As for the Excelsiors and Mirandas not being refitted: Maybe Starfleet engine tech was relatively unchanged for a few decades. When the Ambassadors entered service it was such a hug leap forward, that the older ships couldn't be upgraded to the new engines.
Interesting notion. I'd long thought the opposite,
that the technology had remained so unchanged that it allowed them to remain viable (and that for whatever reason, Starfleet didn't need many/any Constitutions
to remain so long.) Your theory may actually make more sense. We never really did see one of the older ships keep up with the newer.
Well the ship was already a legend, from a PR stand point do you want to mothball a legend? or use it for target practice?
The WWII carrier Enterprise
was unceremoniously scrapped, despite being one of only three pre-war carriers to survive and receiving 20 battle stars, more than any other American ship in the war. (In fact, she was the most decorated U.S. ship ever.
) She even received a British Admiralty Pennant, the only ship outside the Royal Navy to receive one in the 400 years since its creation. There was desire to turn her into a museum, but the money just wasn't there.
Avro Arrow wrote:
You're not the only one to think this... some of the Star Trek novelists assumed the same thing. David Mack's Vanguard novel Harbinger had a pre-refit Miranda-class USS Bombay. And I'm not as sure about this one, but I think one of the old DC comics had a similar pre-refit Miranda-class USS Oxford. (Although I don't think the class of the Oxford was identified by name in the comic.)
Ah yes, the Oxford
, Kirk's first command. I enjoyed that story arc. I believe Kirk referred to her as a light cruiser.