How powerful is a Galaxy class starship?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by jmampilly, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. RunawayStarShip

    RunawayStarShip Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The Defiant manages to destroy a Jem'Hadar attack ship in "The Search" with its pulse phasers in a few shots. In comparison, the Odyssey doesn't manage to destroy one with its own phaser fire in "The Jem'Hadar" (although according to the script, a "Jem'Hadar ship is crippled" after exchanging fire with the runabouts Mekong and Orinoco and presumably the Odyssey earlier on). So in terms of phasers, the Defiant had more powerful ones (at the time). In terms of torpedoes, the Defiant had more advanced ones (at the time). Now, a Galaxy-class starship had torpedo tubes that could fire up to at least 5 simultaneously, and they could be used to rapid-fire bursts of torpedoes (like in "The Survivor" or "The Cost of Living"), so the Odyssey might still hold the firepower advantage... but torpedoes probably wouldn't have been effective against the small and nimble Jem'Hadar attack ships.

    Now, the two episodes in question occur in late 2370 and early 2371. As aforementioned, the fleet-wide upgrades in mid-2372 seem to narrow (or maybe even eliminate?) whatever firepower advantage the Defiant had in early 2371.

    Leyton expected the upgraded Lakota to defeat the Defiant in battle... if it wasn't for those meddling kids and their fancy ablative armor... ;)

    But yeah, maneuverability seems to be a major factor alluded to in "Heart of Glory" and then finally demonstrated in full in DS9. Heck, the Valiant might have survived after damaging the Dominion battleship (as strong as *three* Galaxy-class starships?!) had it just run away (or at least kept zigzagging) when the crew realized that their trick couldn't finish the job.
     
  2. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    That may be true but one should also consider the sensor data the runabouts gathered from that battle in "The Jem'Hadar". The destructive yield for the Defiant's pulse cannons was probably augmented in order to have an effect on Jem'Hadar ships. In TNG we saw Galaxy class phasers having no trouble either disabling, puncturing and or destroying Klingon, Cardassian, Romulan and Borg ships. The Dominion ships were a new animal that overwhelmed the Odyssey.

    Nimble? HA. Watch the battle of DS9 in the episode "A Call To Arms". You'll notice that all it takes to destroy a Jem'Hadar ship is 2-3 photon torpedoes. Also the Galaxy class could fire up to 10 torpedoes simultaneously at 10 distinct targets.
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkQizwbq7Rs[/yt]

    If you look take the canon feats of Galaxy classes seen on screen TNG and compare them objectively against what we see in DS9. You'll discover that there are inconsistencies stemming from whatever the writers/producers demand the of the episodes plot.

    We know from DS9 "A Call To Arms" all it takes is either 2 or 3 photon torpedoes to destroy a Jem'Hadar ship. We know from TNG "The Best of Both Worlds", the a Galaxy class and spam phasers and torpedoes at the same time. And yet when the Odyssey faced 3 Jem'Hadar ships, and phasers proved ineffective. Nary a photon torpedoes was fired in defense of the ship. The Odyssey is destroyed but the smaller runabout shuttlecrafts miraculously survive. This is called PIS, Plot Induced Stupidity. It's the same thing that was done in GEN with the destruction of the Ent-D.


    Maneuverability isn't all that and a bag of ships. I've been on a rewatch of DS9. Upon reviewing battle scenes from the "Search", "Sacrifice of the Angels", "Tears of the Prophets", "Changing Face of Evil" and "What you Leave Behind". You will notice the Defiant is hit quite a lot. There are scenes full of exploding consoles, a smokey bridge and yells stating current shield strength. With targeting computers it's not impossible to imagine the Defiant being hit as frequently as other ships against the Dominion. The Defiant and her crew survive primarily because of plot shielding/hero shielding.

    Contrast that to what we see happen in the episode "Valiant". Another Defiant class ship faces off against a Dominion ship and is blown to bits with everyone except 3 people being killed before the ship even blows up. Jake and Nog are protected by plot shielding, and there was one member of the crew who survived. Her only purpose was to give a deluded statement from her POV of events. Which Nog thought should be put in Jake's story.


