Size of starfleet?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Crazyewok, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    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?)

    TOS we know there are at least 12 Constitution class vessels. With this number going up by the time of Undiscovered country. And there are a number of other classes in the background either on displays or shown like the Grissom or Excelsior. Also the highest reg number we see on screen is NX/NCC-2000. so there is at maximum around 2000.

    By TNG/DS9 we know there are thousands of ships due to the whole dominion war. We also see a multitude of classes on screen. We also have the higher registry number as NX-74913 on the Prometheus. So there is a maximum of around 75000 ships.


    Few things. Just because we don't see other classed in TOS until the films does not mean they don't exist as the reason they were not shown is most likely budget restraints.

    As for registry numbers it can be assumed they cant give a completely accurate picture as older ships with lower registry numbers would be decommissioned. Though to confuse matters registry numbers can be reused as we see the Enterprise always carrying 1701.



    Also seeing as the lowest Excelsior class is NCC-2000 and the highest number is USS Melbourne NCC-62043 it seems there was a massive fleet build up around the mid/late motion picture era. (maybe due to possible Klingon war? Federation expansion?)

    IM also assuming the Excelsior and Miranda most likely were discontinued to be built by 2340 as the design of the ships change as we can see by the ambassador class. why built old designs when new ones come out? You would just then refit the old ships rather than build new ones.

    In conclusion my theory is.

    Around the TOS/ Early part or the motion picture era the fleet size is most likely around 1000/1500.

    By around the undiscovered country its gone up to around 20000-40000 ships.

    By TNG the fleet size most likely decreased by a unknown number due the relative peace with only really the cardassians to worry about. So allot of the fleet would be in mothball.

    By DS9 the fleet would be back up to the 20000/40000 level due to the Borg and Dominion.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The size of Starfleet has always depended on the story at hand, IMO.

    Personally, I tend to go with Starfleet being fairly small (several thousand starships by the 24th-Century), deployed individually throughout the Federation and beyond. There could be many more smaller short-range support vessels assigned to individual planets and starbases, though.
     
  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's as big or small as it needs to be to tell a story (look at how often the Enterprise is the only ship in the sector :)).

    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.

    Post Dominion War, there would be a large number of combat ships (especially Defiant-Class, since its small and well-armed), which would then be tasked with escort and patrol duties until things quietened down.
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    That's not strictly true, for all we know they could be registries like NAR-1679, or NGC-456. So they could be more ships with differen registries that fuful a more auxilary role but could be called upon if needed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  5. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    Thats what Im thinking make up the bulk.

    I doubt there is more than a few thousand combat capital ships and even then Galaxys and Soverrign class would be in the double digit figures.

    I think the bulk of the 20000's odd ships would be auxilary ships and survey ships doing very boring mundane stuff.
     
  6. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  7. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    No but as the Excelcior was the most advanced ship in the fleet at the time it figures the numbers wont go much higher than that. The diffrence would be a few hundred at most.
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. For all intents and purposes, hull registries may represent some kind of production code which includes more than just the number of the particular vessel.
     
  9. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    But the the early ships form Enterpise and what you can see from the daedalus class it seems to go up in a linear fasion.
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Which really doesn't mean much, except that Starfleet has continued to build more ships over the years. Still doesn't mean that hull registries represent the actual number of ships built, though (in the old days, it was believed that hull registries also included the number of a vessel's ship class or production block).

    It's even conceivable that, like stardates, Starfleet hull registries were revised at one point over the decades with a different system in place now during the TNG era than it was during the TOS era.
     
  11. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    Well I have already indicated in my original post that no you cant get the exact numbers from the registary numbers but MAYBE a rough ball bark figure. So yeah just cause there are ships in the 75000 range does not mean there are 75000 but it could indicate the number of ships are in the tens of thousands range.

    20000 ships for a orginisation that spans 8000 light years seem pretty reasonble. Espeicly if 75% + are just supply ships, personal transports, survey, repair, construction and other mundane utility ships.
     
  12. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I would be even skeptical of that. IMO, onscreen evidence doesn't really support the idea of a Starfleet consisting of 10,000+ ships (in DS9, Starfleet seemed to have no more than a few thousand during the Dominion War and in TNG could only scramble a few dozen to intercept the Borg at Wolf 359).
    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.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's possible that as a ship reaches the end of it's life and is removed from service, that it's number is reassigned to a new ship, and then to another new ship in time after that.

    The same way that names are used over and over.

    Somewhere in the 24th century, there is a brand new ship with the number 01.

    :)
     
  14. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    That what im saying though!

    Most of the fleet is just mundane support craft.

    Frontline ships are most likley in the low thousands.


    8000 light years is a huge terratory so there would have to be a massive support fleet. Not necessarily frontline ships lilke galaxly classes or even mirandas but most likley small cargo/ Transport like ships.
     
  15. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Commander Red Shirt

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    Or Key ships like the NX-01 are kept around as museum ships like the royal navy still keeps the 250 year old HMS Victory around. Its still comissioned and in Navy service but used for functions and as a museum. The NX-01 mostly likley is flying round the solar system carrying kids on school trips.
     
  16. Hawkke

    Hawkke Ensign Red Shirt

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  17. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Not quite, because the vehicles I'm talking about would be small short-range craft that probably wouldn't be counted as starships.
     
  18. YJAGG

    YJAGG Commander Red Shirt

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    that and the fact they already had model handy when next gen started
     
  19. YJAGG

    YJAGG Commander Red Shirt

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    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
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...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.

    Timo Saloniemi