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Old September 25 2013, 08:32 PM   #17
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Starfleet Procurement Policy Draft

Chapter 4

The Industrial Replicator Revolution
Along with the changing interstellar political system of the 2320s, the Federation was faced with a changing economic landscape with the widescale introduction of replicator technology. The initial adoption of food replicators made a mess of interstellar trade, as agricultural staples lost their value practically overnight and created wide scale displacements in production. When the first commercial industrial replicators came online in 2320, the shocks reverberated further. Many resource dependent worlds saw the value of their products evaporate, while smaller manufacturing colonies also faced sudden obsolescence. The Federation had found the secret to post-resource scarcity, but ironically the impact of its introduction threatened to undermine its entire economic structure.

During this time Starfleet found itself deployed to deal with the aftermath of economic shocks, commissioning new variants of existing starships to provide extensive infrastructure support to ailing worlds. A large number of Miranda-class hulls in reserve were converted into fast transports for this purpose, removing most of their scientific gear in favor of cargo space and berthing for specialists from the Federation Commerce Department. The typical support mission required a ship to loiter for several months, setting up new industrial replication stations, power generation and infrastructure, along with training locals on the new equipment. Meanwhile larger numbers of contact specialists and sociologists spent their time helping displaced societies adapt to the new economic realities.

Despite assisting worlds with the introduction of replicator technology, Starfleet's use of replicator technology remained half-hearted. Food replicators were standard issue equipment on all starships by 2321 and small scale industrial replicators were installed in support mission Mirandas by 2323, well before commercial use. Fleet yards refused to adopt industrial replicators and were overtaken by civilian contractors who began widespread fabrication of ship components by 2322.

The Admiralty Board finally relented after repeated inquiries from the Federation Council in 2324 by commissioning a report on the use of industrial replicators in merchant shipping fleets. The report found that industrial replication had little negative effects on hull durability and offered substantial efficiency increases for maintenance and supply chain management. Recommendations in the report included upgrading Starfleet dockyards while maintaining existing construction programs with civilian contractors. By 2326 the most recalcitrant members of the Admiralty Board had been replaced, and Starfleet Command gave the go ahead for ASDB and SCE to commence widescale introduction of industrial replication in starship construction and maintenance.

SIF-integrated hull construction removed many of the size and mass limitations that hobbled ship design in the 23rd century. The relative slowing of ship size during the first decades of the 24th century had more to do with logistical realities than technology. With the use of industrial replicators to reduce the need for parts storage and redundant hull components, ASDB had an opportunity to start with a blank slate. Building on several theoretical designs refined over the intervening years, the result was the Renaissance-class starship commissioned in 2329.

Even as the first Renaissance-class starships were commissioned, ASDB was putting the final touches on the successor to the venerable Excelsior-class. At 2.8 million cubic meters the Ambassador-class starship was twice the size of the Renaissance and over three times the size of the Excelsior. Built with existing techniques the prototype USS Ambassador (NX-10521) though laid down in 2324 had taken into 2330 to completion. The first production ships Enterprise and Horatio were built at Earth Station McKinley's new industrial replicator equipped facility starting in 2330. Compared to the prototype, the new vessels were completed in 26 months and commissioned in late 2332.

After the next 4 units of the Ambassador-class successfully completed trials in 2334, Starfleet Command drew up the 2335 Decennial Plan. With the first generation of 2295 vintage starships reaching half a century in age, Starfleet planned to begin a large-scale program of rebuilding, refit, or retirement of existing hulls. An inventory of hulls in Ordinary showed most to be in good condition, and Starfleet planned to retire the most worn Excelsior and Miranda class ships in favor of newly fitted out starships. Hull production would be vastly reduced by 2340 in preparation for large-scale modernization, with only Ambassador-class production continuing uninterrupted.

Due to the increased productivity offered by replicators, Starfleet Command remained sanguine about the fleet's ability to respond to any threats. Deteriorating relations with the Klingon Chancellor Kravokh and mounting border incidents with both the Cardassians and Tzekenthi did not change Starfleet's attitude toward fleet modernization. The margin provided by newly built Merced, Renaissance and Ambassador class starships was believed sufficient to counter the threats posed by the three interstellar empires. (It would not be until 2350 that Starfleet understood how badly it had underestimated the Klingons. Chancellor K'mpec, Kravokh's successor, revealed the Klingon Empire's war plans included widespread use of suicide attacks with B'rel and K'Vort class Birds of Prey to target Starfleet's most modern starships and knock out its fleet capability before older ships could be fully modernized.)

Starfleet started the 2340s with a clear plan for modernization and a large number of ships ready for modernization. The decades ahead would reveal just how badly Starfleet would need these new assets...

Starfleet Fleet Strength 2340
Excelsior-class Starships
  • In Service: 186
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only)*: 188
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 48
  • Lost/Missing: 3
  • Decommissioned: 6
    *Note: Excelsior-class hulls in reserve were also used for Centaur-class construction.
Miranda-class Starships (Note Includes only post-2293 builds)
  • In Service: 1,587
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 965
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 250
  • Lost/Missing: 16
  • Decommissioned: 50
Constellation-class Starships
  • In Service: 19
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 0
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 0
  • Lost/Missing: 0
Centaur-class Starships
  • In Service: 241
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only)*: 0
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 10
  • Lost/Missing: 5
    *Excelsior-class hulls in Ordinary are used if Centaur-class production is needed for activation purposes.
Apollo-class Starships
  • In Service: 8
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 0
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 3
  • Lost/Missing: 0
Hokule'a-class Starships
  • In Service: 13
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 0
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 3
  • Lost/Missing: 1
Wambandu-class Starships
  • In Service: 25
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 0
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 0
  • Lost/Missing: 3
Merced-class Starships
  • In Service: 92
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 25
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 0
  • Lost/Missing: 7
Renaissance-class Starships
  • In Service: 72
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 30
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 0
  • Lost/Missing: 1
Ambassador-class Starships
  • In Service: 25
  • Ordinary Reserve (Hull only): 11
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair: 0
  • Lost/Missing: 1
All Other Ship Classes (Note: This category refers to auxiliaries such as the Istanbul, Sydney, Mediterranean and Shelly-class ships)
  • In Service: 643
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair or in Reserve: 164
  • Lost/Missing: 20
Total Fleet
  • In Service: 2,911
  • Ordinary (Hull Only): 1,219
  • Undergoing Refit/Repair or in Reserve: 479
  • Lost/Missing/Decommissioned: 103
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