Sovereign Class and Photon Torpedoes

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by DRACO, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Strider

    Strider Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In the titular episode, Gul Dukat referred to the Defiant as "one of the most heavily armed warships in the quadrant". I know it's irritating from a real world standpoint, but nevertheless the Defiant was portrayed on DS9 as a complete ass kicker. Dialogue like that just confirms it.
     
  2. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Klingons also once called the NCC-1701 a 'Federation Battle Cruiser' in 'The Search for Spock' and while she was obviously capable of defending herself, the Constitution was not designed to be a ship of war.

    Points of view, remember?
     
  3. Strider

    Strider Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While I could see where Dukat might be exaggerating things just to be dramatic, Sisko didn't even bother to contradict it by saying "Oh no, it's only a light raider." Everyone was treating the Defiant as a serious threat, even when matched against much larger Cardassian warships. And as I said, that's only been confirmed by the way the Defiant was portrayed throughout DS9, particularly in episodes like "The Die is Cast", "Sacrifice of Angels", "The Way of the Warrior", and "The Changing Face of Evil".
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not just portrayed, though. Defiant herself was able to take on a Keldon class cruiser single handedly later in that very episode. With a complement of quantum torpedoes and those pulse phaser cannons, actually the Defiant routinely demonstrates itself to be a "tough little ship" with on hell of a right hook.

    What do you think for the modern equivalent? I always compare it to those Pegasus class hydrofoils the U.S. Navy used to have; now just add a twin-barrel eight inch gun to that hydrofoil and add forty reloads for its missile launchers and you've got tiny warship that moves really fast and carries as much firepower as a heavy cruiser.
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's it exactly.

    It's not that she's a more powerful ship than, say, a heavy cruiser, its that she's as well armed as a larger ship while being faster and more maneuverable, and it's that edge of speed and maneuverability that allows her to have a slight edge on comparably-armed vessels. I would tend to think that three coordinated Keldon-class ships might have been able to defeat her handily. Even a gnat gets swatted eventually.

    She was apparently outmatched by three Jem'Hadar bugs in 'The Search.' Perhaps the bugs are equivalently armed?

    I wonder who win win in a fight of Enterprise-E versus Defiant, or E versus D? All three would theoretically be similarly armed (excluding the D's lack of quantorps) but I would think the difference would again lay in speed and agility.
     
  6. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    I thought that was because Starfleet shield technology still couldn't stop Dominion weapons.
     
  7. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, you're right.

    I'm trying to think of how she fared against Jem'Hadar ships later on for further comparison.
     
  8. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Definitely E over Defiant. I don't think the class was meant to be a match in a stand-up fight against a capital ship, weirdness in dialogue and crappy Cardassian ships aside. Personally, I think if her captain had gone for it, the Lakota could have finished her.

    Galaxy vs. Sovereign would be a far closer match, with a slight edge toward the Sov assuming phasers power and shield capabilities are actually higher, although we have little evidence to do so other than the ten year gap between their respective design cycles.
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    IRC, the Defiant and Lakota were both holding back. They were both Starfleet after all, and Benteen was fairly honorable.

    I think the one major disadvantage the Defiant suffers are her pulse phasers. She apparently has a regular phaser or two, but the pulse phasers are clearly her most powerful punch other than the quantorps, and those pulse phasers require the forward-firing banks to be aimed directly at the target. I see the Galaxy and Sovereign firing phaser arcs like in 'Nemesis' as she circles around them to catch her.

    I would tend to agree that the Sovereign would probably win for the reasons you specify, but an updated Galaxy (perhaps the second set of six that were built to serve in the war) might actually outgun her, or at least outpower her.

    If 'Star Trek: Legacy' is any indication, it's primarily the recharge time and quantum torpedoes that make the difference for the Sovvie, and the Defiant's speed and maneuverability is pretty much all that enables you to to score a win against a Sovvie or Galaxy, but even then there's a good amount of luck and skill involved.
     
  10. Strider

    Strider Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In "The Die is Cast", the Defiant handily dusted a pair of Jem'Hadar bug ships as soon as it decloaked, then three more on its way out. We also see the Defiant destroying a bug ship with just a few shots in "A Call to Arms". Course, iirc it took the Valiant six quantum torpedos to finish off a Jem'Hadar attack ship in "The Valiant".

    That said, I personally think the Defiant-class would stand no chance against a Sovereign or a modern Galaxy. Ton for ton, I think the Defiant is a better warship, but logic just falls apart if you have the much smaller Defiants besting the Galaxies and Sovereigns in combat. They were built big for a reason, and in combat are probably much better marathon runners to the Defiant's short sprint capabilities.
     
  11. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    It depends on the captain and the skill of the officers more than anything. Clever tactics can confound and befuddle a bigger ship, and if you know where to shoot the big ship the battle will be over right quick.

