What I find stupid it's NCC-1701 seems to be the only registry number to have been reused in the time.
Reusing a registry is a strange way to "honor" a ship anyway. What next, give the next ship down the line the old shuttles of the predecessor?
We do supposedly have the Yamato
, NCC-1305, honored the same way...
I do think a good rationalization is possible, if we look at some of the accomplishments of the TOS Enterprise
humiliating the Romulans:
- crippled a Romulan Bird of Prey testing a cloaking device and a new weapons system near the Neutral Zone ("Balance of Terror")
- apparently had further (successful) skirmishes with Romulan ships (Sulu in "The Deadly Years")
- defeated a Romulan ship near Tau Ceti ("Whom Gods Destroy")
- escaped Romulan Birds of Prey with the "Corbomite Bluff" ("The Deadly Years")
- stole Rumulan cloaking device ("The Enterprise Incident")
name and registry
didn't send a strong psychological signal to the Romulans I don't know.
- Enterprise-C impeded a Romulan ploy attempting to start a Klingon-Federation war and
- Enterprise-D was the ship establishing contact with the Romulans again in 2364
For the same reason the USS Yamato
could have been the hero ship of the Battle of Donatu V
Of course, by the mid 24th Century the Klingons were the "nice guys", too, so there was no further reason to remind them of the accomplishments of the Yamato