"She can still outrun us, and outgun us."

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Praetor, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For a long time, I've thought this line by Spock in 'TWoK' referring to the Reliant overwhelming the Enterprise spoke almost exclusively to the fact that the Enterprise was heavily damaged.

    However, if you think about it, a Miranda class vessel might indeed be faster and better armed than a Constitution on an even playing field.

    The Miranda's mass would appear to be considerably lower yet she at least outwardly possesses largely the same engine equipment. One might argue that her powerplant could have been less potent, but then again she also appears to have two deflection crystals to the Connie's one, so the contrary might be arguable.

    Miranda also has two forward torpedo tubes and two aft torpedo tubes to Enterprise's visible two forward tubes, as well as the two rollbar phaser cannons which some call 'megaphasers' but for all we know don't pack that much of a punch. Miranda does, however, omit the ventral and above-shuttlebay single phasers that the Connie is equipped with.

    Further complicating the matter, perhaps, is that in Kirk's surprise prefix number attack earlier in the film, he seemed to score a pretty good hit near one of those deflection crystals, possible somewhat equalizing the situation? Saavik's and Spock's lines indicating that 'visual won't function, and shields will be useless' making the odds even are interesting too. Would a lack of targeting and shields really render the damaged Enterprise an even match for Reliant?

    I would argue that this may indeed mean Reliant was damaged comparably to Enterprise, if not as severely,and that all of this when taken as a whole indicates that the Miranda class might indeed outrun and outgun a Constitution under nominal circumstances.

    What say you?
     
  2. Ward Fowler

    Ward Fowler Commodore Commodore

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    Like you, I had always considered that Reliant had the upper-hand due to the damage inflicted upon the Enterprise. However, you raise a valid point. As you say, her engines appear to be the same size as those of the Enterprise, so she may have the same amount of power, but with a smaller structure. That may leave more power for weapons and the like. Food for thought.
     
  3. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

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    If the Miranda-class has an identical power supply, she is indeed superior in battle. She has a tighter shield envelope and those roll bar phasers look a lot beefier. That might be why the Mirandas were in service in the 24th century while the Constitutions were long gone.
     
  4. JuanBolio

    JuanBolio Admiral Admiral

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    I would imagine that the Miranda-class (at least that particular variant) might be more specialized toward combat than a Constitution-class, given the added phaser cannons and aft torpedo launchers. The Connies were pretty heavy on scientific, diplomatic, and exploratory missions in addition to combat and so might be a bit more generalized. However, while the Miranda might have a few combat-specialized perks I'm guessing the Connie had more overall power, longer range, and probably more torpedo casings to launch through fewer tubes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  5. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    Even though the shield envelope is smaller, wouldn't smaller volume mean less shield generators, smaller power supplies, etc...?
     
  6. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

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    It's going to take more power to spread your shields over a large area than a smaller one, right? If you have the same power supply as a bigger ship, your shields should last longer because they use less power or you can build a greater field-strength for the same power drain. Either way, you have an advantage.

    I'm assuming that the warp core is the power supply here.
     
  7. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was actually just thinking along the same lines that the Miranda seems to have many different applications over the years, from unarmed transports to Sisko's scientific Saratoga to apparent power-hitters such as Reliant. So that is important to keep in mind.

    Still, it seems like one Miranda can only do one thing well at a time - i.e. the variants I mention above - but that the Constitution is a generalist - jack of all trades, master of none. But I agree that the Reliant is probably generally less powerful and less well-equipped, even if it might be specialized for tactical outings.
     
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When was it established that the Saratoga was a science vessel? It only had about 10 minutes of screen time.

    Just curious. :)
     
  9. Mister_Atoz

    Mister_Atoz Commander Red Shirt

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    If you asked me, I thought the Enterprise seemed better able to handle the damage than the Reliant. I mean she absorbed a brutal phaser attack, and a photon torpedo, and though she was crippled by the attack she returned fire with only a few hasty shots and was able to force Reliant to withdraw.

    In the Nebula, teh two ships exchange fire when they nearly collide. The already badly damaged Enterprise seems to fair a little better in that skirmish. The shots she fires at the Reliant seems to really seal its fate by that point, and the final attack when the Enterprise comes up behind Reliant is just the knock out blow.

    Looking at the model though, it really does look like the Reliant is designed with more of a tactical/strategic role in mind, with her dual shuttle bays and compact hull form. She seems to have as many phasers on her saucer, with a dedicated weapons platform on her roll bar, there may even be additional weapons on the raised part of the hull.

