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Old January 22 2013, 12:27 PM   #1
Infern0
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What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

I was always of the understanding that it was a mid range exploration ship, almost a hybrid of Galaxy class and smaller science vessels.

A couple of things point me to this conclusion.

1) Janeway as Captain.

She had a science background, it seems appropriate to think that her ship would have been related more to science than deep space exploration, battle, patrol or diplomacy.

2) Lack of resources.

Now although Voyager did not expect to end up in the Delta Quadrant, it's unlikely it would have been pressed into service, undertaken the journey to DS9 and then go looking for Marquis in a dangerous area of space without full resources. However very early into the Delta Quadrant they begin to run out of resources.

This is in contrast to say a Galaxy Class starship which carried far more personnel, equipment, facilities and resources, and is designed to be largely self-sufficient.


My point is, I am confused about the purpose of the ship, It didn't "really" seem to be built for battle (Struggling with primitive Kazon and other species, not present in Dominion war).

To me, it was never made clear, and seemed to just be "given" abilities to suit the story, at times being an impressive battleship, at others being well suited to science.

What is your take on it?

What is the Intrepid class actually designed to do?
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Old January 22 2013, 02:15 PM   #2
Forbin
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

Maquis. No "r".
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Old January 22 2013, 02:22 PM   #3
Lance
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

Infern0 wrote: View Post
What is the Intrepid class actually designed to do?
Trash retrieval.

The Klingons once jokingly compared the Enterprise to a garbage scow -- but somebody in the ST universe must surely be the Captain of an actual space garbage scow. That person might as well be Janeway.
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Old January 22 2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

designed to look different to the other ships and have a magic deflector to solve all its problems
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Old January 22 2013, 02:30 PM   #5
Lance
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

"She's an Intrepid Class starship... and her name is U.S.S. Plot-Device."
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Old January 22 2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

On the issue of "lack of resources", the Voyager was infamous for not having much of that. Stranded far away from home base, damaged severely in the process, she quickly managed to overcome all logistical shortcomings. Apparently, after spending a few years in Kazon territory where a ship with damaged replicators could achieve little, the crew finally reached a civilized world that could help them repair those devices - and after that, the ship was in want of nothing. Entire shuttles could be created out of thin air in a matter of days or weeks at most!

Whether any starship in the 24th century is created to do something specific and deliberately made unable to do other things, we don't know for sure. Even the tiny Equinox, explicitly belittled and said to be dedicated to planetary research, was a formidable combatant that almost outfought the Voyager...

What we know of the Intrepid class includes two unique things: she's very fast at warp, and she's very agile in the Badlands. Every other attribute the ship might share with other types: the ability to land, the ability to fire torps and phasers, the use of gel-pack computing systems and Class 9 warp cores and whatnot.

Fast, agile and decently armed would be good for a military scout or a courier. Ability to land would perhaps make extensive scouting of planetary targets easier; things like colonization or supply would probably call for a ship with bigger and more easily accessed cargo holds... The presence of an extra auxiliary craft under the forward hull might boost scouting abilities, too. And the demonstrated self-sustenance would qualify the ship for frontier operations rather than short-range sorties.

Beyond that, the mission profile of the ship is anybody's guess - but we have seen two missions chosen by Starfleet already: the Maquis hunt, and the long range diplomatic courier mission in the DS9 episode "Inter Arma".

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Old January 22 2013, 10:50 PM   #7
Lance
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

In all serious, it's what you might call a "light cruiser", isn't it? It's designed for short haul trips. I suspect the mission to 'retrieve' the Maquis was about the limit of the type of thing Starfleet expects of the Intrepid class, and Voyager were expecting to be back at DS9 refuelling a day or two later.

The only other Intrepid we ever saw was ferrying dignitaries from one place to another in an episode of Deep Space Nine. Again, not exactly the most taxing of missions, but those sorts of short hops were probably what the ship was designed for. Larger than a Defiant, but smaller than most other 24th century Starfleet vessels.
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Old January 23 2013, 05:59 PM   #8
C.E. Evans
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

IMO, the Intrepid-class is a medium cruiser (by 24th-Century standards)--a multipurpose starship designed for a wide variety of missions from deep-space exploration, to courier assignments, to interdiction operations.
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Old January 23 2013, 06:48 PM   #9
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

It was a mobile shuttle factory.
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Old January 23 2013, 07:04 PM   #10
Timo
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

It's designed for short haul trips.
The definition of those would have to include surviving for two years in Kazon territory, without known opportunities for replenishing fuel or repairing propulsion systems...

Doesn't mean Starfleet couldn't define "short haul" that way, and "long haul" as something like fifty years between refuelings. Perhaps the Galaxy class had the latter performance?

The two known Intrepid missions are fairly similar to known Constitution missions: ferrying of VIPs ("Journey to Babel", but also adventures like "The Galileo Seven" or "The Deadly Years") and hunting down of rogue space vessels of minor importance (from "Mudd's Women" to "Way to Eden") were tasks assigned to Jim Kirk's ship as well.