    Ultimately a ship strength's and abilities are dictated by the writers, and plot demands.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  3. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On a side note about the Defiant and its dodging capabilities have been brought up -- I could buy that the Defiant is meant to be nimble and can dodge well. But it was pretty odd that the Lakota landed every hit she could. Sure, one could argue that Defiant dodged a few attacks off-screen, but DS9 tends to be consistent with showing at least a few dodged attacks. As it is, it seemed that the Lakota had a 100% hit rate on Defiant (ironically, Defiant missed a couple shots on the much larger Lakota while doing a barrel roll -- perhaps while trying to dodge).
     
  4. anh165

    anh165 Commander Red Shirt

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    Remember that the Klingon bird of prey is just as maneuverable and had cloaking ability as far back as the 23rd century, if zipping between torpedoes gives the Klingons that much of a tactical advantage then all the Federation connie and excelsior classes at the time would have easily been dust in any encounter with them.

    You have to remember that the Defiant is a 'hero' ship and was a bit of a Millennium falcon rip-off, and often you will see supposedly superior adversaries job to it to make it look good to the viewers.

    In First Contact, the Defiant was close to destruction (considering it was 'designed' to combat the borg) this was to build tension and allow the Ent-E to make a dramatic entrance and make the latter look good as she was the hero ship.


    If the Defiant or a typical prime universe BoP were in the JJ universe, I can't picture how it could ever evade anything from the very rapid firing weapons you see from the JJ-prise/Vengeance/Narada etc
     
  5. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair, BoPs only started to show their nimbleness from DS9-on. They moved like any other starship in the TOS movies and TNG (and Generations, oddly enough), presumably because of special fx limitations. However, I get your point.
     
  6. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

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    Federation ships moved fairly sluggishly in the movie era. The Enterprise's reverse Y turn out of spacedock took forever, where as Kluge's BOP whipped around pretty quick to blow away that merchantman. Also I feel they warped out the atmosphere in good fashion in ST:IV.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I would argue a Galaxy-class ship could do so with a few shots too. But I think it would require a Galaxy-class ship to be able to duck and weave around enemy fire to do so.
    Pulse phasers seem to have a greater rate of fire, but if a larger ship struck a Jem'Hadar vessel the same number of times in the same place, it'd be toast as well.
    Indeed, at the time. They were still new and not every ship in the fleet had them yet.
    Yeah, even the Lakota was equipped with quantum torpedoes in 2372. I think by now (2390, if 24th-Century Trek was still in production), quantum torpedoes are probably standard on all Starfleet ships.
    In a real sense, the Odyssey was felled because she couldn't outmaneuver the Jem'Hadar ship on its kamikaze run.
    That's totally the Defiant's ablative armor at work. Captain Benteen was surprised to find the Defiant equipped with it.
     
  8. RunawayStarShip

    RunawayStarShip Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    That's a plausible hypothesis.

    Maneuverability just gives a ship an edge in trying to survive a battle. In the case of the Odyssey, the Jem'Hadar ships simply avoided being directly being in front (facing the forward launcher) or directly behind (facing the aft launcher). (If they were competent, they also would have shot up the launchers given that the Odyssey's shields were being bypassed.)

    True, though I'd argue that larger and slower ships would be hit even more.

    A huge Dominion ship that suffers notable damage because it is unable to blow away a tiny little ship before it delivers its payload isn't something that's going to please the Founders. ;)

    True, but it's fun to try and make sense of it all.

    I recall a couple of non-reused battle scenes in what "What You Leave Behind" where the Defiant attempts to use an unnamed Galaxy-class starship as cover (:wtf:). That Galaxy-class ship seems to be firing in different directions with each shot. When each scene cuts away from the Galaxy to focus on the Defiant, we see Jem'Hadar attack ships being blown away by standard Federation phaser beams. It's not definite that the phaser fire is coming from the Galaxy, but it is plausible (and maybe even likely). (This reasonably faithful recreation shows parts of both scenes in question.)

    Of course, a Galaxy in 2375 is going to outmatch the Odyssey in 2370, but I think the question is whether the Defiant outguns a Galaxy in 2371 (before the fleet-wide upgrades).

    Yeah, it's pretty clear that the Defiant wouldn't outmatch Starfleet's largest starships after the upgrades. There's nothing stopping Starfleet from really packing a large starship with weapons (like the Vengeance) in the years before the Dominion War.

    If the 6-footer wasn't hated by the FX guys, just sending over the Odyssey's battle section would have made much more sense. (No unloading of non-essential personnel and civilians to DS9 would have been needed, plus a Galaxy apparently becomes an exceptional weapon when relieved of its bulk...)
     