    It could be suggested that the Miranda Class is more of a "workhorse" for the fleet than the Constitution Class whose primary duty is exploration.

    If we were to contrast the two vessels, the Constitution would tend to travel out into deep space to explore and provide support to far flung federation colonies, whereas the Miranda would be designed to stay close to Federation territory to provide help and support for core Federation worlds. The Constitution Class with it's increased volume would have more room for dedicated to the sciences, thus is better suited for exploration where the Miranda's smaller volume would mean she is limited in her scientific duties and is only suited to relatively menial tasks such as finding a suitable planet to test the genesis device. In wartime, it would actually fall to the Mirandas to provide most of the military support, wheras the Constitution Class will fill a role analageous to Germany's surface raiders in the far seas during the first world war.

    This is of course all speculation.
     
  10. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

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    I don't think that the Constitution class is necessarily out of service in the 24th century, but I do think it is possible that members of the newer, more compact and rollbar-sporting Miranda class might be slightly superior combatants, or at worst equal. I doubt they have quite the warp performance of the Constitution ships because of the engine placement, but as a frontline starship I doubt her reactor is any less capable; she lacks a dedicated navigational deflector, which might have some protective value for the Constitution; she probably doesn't carry as many torpedoes.
     
  11. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    I understand that. But I was saying that shields are raised through shield generators.

    If you have a small ship that has 2 generators, and another larger one that has 5, and they both have the same power supply, the ship with 5 generators will have more powerful shields.

    The smaller ship would have more efficient shields (may be faster recharge rate?), but not more powerful ones.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Might have something to do with the fact that, while half of Kirk's crew were half-trained kids, Khan had less crew overall, and all of them were half-trained (or full-trained but zombied out) at most.

    On the balance of weapons between the two ships, we already know the torpedo situation: Khan 4, Kirk 2. We might count just the number of phaser "pimples" and assume that all of them are of equal power, in which case it's something like Khan 16-22, Kirk 18. That is, both have 12 saucer phasers in 6 pairs, and Kirk has 4 underbelly and 2 above-shuttlebay single phasers while Khan has 2 single phasers on each roll bar corner (on the sides of those cylinders), plus possibly 2 single phasers under the impulse engine (not used, but visible on the model in some pics), and possibly 2 additional single phasers on each roll bar corner (the forward- and aft-pointing barrels, although those are not seen firing and don't resemble the other phaser pimples much).

    We might also speculate that the single phaser banks are of "lower caliber" since they don't see much use. But that's the only basis for such speculation, really.

    Whether the two ships have identical powerplants is debatable. They seem to have the same sort of warp engine, but appearances might deceive. And their impulse engines certainly look different - Khan's is bulkier, with bigger nozzles or radiators or whatnot, and has both dorsal and ventral blue domes, whatever their function. It's quite plausible that Khan would have an inherently superior impulse drive.

    Is Kirk's ship really that much heavier? The secondary hull is mostly hollow, as admittedly are the aft extensions of Khan's ship. The neck plus torpedo launcher is probably matched by the roll bar plus torpedo launcher in terms of mass.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That might not make a difference. A single shield generator covering a twenty meter sphere has less of a load on it than two shield generators covering a hundred meter sphere. And load makes all the difference in deflector shields, since an overload is the one thing that can cause them to loose strength (or, if the shields don't overload, then your engine systems will start blowing out from the strain).

    Besides which, the Miranda class has about the same internal volume as the Constitution class; if you squashed the Constitution's secondary hull and slapped it on to the back of the saucer module, it would only be slightly bigger than the Miranda's main body. So I doubt she has fewer shield generators... though this is assuming starships really do have large shield generators when they could, in fact, have collimated arrays of small deflector elements built into the hull like 24th century phaser arrays.
     
  14. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's believed because the Saratoga had no torpedo launchers and the two devices were said (behind the scenes) to be sensor telescopes. Plus their age and most Mirandas in TNG being used for science purposes.
     
  15. miraclefan

    miraclefan Commodore Commodore

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    Ahh...It's conversations like this, that make it well worth joining the ''TrekBBS'';)
     
  16. Klaitu

    Klaitu Commodore Commodore

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    I am a firm believer that the statment refers to the amount of battle damage that the Enterprise had sustained. I don't think that a Miranda class can "outgun" a Constitution class, though perhaps "outrun" might be an option since the ship is smaller. There really is no canon reference, so anything is just speculation.
     
