General Star Trek starship thread.

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Charles Markov, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 15, 2018
    For something I am writing Starfleet initially uses the command ship, cruiser, frigate and scout to categorize its vessels. Command ships being the biggest and most powerful ships in use in the period, though few were built. Cruisers were tasked with everything from exploration, combat, diplomacy, disaster relief, border patrol and showing the flag operations. Frigates were smaller vessels, often equipped only with beam weaponry to save space and cost, that did all the jobs cruisers were to big for and some of the same ones. Border patrol, anti-piracy patrols, convoy escort, scouting, exploration, and more were all tasked to frigates, which also escorted cruisers and command cruisers in large fleets. Scouts were the smallest ships in the fleet and often carried little, if any armament. They were given the exclusive job of exploration, surveying and long term scientific experiments.

    Following a war with the Klingons a new fleet was developed with new and different categories of ships. Among them...
    Replacing the command cruiser these ships possessed the speed of a cruiser, but staying power of a much larger vessel. As a part of a fleet or battlegroup these ships pummeled enemy vessels at close range, while tanking return fire thanks to thick armor and heavy shielding. Few such ships were built due to their cost, but those ships that were built were often deployed strategically to chokepoints, along probable invasion corridors, along the border, and even for high level diplomacy.
    Heavy Cruiser
    A branch off from the cruiser these ships fulfilled a role somewhere between a battlecruiser and light cruiser. Having heavy weapons but none of the thick armour of the battlecruiser. In a battle the ships took up position along the flanks of battlecruisers. Outside of the battlefleet the ships perform many of the duties of a traditional cruiser, but make more of a statement when deployed.
    Light Cruiser
    Smaller, cheaper and less well armed than a heavy cruiser these ships are built for economical operations. Being not as fast as a heavy cruiser, but having much better power consumption and fuel economy than the larger ships. They are used for many of the same roles as the heavy cruiser, but do so much cheaper. Older heavy cruisers are often reclassified as light cruisers later in their lifecycles. Light cruisers often also lack the ability to take part in a fleet level engagement in anything other than a support or screening role.
    Fast, well armed, lightly crewed and cheap to construct and operate these ships perform border patrol missions while away from a battlefleet or larger formation. They lack any strong shields and have engines large enough only for brief periods of sustained high speed. In terms of weaponry these ships have a heavy focus on torpedoes, allowing them to punch far above their own size class.
    Little changed from before the war these ships perform many of the same missions as the they always have. Although now their role in the battlefleet has been replaced by the destroyer. These ships remain very common in service and are built in very large numbers. Meant as economical ships they are far from fast, but practically sip fuel allowing them to have a very long range.
    Radically changed from before the war this type of vessel now fulfilles the role of an internal long term scientific vessel optimised for easily changing its scientific equipment and hosting a large number of scientists aboard for extended periods. The ships can be easily configured for a variety of missions from planetary study, stellar research and others.

    Note that this classification system is really only for Starfleet in the TOS era. Things would likely change significantly by the next generation era. This is also from something a little different from mainstream trek, I am working on it now and it should begin to be posted by sometime early next year.
  2. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 5, 2018
    With the less modular look of the First Contact vessels compared with the Wolf 359 vessels, yet their similarity the Galaxy, has made me think the First Contact were newer ships, designed after Wolf 359, to combat the Borg, and took registries from ships destroyed then.

    I'm going with cruiser was short for either Heavy Crusier or Light Cruiser

    That actually makes more sense than the idea that the New Orleans and Cheyenne were considered small in their day and that the Galaxy was a typical size, but does that mean the Enterprise name went from being on an upper-medium-sized ship to a very large one?

    Interesting, because those terms don't sound as combat-oriented as destroyer for example. I think people fall into using the term "cruiser" for any random Starfleet ships just because they sound a little military, but not too much for those who feel Starfleet should be exclusively peaceful.
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 26, 2007
    Maryland, USA
    I can't think of an in-universe reason why a new ship would be given the same exact registry as an older ship, unless that ship was named Enterprise (and even then there was a suffix attached).
  4. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 5, 2018
    You are correct. I just find it hard to accept that and Akira could be older than a Cheyenne. Maybe the First Contact ships used registries that were left vacant for more ships to be built of the Wolf 359 classes and Starfleet just assigned those numbers to ships of a newer designed class?
  5. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

