The operational status of NCC 1701-A...?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Lance, May 14, 2012.

  1. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, even from the first time I saw the movie (and for the record, I like STV) I got the feeling that it was meant to be a failure.

    All three govts. didn't give a damn about the place; Starfleet sent one of the one commander guaranteed to cause a shitstorm in a busted ship and the Klingons sent in a trigger happy glory-hound who gets a woody at the thought of taking on a Federation starship. It was like both govts. were trying to trip off a war, just a race to see who pulled the trigger first.
     
  2. Uxi

    Uxi Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I liked the idea of Ti-Ho, but Yorktown just makes more sense. My thinking was that it was retired because of a mix of damage and treaty considerations while at least a few other Connies were still up and going, slowly getting replaced by Excelsiors.
     
  3. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But there's a difference.

    After the Enterprise-A, the name has only passed on when there's been a new ship class.

    Original Enterprise - Constitution Class
    1701-A - Constitution II (depends on one's canon).
    1701-B - Excelsior
    1701-C - Nebula
    1701-D - Galaxy
    1701-E - Soverign
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which might simply be because each individual ship named Enterprise has survived exceptionally long, long enough to become so outdated that when the name is freed for use, there are no further ships in the original class or even in any closely comparable classes in service, and the name must go to the "next generation".

    This might be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts: Starfleet sees symbolic value in Enterprises, so it gives them preferred status in repairs and upgrades, and perhaps even keeps them from the most destructive missions. This makes the ships long-lived and adds to their symbolic value, closing the feedback circle.

    A related but subtly different factor would be that the name no longer ends up on small ships, which by default lead shorter lives because there's less room for refits and a greater risk of total loss if the enemy gets in a good punch.

    That one was an Ambassador, a smaller and older type.

    I wonder what sort of a lineage the Yamato vessels had. They were up to -E in "Where Silence Has Lease" already... Did the -nil, -A, -B, -C and -D all represent a monotonically rising curve in terms of size and capabilities? (Not that the Enterprise curve would have held that steady: the -E is definitely a step down in size.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the other difference is that each time they came up with a new ENT for a tv show or movie, they clearly wanted to distinguish it from its predecessors or successors, either to make it easier to see what was going on onscreen (eg Yesterday's Enterprise) or simply to sell more toys.

    Whereas in DS9, by the time the original Defiant bought it, the show was cash-strapped and was re-using stock footage for some space scenes. They couldn't afford a whole new ship to design action sequences or computer programmes around, which is why the next Defiant even had an identical registry; 'in-universe', we were told that they got a special dispensation because the original ship had perished before its time, after being so invaluable to the war effort.

    In-universe, I also like Timo's explanation that each ENT lasted so long that by the time it was destroyed or decommissioned, it was time for a new class of ship.
     
  6. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Except the Galaxys were suppose to have a service life of nearly a century according to the technical manual the -D was still in grade school when it was lost :)

    But then I guess when the Tech Manual was written the Borg weren't really on the radar with the Soverigns probably accelerated because of that threat.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We don't have to consider the Sovereign class the successor of the Galaxy class in any sense. For all we know, Galaxy is still going strong - and it just so happens that the lifespan of starship classes has been gradually increasing, so that the E-D could theoretically have been succeeded by an E-E of the same class. And the E-C could have been succeeded by another Ambassador (a type with a lifespan of perhaps sixty years), but Starfleet didn't give her a successor until after the days of Ambassador were over. But the E-B was a shorter-lived design (say, forty years *), and was already old news when the time came to name the E-C.

    Timo Saloniemi

    *) I mean, looking at the registry numbers and the ships carrying them, one can approximate a progression of a thousand NCC numbers per year, or at least ten thousand per ten years, in the 24th century. We witness ships of E-B ilk having a coarse range from NCC 10k to NCC 40k, or forty years during which these things are being built.
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well that's true to a certain extent

    1701 lasted almost 40 years (with at least 1 major refit)
    1701-A about 10 years (as far as we know not a new ship)
    1701-B around at least 20 years
    1701-C no data available
    1701-D about 8 years.
     
  9. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought the E-C was Ambassador class?
     
  10. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I dont get what the problem is with the ship being decommissioned so early, even if she was a new ship at the time it was christened as the A.

