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Old December 3 2013, 04:54 AM   #1
jmampilly
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How big is Starfleet?

I am well aware that other threads have been created in regards to this topic, but wish to see fresh speculation!

Starfleet is portrayed in TNG as a small-ish force of around 1000 vessels. Most of those vessels are indicated to be older Miranda-Class vessels. In DS9, however, Starfleet is portrayed as a significantly larger force, somewhere above 10,000 vessels. I myself am inclined to think Starfleet generally has between 20,000 and 30,000 ships, because I find it hard to believe an entity as large and economically powerful as the Federation, with opponents like the Klingons and Romulans to deal with, would maintain a fleet of only 1000-7000 vessels, especially if those vessels are older Miranda-type starships.

What do you guys think?
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Old December 3 2013, 06:10 AM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

It always depends on the story. Starfleet will always be either huge or small depending on dramatic necessity with usually only the hero ship the only vessel within range to do anything anyway.
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Old December 3 2013, 06:51 AM   #3
Nerys Myk
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

Yep, as big as it needs to be.
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Old December 3 2013, 07:11 AM   #4
Enterprise is Great
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

Or as small.
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Old December 3 2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

Well, it seems that the majority of people we meet in the show are Starfleet or civilian contractors or scientists working for Starfleet. Like Kosinski in Where No One Has Gone Before or Doctor Stubbs in Evolution.
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Old December 3 2013, 12:31 PM   #6
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

The 22nd century Enterprise's number was 01, Voyager's number was 74656. That's almost 75k of Starfleet-registered starships, science vessels, shuttles and frigates over 250 years of in-universe time (and with active lifespans ranging from 10 to 100 years, depending on the writers) between ENT and Voyager. Most of which are guaranteed to not be in the same quadrant as our heroes when something major comes up
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Old December 3 2013, 01:03 PM   #7
T'Girl
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The 22nd century Enterprise's number was 01, Voyager's number was 74656.
We know at the time of the the NX-01 that Starfleet had other ships, we saw them. So we can't go simply by the hull numbers.

Also at some point (or always) Starfleet started giving individual hull numbers to large shuttlecraft like the runabouts.

During the time of TOS I think Starfleet would have had over ten thousand ship, they would have been a widely mixed bag, in addition to the big heavily armed multi-mission ships (like the Enterprise) there would have been cargo, transports, pure science, pure combatants, etc.

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Old December 3 2013, 03:16 PM   #8
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

Starfleet has thousands of ships, but the loss of 39 is considered half the fleet, and the Enterprise is the only one ever in the vicinity of Earth, despite being on deep space exploration.
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Old December 3 2013, 03:34 PM   #9
Nerys Myk
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

Mister Spock wrote: View Post
Well, it seems that the majority of people we meet in the show are Starfleet or civilian contractors or scientists working for Starfleet. Like Kosinski in Where No One Has Gone Before or Doctor Stubbs in Evolution.
That's because Starfleet is their "profession" so it makes sense they would meet others in the same "business".
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Old December 3 2013, 05:42 PM   #10
jmampilly
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Starfleet has thousands of ships, but the loss of 39 is considered half the fleet, and the Enterprise is the only one ever in the vicinity of Earth, despite being on deep space exploration.
I believe the loss of 39 ships considered a loss of half the home fleet, meaning ships based around Earth. I am not sure if an entity as large as the Federation could realistically have only 78 ships in its fleet. Even further, Dr. Bashir in DS9 refers to the loss of 70 ships as a painful loss, and that "the Federation cannot keep taking losses like this" this is a direct indication that the fleet must consist of well over 78 ships.
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Old December 3 2013, 11:14 PM   #11
Galileo7
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
It always depends on the story. Starfleet will always be either huge or small depending on dramatic necessity with usually only the hero ship the only vessel within range to do anything anyway.
Agree. Well said.
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Old December 4 2013, 06:17 PM   #12
PicardSpeedo
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Starfleet has thousands of ships, but the loss of 39 is considered half the fleet, and the Enterprise is the only one ever in the vicinity of Earth, despite being on deep space exploration.
This.
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Old December 4 2013, 07:18 PM   #13
T'Girl
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

^ The TOS series of movies would seem to depict the Enterprise as being stationed (or under refit) in Earth orbit and deploying from there, and not being assigned to deep space exploration missions.

One possibility in FC was that the Enterprise did take some time (days?) to reach Earth from the RNZ to battle the Borg.



Last edited by T'Girl; December 5 2013 at 11:28 AM.
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Old December 6 2013, 09:57 PM   #14
USS Triumphant
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

By the turn of the 25th century, Starfleet proper contains around 40,000 ships and runabouts in service, and something like a tenth of those are modern ships of the line - what we would really consider Starships. Starfleet also has 24 Deep Space stations, and 1108 misc other starbases and outposts suitable for docking with any size and class of ship operated by Starfleet.

Then there are another 100,000 or so ships that are Starfleet reserve or merchant marine, consisting of the planetary fleets for each world of the Federation, and merchant ships with sufficient clearance (owned by or operated by former Starfleet officers, for example) to be armed with low-end military grade equipment. Private concerns and planetary governments also operated an additional 7600+ bases and mining and colonization platforms - with over 1200 of those in the asteroid belts of the Vulcan home system, alone, and almost 400 in the Sol System belt.

Source: Out of someone's posterior (in this case, mine), just like any other numbers you will come across. :P
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Old December 6 2013, 10:21 PM   #15
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Re: How big is Starfleet?

I preferred the frontier feel of the early TOS episodes. In "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" Kirk tells Capt. Christopher "There are only twelve like it in the fleet" (referring to the Enterprise). That doesn't mean Starfleet and the Federation have only that dozen ships; just that Constitution class starships are so exotic or expensive that only twelve are on hand.

The Iotians tinkered one together far faster than Starfleet ever expected.
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