When I see statements like that, it is going to take X time to build something, X time to reach top rank, and so forth, I immediately become sceptic. A gamer's drive, is never to underestimated, especially one that is a Trekkie.
That is a true fact. I should have clarified that the fleet advancement system has two phases, a material gathering phase and a waiting phase. A determined fleet can shorten the time taken to gather the necessary upgrade materials. However, the waiting time to complete the project is baked into the advancement system itself and cannot be changed by players.
Cryptic devs have already stated it will take a full year of waiting to complete every single upgrade project. Granted, not every single upgrade is desirable and can be bypassed. That shaves 3 to 5 months off the time required, hence the 7 to 9 months I quoted.