    After the Khitomer battle Starfleet may have decided on the spot to retire the ship for a couple of reasons;

    1. The Consitution Class, and the Enterprise, represented Starfleet during the time of numerous conflicts with the Klingons, a conflict both sides were trying to put behind them.
    2. Its participation in the making sure the treaty was signed meant that they wanted to recognize this event and so decommissioned her instead of patch her up and send her off to get squatted by some random phenomena.
    To me the events of TUC made the top brass mothball the ship as both a political move as well as a PR stunt. Take her off of active duty and replace her with a new top of the line Excelsior which was nearing completion, a new generation of ship to start the new era of peace and exploration which not only honours the Enterprise and her crew but also the Excelsior too.


    Sorry to Shatner and any fans of Ashes of Eden (which I did enjoy) but I dont think Starfleet would plan on using the Enterprise for War Games or giving her to a foreign power but could see it being docked somewhere as a museum ship kind of in the same vein as the 'Mighty Mo'.



    Other Constitutions I can see serving into the 24th century on milk run missions or supporting Starbases in obscure areas where a more modern ship would have been a waste of resources. This would be why we see parts of a Constitution Class ship at Wolf 359.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Finding an antiquated ship right next to Earth need not be proof that the type is still operational. Could be proof that the type is in purely ceremonial use, much like Old Ironsides, as Earth would be the center of such ceremonies.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    TUC does indeed indicate that the crew is being reassembled after some time; Sulu has been in command of the Excelsior for 3 years, and McCoy hasn't missed him ("If we're all here, where's Sulu?"). It therefore seems unlikely that the full Enterprise-A crew has been on active duty together on that ship within the previous three years.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Of course, it might be that the ship has been in constant active service; it's just that none of the TOS heroes have been part of her crew during that time.

    In that scenario, it's just for this one politically important mission that Starfleet kicks out the previous top officers and inserts Kirk's Heroes in their place, on grounds of only Nixon being able to go to China.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Captain Captain

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    That and the hull was compromised. Between the battle damage and what you posted above, I figure those are the reasons the Enterprise-A was decomissioned when it was.

    I don't think it was an older ship, more like one of the last ships of an older line.

    I know Gene Roddenberry would've preferred that the Enterprise-A was previously the Yorktown but he wasn't in charge of the movies at that point, the Yorktown happened to be in TVH, and I don't see why that ship would've been damaged any worse than any other vessels in the probe's way.

    The theory I always lean toward was that Starfleet intended for the yet-to-be-commissioned Enterprise-A to have originally had another name, which was changed at the last minute.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The main reason I prefer the "older ship" theory over "new ship shunted over to Kirk" one is the interiors of the E-A, with their GNDN tubes and TOS-style shuttlebay. We know some Constitutions were subject to refitting; it just makes sense for the E-A to have been subject to it as well.

    The secondary reason is that Starfleet could afford to give Kirk an older ship. If Starfleet felt it really needed newbuild Constitutions in the 2280s, it would not part with one and sacrifice it as a means of keeping Kirk out of mischief.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I find it fascinating (:vulcan:) that in the short space of time between STIII and STIV (a matter of mere months?), Starfleet goes from wanting to decommission the Enterprise (doesn’t Admiral Morrow say something about it getting too old?) to giving Kirk another, almost identical ship. If they could simply retrofit another Constitution Class, let alone building a new one from scratch, why would they be decommissioning Enterprise? Were they that confident that Excelsior was going to become the front line ship design?
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the basic space frame components of the Enterprise would be nearly forty years old. As would the basic space frame components of the Yorktown if it came into service at roughly the same time and followed the same refit in the early-2270's. Yorktown was near Earth, possibly nearing the end of a mission herself and also being retired.

    To me, it doesn't seem like they're retiring the class just those ships that were upgraded from earlier configurations.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    If we assume Starfleet gave Kirk a dud, the "She's twenty years old!" exclamation regains full consistency.

    If Starfleet wanted to reward rather than punish Kirk, they would have given him a Constellation (the obvious stopgap/insurance thing in case Excelsior didn't pan out - the same old, only now in duplicate to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the old hardware)...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Except the fact that the command crew were more familiar with the Constitution class. We don't know what major internal differences there are between classes.
     
  20. Captain Mike

    Captain Mike Commodore Commodore

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    I just don't understand some peoples idea that Starfleet is "punishing" Kirk by giving him and his crew another Constitution refit. Hell in TVH, most everybody that was on the shuttle in Spacedock were unsure of their fate. Even McCoy stated: "The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe, we'll get a freighter.".
    Also as stated in GENERATIONS, Kirk and the crew were distinguished as "living legends", and that was a short span of time between TVH and then. so why this notion of "punishment" eludes me.