Lisa! Why? Why not? It makes sense to me and looks cool!"
Canon never said how far Kirk went in "Where No Man" or "By Any Other Name" or "Is There In Truth". All we learned was that he went to the strange barrier at the rim of the galaxy in the first two episodes, and entered "a space-time continuum" in the third that looked quite a bit like that barrier.
Not true, look up the eps in question and they are quite explicit. Kirk's mission was to go beyond the galactic rim in WNM, in BAON they explicitly went beyond the galactic rim (something they would do again in Beyond the Farthest Star. In ITIT again explicit mention is made of them being beyond the galactic rim.

There's no particular reason to think that this would have taken place beyond Picard's 8,000 ly figure - or that at least some of it (the "In Truth" bits) wouldn't have happened millions of lightyears away from Earth and the Milky Way. No reason other than trying to keep some sort of consistency for the warp speed, distance and travel time references that form our spiderweb.
Nope, sorry. Again you're substituting what you WANT for canon fact.
Those ship readings are supplemented by automated probes, unmanned high-power sensor arrays, etc, all of which are canonically established.
...And still amount to a pitiful 11% ("Where No One") or 19% ("The Dauphin") of the galaxy explored, a far cry from a full quadrant. The percentage actually visited by landing parties and away teams may be anywhere between 11% and 0.0011% as far as canon goes.

Not to mention that in Kirk's time, at least a hundred years after Earth began using warp-speed starships for other things besides battling the Romulans, many of the nearby stars were still unknown quantities, full of wonders that only Kirk would uncover. We don't have to speculate about the reach and thoroughness of Earth's or the Federation's exploration effort, when we can directly see it comes to just about nil even in Picard's time.
None of which in any way argues for a "small" Starfleet. In fact, you're reinforcing my point that just to maintain a minimal presence in a fraction of all that requires a LOT of ships, as I demonstrated.

Actually, it's the other way around.
Apparently not necessarily in Starfleet, though - Kirk would carry 400-500 fellow spacemen and -women on exploration missions, but ships lost to combat at Wolf 359, each of them larger than Kirk's, would be listed as having gone down with an average of only 250.
Apples and oranges. Ships are more automated in TNG than TOS. Witness what happened when the Defiant lost it's computers to Eddington's virus and they had to go back to the more manpower-intensive way of doing it.

On the other hand, we have the alternate timeline E-D with 5,000 people aboard in wartime, as opposed to the mere 1,000 on Picard's peacetime voyages. And DS9 "Field of Fire" lists a supposed Excelsior as having been lost with some 1,250 personnel. A wartime increase to operating crews - or evidence of troops being shipped? Difficult to tell.
Speculation. It's still simple fact that civilian ships would not need massive amounts of military specialists, and neither would Starfleet in peacetime.

Interestingly, the wall chart onboard DS9 would list casualties on a day-to-day basis, and these would always seem to be a trickle, with at most dozens per starship (regardless of whether we looked at the chart in detail or satisfied ourselves with the unfocused artwork available without screencaps or backstage information)...

Timo Saloniemi
Simple static graphics meant to imply a user-interactive variable display. The list as seen was not the entire list.

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
We know in "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" that Kirk tells Captain Christopher regarding the Enterprise that "there are only 12 like it in the fleet".

Whether that means 12 or 13 ships like the Enterprise is up to interpretation. Some have claimed that this meant only 12 or 13 ships in the entire Starfleet but that of course is ridiculous.

For most of the last couple of decades, a captain aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier could correctly say that "there are only 12 like it in the fleet" and be completely accurate but the U.S. fleet still has hundreds of vessels.
Which was the model GR was following at the time. The Connies were the "best of the best", much as the Galaxies would later become.

The loss of 39 ships at Wolf-359 and Shelby's "we'll have the fleet up and running in less than a year" gives some idea about the Federations ship production capabilities in peacetime.

Assume that they can replace 39 ships in about 10 months (less than a year) then that means that Starfleet normally builds about 4 new starships a month or about one a week. This would have to be the level of peacetime production as there was no time for production to have been ramped up significantly around Wolf-359.
That assumes that they were devoting full resources to just that task. It could just as easily be that that was 1 shipyard's output, or part of a shipyard's output.

BOBW is a poor reference point in any event, as it is swamped by other canon evidence suggesting a large fleet and the associated shipbuilding capacities.
Ian Keldon is offline   Reply With Quote