Post War Ship Building

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Tim Walker, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2014
    In the aftermath of the Dominion War, how will the combatants rebuild their fleets? What general types-what classes-of ships will they choose to produce? And in what numbers/proportions?
  2. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 7, 2013
    I think Starfleet keep on building the ship classes who have proven themselve in the war, like the Galaxy class. But they also need to rebuild ship yards etc.
  3. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

    May 3, 1999
    Quincy, MA
    I would bet that the Federation continues to develop and build some class of dedicated warship. Utopia may have been reached, but the war proved that you have to fight for it sometimes.
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    I think it depends a lot on both the state Federation and what immediate issues its facing at the time. With the Dominion War over and the Federation back in peacetime, an emphasis on building more combat-oriented ships may not necessarily be the most logical step. If the Federation has truly stepped down from a wartime footing, it may need just as many logistical support starships for reconstruction endeavors. Just like today's navy, Starfleet may be tasked with a wide variety of responsibilities to the Federation, not just defense. No doubt, Starfleet will definitely need to rebuild the Federation's defenses, but there could also be just as great a need for rebuilding the Federation's infrastructure, especially those aspects that may have been hit by the Dominion. That's something that Starfleet could play a key role in too alongside various civilian agencies. So there could be a balance in the mix of new ships going forward.

    Starfleet may also adopt a policy of building more smaller single-mission vessels that can be built in larger numbers than a smaller number of bigger multi-mission ships like the Galaxy- and Sovereign-classes (even with a post-scarcity economy, it will always be an argument about being able to build two smaller ships instead of one big one, IMO).
    Phil123 likes this.
  5. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Did the Federation ever need dedicated warships?

    Some of Starfleet's main issues arose due to negligence in upgrading older style systems for example (Betazed was occupied because their orbital defense grid was outdated and Starfleet ships were caught during a training exercise - seriously? They DO have deep space sensors that can scan to the subatomic level for lightyears).

    Then take the ships before the Defiant that SF already had... Galaxy class, Excelsiors, Nebula, Miranda, Akira, etc.

    Were their combat capabilities lacking?
    Only in regards to upgrades... existing systems that needed minor modifications to boost shields and weapons for example... new sensor systems, up-to date warp drives.

    Most SF ships already have 360 degrees protection from phasers alone... the trick is in delivering necessary firepower to disable or destroy the enemy ship before they do that to you.
    The Defiant was overpowered due to SF designing her mainly for combat performance, but there's no real reason SF couldn't do the same to their older and newer ships that were larger and already in service.

    The USS Lakota was an old Excelsior class ship which was upgraded heavily and ended up rivaling the Defiant - I would imagine that similar upgrades to the Galaxy class would result in those ships having greater firepower as well... but SF never got around to it prior to the war (the writers obviously failed to take into account AI, automation, replicators, transporters, etc. that would drastically reduce time needed to execute this - as opposed using manual labor which is slow and inefficient).

    The Defiant was mainly designed as a response to the Borg... and while one could argue that such a ship might be faster to build than larger ones... if you don't have a design ready, isn't it simpler to just upgrade existing ships?
    With transporters, industrial grade replicators and computer algorithms that would automatically analyze each ship and create new systems for them (transluminal processing btw - would be able to do things like this in under a second) and then proceed to simply remove the older components by converting them into energy and using it to materialize the new designs).
    The computer could have analyzed Borg weapons and their effect on the shields and either modified the systems itself if it was actually allowed to (as the ship would keep track of billions of things via sensors that humanoids wouldn't simply be capable of) and designed a system that builds upon the previous model, but is far superior, then use transporters and replicators to generate a new version in the field (it would be like childs play from 24th century point of view).

