how big is starfleet?

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

  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    During the Dominion War, the Seventh Fleet had 112 ships at the Battle of Tyra. At least ten fleets were mentions during the last couple of seasons in DS9, which would mean at least 1120 combat ships. Though for Operation Return "elements" of the Second, Fifth and Ninth Fleets added up to around 627 ships.

    Of course this wouldn't likely include support ships, which would be kept out of the fighting as much as possible.
     
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To nitpick, the 9th didn't make it to the fight in "Sacrifice of Angels" at all, so the 600 were "elements" of just two Fleets. Might be up to 100% of the ships from those Fleets for all we know, perhaps to compensate for the fact that the 9th was late.

    All the Fleets we saw were a mixture of the new (Galaxy and her ilk) and the old (all the way back to Miranda). Whether any of the types involved were "support" assets, we don't know; for all we can tell, the ubiquitous Steamrunner is a planetary landing craft carrier or a fleet tanker. But there were blessedly few Oberths in the mix. For whatever reason. Would it really make sense to leave your supply wagons home? Or waiting 4.7 AUs off the battlefield, where enemy cavalry could raid them in a flanking maneuver?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  3. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Drop in strength doesn't mean drop in hulls.

    Starfleet seems to prefer to mothballs rather than scrap.

    A huge number of ships are likely stored for "just in case" hence why TMP classes seemed to be used as cannon fodder in the dominion war.
     
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  4. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    Your memory is failing you, or else you are confusing three separate things and assuming that they are the same thing, even though there is no proof that the three things are identical.

    "Tomorrow is Yesterday":

    Does Kirk's 12 include or excluded the Enterprise? Does Kirk mean there are only 12 ships vaguely resempling the Enterprise, or that there are only 12 exactly like the Enterprise? Which fleet are there only 12 like the Enterprise in? The entire Federation Starfleet, the United Earth Space Probe Agency fleet, the fleet patrolling sector K, or some other fleet or sub fleet?

    "Bread and Circuses":

    There is no direct statement whether the 12 like the Enterprise are identical with the starships that are so much superior and special according to Merik. Perhaps the 12 like the Enterprise are a tiny subset of Merik's starships.

    And what about Constitution class starships? There are no mention of starship classes in TOS. The plaque on the bridge describes the Enterprise as a Starship class vessel - if anyone can read it onscreen to make it canon. In "Space Seed" Khan asks to study technical manuals of the Enterprise, and later is seen viewing a schematic of a phaser for a Constitution class ship - if anyone can read it onscreen to make it canon.

    As far as I am concerned there is no need for anyone to believe that the 12 like the Enterprise, starships, and
    constitution class ships are the same. They might be two or three different and perhaps overlapping or nested categories.

    So nobody knows how many starships there were in the era of TOS.
     
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  5. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I’d say for TOS Starfleet had about 1200-1500 ships, by TNG something like 50,000. To explain the discrepancy (since the Federation obviously wasn’t 30x smaller in TOS), I could see that maybe in TOS the Federation member worlds still kept sizable “national” fleets, plus, TNG’s Federation was much more of a post-scarcity society than TOS’s, so it was also easier to build more ships.
     
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  6. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nine characters long.


    :p
     
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  7. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, in the Fleet. Meaning that there are more ships other than Constitution-class ships in the fleet. No telling how many or what type.

    Heck, for all we know, they could be the last twelve Constitutions left out of how-many and everything else is newer. :)
     
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  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not only was TOS semi-intentionally vague about things like this, letting us to do decades of speculating and writers to write curveballs to put the best of that speculation to shame - it sort of comes off as natural and verisimilitudinal and whatnot, too. Obviously Kirk wouldn't give "cabbagehead" answers to these sorts of questions, in-universe. And if it turns out that the Constitution class was really old school and Kirk's ride was prestigious mainly because it takes courage to even step aboard the damn thing and supreme skill to keep the old boilers from blowing up, why, there's all the more reason for him to be a bit ambiguous about it...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  9. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As for the size of Starfleet academy.
    The campus we see in sanfransico is likely only the administrative campus and maybe also specialises in command courses.