    That is provided the big ship has a dork for a captain or Riker in charge. :p

    You can't make blanket assumptions about the tactical abilities of a ship without factoring in skill of the crew.
     
  12. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's significant amounts of information which already answers this.

    FYI, the 1701-E has both. The two types of launchers were designed by the movie guys to be different.

    The 1701-E has multiple photon tubes, which look very much like what you've been accustomed to seeing. In particular, look at the "strip" along the underside of the secondary hull. There are two forward-facing launchers on the leading edge, and (if memory serves) one on the trailing edge of this "strip."

    The 1701-E originally had a single quantum torpedo launcher. This is where, in a later flick, they put the "yacht," however. The structure we know as the yacht now was originally intended to be entirely the quantum launcher. This was a major @#$*-up on the part of the movie-makers later on, as far as I'm concerned... and while there was an attempt to figure out a way to shoehorn both into the same space, it simply doesn't work.

    For "Nemesis," they redid the design a bit, and it's a lot different in that film. For instance, there are more phaser strips around the ship (including on the trailing edges of the nacelle pylons). They also put another photon tube on the upper leading edge of the primary hull, a second quantum launcher (above the main landing bay) and several other things were done as well. I've never found a "complete" listing of the changes that they made, but they were fairly extensive (both in where specific items are, AND in the overall shape of the ship!)

    All things considered, I like the "Nemesis" version of the ship better. I just wish that they hadn't put that damned yacht inside the main quantum launcher! ;)
     
  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, thanks. :) It's been too long since I've watched DS9.

    Good analogy.

    True. Plus they fight with the power of plot, too. :p

    Quite right. IIRC, the deflector walk scene originally involved them manually deploying the forward photon torpedo launcher on the leading edge of the secondary hull and redirecting it to destroy the deflector, until it was pointed out that this would probably destroy half the ship. Drawings for this can be found in the 'TNG Movies Sketchbook.'

    That has always bothered the crap out of me too. As it is, it seems like the quantorps fire over the yacht's 'windshield' but it completely defeats the purpose of having a dedicated quantorp 'turret.' Oy. :eek:

    If you think about it, the forward torpedo 'pods' on the Defiant seem to correspond as a different application of the same 'turret' technology.

    Here's Bernd's article from Ex Astris regarding the changes and his list of changes made:

    Personally, the only changes I like are the nacelle pylon adjustments, the phasers on the pylons, and the fantail torpedo launcher. The others just seem excessive and unnecessary.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it's 100% skill. In the Defiant I can mop the floor with ANY ship in Legacy... if I set the AI skill low enough. Mainly this is because Defiant's phasers and quantum torpedoes pack enough punch to do damage even through the shields and is agile enough to avoid the Sovereign's torpedo firing arcs. Against good enough player or a smart AI, this might not make a difference, unless you're even better.

    In the Trekiverse, the fact that Defiant has four quantum launchers to E-squared's one gives it a serious advantage. As in Legacy, these apparently do a significant amount of damage no matter what defenses you're using, so the Defiant could probably end the battle pretty quickly be abruptly decloaking off the E's dorsal section and pounding it with a four-spread before she can respond.
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well by that logic I could mop the floor with an Oberth if the AI was set low enough. :p

    But your point is taken. Normally my Defiant experiments have had me on the Sovereign/Galaxy end. (I'm currently RRoD'd or I'd do some research right now. :devil:)
     
  16. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    SFC3 suggested that the pulse phasers also have a more limited range in exchange for their power/damage being improved, because the pulsed blast dissipates more rapidly than a traditional beam. It's essentially several layers of energy stacked together, like the skin of an onion. So you not only need a direct firing arc, but you have to get closer to use them. I can't recall if there's any canon data that might go against this description.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The engagement ranges of the Defiant have always been minimal - although admittedly, ships with more conventional phasers also tend to engage at point blank ranges. So the theory of short range seems quite plausible.

    However, whatever damage the Defiant dishes out with her torpedoes, it's apparently not enough to blow up capital ships. The tough little ship only kills other tough little ships - she barely manages to dent the Cardassian cruiser in "Defiant", and never really harms any other large vessels. I guess the torpedo boat or missile boat analogy makes sense: she packs a punch, in some respects, but only in relation to her size.

    In WWII, torpedo boats, destroyers and cruisers all had roughly similar torpedo firepower, which made all the difference in certain styles of combat. One could hardly have claimed that a torpedo boat was the match of a cruiser in general terms, but one could still factually claim that the torpedo boat was equally heavily armed in special terms. Although the Defiant would probably be better compared to a destroyer than to a torpedo boat, sizewise.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. kent

    kent Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The defiant's class' small size is her disadvantage...she doens't have the longevity in battle that other large ships have, so she's had trouble sometimes.

