Enterprise E. What made it different than Enterprise D?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by urrutiap, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That is the biggest part of it for me, yes. It also feels very much an extrapolation of things learned from multiple wars. While the Defiant style is that smaller, destroyer style, the Sovereign brings a larger weapons platform, more carrying capacity, and versatility. At least in theory.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But I guess the question then goes, is it?

    Yet we hear no such comment: nobody praises the class in particular, there's never a good word on behalf of the NCC-1701 other than her doing good within her expected parameters, and even afterwards the class as such holds no known legendary status. Starships are mighty; the Enterprise is never particularly mighty as far as starships go.

    With respect to this ship and this class, we're always talking hero ship, never flagship or special-in-universe ship. The distinction isn't there for the E-D; it's less clear with the other E's although fairly clear with all the hero ships that aren't named E.

    ...For all we know, they started out fifty years before TOS, hence the ENT-style looks with cylinder nacelles and all, and the really low registry on at least that one.

    Works for me.

    More generally, Starfleet always feels it needs new ship designs, even if certain older ones are fit to serve for a century. The Sovereign looks like a representative of a particular family/era/style of ships, probably in the specific size range of "second biggest" if we assume Starfleet never really downsizes.

    The family could be construed out of ships with the same nacelle aesthetic easily enough: we'd have the small Nova, the medium Prometheus, the big Sovereign, and then putative others (Sovereign sans secondary hull with nacelles down would be an obvious classic, say). it's just too bad that Star Trek then skips a decade so that we don't get to establish the family for real.

    Hero ships in Trek almost never get to do anything in particular, because the plots involve doing pretty much everything. The Defiant and the Discovery are the exceptions, established from the outset as having a specific role (failed Borg-fighter useful for armed recce, science platform rigged for spore drive) and sometimes visibly struggling to play any other role. We never got to see what Sovereign would be specifically good for. It's just curious that we did get two specific negations: Starfleet didn't want to see ships of that design fight the Borg or the Dominion!

    It takes some effort to rationalize this from "Paramount didn't want us to see ships of that design fight these foes" all the way through to "Starfleet wanted these ships to fight those foes, but X happened". Yet saying that the class is fairly new and still not quite ready to fight covers most of the bases, since the two negations happen before ST:INS and ST:NEM, the two movies where the ship isn't shunned (any longer), and at least NCC-1701-E really is new prior to those movies.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, we're still debating whether all those ships on Picard's Ready Room wall were named Enterprise. The hologram theme is pretty flimsy an idea at this point...

    But yeah, there's not just the idea of flagship in the usual military sense, with a flag officer aboard flying his flag and commanding stuff (even if not commanding the ship), and the idea of flagship in the usual civilian sense, with the E-D marketed as the Federation Flagship to carry the flag to distant parts and wave it a lot - there's also the apparent military version of the civilian thing, with the E-D referred to as Starfleet's Flagship a couple of times, such as in "Icarus Factor" or "Parallels".

    This really only ever happens once, in ST:FC, and is never marketed as "the E-E becoming the flagship". Rather, the surviving skippers accept that Picard, rather than some possibly formally more qualified leader, is their best hope for victory. Or if he's gonna betray them, there's nothing much they can do about it, and thus little to be lost in trusting him.

    It still appears curious that none of those other ships chose to fire on the E-E there. Surely this would make sense to many captains involved?

    The alternate NCC-1701 was called "our newest flagship", in welcome ambiguity: perhaps she's an actual flagship in the military sense, intended to host a flag officer for command duties (Pike is one, in the scene right after the action part of the movie, wearing just about as much braid as his sleeves could possiby accomodate). And perhaps Starfleet has plenty of those at any given time, making it useful to discern between the others and "newest".

    It's nice they never dub her the Federation Flagship, a title still unique to the E-D...

    Sigh. What "next flagship class"? No Excelsior ever held the title as far as we can tell.

    But yes, that's the difference: if you want to treat your hero crew well, you disperse them, like they dispersed Chekov and Sulu. If you hate them, you imprison them all together on the bridge of a ship you never send anywhere. Like they did with the E-E, and with the E-A when they got reason to hate Kirk's team enough...

    For all we know, they did. Nobody ever spells out how the quantums are better. Quark just suggests that they would be, being the good salesman. Perhaps their forte is doing love taps? Regular photon torpedoes were said to become useless if the firing ship couldn't protect herself from the blast, due to proximity or lack of shields. Q-torps were fired at point blank ranges; might be the very application they were built for.

    It's nice to have a dedicated launcher for them in the E-E, at any rate. It gives the class character. Military porn in Trek suffers a lot from the cool weapons being limited to "phasers" and "photon torpedoes" when other genres can distinguish between a hundred types of automatic pistol and salivate over a dozen popularly known types of missile and then throw in the occasional bazooka or Claymore mine or grenade launcher. if quantum torpedoes were merely a new type of ammo for regular tubes, they wouldn't add that much character. But them having their very own turret makes them cool even when we learn little about their effects.

