C.E. Evans wrote:
I don't think so much as a replacement, but as a general rule of thumb, Starfleet is always developing the next new starship class, incorporating new systems and/or lessons learned from current ones. In TNG's "Booby Trap," Starfleet already had ideas to be implemented into the next design after the Galaxy-class, even though the Galaxy-class was still fairly new at the time.
Well, I'll give you that. I guess I was thinking of having at the very least something on paper saying "The NX-2000 will be our prototype to replace the Constitution
class." And, of course, the technological hodgepodge you mention. Some pencil pusher somewhere probably had a doc of mission requirements and tech specs that were being added on to for the new class, even if no work was being done.
Crazy Eddie wrote:
I could see the question about the Reliant, but the the Miranda class itself is a bit younger than the Constellation class. They are close enough in registry to be concurrent, but then so are the Constitutions. We know that all three classes were in service together in the 2280s, and we have reason to believe the Mirandas were active in the 70s. Given how little we know about their design history, there is ZERO reason to suspect they weren't already in service together in the 60s as well, especially given Enterprise's previous history.
Agreed - I think the question really becomes were they ever refit to TMP-era specs, or were they built that way? Lately, I've come to favor built that way. Maybe NCC-1500 was a similar "frigate" class which represented a mid-step between the previous generation and this one, that was simply retired in favor of Miranda
Crazy Eddie wrote:
Apart from the obvious implication that Columbia was a pre-warp vessel (time warp vs. non-time warp), there's the fact that Tyler never calls Enterprise "new." He says
"And you won't believe how fast you can get back. Well the time barrier's been broken. Our new ships can--
Okay, I improvised the last part, but he starts talking about "our new ships" before Vina's hotness breaks his concentration.
Our new ships can WHAT? Travel faster than light? Travel faster than yours? Or maybe "Our new ships can get you back to Earth in just a couple of days!"
I knew I was opening a can of gagh
with this one. (Very accurate improvisation, btw.
True, Jose never explicitly says "by new ship, I'm talking about the Enterprise.
" Also true, the writer's intention at the time was probably that the Columbia
didn't have "time warp." I think, though, that the implication is clear that Jose means that the Enterprise
is one of "our new ships." Also, the way he delivers the line indicates some degree of "our ship belongs to a newer, better type." Of course, it's highly relative.
Regarding the TMP refit, I think a core question remains: was the Enterprise
refit performed to extend the life of the class, or was the refit performed because the Enterprise
happened to be the choice to testbed new tech?