How are Federation Naval Patrol Vessels Equipped?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Go-Captain, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Captain Captain

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    The Federation Naval Patrol is basically Starfleet for oceans so as a (sub)surface force what kind of equipment does it need? At first I thought it could get away with sensors and transporters only, but if it's doing serious oceanographic research it probably needs vessels. Also transporters are never used all that much in a surface to surface role given flying cars and trains still exist, which is another point toward have vessels of some sort.

    If they have ships would they just be buoyant hulls with a small power source running a prop for maximum efficiency, or would they make purpose designed submersible shuttles and large ships with full flight capability? Would they fully optimize it for sea movement, or is Trek tech so easy to make and versatile would they just use normal systems like impulse engines and warp cores? Would they go so far as to make a warp capable sea vessel given they are a Federation wide organization, or is that excessive?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We don't need to speculate here - Tom Paris already told us what sort of gear the FNP operates. Namely, ancient sailing ships. That was the whole reason of him wanting to join. Right after high school at that.

    I doubt the organization does any research. Or even any patrolling: boy/girl scouts don't do any scouting, either, after all. But they do operate sailing ships...

    In short, the FNP exists for fun. Educational, wholesome outdoors fun for young people hot and bothered about sailing. Which need not differ much from the set of young people interested in star travel. And being a Naval Patroller no doubt gives a good basic education in the principles of navigation, be it on water or in space.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is speculation that at the end of TVH, Gillian's line about heading to a 'science vessel' actually meant a seafaring science vessel, presumably a Federation Naval Patrol ship. Why? Because it would be pointless to have this 20th century out-of-time person thrown on a spaceship heading who knows where, when she is now the only person in the galaxy who knows anything about the two humpback whales now swimming in the 24th century San Francisco Bay, the only things keeping Earth from being inadvertently destroyed by the Probe. So she's a highly valuable commodity who shouldn't be out on a spaceship, but parked right on Earth's ocean.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  4. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

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  5. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Based on the TAS episode, I think the Federation would make purpose designed submersible shuttle with full flight capability and be fully optimized for extended undersea movement. This way, the vessel can quickly get to and from the investigation site, then hover over it or go submerged to spend an extended period of research at the site or shadowing whales or what not. It would need to be able to go very deep for historic mapping of old ship wrecks (or old pollution) or studying ocean bottom changes or movements.
    I doubt most of these vessel would be armed, but maybe on unexplored worlds, a phaser bank might be equipped on it (as with the TAS Aqua-shuttle.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The TAS aquashuttle is especially noteworthy for being an apparent jack of all trades: it flies through space and through air, floats on water and dives - and even has warp nacelles!

    This makes rather little sense for an auxiliary craft, or for use by an outpost already established on a waterworld. Flying, floating/skimming and diving is fine. For deployment from a starship, spaceflight is necessary, although no doubt detracts from the first two abilities. But warp drive?

    This rather large shuttle might be best utilized as a totally independent research asset, flying to star system X to study the oceans of planet XY and then flying back to report on the findings and to deliver the samples. That is, if its warp drive were anywhere as good as those of the DSC interstellar shuttles.

    If it so happened that the Federation actually had a special organization dedicated to the watery environment, then this fivefold craft would be right up their alley. But what would be the point? Are we postulating a Federation Air Patrol next? Federation Mountain Patrol? Federation Coniferous Forest Patrol? Why should these Patrols be limited to one environment - and OTOH nevertheless span the Federation and its many worlds?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

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    I wouldn't be surprised since many of the Federation Planets are similar and you would need local folks on each planet who are stationed there along with those who interact with their multi-planetary counter parts to share knowledge & data.

    The FNP would have Local Branches based on Domain (Earth Branch, ___ Ocean, etc).
     
  8. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Captain Captain

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    I would be cool if they were like submersible flying boats, but with hover tech there would be no point in flying boat style hull, and external warp nacelles would be a hindrance.
     
  9. Imaus

    Imaus Commander Red Shirt

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    The Federation Naval Patrol could be used scientifically on Enceladus-Ganymede-Callisto class 'worlds'; ice-covered water balloons with oceans kilometres deep which could hold host to a variety of species and environments. Especially if you got a sapient species or two trapped down there; maybe there are 'continents' - high seamounts/plateaus/sunken continents with far more life separated by huge abyssal zones. And to say nothing of what is in the deep, or the transient shelf nomads.... Or even just a very watery world with human colonists on some small landmasses and the rest of the world under there.

    The sailing ship thing is...odd. I would expect them to use submersibles. Really, really, really spacious and strong submersibles that could go kilometres deep or just cruise happily on the surface. By all rights it should be akin to a spaceship (but with a far stronger hull and thus maybe a bit more cramped, again, submersible) but on and under the waves.
     
  10. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

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    I would expect them to be on a ship most of the time with remote controlled / tethered Submersibles with the occaisional manned Submersible as needed.

    There's really not much that you can do down there better than a high tech unmanned, remote controlled Submersible with fast data connection.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There is no benefit to sharing "patrolling", though. Local authorities are local authorities, regardless of the environment. And if there is a special environment, then all the more reason to go purely local. Starfleet is the catchall organization for patrolling everything anyway - why would there be a civilian competitor for this very special field?

