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Old September 7 2008, 07:43 PM   #31
Red Ranger
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Re: A Starfleet?

People:

In thinking about the change -- showing many more ships in DSN than in TNG -- here's a simple explanation, taken from history, to a degree. Before the United States entered World War II, it wasn't quite ready to engage the Axis powers. Franklin Roosevelt put the U.S. on a war footing before 1941, building ships and helping the British. Then, after Pearl Harbor, the US, now in a war, ratcheted up its effort, with many men volunteering for active duty.

I maintain that because of the Borg threat and the events of Wolf 359, Starfleet was already making plans for a Borg incursion -- witness the Defiant. After the events of The Search, and with Picard's reports on the Borg and Sisko's reports on the Dominion and the Founders on their desks/terminals, Starfleet's brass, and Federation civilian authorities, decided, "We better start improving our fleet strength to deal with these threats." We have no idea if there was any increase in enlistment in Starfleet, too, although that would have been interesting if they explored that.

So it's simple: Increased threat equals increased size of Starfleet's forces.

Red Ranger
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Old September 7 2008, 07:57 PM   #32
USS KG5
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Re: A Starfleet?

Quite - we must also remember the Federation is a democracy and democracies are generally quite poorly prepared for war. Even if we work on the assumption that the Federation is significantly technologically advanced and resource rich that market forces as we know them do not exist (which is reasonable) there will still be some decisions to make on distribution of resources.

It is unlikely Starfleet is allowed a standing fleet of thousands of warships sitting in dockyards waiting for war, no modern navy is after all. They probably mothball a lot of ships in peacetime, and have facilities specifically designed to ramp up massively in the case of war.

"In peace, prepare for war" is a much misunderstood concept and does not necessarily mean having massive standing forces. It means having scalable infrastructure and abilities that can grow quickly when the worst does come.
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Old September 8 2008, 01:43 AM   #33
jimbo1973
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Re: A Starfleet?

I'd have to agree with the poters that said anywhere from 500 to 6,000 I remeber we saw ALOT of ships in the battle groups in DS9.
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Old September 8 2008, 03:07 AM   #34
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Re: A Starfleet?

USS KG5 wrote: View Post
It is unlikely Starfleet is allowed a standing fleet of thousands of warships sitting in dockyards waiting for war, no modern navy is after all.
Why not? If scarcity is no longer an issue for the Federation, why couldn't it have massive fleets sitting in spacedock in case of a new war?
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Old September 8 2008, 03:49 AM   #35
ialfan
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Re: A Starfleet?

Enterprise - around 30-50 i would say composed of the Intrepid, Neptune and Sarajevo types along with a few variants and older ships. My guess is by the height of the Romulan War Earth might have had as many as 75-100 ships in service but around the start of the show 30-50 seems like a good number.

TOS - I would guess there were 300+ in service at the time with the 12 constitution classes being top of the line only behind the possibly-existing dreadnaught class of which there were fewer.

TNG/DS9/VOY - I would say there were around 6000+ in service considering they were losing hundreds of ships in various single engagements yet still had plenty more. At the same time mobilizing a fleet of 600 ships was a significant part of the fleet as noted by Dukat and Starfleet themselves. Many of these were the older Mirandas, Oberths and Excelsiors however limiting the true effectiveness of Starfleet.

Last edited by ialfan; September 8 2008 at 04:03 AM.
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Old September 8 2008, 09:30 AM   #36
USS KG5
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Re: A Starfleet?

Sci wrote: View Post
USS KG5 wrote: View Post
It is unlikely Starfleet is allowed a standing fleet of thousands of warships sitting in dockyards waiting for war, no modern navy is after all.
Why not? If scarcity is no longer an issue for the Federation, why couldn't it have massive fleets sitting in spacedock in case of a new war?
I didn't say it was no longer an issue - just that resources and technology are sufficient that market forces as we know them do not exist. Technology could easily supply enough food to keep all the planet fat one day just from the resources we have here on Earth - sunlight, water, nitrogen etc. This would end the need for a market in food for example. Cheap affordable housing is again partly a function of technology.

However some resources are likely to be scarce, like they are now. Skilled people, dilithium. antimatter, almost anything else that cannot be replicated. Starfleet would doubtless be allowed to employ as much of this as possible in war time, and its facilities would be scalable to cope with this. Utopia Planetia might have 100 construction docks and only use 25 in peacetime.

Starfleet clearly does have a massive mothball fleet in peacetime. It is mentioned in ST6 (albeit briefly) and we see so many old Excelsiors and Mirandas in DS9 we can safely assume they were not all active before the start of the war. They were kept cold in storage (space presumably preserves perfectly, if protected from meteor showers and the like), and activated over a six month period.

I like the idea of the Steamrunner class as a super-cheap warfighter as well. We see so many at the start of the war and towards the end they seem to be supplanted by increasing numbers of Akira and Nebula class ships.
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Old September 8 2008, 12:05 PM   #37
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Re: A Starfleet?

Starfleet clearly does have a massive mothball fleet in peacetime. It is mentioned in ST6 (albeit briefly)
Actually, there is talk about the possibility of mothballing Starfleet, and everybody seems to think it's a piss-poor idea! Clearly it's not standard practice at the time...

In "Unification", we see some Starfleet vessels (mostly Mirandas and Excelsior-related study models) in "mothballs", although that expression is not used. We don't learn whether the ships are in any condition to be reactivated, or merely hulks too badly worn out to ever sail again. At least one unseen vessel is stolen in the episode, but apparently piecemeal, with the help of another vessel.

and we see so many old Excelsiors and Mirandas in DS9 we can safely assume they were not all active before the start of the war.
Yet we did see a lot of them active before the start of the war. I'd rather believe in Starfleet keeping all its Excelsiors and Mirandas fully up and running in peacetime, so that the newer Akiras and Steamrunners (which for some reason don't appear in the peacetime of TNG) can remain in pristine condition for as long as possible...

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Old September 8 2008, 03:19 PM   #38
USS KG5
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Re: A Starfleet?

Timo wrote: View Post
Actually, there is talk about the possibility of mothballing Starfleet, and everybody seems to think it's a piss-poor idea! Clearly it's not standard practice at the time...
But the practise does exist - and besides the implication is the whole fleet would have to pack up and go home, where did the 7-year old Ent-A go if not into mothballs?

Yet we did see a lot of them active before the start of the war. I'd rather believe in Starfleet keeping all its Excelsiors and Mirandas fully up and running in peacetime, so that the newer Akiras and Steamrunners (which for some reason don't appear in the peacetime of TNG) can remain in pristine condition for as long as possible...
Nice thought - though I do like the idea of the Steamrunners being a fleet built to fight the Cardassian War - the quick and dirty CGI model lends itself well to a quick and dirty warship...
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