    May 8, 2003
    The Crown of the Moon
    I can think of certain cases where a ship might keep an honorary registry, but I also tend to view registries as operating more on a "batch" system. They might stay consistent if a ship is upgraded to a refit of the same type (like, say, a Surya class frigate being modified into an Avenger or a Constitution into an Enterprise class). I don't really view them as any form of chronological design/build order because the canon registries have never been consistent enough for that IMO.
  6. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    Maybe the Akira is a refit of an older ship. They could be sporting Enterprise-C Era space-frames.
    Charles Markov likes this.
  7. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 26, 2007
    Maryland, USA
    I myself used to flip-flop between thinking that the FC ships were brand new, and thinking they were contemporaries of the Wolf 359 ships, mainly because their design attributes look nothing like the Galaxy "family" of ship designs. But then I realized that in the span of only a decade, there were four ship classes operating at the same time that looked nothing alike (the TOS Connie, the TMP Connie, the Grissom, and the Excelsior). So it's not outside the realm of possibility that the ships were contemporaries. The only real giveaway as to era is that three of the four ships have the newer type of escape pods like the new Sovereign class, and the underside of the fourth ship (the Norway class), which was taken directly from the newer Defiant class.
    The Librarian likes this.
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    In which case we just have to choose whether the triangular pods are old or new. Might be Starfleet puts old pods on a new ship because those are known to work very well indeed. Might be Starfleet uses two alternating contractors, one of which likes exposed triangles while the other prefers hexagons behind square hatches, and there's no "new" or "old" there.

    Timo Saloniemi
  9. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 30, 2009
    IMO, Starfleet would generally avoid using particularly "militaristic" sounding names (dreadnought, battleship, destroyer) in favour of more general-use names that mean a similar thing. We see that in the 'Defiant-class escort' - which was definately a warship (somewhere between a miniaturised 'coastal defence battleship' and a WWII destroyer). Therefore IMO, the arrangement is likely to be:

    Cutter/Corvette/Patrol Ship: Small, light mostly single-purpose vessels generally used for short durationand/or operating out of starbases or 'friendly' planets. Not really 'combat vessels', but could be used for anti-piracy/policing work or in a anti-fighter role in fleet actions (likely in formations).
    Escort/Scout: Similar size to the former, but more heavily armed for their size, capable of taking on larger vessels under certain circumstances (fleet role comparable to modern attack subs or WWII torpedo destroyer), may also be used in fleet actions in formation.
    Frigate: First of the 'multi-tasking' types. Built as a medium-sized platform but generally orientated around doing a single role particularly well. Some larger vessels may 'drift' into this category over time, for instance the Miranda-class was originally a fully multi-role platform but drifted into the 'logistics frigate' role (and potentially/also the 'medical frigate' role filled by the Nebulon-B frigate in Star Wars), the Intrepid-class would be an 'exploration frigate', likely replacing the New Orleans-class.
    Cruiser/Explorer/"Starship": Large, full-fat 'jack of all trades'. Explorers are the newest and 'most advanced' type(s), replacing the earlier 'starship' term due to evolving capabilities by the lesser vessel-types. Cruisers are older, less-advanced vessels that can do all the things that the explorers can do, but perhaps not as fast, efficiently or elegantly (depending on the mission, resources and crew [esp senior officers and SMEs] available).

    Cruiser/Galaxy Wings: Combat formation of multi-role vessels orientated around a multi-role flagship, the latter may be differentiated by either a) being led by a Galaxy, or b) is composed entirely of Galaxys (a simple explanation of the VFX would support this, but this is iffy as dialogue from the same episode would suggest that said Galaxys were from the missing Ninth Fleet rather than being elements of Operation Return's Second or Fifth Fleets) so I'm not entirely convinced by this one.
    Destroyer Unit: Combat formation used for picket, escort and flanking duty, during the Dominion War, this role was largely taken by "Frankenstein Fleet" supplemented by elements from "Boneyard Fleet". If maintained post-war, these would probably consist mainly of frigates and escorts.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  10. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    In my Head Canon, after the Dominion War and integration of many new species into the UFP. StarFleet admits to it's "Dual-Role" nature of being (Part Explorer / Part Military) with a well defined Fleet Doctrine, separation of Division Types, and massive Fleet Construction / employment of crew across all 4 Milky Way Galaxy Quadrants by the start of the 26th Century.

    Never again will the UFP / StarFleet be caught un prepared after the countless lives & equipment lost to being overly pacifistic and un prepared. The naivete of the UFP is gone in my Head Cannon.
  11. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 2, 2014
    It's the 3 most important things in business.
    For my project, I had to decide exactly what mission types Starfleet would use & fully define the characteristics. For the early 25th century in which its end is set, I laid out these notes to aid the evolution (annotated with canonical examples if available).

