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Old September 10 2013, 05:27 AM   #31
Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
To me it's more a numbers game. If we kept up the same number of ships from the Cold War and continued to upgrade them, we'd have more capable ships today. Instead we have far fewer ships and that means we're less able to absorb losses if we were to be involved in a war.

Ah but I'm not talking about old vs new. I'm talking about numbers of ships. (And to your argument, "A modern DDG could wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships" but a squadron of modern DDGs will wipe the floor with a squadron of older ships.)
On both of these, the problem you encounter is one of scarcity.
Well now you're just changing the conditions to include resources instead of just purely numbers. But I'll play

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
While the Federation is a post personal scarcity society (at least in some sense, given the marginal cost of energy is near 0 with cheap fusion), it's clear that there's bottlenecks in everything from ship power sources (dilithium) to physical locations to build ships to trained personnel.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
So for any given amount of resources you can focus on building more capable ships or a greater number of them.
That's true at different given times in history. I'd imagine that the amount of resources increased between TUC and say 20 years prior to "Yesterday's Enterprise" because the respective space powers are able to explore and acquire new planets with resources.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
There's a reason why naval treaties focused on tonnage rather than other measures like budgets or unit numbers. The displacement of individual ships was perhaps the greatest single determinant of their capabilities.

The Washington and London treaties helped keep a tight rein on battleship displacement and capabilities until they were abrogated, and once the treaties were done away with, the size and capabilities of battleships ballooned to about half again the size as the older ones.
Okay, you've lost me here. How do the above Washington and London treaties that limits capabilities by displacement connect to fixed resources? From their descriptions it reads that the countries had plenty of resources to build more but the treaties were designed to artificially limit construction by ratios to other countries (among other criteria).

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
The numbers game can be effective, but only if you have a nigh infinite naval budget and a substantial commitment that can't be covered any other way. Either way it's a great way to commit yourself to budgetary overstretch.
Isn't that a given if a country overstretches and builds more than they can afford? I was thinking that a country is building what they need and can afford because they already have X number of ships to start with.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
In constant dollar terms, it's easy to forget that the DoD budget hasn't changed all that much from the Cold War era
According to this article, the DoD budget took a 36% hit after the end of the Cold War up till the War on Terror.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
(and since the War on Terror has increased). A modern destroyer displaces as much a Cold War era cruiser with substantially better capabilities.
Yes, in general newer ships equal better capabilities. (Except for nukes. I don't think our post-Cold War ships carry any nuclear missiles.)

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
It also has about half the crew.
But isn't that in exchange for increased complexity and technical training to operate and maintain the new equipment?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Maintaining numbers would always have some sort of penalty, whether in capabilities or budgets. Now given that there's plenty of resistance of a trillion dollar defense budget, I highly doubt you'd get enough votes if you decided the DOD budget needed to be closer to 30% of GDP than 10%.
Or was it more like 20%? Anywhoo...

edit: no you're right at 10% of GDP.

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
Same would go for Starfleet. They have limitations, though mostly in terms of ship building/refitting capabilities (number of shipyards, slips, etc) and crew. So once the need for keeping sheer numbers around to cover every cubic lightyear of space available became lower, they'd probably shift toward getting more bang per buck.
That I agree with. I just think the more "bang per buck" is weighted towards science and exploration over military.

If I were to make a comparison - look at DS9's Defiant-class which showcases that a pure military ship in Starfleet is actually very small and uses a small crew as a result. Building a bunch of pure warships to me would indicate that it would be cheaper in material and crew, IMHO.

Last edited by blssdwlf; September 10 2013 at 06:41 AM.
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