    Would SF build more Warships in peacetime?
    Probably no.
    They would likely focus again more on exploration and discovery, but would try to better prepare their ships for dangerous situations - which means more regular upgrades with better technologies, etc... actually continuously upgrading their systems to latest standards, and keep designing better ships.... and hopefully more reliance on automation than less (the response times of the crews of any species are atrocious and they can't keep track or process and identify things in a fraction of a second that sensors and ship databases can).
  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    A new wave of ships for the Frankenstein Fleet built from the remnants of ships lost during the war :lol:

    I'd suspect Starfleet would go with capable multi-mission ships that were relatively quick to build. So whilst the Nebula-and Galaxy-Classes would tick the former box the latter one would make them a little unlikely, at least in the beginning of reconstruction. I'd think the fleet would be bolstered with a large number of Akira-, Steamrunner- and Norway-Class ships.
  7. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    I don't think StarFleet would build PURE Warships.

    Even the Defiant can have roles other than as a Warship.

    Every ship they build needs to be able to do a wide variety of functions.

    Ergo a Multi-Mission Explorer would generally be their primary goal.

    But with heavier weapons / armor while being able to do their exploration bit, and be able to survive on it's own should they get caught flat footed and flung off to god knows where (USS Voyager Scenario).

    Basically every ship size / class would need to be ruggidized for Offense/Defense, Self Survival & Sustainment, and Exploration.

    If you need specialized platforms like Planetary Scanning in details, then a Oberth Class might be the key, but most ships will be general purpose in nature.

    Even real life US Military is consolidating it's many Specialized Aircraft into one platform with the F-35 that has plenty of upgrades in all sorts of technologies that lets it outclass many other platforms.

    I can see Starfleet doing the same with general purpose platforms for most cases and a few specialized platforms.

    Less "One-Off" vessels, and more Mass Production of General All purpose vessels.
  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 26, 2007
    Maryland, USA
    Based on what we saw in DS9, both the Federation and the Klingons were sorely lacking in ship technology even before the Dominion war. The majority of their fleets consisted of ships that were 80-odd years old. The Romulans were an unknown entity since the only warships we saw them use were the D'deridex warbirds, of which their age is indeterminate since it was never stated in TNG/DS9 how old they were (I'm assuming they were relatively new.)

    I would guess that post-war, that the Federation went back to their exploration agenda and mass produced such ship classes as the Intrepid and the Nova. I don't see them constructing the mammoth-sized ships of the Galaxy/Ambassador era. With the Klingons however, I see them doing the opposite and building larger and larger warships like the Negh'var.
  9. CT0760

    CT0760 Ensign Red Shirt

    Apr 16, 2018
    I sometimes think they just salvage battle sites and break down the materials from older ships to build new ones
  10. CoyoteAnnabis

    CoyoteAnnabis Cadet Newbie

    Aug 4, 2018
    I could see them moving to a larger fleet of smaller multirole ships that keep the scientific and exploration role front and center, but still keep a more... Open mind, towards defensive roles.

    The short term would certainly involve upgrading older ships, but it would mostly be a stop-gap to keep the numbers up in the interim, and later as a backup to the newer ships. A sort of auxiliary fleet.

    Among new ships, there would certainly be fewer large ships like the Galaxy or Sovereign class. They're resource intensive and take a long time to build. You'd see more Intrepid, Akira and Defiant class ships.

    Personally, even though I'm not much a fan of Voyager, the Intrepid class does appeal to me. The overall design lends itself well to the role of a fast frigate. I could see the federation building dozens of them with several variants and using them as a fleet workhorse. Something modular that can change roles quickly.
  11. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

    Oct 24, 2012
    I see value in having tiered ships / traditional Military Naval Hierarchy with lower tiered ships being made in larger numbers while larger / Higher tiered ships being made in fewer numbers, but still being made.

    Each ship type has their value / role in Peace Time / Exploration / War Time.

    Having a diverse fleet allows for a wide range of options when situations arise.
  12. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 14, 2016
    Yes, with combat sensors that could be used for exploration and science too, when war wasn't ongoing.

    I guess it's a matter of what you consider a "dedicated warship," a ship that's design from the keel up to be a beast in combat first, but able to do other things on the side when not actively shoot at an opponent (i.e. most starfleet vessels apparently).

