Crazy Eddie wrote:
Not in TOS he doesn't.
No, but again, it's implied that starships like the Enterprise are among the most powerful around.
They're implied to be very powerful. Nothing and no one suggests MOST powerful. The closest line we have is when Kirk tells Captain Christopher "There are only twelve like her in the fleet." Suffice to say, of the hundreds of other ships in the fleet that aren't
constitution class, some are probably larger and some are probably smaller; some are probably more powerful and some are probably less.
I'll again remind you that the "rising tide" of fleet capabilities isn't a sure thing, as entire fleets do not uniformly become larger or more powerful over time. The U.S. Navy, for example, no longer fields anything as large or as powerful as an Iowa class battleship or even the guided-missile equivalent of the Atlanta class heavy cruisers. Even the larger Ticonderoga class cruisers are approaching retirement now, with the Navy preferring the "zerg rush" approach of filling the ocean with smaller, more cost-effective destroyers.
That could be the difference between the TOS and Abrams timeline. TOS could have seen the Constitution class with a run of at least twelve ships at a time; the Abrams timeline might favor larger and more powerful ships in which case Enterprise would only be one of five ships of a class.