    Yup. That's just about the first point in the timeline when NCC-1701 can be assumed to be famous outside certain closed Starfleet circles. And it's a great way to exploit the fame even in the case where the refit failed to really bring the ship up to modern standards...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  4. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That doesn't make much sense to me.
    The Galaxy is larger than the Sovereign, so it would be able to house same weapons, have a LARGER carrying capacity (due to much larger internal volume) and versatility.
    We've seen SF upgrades its ships on a regular basis, so those Sovereign class systems would have been integrated into Galaxy class ships.

    Sure, the Sovereign has more torpedo launchers, but I doubt the Galaxy couldn't be outfitted with more (and technically speaking, it doesn't NEED more launchers).
    Also, pre-existing photon torpedo launchers CAN be compatible with Quantum torpedoes... or they can be upgraded to support both photons and Quantums.

    The Sovereign being faster at sublight or Warp doesn't make much sense.
    Sure, the Sovereign could be faster at Warp initially, but the Galaxy would get those engine upgrades too.
    At sublight however... not much of a difference really. All Federation ships use subspace fields to drop their inertial mass, which provides them with fighter craft style maneuverability and acceleration to significant fraction of C (75 000 km/s at least). Shuttles appear to be slower at impulse, mainly because they couldn't generate as much power as a starship - this would probably become less relevant on craft such as the Runabout and Delta Flyer which are typically slightly larger than your run of the mill shuttle (large enough to generate a lot more power for faster impulse and greater FTL speeds).

    Again, the main difference between Galaxy and Sovereign class ships would likely be in mission profiles... though in all honesty, I think both could pretty much the same... with Galaxy edging Sovvie out in terms of how much supplies it can carry at any given time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then it may simply be a presentation as part of the mission profile. The Galaxy was not a warship even if it could be upgraded again and again.

    Honestly, it's a trade up in my opinion. I think the Sovereign looks more intimidating, and that might well be the purpose. The ENT-D lacks that awe inspiring look.
     
  6. danellis

    danellis Commander Red Shirt

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    We don't know what happened. All we actually know is that Picard said "tell the fleet to shoot there," the fleet apparently did, and the Borg cube was destroyed.

    We have no idea why though. Did they say "that's a Sovereign, they must know how to kill Borg;" or "that's the Enterprise, she's the flagship do what she says;" or "Captain Picard's in charge of our squadron, fire!" did they decide they go swinging with Riker,s and were desperate so would give it a shot, or did the film just cut around the fact that the fleet then spent half an hour circling the cube out of range while they ran computer simulations on Picard's co-ordinates?

    dJE
     
  7. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    What made the E different from the D? It was designed by Eaves and not Probert. :nyah:
     
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  8. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Strange that we see many more Galaxy class ships in wars!
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Riker said that combat was a minor province of a starship captain's duties. So, apparently no one told the Federation's enemies.
     
  10. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    The D was built during an era of relative peace, and was built for the main mission of exploration. So yes it does have shields, phasers, torpedo's, etc. But it isn't a ship of war.

    Now with the Galaxy class being modular, yes you can add stuff to be more of a warship, maybe even there are specifically built saucer sections that they can change out from the "Exploration" saucer to a "warship" saucer that has no labs, larger life support facilities, troop transport, bigger hanger space, etc.

    Now the E-E was built with a more militaristic frame of mind. More torpedoes, better phasers, better shields for fire fights, etc. with less labs, so still can be used as an explorer, but not as capable as a galaxy class in that regard.

    So where the Galaxy class is a "Cruiser" a Sovereign class is a "Battle Cruiser" like the Constitution class of old was.
    It just depends on the time of construction, the Sovereign was built after the Borg incursion, so was built to fight the borg after lessons learned with the Galaxy.
     
  11. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe this is it. Starfleet moved its flag from heavy cruisers/explorers/larger ships like the Galaxy to cruisers/battle cruisers/mid-size ships like the Sovereign, looking to pack Galaxy punch on, smaller, easier to mass produce, stick-around-home cruisers. The emphasis being not on cutting edge exploration that they still had the relatively new Galaxy’s for, but defense of newly established territory.

    We saw fewer of them because they were all in the shipyards (the E seemed more test bed in the movies) or in key assignments throughout the area. I’m my head canon, Ross was in one.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder. The E-D design would hail from the era of the Border Wars - so it makes some sense that the alternate timeline would employ the very same design as their badassest battleship in "Yesterday's E". In contrast, the E-E design might well hark from the days when the last of the Border Wars, with Cardassia, had finally wound down...

    We don't quite know what the Galaxy class is in Starfleet terms, apart from said Battleship: "Explorer" has been mentioned in ambiguous contexts. Perhaps Battleship and Explorer are two words for the same thing, a ship bigger than any cruiser - and the likes of Sovereign and Ambassador are from the higher end of the next-lower, cruiser tier, possibly Battle Cruiser and Heavy Cruiser, respectively.

