Galaxy & Sovereign-class designations

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Captain_Amasov, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    The process seemed to be "dynamic", though: even if planning began decades before launch, there was major engine development work going on fairly late, or else the young Leah Brahms could not have been responsible for it. (The same with Larry Marvick in TOS.)

    So the class could still have been quite up to date at launch. Things like hull shape apparently don't matter in the end, as evidenced by the variety of shapes we see, and the longevity of certain examples of them.

    Timo Saloniemi
  2. JessDD

    JessDD Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Mar 24, 2013
    The Galaxy class must have been designed for much more than exploring though. Taking a look at Voyager, it had something like 1/8th the crew of the Enterprise and was less than half the size, and yet it was classified as a deep-space explorer (at least to my recollection it was).

    I would argue the Galaxy class ships were originally designed for battle and/or tactical operations, and exploring just happened to be a happy by-product of its design.
  3. Infern0

    Infern0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 17, 2008
    I have heard in the past, the term "Mobile Starbase" thrown around in regards to the Galaxy, in general I think it was designed to do whatever Starfleet needed at the time, huge and versatile featuring the best of everything.
  4. DRACO

    DRACO Captain Captain

    Jun 9, 2004
    You have size classifications and role classifications but be warned that the games bother more these than does canon.

    size classes:

    Frigate: small vessels, scouts, escorts etc.

    Light Cruiser: not the smallest ships, but on the smaller side of midpoint.

    Heavy Cruiser: Most iconic capital ships.

    Dreadnaught: big un

    Now, these are relative to the rest of the fleet and thus are relative to era. For example, the Constitution class is often given as a Heavy Cruiser however by TNG standards it would be a Frigate, maybe a Light Cruiser arguably. Allthough we don't see larger ships in the TOS era so it could have been considered a Dreadnuaght while in the games the iconic hero-ship is usually from my experience designated a Heavy cruiser.

    However, I'm sorry the Galaxy class is a Dreadbnaught, not Heavy Cruiser. Also I hate it when people add a third naccelle and call it a Dreadnaught. As for the "All Good Things refit" that doesn't make the standard Galaxy a HC- as that refit isn't indicative of the standard timeline fleet.

    So then you get role specific classes like:

    Battlecruiser: A LC or HC outfitted and being used militarily.

    Explorer: Usually, if it is smaller it is a science vessel, if it is larger, having the resources to care for and defend itself on a five year mission it is an Explorer. :p Now, these explorers, tend to be armed just as well as the battlecrusiers so.... granted they are further from home and not focused just on battle so they end up being a bloated, scientifically rounded battlecruiser.

    Battleship: A weapons platform of a ship, well armed and intended to in the thick of it. Where Cruisers are patrol ships used to maintain territory, the Battleship is positioned where firepower is needed to enforce authority and deal with severe threats. Size isn't inherent in the name but it either tends to be a) a Dreadnaught b) a smaller ship an admiral likes and has beefed up or c) The Defiant.

    Destroyer: a fast battlercruiser, weapons heavily focused forward, set to quickly overwhelm and take out lesser, even multiple opponents. Imposing, stalks and doesn't expect someone to approach it from behind. The Defiant fits this as well. Sometimes called a Striker if it has a limited payload.

    The Sovy is clearly a Battleship, however it can also perform and often does, as an explorer. I consider it more battleship than explorer but this is Starfleet so of course they are going to called it an explorer with type II being the citation.

    and then you have the Akira which I just love because it can be considered a torpedo boat and through-carrier which you don't see often.
  5. DRACO

    DRACO Captain Captain

    Jun 9, 2004
    It wasn't built to be a tactical vessel. It was built as a status symbol. If it were designed as a combat vessel we wouldn't see families aboard and it wouldn't have been as luxurious. It had a big enough phaser array and could fire enough torpedoes to throw its weight around and certainly had more offensive capability than smaller ships of the era, but that era was a golden age for the federation. The Romulans had kept to themselves. The Federation wasn't in conflict with the Klingons. The Cardasians nor the Breen were on the Scene. The Borg hadn't been encountered yet. It wasn't risky to put all those resources on a luxury ship, it wasn't a target. It had the muscle but it was also a costly investment. It had a long life expectancy, Starfleet didn't have to cut losses and they could take the time to build them because they had plenty of older ships, no excessive demand and a good supply of resources.

