...Which might simply be because each individual ship named Enterprise
has survived exceptionally long, long enough to become so outdated that when the name is freed for use, there are no further ships in the original class or even in any closely comparable classes in service, and the name must
go to the "next generation".
This might be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts: Starfleet sees symbolic value in Enterprises
, so it gives them preferred status in repairs and upgrades, and perhaps even keeps them from the most destructive missions. This makes the ships long-lived and adds to their symbolic value, closing the feedback circle.
A related but subtly different factor would be that the name no longer ends up on small ships, which by default lead shorter lives because there's less room for refits and a greater risk of total loss if the enemy gets in a good punch.
That one was an Ambassador
, a smaller and older type.
I wonder what sort of a lineage the Yamato
vessels had. They were up to -E in "Where Silence Has Lease" already... Did the -nil, -A, -B, -C and -D all represent a monotonically rising curve in terms of size and capabilities? (Not that the Enterprise
curve would have held that steady: the -E is definitely a step down in size.)