    It still doesn't make sense for Starfleet to build the Sovereign to fight the Borg and then give it to the one man who can never be allowed to fight the Borg... Unless, say, Admiral Hayes was flying one in ST:FC and Starfleet felt it should keep the still unreliable E-E in reserve.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As far as I know, neither the Sovereign or the Galaxy class are classed as warships.
    The Defiant was 'unofficially' classed as one but was 'officially' classed as an escort (which ironically enough this was one of its primary roles during the Dominion War)... but to be fair, I think the writers needlessly used that warship designation due to bad writing and injecting military terminology for the sake of 'clarification'.
    The Defiant also fulfilled other non-combat roles (such as diplomacy and exploration).

    Plus, when you think about it, any SF ship could be classed as a 'weapon of mass destruction' or a 'battleship' (or heck even a 'warship') when you factor in their overall destructive power.
    Its just that Starfleet typically doesn't USE them like that - primary goals are diplomacy, exploration, and defense (if necessary).

    The Enterprise-D had firepower similar to a Romulan Warbird (a proverbial battleship or a warship even in Romulan terms)... and yet the Galaxy class was not a warship despite being more or less its equal.

    The Galaxy class received numerous upgrades which would increase its power levels and overall tactical abilities to same levels exhibited by Sovereign class and beyond (as time went on) to keep it in line with modern ships - but that's expected with starship evolution (same as we saw with USS Lakota for example).

    Its also possible that Starfleet decided to focus on building a bit smaller capital ships than the Galaxy class that can do almost everything in the same capacity (with same/greater firepower) due to increased efficiencies and technological upgrades, but would be a bit faster to build.
    The Galaxy class would still continue to be built (if its within the timeline for the originally planned production run), but priority might be given to newer classes such as the Sovereign and Intrepid classes.

    Its unlikely that SF would stop building bigger ships... its just likely their construction would be done in times when speed of construction isn't necessarily top priority (unless they already had them in varying stages of being built), with pre-existing designs which are already in the field being upgraded with state of the art technology.

    Even with replicators and transporters, the difference between building a Sovereign and Galaxy class ships could be in a day or two... but if you're in a dire situation (such as a war), those 2 days can make a difference... otherwise, I don't really see a huge deal... but as I said before, the Galaxy class production cycle would have probably ended after about 10-15 years anyway (so they would have stopped being constructed roughly 3 years after the Dominion War - just enough time for SF to replace potential losses during the War and continue with rebuilding and exploration).
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We got this "warship" business a bit backward. Starfleet has warships; Sisko presents his team with one; Kira then quips"I thought you guys didn't believe in those?"; and Sisko scowls in response. I really doubt Kira was quoting official policy or anything there...

    There is no instance of anybody saying the Galaxy wouldn't be a warship. In one timeline, it very much is one. It also happens to be other things. But this is only implicitly true of it, and both the warship and peaceship natures of the Sovereign are implicit, too; what's explicit is the E-D being an unabashed warship in at least one instance.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because Starfleet isn't a military.
     
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  16. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not just because of that (although its a primary reason)... mainly because in canon, neither are described as such by Starfleet or Federation under regular circumstances (except by the Cardassians and Klingons - but those species have actual militaries [or at least class themselves as such] and WOULD be expected to use such terms to begin with).
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  17. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Defiant was a warship because it didn’t have any scientific or exploratory capabilities. Hence “escort” of other ships.

    The Galaxy Class being a battleship might make sense in both alternate and prime timelines. The Constitution heavy cruiser by our lingo was characterized as a battle cruiser by the Klingons. This is merely a difference in terminologies by different entities. The armaments remain the same.

    All Starfleet ships except the Defiant neither are more are classified as warships as their primary mission is otherwise. What makes Starfleet different is that they can use the same ships in either capacity.

    I imagine that when the Romulan Bird of Prey was used set sail thr Romulans employed other ships as their primary explorers to the extent that they had them, but perhaps by the D’Deridex’s time, they’d taken a page from the Federation and upped their capital ship’s game?

    I could go either way on this. The warbird could just be an imperial star destroyer.
     
  18. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, part of the evidence for the Galaxy's role as a warship is that it is used as a show of force against Romulan battlecruisers in "Angel One." Not even as a battle but as insurance to demonstrate force projection against a Romulan show of force.
     
  19. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    “The Search, Part I”:

    SISKO: Desperate times breed desperate measures, Major. Five years ago, Starfleet began exploring the possibility of building a new class of starship. This ship would have no families, no science labs, no luxuries of any kind. It was designed for one purpose only, to fight and defeat the Borg. The Defiant was the prototype, the first ship in what would have been a new Federation battle fleet.
    It was initially a glorified drone ship. Maybe they’d have stuck an AI in it, built hundreds, and called it a defense perimeter.

    By “Destiny” later that year, it was taking part in scientific research.
     
  20. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don’t see the distinction. Starfleet serves in both capacities. They’re not going to build a second fleet to use while the primary one is in its peacetime mode, then when hostilities break out deactivate it and switch the primary one into war mode.
     
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