  9. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The attack on the Merchantman was nowhere near how fast we saw in later incarnations, and it also needed a rather wide turning arc. Also, the one time that Kluge's ship and the Enterprise did battle, they essentially stood still while exchanging fire. And in Generations, the BoP kept a comfortable distance, but was still flying in a pretty regular pattern, no zooming around like DS9 BoPs (and curiously, the sisters never bothered to order the BoP to even try and dodge Riker's torpedo).

    In any case, the BoPs didn't start flying nearly like the Defiant until well after the TOS movies. Kruge, for one, wouldn't have stood still to get hit (especially given his assessment that the Enterprise was outgunning his ship so much).

    Wait, are you saying that the Defiant's ablative armor was attracting phaser fire? I'm not seeing how the armor in any way was hindering the Defiant's ability to twist and turn, especially given how she was zooming around the Lakota like she normally does in any other fight. The ablative armor never hindered Defiant's maneuverability and dodging ability anywhere else in the show (but I could be forgetting an episode, admittedly).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think they come out about equal (but not the same), with one design able to do this or that better than the other.

    No, only that the ablative armor was what was enabling the Defiant to sustain so many direct hits without being crippled.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  11. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Most of the time the Ent-D in TNG was subdued it was bitch-slapped one way or another, even in the famously embarrassing situation in "Rascals". When it was locked and loaded it was pretty menacing to whoever engaged it.

    After all, a little rubber boat is no match for the USS Cole, but she was crippled and almost sunk with the clever and suicidal use of one.

    Real battles do sometimes come down to brute strength but ingenuity and gaining an edge before the fight starts are also important.

    In DS9 for example, a clever attack by the Maquis cripples the vastly superior USS Malinche in "For The Uniform".

    The Galaxy class is portrayed as the most powerful ship of a very powerful Federation, but by no means invulnerable or indestructible. When on a genuine war footing in DS9, and when engaging the Borg in BoBW we see what this means.

    Generations, they probably were not expecting an attack at any time, given their shields were basically impenetrable to one old BoP, the Duras pulled a sucker punch, and the D must have taken some critical hits early on, reducing their options.
     
  12. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    We don't see Quantum Torpedoes in Nemesis do we?

    They must have been outlawed.

    "We'll let you keep all that Janeway Tech, but you have to either give us quantum torpedoes, or outlaw them."
     
  13. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    There are quantum torpedoes in Nemesis and FC. Quantum torpedoes are blue. Photon torpedoes are orange/yellow.

    Also Janeway used Transphasic Torpedoes in "Endgame".
     
  14. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sure, I understand that part. That was said outright by Benteen herself. But with essentially a 100% hit rate, her ship was doing pretty well considering how often the Defiant rips other ships apart. But then again, perhaps the Lakota's targeting sensors were upgraded in the sense that its weapons could anticipate Defiant's moves (not unheard of in video games in the modern day), or simply that Starfleet sensors tend to work better than many other races' technology.
     
  15. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Personally, I think that Galaxies are more powerful than Defiants, and that Defiants are meant for deployment as small task forces of three or four ships.
     
  16. PicardSpeedo

    PicardSpeedo Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    According to Star Trek Online, a single Defiant can take out a Borg tactical cube, whereas a Galaxy cannot even punch through the shields of a low-end BoP without an assist from other vessels.
     
  17. MrLethalWeapon

    MrLethalWeapon Ensign Newbie

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    According to the TNG Technical manual, the Galaxy class has better warp field geometry when the primary and secondary hulls are attached. Also, power from the fusion reactors for the saucer section's impulse engines can be used to augment the main power plant in the drive section, which means more power for weapons and shield generators.

    In addition, the ship's largest phaser arrays are on the primary hull.

    TL;DR
    The Galaxy Class is more powerful when both hulls are together.
     
  18. MrLethalWeapon

    MrLethalWeapon Ensign Newbie

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    The cloaking device had trouble hiding the ship due to its power plant's relatively high output, but that wasn't the problem with the ship as far as production goes.

    The problem was the power of its engines relative to the strength of the ship's structural framework. At full power the engines would start to damage the ship. The solution was to divert power to boost the structural integrity force fields, which inadvertently ends up limiting the ship's top speed due to there being less power available to the engines.
     
  19. PicardSpeedo

    PicardSpeedo Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    And how do we reconcile this inconsistency?
     
  20. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think you're playing the Galaxy class right in STO.

    (Also, why are you quoting yourself?)