    Other campus are likely scattered around the solar system in which cadets rotate each semester depending on what courses they choose.
     
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  10. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, definitely. Just look at how many ways it's possible to receive a commission into today's US military. There's the three Academies at West Point, Annapolis, and USAFA Colorado (four if you count Coast Guard), private military colleges such as VMI, ROTC at most major universities, and OCS/OTS "90-day wonder school" for people who have a degree. Star Fleet is dozens of times larger than the US military, so there is No Way that all officers went thru one single academy campus in San Francisco.
     
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  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    With transporters, there could be Academy "annexes" all over the planet, so that the institution functions as one mega-campus, overseen by the commandant whose office is in San Francisco.
     
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  12. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I tend to think the numbers were low in TOS and early-TNG due to the thinking of Starfleet taking care of Earth. Later on, they realized the universe is a really big fucking place.
     
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  13. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Also the science corps likely had affilitations with university's. A Starfleet science officer likely did a chunk of studying at places like Harvard or Cambridge.


    As for why we sa only only 47 ships at wolf 359?
    Remember the federation had only just ended a war with the cardassians, a big chunk of that fleets is probably still on those borders being slowly phased out to different assignments. You Also had the tzenkathi war aswell.
     
  14. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    Boy, for not being a military organization, Starfleet sure fights a lots of wars. :whistle:
     
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  15. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This makes a lot of sense.
     
  16. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly, the peace was not exactly stable and I doubt either the cardassian or feds just packed up and went home.
    I doubt the fleets where anything near the size we saw in DS9 but my guess there was several hundred ships posted near the DMZ
     
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  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That forty or so ships could be summoned on such short notice is a miracle unto itself - the underlying premise of Trek being that getting two starships to respond to a crisis within a week never happens.

    Plus, Starfleet does not idle its ships near Earth where they usually can do no good. Even with the Borg, the doctrine called for meeting them en route, far outside Sol; the Borg just happened to be exceptionally fast intruders, so "rushing to meet them" meant going next door to Earth only. Klingons and the like would apparently be stopped by having all the ships out there and in depth between the frontier and Earth. Which would backfire if the Klingons could penetrate deep unseen, just as the Borg or V'Ger or the Whale Probe could penetrate deep fast, that is, could not be slowed down.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  18. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Until DS9 starships are depicted as rare and precious. When there is an emergency on some Federation world there might be one starship in vicinity to be summoned, if they're lucky. There certainly are not fleets of ships guarding every world. The 39 ships at Wolf is an significant concentration of force and it's destruction a great blow. However, in DS9 there are suddenly fleets of hundreds of ships, and in battle scenes these massive capital ships are flying in squadrons and blowing up like TIE-fighters. I blame the relative ease of copypasting CGI ships over the older physical model based approach. I certainly prefer the pre-DS9 version where starships were a big deal.
     
  19. Gabriel

    Gabriel Captain Captain

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    Well not me the federation is a big place and starfleet ships aren’t incredibly fastest. The Federation will need a lot of ship To defensd to its territory and also to explore. Because it doesn’t matter how big the ship is if it replaces a lot of small ships in the aspect of it can’t be at multiple places at once. Modern day navies so starting to figure that out. And I would think Starfleet would be better. And plus I like the big fleet battles. Also the 30 night shift was all the Federation could muster because the Borg was going pretty fast and there fleet was probably not close to earth.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  20. Crazyewok

    Crazyewok Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The federation at that point mostly likely had the bulk of its fleet 2 weeks away on the cardassian/ tzenkathi borders, plus patrolling the neutral zone.

    A borg cube turning up at at warp 9.9999 or whatever is not going to give much time to react.

    The ships on the cardassian border will not be able to get to earth in time and the cube blew through the area around the neutral zone, only the enterprise was able to barely intercept it and slow it down. Other ships in that area probably had no chance of catching up.

    The ships at wolf 359 where likely the only handful of ships in any position to intercept the cube.
     
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