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Old August 15 2013, 06:42 PM   #145
Crazy Eddie
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
That's not more really likely at all. A case could be made that the Constitution-class was in the process of being replaced by the time of Star Trek III, but its heyday was during TOS.
I really don't think so. When you consider that only ten years after TMP, the Enterprise was a training vessel and the lead ship of the class that (arguably) replaced it was "ready for trail runs" with a brand new drive system. The extensive refit of the Enterprise, also, is not indicative of a starship class that is still in its prime; quite the contrary, it's indicative of a design that is growing increasingly obsolete and has to be upgraded to remain in service at all (and even then, only for another ten or twelve years).
Well, actually, I don't think so at all.

I think the Constitution-class was first introduced around 2240 or so--the design wasn't even 15 years old at the time of the Talos IV incident...
That assumes that the Enterprise was the first -- or even ONE of the first -- of the entire class ever built. That seems extremely unlikely to me since we see one ship that appears to be a Constitution class with a registry of 1017. Given that everything else we've seen higher than 1764 is a different class vessel, it's more likely Enterprise and Defiant were some of the LAST ships off the Constitution production line.

I'll buy that Enterprise was fifteen years old when it arrived at Talos-IV... but the entire class? In the TOS years, we've seen ships constructed five or ten years apart separated by registries of only three or four hundred; the original Constellation is seven hundred ahead of the Enterprise and is at least fifteen years older, while the four-nacelled replacement (NX-1974) was probably already completing its testing when its namesake was destroyed by the Doomsday Machine and Starfleet simply transferred the name to the new ship just like they had with the Enterprise.

By the time of Kirk's 5-year mission in the mid 2260s, the Constitution-class was in its prime.
Its semi-retirement only twenty years later belies this claim, considering both the Miranda and the Excelsiors and even the Constellations remained in service for another hundred years. If the Constitution class was really in its prime in the 2260s, then its early retirement might very well be indicative of the problem: severe lack of durability over time leads to a very short-lived spaceframe that has to be replaced or overhauled too often to be economical.

OTOH, the service life of the Enterprise post-TMP give us some clues that the Constitutions were no longer fit for front line duty by then, and we're simply speculating as to WHY. The fully refitted Enterprise should have been good for at least another twenty years after the TMP upgrade, but only a decade later the ship is a training vessel due to be decommissioned; and even in TMP, Kirk only got command of the ship in the first place by using the V'ger emergency as an excuse and then stayed on for the shakedown cruise. For all we know, the only reason Enterprise got its refit in the first place is so the cadets could get used to the kind of technology they'd be seeing on the Mirandas and Constellations.
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