how big is starfleet?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Gabriel, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's interesting, because you'd assume it would be very big (starships, local ships, star bases, etc), but then it's implied that you don't serve in Starfleet without having attended the Academy. And, last time I looked, the Academy seems a pretty manageable size.
     
  2. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Yeah that’s true but I don’t know I thinking that the enlisted courses at the Academy probably aren’t that very long so they probably have them coming and going. Although the fleet has to be big that is implied that Starfleet ships are super fast and UFP space is pretty big
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In TOS, there were only 12 starships. In TNG, 39 ships was a big assembly. In everything else, Starfleet can pull hundreds and hundreds of ships out of thin air whenever the plot requires.

    Depends which show and who's writing.
     
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  4. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Nightlife, Baby! Moderator

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    56-ish?
     
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  5. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Well I sure hope they are work horses
     
  6. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Good theory but I don’t think there were only 12 starships in starfleet during tos I mean that just seems way too little. I mean you can really cover any space with that. TOS can confusing because the constitution class was originally the starship class. Plus we’ve seen other registries that don’t belong to Constitution like in court martial. Oh yeah does get annoying whenever the writers aren’t consistent. Well at least to me although by DS9 time there’s probably thousands upon thousands of ships. GR actually envisioned TNG Starfleet to be like 500 Excelsior and six galaxy class
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  7. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's fucking massive, man
    They're everywhere
     
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  8. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This, for the most part. As a post-scarcity society, the size/growth limit of Starfleet isnt ships or material, it's manpower. Even if there's multiple ways into the fleet (there's gotta be an ROTC option somewhere), only a small percent of the population are able and motivated to serve, and it takes a long time to train those people to basic competency. Even longer to groom them into the seasoned veterans you need to command a ship. And those people won't stay-in forever. People will cycle back into civilian life. In fact, most will do so after a few years. 20 year career officers are always the exception, everywhere.

    Which actually highlights how special something like a Galaxy class is. That's a thousand-plus of the service's finest invested into a single asset. You could man many smaller ships (as much as two-dozen Oberth/Defiant/Nova sized ships) with that kind of staff. The E-D was capable, but it couldn't be in twenty places at once (barring that time Worf jumped universes and then broke all the realities).
     
  9. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Hopefully during war most of Federation citizens its ethier join starfleet or die at he hands of the enemy defenseless And I don’t know it seems like most officers and Starfleet usually stay through so they can become a captain. Also I know one thing about Joanne Starfleet I would be a Lifer. I mean it isn’t so bad and up during peacetime and I get put on a galaxy class I can bring my family. Yeah man power is a pretty serious problem. Even mentioned that DS9 The “Great” Royal Navy is currently having a man power problem.
     
  10. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Only twelve Constitution-class ships. Who knows how many Saladin-class ships there were? Or how many other classes of ships??

    For what it's worth, in the game Federation -&- Empire, at the beginning of the 18-year long General War, Star Fleet has:

    1 Dreadnought
    6 Lexington-class Command Cruisers
    18 Constitution-class Heavy Cruisers + 6 more (Republic-class) in mothball storage
    9 old-style Texas-class Light Cruisers + 18 more in mothball storage
    18 Saladin-class Destroyers + 3 more in mothball storage
    6 Hermes-class Scouts
    27 Burke-class Frigates
    7 Ptolemy-class Tugs

    That's 92 active warships and 27 in mothballs, plus an assortment of support ships. The Federation doesn't enter the war right away and thus has time to build another 34 warships before they do join in combat.
     
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  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure about this "manageable Academy" thing. For all appearances, the place is the size of San Francisco. And we never heard of classmates, really, of heroes knowing each other from the Academy days already. Data may have graduated from a class of 78, possibly Mrs Robinson's, but there's no telling how many classes are running in parallel. Attendance could well be in the millions, much as in the bigger universities of Earth today.

    As for there being 12 starships in TOS, I'd argue the exact opposite: when Kirk says there are "only" a dozen like his, this establishes that it is rare for any particular starship class to be that small, and most have dozens upon dozens of hulls.

    Why would manpower be a problem for the UFP? In Britain, with a total population of 60 million or so, fewer than 60,000 are needed to run the Royal Navy show - one in a thousand or so is already overkill. The UFP in the 24th century has a population in the trillions, and it just doesn't strike me as plausible that billions would be needed to operate mere thousands of ships and installations. Millions, perhaps - but that's already a thousandfold improvement over the Royal Navy woes! If the Royal Navy had to rely on skilled volunteer hobbyists to run everything, it would not be particularly hard pressed to find sixty of those...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  12. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Well it’s simple they don’t have 60,000 to run the Navy show because they treat their sailors like shit sometimes and the politicians keep on cutting back on the military right now they only have 30,000 sailors and Under 150,000 members of the armed forces. In fact I believe they barely have enough manpower to Man two aircraft carriers. Trust me the British are forces compared to their former selves are nearly pathetic. I’m pretty sure many in the UK Think they are above serving their in the military. I thought that’s just my opinion
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  13. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Although that seems kind of low only 92 active warship. I thought that’s more than the British Right now. Frankly I think around the time of TOS they probably have around 500 or a thousand.
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    According to "Bread and Circuses", everything else was just a spaceship and far inferior in every way.

