Robert Comsol wrote:
I don't see the need for "belief" (has such a dogmatic connotation
). Unless we get first hand accounts from the actual people involved there is plenty of room for speculation with the possibility that things may be different from what many of us assume these to be. Can we agree on that?
Well, no, because we do
have firsthand accounts from people who worked at ILM such as Bill George and Nilo Rodis, who pretty much state the opposite of what you believe. They were asked to design a ship that was newer, larger and sleeker than the TMP Enterprise, with the intention that it would become Kirk's new command. Therefore they knew they weren't designing ships for a pre-TOS prequel film. It's as simple as that. I'm sorry that that doesn't jibe with your theory about the Oberth, but it is what it is.
Now with that said, sure, the Oberth could still be an older design. But as Timo stated above me, that doesn't seem to be the designers' intent, low registry number notwithstanding.