    • Explorer (Galaxy, Sovereign, etc.)
      • Unsupported missions of 5-10 years
      • Large size for diverse scientific/diplomatic contingent
      • Powerful in engine, arms; robust of frame/design
      • Wide tech range, variable & modifiable in nature
      • First line of advancement
      • Lush crew spaces
    • Cruiser (Intrepid, Saber, Akira, etc.)
      • Scaled heavy/medium (simply “cruiser”)/light
      • As above for missions, but 2-5 years
      • Slightly less in sci/diplo
      • More patrol/internal duties, flag showing
      • Often follow-on/up from initial explorer
      • Heavy/light designations lean toward more explorer or more frigate
    • Frigate (New Orleans, Steamrunner)
      • “Junior cruisers”
      • Used for internal patrols, border areas, policing
      • Often kept in specific area to “make rounds”
      • Slightly less in arms/speed than cruiser; plowhorse vs. racehorse
      • Capable of 1-3 yr. missions
      • Often commanded by CPT or CDR
      • 60% tac-oriented
      • Occasionally starbase-based
    • Destroyer (Centaur, Freedom)
      • Small, swift, power punch; quick strikes & fall back
      • Starbase-based; 1-2 yr. deployments
      • Patrol, policing; less sci/diplo but mildly possible
      • Often cruiser/frigate arms/speed in tiny package
      • Often commanded by LCDR or CDR, sometimes CPT
      • 80% tac-oriented
      • Small crew
      • Spartan accommodations
    • Corvette (Cheyenne, Nova)
      • Midpoint between destroyer & escort
      • Multi-role “general purpose” type
      • Extremely modifiable; variants often incl. courier, small transport, science ship, surveyor, etc.
      • Small crew; Often commanded by LCDR or CDR, sometimes CPT
      • Loadout (weapons, sensors, accommodations) depends on role
      • Deep space-capable due to overengining
    • Escort (Defiant)
      • Smaller than destroyer, more heavily armed
      • Starbase-based; 9-15 month deployments
      • Patrol, policing; extremely limited sci/diplo
      • Totally tac-oriented
      • Small crew
      • Often commanded by LCDR or CDR, rarely CPT
      • Often attached directly to starbases
      • Spartan accommodations
    • Tanker
      • Used for fuel transfers (matter/antimatter), consumables, H2O, liquid gases
      • Fleet underway replenishment, starbase retankings, colonization/terraforming needs
      • Various sizes for tasks
      • Generally commanded by LT or LCDR
      • Usually slower speeds; some faster for fleet use
    • Transport
      • Used solely for personnel movement on larger scales
      • Larger units used for colonization support & evacuations
      • Smaller often make “rounds” on fixed routes
      • Most slower; some “fleet transports” for planetary assault ops
      • Smaller commanded by LT or LCDR; larger by LCDR, CDR, occasionally CPT
      • Can be made from downgraded line ship
    • Container Ship (FJ Ptolemy, USS Bradford)
      • Used to haul standard bulk containers
      • Containers may be bulk cargo, liquids, transport pods
      • Can be made from downgraded line ship
      • Commanded by LCDR or CDR
      • Melds properties of tanker, transport, freighter into one ship
    • Cargo Carrier (USS Arcos, USS La Salle, USS Lantree)
      • Smaller of bulk cargo transports
      • Small crew (Deneva had 2-6)
      • Mid-level speeds for quick delivery
      • Some do routes, some point-to-point
      • Commanded by LTs usually; occasionally LCDR
      • Capacity of [X] mt
      • Can handle time-sensitive deliveries when faster/line ship not available
      • Can be made from downgraded line ship
    • Freighter (USS Curry, USS Raging Queen)
      • Larger bulk cargo transport
      • Often routes or fleetwork; rarely point-to-point
      • Used in colony establishment
      • Medium-sized crew (75-100)
      • Used for major bulk movement
      • Capacity of [Y] mt
      • Commanded by LCDR or CDR
    • Runabout (Danube)
      • Used for variant missions: courier, small transport, etc.
      • No assigned crew
      • Attached to starbases & large explorers; some “float” (pickup here, leave at destination)
      • Essentially enlarged “executive shuttle”
    • Scout (INS ship)
      • Small, agile, capable of high speeds
      • “Flying sensor array”; used for exploration in peace, intelligence gathering & fleet picket ops in war
      • Overpowered due to sensors & speed need
      • Not often on long missions; usually starbase-based
      • Medium armament
      • Tiny crew (5-10 usually); augmented w/ intelligence types at times
      • Usually commanded by LT or LCDR
    • Science Ship/Surveyor (Oberth, Nova variant)
      • Small specialized design
      • Minimal armament for self-defense
      • Mid-level engines for retreat, quick on-station time
      • Small/medium crew size
      • “Sensor array on wheels”; crew spaces either science use or living
      • Science ship more specialized than surveyor; surveyor more “general science”
      • Easily adaptable for other roles/mission needs
      • Commanded by LCDR, CDR, or CPT with science background
      • Robust shielding
      • Heavily compartmented for danger isolation
      • Often starbase-based; short mission durations
    • Hospital Ship (Olympic)
      • High speeds for quick response
      • Minimal arms for defense only (except fleet ships)
      • High number of transporters; high capacity
      • Large shuttle/cargo bays; can be used as triage areas
      • Dedicated medical wards, research facilities
      • Equipped with special destruct packages to prevent contamination
      • Heavily compartmented for danger isolation
      • Commanded by CDR or CPT with medical background
      • Comfortable crew/patient spaces
      • Starbase-based at times