    The 'economy' was different. The industrial complex was different and the politics were different.

    Size wise, it is a dreadnaught.

    Explorer is appropriate, so is cruise-ship... there are aspects of it that defy classification because of the times. I wouldn't call it a deep-space explorer. It has the capability but that wasn't the culture. Offload the families, refocus some of the space (not that it is at a premium) and it would be a great deep-space explorer but for the most part it's a status symbol, a diplomatic and public relations ship... yeah a diplomatic inter-federation explorer. :p
  6. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Captain Captain

    May 23, 2015
    My opinion on the matter is the Galaxy class was designed for the idea of an extremely long mission where no reasonable person would leave without their family. So, it was built like a an extremely well armed hotel. It plays nicely into the idea that it was meant to be an explorer first and foremost.

    The Sovereign though strikes me as being more focused on combat. We never even see families, and while I don't doubt it can do a quick survey as well as the Galaxy class, I seriously doubt it is really meant for that role. It's a post Borg, post Dominion ship, it looks faster, it has a huge amount of torpedo tubes, and in its big fight it lasted better against more firepower than any other Starfleet ship we have seen.
  7. Norsehound

    Norsehound Captain Captain

    May 21, 2013
    Livermore, CA
    I always figured "Explorer" was the 24th century starfleet's politically correct / non-offensive way of classifying every starship cruiser-sized and higher. Anything with a "militaristic" designation was small (Miranda, Oberth) or old (Ambassador class), at least up until Wolf 359. Administrative momentum still calls ships that should be battleships, battlecruisers, dreadnoughts, and cruisers "explorers" even as new combat classes like the Akira no longer hide under that moniker.

    Of course I'm also of the opinion Starfleet doesn't construct ships without some capability of scientific research. So while the Sovereign class Dreadnoughts were designed to pound any smaller or older ship in the Alpha quadrant, Starfleet can still send them on scientific missions and expect usable information.
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    Well, the Enterprise E was built then. As for the Sovereign/Sovereign Class, it could predate the Galaxy Class by decades, with the Enterprise being merely the newest construction.

    But it's still huge compared to the TOS Enterprise, which possessed plenty of science capacity.

    Basic description of Starfleet in general.
  9. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Jul 5, 2013
    For what it's worth, in the game Star Fleet Battles, the classes of ships are, from largest to smallest:

    Battleship (BB): four engines, tons of weapons, designed but never built
    Dreadnought (DN): three engines, lots of weapons
    Heavy Battle Cruiser (BCH): two engines, lots of weapons ... maxes out the cruiser-hull capabilities
    Command Cruiser (CC): a heavy cruiser with a flag bridge for command & control of a task force
    Heavy Cruiser (CA): the iconic Constitution-class starship ... NCC-1701
    New Light Cruiser (NCL): saucer and two engines, no aft hull section, much the same weapons as CA
    Destroyer (DD): saucer and one engine, some call it the Lollipop ship, much the same weapons as CA
    War Destroyer (DW): an over-grown frigate, smaller saucer with three engines
    Frigate (FF): small saucer and two engines, about half the weapons as CA
    Police Cutter: smallest combat-capable ship, about the size of the CA's aft-hull, two-thirds the weapons of a FF, separate branch of service, more of these built than all of the war ships in Star Fleet.

    I left out some odd-balls such as: "old" Light Cruiser (old non-saucer design, mostly phased out or converted to support ships), Strike Cruiser (trimmed-down CA), Medium Cruiser (up-scaled NCL), and the New Heavy Cruiser (NCL with small aft hull and a smaller third engine).