    However, I'd like to point out that it has taken out larger more powerful ships before, I.E. the Dominion battle cruisers and battleships, and also the Klingon battle cruiser in a mirror episode. That Klingon ships was larger than a Neg'Vahr, and the Defiant took it out via tactics. And that mirror defiant was built from starfleet specs, so it wasn't special. And more than likely it didn't have quantum torpedo's.

    What makes the Defiant class so powerful is it's manuverability and pulse phaser cannons. The cannon's themselves run right past a plasma conduit, super turbo boosting the power output of the phasers. And as far as being fixed focus, the ships so small and manuverable that it largely doesn't matter.

    Although, if it went up against a Galaxy, yes the Galaxy class might suffer some pretty bad damage, but with it's incredible phaser coverage and powerful phasers the Defiant would probably loose.

    As far as a Sovereign goes...I'm not even getting into that ship. It's ridiculous and completely unneccisary. There are already powerful starships to fit it's role, and it's heavy bias on military isn't Starfleet at all. And the fact it has a bazillion torp launchers is stupid.
     
  19. kent

    kent Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    1: The Galaxy class was DEFIANTELY comfirmed to have children! What are you talking about lol? There was an episode where a father picked his son up from calculus class, another episode where a son's mother was killed and Worf became surrogate, episodes where classrooms were present, and yet ANOTHER eipsode ("Disaster") in which picard is giving two science fair winner tours of the ship, and more and more supportive evidence. Picard has even stated a "no children on the bridge" rule, and has mentioned the familial role himself of the Starship. Just because you don't always see them doesn't mean they're not there.

    2: I agree with the space thing when comparing the Galaxy to a Sovereign class. In terms of diplomatic capability, the two are almost equal. The Sovereign could handle diplomatic functions just as well, it's still a fairly large ship. If it was a Defiant class or even Intrepid class, I could see the argument. I feel though that the Galaxy class would be better suited to diplomatic missions only because it's not an agressive design in general. I hate the Sovereign and that's one of my big issues with it.

    3: It's never been established that the Enterprise-E has regenerative shielding in canon. However, it's reasoable to assume that it was incorporated into the design with the advent of the Dominion war. It's warp core is yes a little more advanced than anything else in the fleet save an Intrepid or Prometheus class maybe. And type 10+ phasers have been mentioned in the TNG technical manual, where it states it's classified and used only on starbases because of their high power output. Again it's reasonable to assume that either the Sovereign has them or some variation of them. Then again, type 10+ could just be a form of emitter and not actually claim any kinf of power output in general.

    4: That amount of torpedo launchers are just stupid on that ship. No wonder they ran out of torpedo's. And I do have to say they don't look as versatile as the torpedo launchers of the Enterprise-D. If you look at the actual size of the E-E photon tubes, they seem to only be large enough to spit out one torpedo, where the Galaxy class' photon tubes can spit out multiple torpedo's at once. As for the cramped quantum tube, I've heard how people think it'd be ridiculous for it and the yaght to be there. I disagree. It's possible that Starfleet has developed a vertical loading tube, instead of a long horizontal tube. They are very clever about working around things, literally and metaphorically.

    5: The Enterprise-E was not the 9th ship, it was the second Sovereign to be built. It's generally accepted in most Star Trek communities that I've seen. It also wasn't intended to be an Enterprise at all from what I know, but with the destruction of the Enterprise-D it was recomissioned. Evidence supporting: In less than two years after the Enterprise-D was destroyed, we have a fully functioning, operational, super advanced, ship. It takes six years or so to build a Galaxy, and I'm assuming a little less with a sovereign.

    6: The defiant class is indeed one of the most powerful ship class' every built by Starfleet, up there with the Galaxy and Nebula's. It was also Starfleet's first dedicated warship, as stated by Sisko I beleive. Of course by the time the Intrepid's, Prometheus, and Sovereign class' rolled off the lots, the defiant's role wasn't as big. They still performed excellent scouting and defensive postitions though, but they weren't really long term mission type ships, they are too small.
     
  20. Strider

    Strider Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah but what about the mirror Defiant that completely wiped out Worf's flagship? I mean, you can come up with a whole slew of mitigating factors like how it was the Mirror Universe Klingons so maybe their ship was a whole lot less advanced, I know. But still.

    And the Cardassian cruiser engagement in "Defiant" is kind of open to interpretation because it wasn't a very good effect. The cruiser took a quartet of quantum torps in its "wing" and was violently thrown to the side without any visible damage, iirc. You can interpret that however you want, but I personally think the intent was to show that the Defiant disabled the Cardassian ship with only a couple shots. Your mileage may vary.