    Or does "dedicated warship" mean to you that it is completely incapable of doing anything else other than solely combat duties? That description doesn't cover any Starfleet vessel we've ever seen. The Defiant could engage in exploration and science, but was a warship.
    Of course, the Federation would have no way of knowing when the next conflict would present itself.

    Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
    The Intrepid Class (iirc) was optimized for combat, but could undertake exploration too.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    But SF ships are by design multi-purpose vessels.
    A galaxy class ship for example is a designated explorer and an exceedingly capable combat vessel.
    Do you really need to slap more weapons on it?
    Hardly, just upgrade it's systems to increase sensor, weapons, shields, propulsion, and other systems capabilities.

    The Enterprise-D 'dreadnought' from 'All Good things' seemed to have a lot of unnecessary things added to it.
    Also the Phaser canon was quite powerful, but didn't the writers make that in an idiotic fashion for the purpose of just making it seem more powerful from a visual point of view?
    Yes, it was a timeline created/extrapolated by Q most likely, but still.

    I mean come on, why would phaser strips be incapable of generating that much power? With internal (and likely external) systems being upgraded on a regular basis (including the phaser strips), you wouldn't have to change the external layout of the ship in virtually any way - heck the USS Lakota certainly didn't have any external layout changes to match the USS Defiant in firepower... and that ship design was some 80 years older than the Galaxy class.
    The USS Lakota could easily match (or come really close to the) Galaxy class in that case with those upgrades.

    Why add a third nacelle when instead you can harvest the existing warp coils for example, decompose them into base elements and replicate state of the art ones from them?
    There, so now you saved yourself the trouble of having to add a third nacelle when the existing 2 would carry updated technology to produce the same or better effect than making and attaching a third or fourth nacelle even.

    Not the point... the Intrepid was a new class vessel and not once was it stated to have been a warship.
    From a fundamental point of view, it was an exploratory vessel that built on the Galaxy class.... heck, it was effectively a Galaxy class, but compact in comparison and had better systems in it to boot.

    Main issue that was demonstrated on Trek was the lack of upgrades being applied to most older SF ships and installations (what kind of sensible and progressive society would allow that to happen? They wouldn't - the writers needed to downplay the Federation in order to generate drama - just like they dumbed down technology massively in that ridiculous AR whatever episode).

    Heck, even Betazed's defenses were outdated and in the process of being upgraded when the Dominion took over.
    That was a writer messup.
    The Federation would not allow this to happen at all. Heck, before the war would have started (right around the time the USS Lakota was upgraded), you would think all Federation member worlds would undergo a series of upgrades to their critical systems (fleets included) to keep them up to date - this is something that would have been a continuous practice as time goes on.
    And thanks to automation... and with technologies as available in the 24th century, this would have been done in a proverbial 'snap'.

    Even the small USS Equinox sported impressive tactical capabilities... it had total phaser coverage and torpedo launchers on front and back.
    Seriously, these ships wouldn't technically need anything apart from continuous system upgrades to make them more powerful.
    Same for decades older ships like the Miranda and Excelsior classes that were still in service long after being discontinued from being made.
  14. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

    May 8, 2003
    One Small Step
    For my own head canon, I'm comfortable with the idea that Starfleet does have a handful of classes that we might call warships, in the sense that they're designed to fill a tactical role first and any other roles second (if at all). Their job is to protect the Federation's borders and political interests and to do so in the event of a full scale hot war (as the Federation has been implied to have done with the Klingons and Romulans, albeit not always in canon sources) as well as a cold war scenario. The Defiant, as originally designed, would fall into this category.

    I think one has to bear in mind that while having a larger proportion of multi-role designs certainly has advantages, that's not inherently the same as assuming every such design will succeed at multiple roles. Some ships might have been designed with a limited, specific role in mind and not do so well when pushed beyond that role, while others (the Galaxy being one example) might demonstrate a good flexibility with multiple options. I think that even with a reasonable degree of futuristic technology, it's dangerous (from a storytelling standpoint) to infer that all upgrades should happen rapidly and equally. If used properly, it can be a good plot element.

