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Old June 20 2013, 06:32 PM   #16
Hawkke
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Re: Size of starfleet?

LobsterAfternoon wrote: View Post
Plus just cause the highest NCC we saw was 2000 doesn't mean that is the highest number in-universe. Nor do we even know if the registry number corresponds to the number of ships in the fleet.
It does not, and never has. the Registry numbers are (usually) based around classes, at least they were anyway. Later on they seemed to chuck that directly out of the window. Guess in the D. Moore era they just got too lazy to follow logical patterns in the registration system for the various classes and just started pasting random numbers on the hulls.

I do like in the Titan series they at least tried to bring it back into order with the Luna class registrations, but sadly it was too little too late.
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Old June 20 2013, 07:11 PM   #17
C.E. Evans
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Re: Size of starfleet?

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
In that capacity, you're probably still looking at only a few thousand frontline starships, with the rest being auxiliary craft more along the lines of shuttles and tugs.
That what im saying though!
Not quite, because the vehicles I'm talking about would be small short-range craft that probably wouldn't be counted as starships.
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Old June 20 2013, 07:15 PM   #18
YJAGG
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Re: Size of starfleet?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I work from idea that the big capital ships (Ambassador, Galaxy, Nebula, Sovereign) are relatively light in the fleet, with the bulk of it being made up by mid-sized multifuntion ships (which is why the Excelsior-Class is so prevanent) as well as small cruisers and scouts.
that and the fact they already had model handy when next gen started
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Old June 20 2013, 07:57 PM   #19
YJAGG
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Re: Size of starfleet?

the more I think about it even if the fleet was massive there is a lot of space to cover and how big would it have to be
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Old June 20 2013, 08:09 PM   #20
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Re: Size of starfleet?

...And the one thing about Star Trek we have to remember is that Starfleet is not an organization capable of meeting the demands placed on it.

We can't calculate fleet size by calculating how many ships would be needed to patrol the borders of the UFP, because Starfleet is incapable of patrolling them - all sorts of stragglers always get through. We can't calculate how many ships would be needed to respond to crises at colonies, because Starfleet arrives too late just as often as it arrives in the nick of time. Starfleet doesn't have the ships necessary for surveying all the planets within the Federation, or for monitoring all the spacelanes for smuggling or traffic accidents or whatnot.

Since Star Trek drama is driven by Starfleet's shortage of ships, we must deduce that it's very difficult or expensive to build starships, or then to operate them, and that Starfleet has to make do with too little, both in peace and in war. Which is less than helpful in establishing Starfleet numbers, but at least it rules out the very high ones.

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Old June 20 2013, 08:25 PM   #21
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Re: Size of starfleet?

Timo wrote: View Post
Which is less than helpful in establishing Starfleet numbers, but at least it rules out the very high ones.
Not necessarily. Space is big. A single sector is 8000 cubic light years! The Federation is made up of a lot of sectors, and Starfleet operates even outside of that. A hundred thousand ships might not be near enough to do everything Starfleet is supposed to do.

Of course, there might be 50k Oberth-class ships making up the bulk of Starfleet, who knows?
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Old June 20 2013, 08:25 PM   #22
Crazyewok
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Re: Size of starfleet?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Not quite, because the vehicles I'm talking about would be small short-range craft that probably wouldn't be counted as starships.
To me that all comes under auxiliary craft.
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Old June 20 2013, 08:29 PM   #23
Crazyewok
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Re: Size of starfleet?

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Which is less than helpful in establishing Starfleet numbers, but at least it rules out the very high ones.
Not necessarily. Space is big. A single sector is 8000 cubic light years! The Federation is made up of a lot of sectors, and Starfleet operates even outside of that. A hundred thousand ships might not be near enough to do everything Starfleet is supposed to do.

Of course, there might be 50k Oberth-class ships making up the bulk of Starfleet, who knows?
Thats the thing. We think say 20,000 is high but in a 8000 light year area plus more outside exploring that really is not much!

When dealing with such vast amounts of space, high takes on a new meaning.

Not when if you think about it the majority would be auxiliary craft that would not be capable or have limited combat capability so would not be first responders anyway.
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Old June 20 2013, 08:33 PM   #24
C.E. Evans
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Re: Size of starfleet?