Then again, that need not limit our options much, as Picard's huge ship also performed those types of mission on occasion. It's only at the other end of the scale that Sisko's runabouts appeared inferior enough not to serve as VIP transports or credible police cutters...

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Old January 23 2013, 07:22 PM   #11
Lance
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

Timo wrote: View Post
It's designed for short haul trips.
The definition of those would have to include surviving for two years in Kazon territory, without known opportunities for replenishing fuel or repairing propulsion systems...

Doesn't mean Starfleet couldn't define "short haul" that way, and "long haul" as something like fifty years between refuelings.
I think it isn't so much about what Voyager actually did, as it was about what it was intended to do. I don't think a 70+ year journey (or, indeed, necessarily even a two year journey) was the "bread and butter" mission of the Intrepid class. I've always figured that was a unique situation that Voyager found herself in and the crew simply had to adapt to.

I agree with the comparisons to the Constitution class though. I think it's very much 24th century Starfleet's equivilent to the Constitution, except the definition of the types of mission that kind of ship makes have changed since the days of TOS (it isn't IMO a "front line" ship like, say, the Excelsiors, Galaxys or even Nebula classes are).
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Old January 24 2013, 05:15 AM   #12
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

Lance wrote: View Post
In all serious, it's what you might call a "light cruiser", isn't it? It's designed for short haul trips.
Yes to the first, not necessarily to the second. Cruisers, be they heavy or light, are supposed to be able to operate independently or form the core of a task force. Voyager and its ilk may be "light" but that just indicates they should be sent alone on missions requiring a ship capable of getting the job done by itself but not require an even larger cruiser.

Voyager's size was about the most potentially interesting aspect of that show's premise; it makes a nice change from the top captain in the baddest ship. Also, it was less embarassing when a small ship limps away from getting its butt kicked in the opening salvo than when that was always happening to the NextGen crew.
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Old January 24 2013, 11:51 AM   #13
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

By Top Captain, I take it you mean the likes of Picard, as for baddest ship wouldn't that be the Defiant Class?

If she left DSN fully loaded, she wasn't designed for combat as she only had a few dozen torpedeo's.

As for her speed she only marginally faster than the likes of the Nebula Class which could achieve Warp 9.8

As for Science the Nova Class seems to be the Science vessel of the 24th Century.
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Old January 24 2013, 12:12 PM   #14
Timo
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

If she left DSN fully loaded, she wasn't designed for combat as she only had a few dozen torpedeo's.
The Defiant didn't have more than that in the final big push against the Dominion in "What We Leave Behind", either! That is, we don't know how many had been expended in the fighting so far when Worf commented on them being down to 45 torps. The way he says it does suggest they had originally packed hundreds, if 45 warrants the expression "down to"... In contrast, the E-D packed 250 torpedoes in "Conundrum", possibly a "peacetime" load but potentially representative of wartime loads as well. Picard having six times more than Janeway would be in harmony with the size relationships of the respect ships...

We also don't know if the Defiant was intended to fight with torpedoes or not. She was originally designed to be a Borg-fighter: endurance might not be an important attribute in one-way missions likely to last for all of fifty seconds. She was then adapted for armed recce in the Gamma Quadrant, but only used her pulse phasers in that role in "The Search". Quantum torpedoes were finally used to wound, not kill, in "Defiant", and otherwise remained a secondary weapon in most of the remaining episodes.

In contrast, the Intrepid often and readily fights with torpedoes even when phasers are an option, both in "velvet gloves" operations (such as the warning shots in "Alliances") and in pitched battles against powerful enemies. She appears less "special" in this respect than the Defiant, then. Although lamentably, we never truly learn the Starfleet doctrine of torpedo vs. phaser use in TOS, TNG or VOY - apart from it supposedly being a bad idea to use torps at point blank ranges, except that they are used in that very fashion in most of the movies!

As for her speed she only marginally faster than the likes of the Nebula Class which could achieve Warp 9.8
For all we know, warp 9.975 is a thousand times faster than warp 9.8...

As for Science the Nova Class seems to be the Science vessel of the 24th Century.
We only ever saw one in that role - whereas the skies were full of Oberth class vessels in science and supply roles, sometimes also participating in fights (although admittedly only in desperation fights against the Borg, in "Emissary" and ST:FC).

Perhaps Nova is the new Oberth. Perhaps something else is, as we failed to see much of any supposed "post-Oberth" period...

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Old January 24 2013, 12:46 PM   #15
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Re: What is the purpose of the Intrepid Class Starship?

^True, the Nova Class could be the 24th Century replaced for the Oberth Class, but buy the time we say it, it was still realtively new and the Oberth hadn't been fully phased out.

As for Worf's line "we are down to only 45 torpedeo's" it implies a high initally load.

True Warp 9.8 was a Nebula Class top speed, whilst the Intrepid had a sustainable crusing velocity of Warp 9.975 so it's top speed might have been warp 9.99.
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