    To use a non-Trek example, the Clans in the Battletech universe make extensive use of modular Omni technology, which means the majority of their units have weapons and gear that can be swapped out onto a single frame. A specific omnimech or omnivehicle, in theory at least, can perform a wide variety of missions and also has an advantage in repair or replacing a damaged module. Despite those benefits, however, it's fair to say that not every omni unit automatically performs well in all of its designs, and isn't inherently superior to a powerful mech designed behind a specific philosophy (a non-omni assault mech for example, or a larger force of more maneuverable lighter mechs). Omni units are considerably more expensive to build, and the specialized elements that allow for modularity also mean that pod-mounted equipment can't be used on a non-omni frame even if it's identical to equipment already being used on that unit. Only ammunition of comparable weapons can be swapped.

    Tactically and strategically, the Clans' unusual system of ritualized combat put them at a significant disadvantage once their enemies figured out how to adapt. Clan military structure tends to favor mechs over most other unit types, even naval warships, and only a few Clans utilize non-mech vehicles to the best possible extent they could be. Clan society is dominated by the warrior caste, and the scientist castes often aren't utilized ideally because the warriors tend to ignore any developments that aren't intended for military use. For all their strengths, one could argue that the Clans suffer from a degree of stagnation and are slower to adapt than they should be.
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Did Starfleet at the threshold of the Dominion War really "consist" of old and outdated types?

    It might equally well be that Starfleet as regarded its active operations was thoroughly modern (the early 24th century Excelsiors being the oldest type, and still working well), and the TOS movie era types were languishing in depots like Qualor II. These vessels were no good for operations other than war, where little would be required of their sensors or propulsion or endurance or the like, just lots of pew-pew at spot A and then a bit of trundling at fleet speed to spot B for more of the same. During the war, they saw action; after the war, they were either gone, or then again deserving of mothballing.

    We saw so little of Starfleet before the Dominion War that it's hard to tell - or, rather, easy to tell and mor or less impossible to prove otherwise. Sure, there were a few Mirandas on screen even during the peace of TNG, but we can treat those as "outliers" or "ground truth" equally well.

    As for rebuilding, I wouldn't expect a rush of modern types. Starfleet until now has apparently found satisfaction in a mixture of old and new, perhaps being wary of purchasing a full fleet of duds, perhaps just believing in strength through diversity (what with its threats being so diverse, too). Building of newer prewar types might well be expected to continue.

    Which is what we'd certainly see were 24th century Star Trek to return to television. No, there would be no need to recycle old models (the original reason for diverse fleets), but dragging Patrick Stewart back to the cameras would be a different type of continuity from doing a prequel, and would warrant the reuse of existing looks such as the "old" hero ship and her sister designs (even if in moderation, and boosted by plenty of all-new designs).

    But we probably will see nothing of the sort, and Stewart's mini-return won't involve massive fleet scenes. Probably...

    Timo Saloniemi
  16. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 14, 2016
    The Galaxy Class was, but the Defiant really wasn't.

    The Defiant could do other things, but wasn't optimized for supporting colonists, carrying large amounts of cargo, hosting diplomatic councils, operating fleets of runabouts and shuttles. It was optimized for combat.

    How many other Starfleet vessels might have managed to do other things if called upon, but those things were secondary to job one, combat.

    Paris: "This ship (Voyager) was built for combat performance."
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Or then not - it's part of a silly joke, after all, contrasting/equating combat performance with musical performance.

    For all we know, Starfleet has each and every one of its multipurpose ships exhibit bias for a different attribute: Oberths may go for endurance, say, Intrepids for agility, etc. The bigger the ship, the less significant the bias, and the less it detracts from the other attributes. But building everything "combat first" is another option. Although how this applies to the Oberth, say, remains to be determined.