    • Battleship (original typing of Excelsior; changed to explorer, early 2290s)
    • Dreadnought (original typing of FJ Federation; changed to heavy cruiser, early 2290s)
    • Clipper (early 23rd century runabout ancestor; no canonical element)
    Of course, there are variances throughout the years; for example, a Constitution would most likely be considered a frigate by modern standards, & something the size of Daedalus would be a scout.
  12. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    One of the Doctrine changes for logistics simplicity, practicality, & commonality was that every "Captain's Yacht" couldn't be a one off customized Auxilliary Vessel for that class of vessel.

    So the moment you make it to the official "Captain Rank" and get your own command, one of the perks of the job is that you get a personal "Captain's Yacht" which is just a personal standard model Runabout with the Captain's Name on it with a few custom features in terms of layout / furniture on the inside. No more AeroShuttle, or Calypso Flying Saucer, etc.

    Granted RunAbout's are mass produced by the beginning of the 26th century, but every Captain Rank or above with at least 1x command under their belt gets a standardized "RunAbout" with their name on it, this includes "Flag Officers" who are above Captain's Rank
  13. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    Thing is, defense was always part of Starfleet’s mandate. I don’t think it needs to admit to anything new. The Defiant is simply a new experimental weapons platform to combat the exponentially superior Borg. As soon as its systems proved successful, they were distributed throughout the multipurpose Starfleet.
  14. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 15, 2018
    I want to see that!
  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    Not to the level I'm thinking about.
  16. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    Ohhhhh lol
    David cgc likes this.
  17. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    No, not Palpatine style of evil.
    Why did you even go there?
    Large Nation States & Federations have vast Militaries IRL.
    Look at the US and how big it's military was at it's peak.

    I'm going about a few orders larger given how big the UFP has become and how it has transformed by the start of the 26th century along with all the integrations of species, technologies, lessons learned from the past including the Dominion War.

    Strength & Peace go hand in hand.
  18. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apr 22, 2001
    In part in jest, evidenced by the many h’s, the lol, and the flamboyant old man in a cloak.

    But also, seriously, Starfleet has never not been strong. It’s not an either or. They’ve won wars against the Romulans, Klingons, Tzenkethi, Cardassians, Talarians, Dominion, and held off aggressions by the Borg and others.

    Regarding the militaries of nation states, how many wars have we idealistic Americans gotten into? How many aggressive flybys have our jets given as well as taken (etc.) by nations we haven’t been at war with? How much of what we do is intimidation and economically-motivated as much as it is assistance and ethically-motivated?

    I don’t know that it’s actually possible to have a vast standing military even in a benign country without it being used for what it’s “meant” for. Maybe the multipurpose Starfleet is the only one that can actually serve its most vocalized purpose. It needs to have something to be living for beyond badassery, or it’s going to make up reasons to show its badassery.

    The key thing to remember is that when it’s wartime, the entire fleet goes into war. It’s only that in peacetime it’s also just as vital.
  19. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    In the costly war against the Romulans, the Federation had to sign a dumb "Build no Cloaking Tech" treaty just to get peace.
    As for the Klingons, we know that it was a fairly bloody war.
    As for the Tzenkethi, they weren't mentioned in much detial.
    The Cardassians were a border skirmish that did involve people, but it wasn't something we couldn't handle because the Cardassians were behind technologically.
    The Dominion was very bloody and costly, WW2 scale.
    As for the Borg, we got lucky / close called too many times. A lot of it "Plot Force" driven
    The US has got into plenty of wars in our history.
    Most of those "Aggressive Fly By's have been with Russia / China as of late.
    What we do is a mix of intidmidation factor, backing up our claims, securing our interests, and helping those when able to.

    A vast military is meant for "Many Things", not just blowing up stuff. That's a overly simplistic view of the military.

    That's why going to war shouldn't be done so trivially. And maintenance, training, upkeep is vital IMO.
  20. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Well, I don't have a retro Akira, but D.M. Phoenix did explore a similar idea, proposing the Saber-class was originally built in the Galaxy design-style, and the version we all know and love is a stripped-down, reinforced refit.
    Charles Markov likes this.