    If in turn the FNP is a research organization, why the odd name? It's not something that would be grandfathered in, because the Federation is the new and awesome thing that gets founded out of thin air: it would make no sense for it to inherit the Cousteau Foundation, say, and then go galactic under its name.

    The opposite tack appears plausible, though: any two-bit organization founded after 2161 would enjoy having "Federation" in its name, no matter how inappropriate.

    Ancient submersibles, perhaps? The watercraft being outdated was supposedly a big factor in making this organization attractive to Tom Paris. It's all about "the 19th century", "Moby Dick" and so forth.

    Outdated gear is a possibility even for an organization that is supposed to do serious work. Perhaps oceans are woefully underfunded in the Federation, however that works in a moneyless economy? But ancient gear that is outdated by four centuries yells reenactment instead.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

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    StarFleet, as in it's name, has primary Dominion over Space and all places amongst the stars.

    But the FNP (Federation Naval Patrol) might be the equivalent of modern day Coast Guards, but let's say you move planets but still want to do your "Coast Guards" related job, you can just transfer to said planet that has the equivalent job.

    Kind of like how we have __PD, but Officers can apply and transfer between departments as needed.
     
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  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And, curiously enough, the streets of San Francisco. (And, come planetary emergency, the streets of New Orleans as well.)

    Technically, those, too, are amongst the stars when one thinks of it... I trust the Starfleet PR Division appreciates the sophistry.

    Tino Saloniemi
     
  14. Imaus

    Imaus Commander Red Shirt

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    Isn't there a theory that between TOS and TNG there was a 'consolidation' of member fleets, which is why starship numbers go from 500-2000 to 50000, 60000 within a hundred years? While it's not something I wholly subscribe to, maybe the FNP is analogous to that. It's the standardization of oceanic-based services of every world: coast guards, oceanographers, navies; the Federation comes along, gives you guidelines, ship-designs to eventually phase in, SOPs, and uniforms, and then leaves it in local hands with some federal oversight from there on out.

    The only thing I can think of, however, that cramps the FNP is that...besides a few SNR craft, the oceans of nearly every world would be very, very sparse? You can't really get into the UFP unless your whole world is united - so at best, you have one government, and if you don't have transporters, you have a lot of sea-based cargo traffic, maybe even civilian traffic via cruise liners or passenger ships. So you have a guard to just watch over all that. Maybe a vestigial navy to deal with pre-unification holdouts or flare-ups.

    But that situation would end very, very quickly? Soon as the UFP arrives and gives you cargo transporters, that's aviation and oceanic travel regulated to either courier-level corporate/government business or pleasure.

    What's the Patrol going to do then? Again, my guess is SNR and a few related activities, which makes the FNP a sort of very vestigial coast guard, even in my scenario above of a shared world - and maybe just a glorified club house for sailing aficionados like Tom Paris (think he went into it after being stuck on a ship for seven years?).
     
  15. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Captain Captain

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    It's specifically the romance of the sea which attracts Paris, no one says what kind of vessels the Naval Patrol has other than the obvious implication of them being sea vessels.

     
  16. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Callouses from line-handling notwithstanding, with modern safety requirements keeping people from really living like the crew of the Pequad, in many respects working on a boat is working on a boat, whether it's a reproduction of an old-style sailing ship, a modern sailing craft, or something purely engine-drive, in much the same way that people in Starfleet in the 24th century still have more things in common with the Apollo astronauts than would, say, a train conductor. You're still smelling salt air, you've got what you brought with you off land, standing watches, cleaning constantly, polishing the brass, all that good stuff.

    I agree, Paris is talking about being more attracted to the romance of sea than the romance of space, and not specifically that he wanted to join the local wet branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism. Indeed, if he did (and this is honestly probably on the writer for not knowing about such things in the present day), he'd be better served going into education or recreation, working on really old-fashioned, historical and reproduction boats. If I were writing a Trek novel, I could probably stretch his dialog to make that the case, the Coast Guard administers licensing in the present-day, so presumably the FNP would be who you talked to to get your wet-ship Captain's license after you got all your training and working experience as crew, or that he was planning to join the FNP for training or up till he earned out his pension (assuming the 24th century has money this week), and then find an honest-to-God 19th-century-style sailing ship to work on, but it's more likely Tom thought that boating for The Man would be enough to get Owen off his back with regards to duty, honor, a man isn't a man until he's worn the uniform of the Star Fleet, all that stuff.

    So, yeah, the Federation Naval Patrol is probably as modern as Starfleet, or anything else, and is engaged in all the same stuff; law enforcement, disaster and emergency response, oddball errands, and scientific research and support.
     
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  17. Imaus

    Imaus Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm looking far too much into the 'sailing ships' line.

    "PARIS: Ancient sailing ships were always my first love. I had it all planned. Finish high school, join the Federation Naval Patrol" - Is two different things. The first is that Paris likes old ships. As someone who had a sailing ship phase in their youth, so much so the local library gave me a toy aircraft carrier once and one of my favorite books was this, (to my delight I found you could read it here) I can relate.

    The second part however is entailing a dream stemming from his love of Ancient Sailing Ships - but is in regards to just being at sea, physically. It's like a kid today deciding to join the Navy later. Such has no bearing on the states of the ships of the FNP.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
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