    Another option would be to build "speed first", allowing Starfleet to go where no man has gone before and thus gain an edge. Perhaps this is why they almost invariably go for the flimsy two-cigars-on-stalks design that otherwise would seem disadvantageous, while very few of their competitors do?

    Timo Saloniemi
  18. SpyOne

    SpyOne Captain Captain

    Mar 2, 2010
    As early as the TNG Tech Manual writers were expressing the idea that the Galaxy Class was ... not exactly a mistake, but not going to be produced in large numbers.
    While it is handy to have a few big ships that can do everything, the problem is they can't be everywhere.
    While a Galaxy Class ship could do a detailed survey of a newly discovered planet, ferry a vaccine at warp 9.2, or serve a a portable hospital for a disaster, it can't do all three of those things at once (unless tgey all happen to be in the same place), and thus the bulk of Starfleet's ships are smaller vessels designed to do fewer tasks.
  19. SpyOne

    SpyOne Captain Captain

    Mar 2, 2010
    I think this question really hinges on too many variables that we don't know enough about.

    For example, what did the Dominion "surrender" mean. Was it a promise to end hostilities and stay in their own quadrant? Was it more? Admiral Ross quotes MacArthur from the surrender of Japan, and that surrender had the victors take over the defense of the defeated. Was this sn abject surrender?

    Even if the Dominion's surrender wasn't absolute, we still captured ships and learned from their technologies. Do any of those technologies have implications for ship design?
    It has been suggested that several times over the course of history Starfleet has learned more about how a ship's shape affects its warp field allowing them to build faster, more efficient ships by reshaping the hull (similar to how we learned more about drag for naval vessels during the last century, changing the design of ships' hulls). So did Starfleet learn something that makes existing designs obsolete?
    This will impact whether Starfleet is more likely to focus on existing designs or to delay building for new designs, and how much effort they will put into upgrading existing ships.

    Even if the Dominion didn't turn over all of their tech, does Starfleet have permission to explore the Gamma Quadrant? Are the Federation/Klingons/Romulans expected to start patrolling Dominion space in the GQ? Because that is going to take a lot of ships.

    On the other hand, other technologies are going to have a profound impact on travel. As I noted elsewhere, Voyager gathered a lot of data on a device called a subspace catapult that its designer described as "able to hurl a ship across thousands of lightyears in the time it takes to say 'hurl a ship across thousands of lightyears'." It worked, and the only reason Voyager wasn't able to duplicate it was it required a particular large power supply of a kind Voyager was incapable of making. But the Federation has much more resources than Voyager had, snd may be able to build such a power supply or alter the design to accommodate a power supply they are able to build.
    And that's a game changer. Any ship in the Federation can get to any point in the Federation in the time it takes to get to the nearest catapult.
    That would allow Starfleet to dramatically reduce in size snd still meet the next Borg cube to cross its borders with thousands of ships in a matter of minutes.

    Plus, .... I actually haven't seen Nemisis yet. But clearly it sets up the Romulans for some pretty big changes. Is losing their home planet a minor setback for an empire that was largely decentralized and maintained a token population there while their most populous worlds were elsewhere? Or was it a crippling blow that wiped out much of their population and most of their government?
    And what (besides the Borg) was on the other side of the Romulans? What threats or opportunities were the Romulans keeping the Federation isolated from, intentionally or otherwise?

    Things were poised to change significantly immediately after the Dominion War, and we don't really know enough about what happened to know what that means.
  20. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    jippers on a beach somewhere
    the only real victors in the Dominion War were the Ferengi, (and maybe the Breen.. don't know) they emerged with new leadership, unscathed territory and crippled systems ready for commercial inroads. Whatever stellar navies got built afterwards probably contained a lot of Ferengi parts in them.

    Federation technology advanced a great deal during that period and from subsequent knowledge obtained after communication was reestablished with Intrepid, Starfleet would have started incorporating every new detail. They also knew about Species 8472, and had to start preparing just in case, even if the political will for war-readiness might have decreased.