  17. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    I think that the "Miranda" (nee "Avenger") design was less capable, overall, then the Constitution-refit (nee "Enterprise") class design. But "less capable overall" doesn't mean "less capable in all areas."

    The Heavy Cruiser was designed to be the "jack of all trades" ship... a science vessel, a cargo carrier, an explorer, a warship, a travelling diplomatic mission. And it was very good at all of the above. But, inevitably, a ship specifically designed to serve in a particular function will always be more effective at that particular role than any "jack of all trades" design possibly could.

    The Reliant was really designed primarily as a warship, it seems. Shorter range, far less cargo capacity, no big honking "main deflector." Probably less power output, overall, but less tonnage to carry around as well, so potentially a slight edge in "power output versus power consumption."

    The trick with the Reliant is that it had basic sensors, but no specialized sensors like you'd expect on a science vessel (like the underslung pod carried by the Grissom). So why use it for the role it was performing in TWOK?

    Simple... the Federation Counsel knew how dangerous "Genesis" could be, so they assigned a powerful warship to support the job.

    As for "outgunning," that's obvious... the Reliant had the same number of Primary-hull dual emplacements, lost the handful of single-turret emplacements on the secondary hull but replaced them with direct, in-line-with-main-power heavy phaser cannon, and added an additional aft-firing torpedo. More weapons, overall, and potentially heavier ones to boot (The location and configuration of the torpedo pod on the Reliant has always inferred, to me at least, that it might have been firing heavier torpedos than Enterprise was, too.)

    As for outrunning... the total mass of the Reliant was significantly less than that of the Enterprise (based upon assumptions of constant density - note that the ship has lower volume)... and the impulse engines were significantly larger. (Anyone who's ever built a Reliant model knows this.) So, at sublight, it makes a ton of sense that the Reliant could outrun the Enterprise. For the two reasons above, it would be able to accelerate much faster - which is what we see in the film, of course.

    Now, as for WARP speed... I'd be surprised if the Enterprise couldn't have run circles around Reliant. And for range... the Reliant would have to turn around for resupplying long before the Enterprise would have to consider it, most likely.

    This is why I refuse to accept the Reliant as a "Cruiser" (or "light cruiser") but rather think it's a Frigate. It's best suited to serve the role of a frigate, in modern naval terms.

    So why use that, instead of a cruiser or a science vessel, to support Genesis?

    Well, the cruisers are the "Glory hogs" of the fleet. When the Enterprise, or the Farragut for that matter, get deployed someplace... people pay attention. But send a frigate someplace, and it's pretty well ignored, most likely.

    Genesis required security... and that security was supposed to stay relatively nearby (close enough to be on-call if any bad guys showed up). So a short-range(ish) ship with lots of weapons would be ideal on that basis.

    And, of course, all we saw Reliant doing was identifying "likely targets"... not doing the final, in-depth surveying that would likely have occurred. Consider how poor Reliant's sensors really were... barely registering anything on their scans, when in fact there was a large group of people. The Enterprise has been able, in the past, to identify a single person with no trouble. And Grissom, in the same situation, would likely have been able to tell what Khan had for breakfast the day before.

    I wonder... was Grissom also assigned to Genesis already, but just wasn't on-station at Regula? They DID say that "everyone was on-leave"... maybe they'd gone on-leave by being ferried someplace by Grissom?
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed with that line of thinking, Cary, particularly this:

    We seem to be on the same page, then.

    That's a very interesting idea. I don't see why not, personally.
     
  19. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Absolutely love the Miranda class design ever since TWOK. So to see some discussion and indeed praises for it is great.

    As to the post, I've always thought of the Miranda class as the Connie little kid brother/sister. To that end, I'd imagine the Connie could run circles around it. So I too, thought the line meant Khan's hits had reduced the Enterprise's abilities.

    However, talk of the Miranda being a dedicated vessel akin to the naval frigates is plausible and certain canon points bear this out when we consider the durability of the Miranda class into the 24th C, the use of the vessel as a border patrol vessel [thinking the Soyuez class variant]. To my mind it is a good fit for the vessel design and how it went toe to toe with a ship of the line.
     
  20. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A border patrol and escort vessel might explain why there seemed to be so dang many of them.

    For my money, a Miranda can probably maneuver circles around a Connie at impulse and get off a lot of hits against her from her many weapons, but the Connie could probably outrun her in a straight line at full impulse or warp speed and would probably have a higher 'capacity' for her phaser blasts from her fewer banks.