    Compare to modern Star Trek, where Enterprise NX-01 a century before and the USS Discovery in the same era can do everything the classic Enterprise could (and much more, in the latter's case)
     
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  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    For what it's worth, Franz Joseph Schnaubelt envisioned a Star Fleet hundreds and hundreds strong in his original Technical Manual. The 12 Starships were just the first batch of many, and all the other ship classes were equally as capable.
     
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  16. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, agreed, it probably should be 500+ ships, given that the Federation is nine thousand parsecs across. However, it's a GAME, and it's hard enough for players to keep track of 100-150 ships in their fleets. It would be unplayable if everyone had a thousand ships each.
     
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  17. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    Starfleet isn't just the strength of its fleet military/exploration fleet however. There are listening posts, numerous starbases, deep space bases, affiliated shipyards, scientific programs, automated drone ships, colonial supply, the corps of engineers, etc.

    It still depends on the era, but even for Discovery/TOS era at least dozens, at most a few hundred ships frigate or larger. in TNG era, it seems like leading up to Wolf 359 a good deal of the fleet was in mothballs, leading to the paucity of ships at Wolf 359. It might have been easier to keep reservists on hand to command maintained well understood easy to roll out Excelsior and Oberth class ships when the need arose. They would continue to use Excelsior class heavy cruisers for some time. One can only assume there were a great deal of them produced during the "Lost Era" perhaps to make up for the seeming lack of surviving Connies or due to the Tzenkethi and Cardassian conflicts.

    If the first Borg incursion lit a fire under starfleet's ass, they certainly put it out quickly. New designs like the Defiant that were sorely needed were shelved as the UFP desperately clung to the illusion of a safety by diplomacy. It took the Dominion War and the 2nd Borg incursion to finally get starfleet presumably to churn out new ships, a multitude of new ship designs and seemingly keep standing fleets on patrol. By the end of the TNG/DS9/Voy era, its possible to imagine fleets of many hundreds or thousands.

    The only question at that point is how did Starfleet manage to get so many crew ready, and where did they get their training? There IS A Starfleet Reserve, as there is a Reserve Activation Clause (used on McCoy). The fact that ships like Voyager have routinely put non-starfleet personnel in charge of security intensive operations makes a case for some sort of Starfleet Auxiliary as well, though its never referred to as such. This brings up the old question of why there are so few enlisted and noncoms vs so many officers.

    The short answer is that there's no way to make this all really work due to it being undone by plot every time. But it can be worked out enough to make a vague idea. That's about it, I think.

    (edit.. sorry for long post)
     
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  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see much reason to believe in temporary drops in Starfleet strength. After all, it's not a temporary but constant feature that there aren't ships available to do X. Even at those times when thousands of ships are explicated to exist.

    That the hero ship is the only one available to do X is not a mere Hollywood conceit, either - it just means that the other ship does Y and the yet other ship does Z at the time. Weird is their business: even if X appears exceptional and important, Y and Z no doubt are this as well.

    Neither TOS nor TNG tried to suggest either that the hero ship (or her immediate sisters) would be unique, or that the ships we see in action would be the only ones in existence. Very much to the contrary, when we see four starships the VFX dept can afford to show, dialogue and Okudagrams establish that they are "in fact" part of a fleet of dozens, and then dialogue further affirms that a fleet of mere dozens is "in fact" so exceptionally small that the Romulans fall from their chairs out of amazement and start worrying where the rest of the hundreds might lurk.

    Sure, Kirk's ship is a starship. Nowhere is it indicated she would be the only one, or of the only type, or the only type capable of performing X. If we stick to that which is actually stated, Kirk is doing a job not one in a million could pull off - which already suggests Earth operates thousands of starships...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  19. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My guess?

    Ent era no more than 50 ships, likely around 20. Warp 3 patrol ships.

    TOS: 1000-3000 front line ships and 5,000 -10000 support vessels.

    TNG 3000-6000 front line ships with 10 000 - 20,000 support ships.
     
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  20. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Relatively few Starfleet hulls existed during the 23rd Century, probably less than 2,000 of which perhaps 10-20% would be fully-operational and crew multi-role vessels ("starships").

    Going on information from the Battle of Wolf 359, even if we ignore the anomalies like Yamaguchi (NCC-26510, but logically 62150 or similar),

    it's possible to imagine that as many as 40,000 hulls were available for Starfleet service during the early to mid 24th Century (Bonestell NCC-31699 to Ahwahnee NCC-71620), given how often older ships appear I'd say that replacement hulls for older designs are probably a lot more common than new designs. Given the small build numbers for the Galaxy-class I doubt more 5-10% of the available hulls are recent designs (Ambassadors, Niagaras, Akiras, Galaxy family) which would equate to 200-400, and I'd also suggest that as much as 50% of the total are probably in drydock having refits or upgrades or mothballed in dockyards.
     
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