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Not quite, because the vehicles I'm talking about would be small short-range craft that probably wouldn't be counted as starships.
To me that all comes under auxiliary craft.
Which is exactly what I said earlier, but such vehicles also include shuttles and other small craft limited to impulse or low-warp speeds. They wouldn't be regarded as ships, IMO. The number of actual starships in the fleet wouldn't be anywhere near 20,000.
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Old June 20 2013, 09:04 PM   #25
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Re: Size of starfleet?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The size of Starfleet has always depended on the story at hand, IMO.
Precisely. As with everything else, in fact.

Watching TOS, movies and TNG, you'd think Starfleet was either pretty small or at least that the distance between ships was huge. Of course budged had a lot to do with that. With DS9, things changed, to say the least.
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Old June 20 2013, 09:06 PM   #26
Timo
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Re: Size of starfleet?

Thats the thing. We think say 20,000 is high but in a 8000 light year area plus more outside exploring that really is not much!
But the other thing there is that we know that the single hero ship we so closely observe can go from one end of that area to another in a reasonably short time. Surely most of the ships of Starfleet would be capable of that, and thus the area really isn't all that big in practical terms.

Basically, even if we ignore all sorts of high outliers, both TOS and TNG vessels are capable of covering hundreds of lightyears between episodes (we hear references to specific distances every now and then, and to specific real locations slightly more often). Even if this doesn't happen quite within the two weeks between airdates, we can argue on "stardate" or "length of season" basis that a thousand lightyears per year is the absolute low end of performance. This would basically let a fleet ten thousand strong control UFP well enough to meet the onscreen evidence and the needs of drama.

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Old June 20 2013, 09:36 PM   #27
Crazyewok
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Re: Size of starfleet?

Timo wrote: View Post
This would basically let a fleet ten thousand strong control UFP well enough to meet the onscreen evidence and the needs of drama.

Timo Saloniemi
Well ten thousand is not far off my estimate.

I mean not when you factor in auxillary craft which could include all sorts from Dillithium tankers to short range shuttles that transport Starfleet officers and Enlisted from planet to planet and station to station ect.


I think Front line capital ships would number around 2500-5000 with half of which being in mothball dureing times of piece.
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Old June 21 2013, 01:07 AM   #28
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Re: Size of starfleet?

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
I have always wondered this.

In Ent it seems there is 1 and later 2 long range ships and a dozen or so short range vessels like the intrepid. As far as registration numbers go we see NX-01 and 02. Yet there are otherships that were built before hand like as I said the intrepid (what would their reg number be?)
My understanding with Enterprise is that each starship class had its own registry label. Since the Enterprise and Columbia were NX class, their registries were NX-01, NX-02. The other ships would have registries based on their class. EG, I think popular fan conjecture makes the Intrepid NY-01 or something.

EDIT: Although I don't know where I got that from. I just did a quick check on some other sites, and the only thing I can come up with is the Sarajevo from the episode Daedalus had the registry NC-27 in its design sketches.
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Old June 21 2013, 03:01 PM   #29
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Size of starfleet?

YJAGG wrote: View Post
Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
I work from idea that the big capital ships (Ambassador, Galaxy, Nebula, Sovereign) are relatively light in the fleet, with the bulk of it being made up by mid-sized multifuntion ships (which is why the Excelsior-Class is so prevanent) as well as small cruisers and scouts.
that and the fact they already had model handy when next gen started
That was very convenient
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Old June 21 2013, 04:35 PM   #30
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Re: Size of starfleet?

The question should be phrased as two distinct ones:

1) How many ships would an organization like Starfleet need to administer the area its stated to cover in practical terms?

2) How many ships can be deduced to exist from on-screen evidence?

I think the answer to those two questions is quite different.

Regarding smaller ships not being considered "ships", I think DS9 reliably resolved that conundrum via the runabouts. And there are just as small ships in the real world that are still designated as fully commissioned naval vessels (though this is rare in larger navies). However, given the established role (or rather, multirole capabilities) of the Danube class, they may very well be exceptions for ships that small.

Additionally, the Nash (DS9) establishes that something as simple as a transport can still be a fully commissioned starship.

By the way, just for reference, there are ~2,500-3,000 warships on Earth total. There are tens of thousands of other support vessels used by world navies and governments. I'd guess that breakdown would work for the UFP as well, given their FTL capabilities. (this is in regards to question 1)
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