ST:TMP: Was such a massive refit of the USS Enterprise logical?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Tribble puncher, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While this topic is two years old, I definitely hope it doesn't get locked because I'd like to contribute my opinion.

    I've always been under the impression that the refit was more of an ultimately failed experiment: can older ships be refitted into newer ships, or is it more practical to just build new ships from scratch? Considering that the Enterprise is the only ship that has been canonically known to have been refitted (and the fact that only 15 years later newer ships like the Excelsior class seem to indicate that the latter decision was more popular), I gather that Starfleet opted to drop the idea of future refits (i.e. refits so radical that they completely change the design of the original.)
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  2. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    I've posted about this in other, similar threads, but there's plenty of precedent. Look at how the USS Midway changed from her launch in 1945 to her decommissioning in 1991: in phases, she got an angled deck added, elevators added and removed, the island enlarged, sensor suite changed multiple times, etc.

    https://www.deviantart.com/lioness-nala/art/USS-Midway-main-kolor-412979376

    Midway was arguably the most extreme example when it came to US warships, but many others have had similar radical redesigns (not the least of which was conversion of old WWI warships into the first flattop carriers). Then there's the refit of ships like the Iowa class, which went from full-on battleships to mobile missile platforms whose various gun batteries became a secondary (or even tertiary) armament. Heck, even cruise ships get refitted significantly over time.. There's a Russian liner operating today that was designed in part as a Cold War troop transport, and her upper decks barely resemble her design silhouette from 1965.

    Enterprise, because she's THE ENTERPRISE, probably got a lot of special dispensation over the years to be upgraded more than the average member of her class. But who knows, it could have been easier than originally thought once the testbed ship was all done with. The Excelsior underwent significant overhauls to her impulse deck between her NX and NCC days, even though examples of both designs were seen in the TNG era (for various production purposes).

    Mark
     
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  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would call the changes to certain ship classes like the Excelsior/Ent-B, the Melbourne/Phoenix/Sutherland or the Reliant/Saratoga/Lantree et. al to be more like variants of the same design rather than radical refits like the TOS Enterprise/TMP Enterprise.
     
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  4. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agree with @Mark_Nguyen : There is plenty of RW examples. For the US Navy, part of a ship's life cycle is to undergo modernization programs.
     
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  5. Birdog

    Birdog Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd like to point out that while the rebuilds of the Furious, Essex and Midways seem extreme, They really aren't. Every change made is above the waterline, in most cases above the main deck and involves what is call the top hamper. The hull and power plants are unchanged and those are the most expensive and complex parts of a warship. The TMP ship changed everything about the original and was not a refit but a full on rebuild and it really would have been simpler to break her and start over because nothing is the same as the original. It would be like taking a cruiser hull and turning it into a battleship.
     
  6. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Changes to power plants have been done as well. A century or so ago, the US Navy converted a fair number of it's ships from coal-fired boilers to oil-fire boilers. In the case of USS Texas, the changes included:
    • The mid-ship area was gutted from the main deck to hold. The change also completely altered the uptake system inside the ship and a replacement of the two exterior uptakes with a new single uptake.
    • The forward boiler room was eliminated with most of the vacated space converted into electronic spaces (Plot Room on 2nd platform and Hold,, Interior Communications on 1st platform, and Main Communications on 3rd deck). Boiler Room #2 forward bulkhead was moved forward 14 feet.
    • The boiler rooms were now better protected. The new boilers were installed farther above the keel than the original boilers to provide a third hull plate on the bottom. On the sides, the number of bulkheads was increased to six, with the addition of two new ones. One of the bulkheads was the torpedo blister on the exterior and the other was gained with the subdivision of the fuel tanks next to boiler rooms into two compartments.
    source: http://battleshiptexas.info/images/BoilerRoom/BoilerRoom.html
    I could also list things like the conversion of big gun cruisers to missile cruisers, the conversion of SSBNs to SSGNs, fast attack designs with missile tubes inserted, the extended Essex-class (and the canted flight deck that came later to some.)
    Converting, modifying, and modernizing is the rule, not the exception.
     
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  7. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The basic decision process is:

    A: Does the hull have plenty of good life left in it?
    B: Can it be updated economically?
    C: Will any such alterations be useful and practical?

    Unless you are downsizing the fleet (whatever fleet), or the ship in question is either worn out/damaged, you refit or rebuild as needed.

    If/when the ship is too old, or worn out, you sell it off for scrap (or maybe preservation if it's still solid and of historical value - just obsolete).
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  8. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    A) Given that StarFleet and the UFP are a society of relatively "Green & Sustainable" bunch, refitting seems less wasteful of raw material than just making a new ship. Less Raw Material would need to go in.
    B) Given that money isn't really that big of an issue or that money isn't around, then it's just a matter of man power, material, energy, and time as the resource cost. StarFleet seems to have access to plenty of all those options
    C) Refit Enterprise is significantly better than the TOS variant in every major stat from what I can tell.
     
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  9. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    In one of the most radical ocean vessel modifications ever, the cruise ship Braemar was literally cut in two and extended lengthwise because the owners wanted more room for passengers and associated stuff:



    Her sister ship was similarly refitted, there are in fact shipbuilders out there who do this as their primary gig. In Trek, hull shape DOES have an effect on warp dynamics, but not in sheer streamlining or else every ship out there would be the same general shape - it must work in concert with the warp field dynamics. One does influence the other, but it doesn't mean both can't be changed to suit.

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  10. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    @Mark_Nguyen That's a great video; thanks for pointing it out.
     
  11. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I admit, it's funny how in certain shots the human workers look like ants. :D
     
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  12. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe we can inspire someone to do a similar video of the refit of the TOS enterprise to the TMP Enterprise while hanging in the TMP spacedock. Kinda like the final shot of Beyond, or the one below (starting at 2:45). Now THAT would be fun to see.



    Mark
     
  13. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One thing we don't know is if there were other Constitution-class starships that were refit in similar ways to USS Enterprise, or if they built new Constitution-class starships based on the refit design. We know there were at least three other ships of this design aside from the original USS Enterprise. One of those being the ship that became the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A), but there is at least two more of that design that exists, since we see them in passing while Kirk's command staff on enroot to the new USS Enterprise (before lining up on USS Excelsior). Plus there is the wreckage of one at Wolf 359, which could have been one of those two, or the old USS Enterprise-A, if she was decommissioned, and renamed, and then recommissioned as another ship after they passed the Enterprise name to the Excelsior-class starship Enterprise (which does have precedence in history...old American armored cruisers were named after states, but at some point they were renamed to cities to free up the names for new battleships under construction at the time).
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    A friend's son-in-law is a nuclear sub technician. He said when they change out the reactor, they actually cut the sub in half to do it. :O
     
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  15. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not quite as dramatic but the dry dock period I served through had the yard cut a massive hole in the side of the ship to replace the emergency diesel generator.
     
  16. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well she apparently went through a substantial refit sometime between 2254 and 2256 only to then be reverted back to her original design by 2265, so the TMP refit doesn't seem so far fetched to me.
     
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  17. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Alternatively, we could interpret DSC as indicating visuals are more "figurative" than iron-clad, which you could use to make the refit seem more plausible. Sure, the precise shapes of the saucer and engineering section don't conform between the TOS and TMP versions, but what if we imagine they did, so you could just squint and say most of the framing and interior structure was kept? It works well-enough with the interior; the TMP corridors were built inside the Phase II corridors, which were much closer to the big, square TOS versions.
     
  18. DanGussin

    DanGussin Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My head canon goes like this -

    During the period of TOS a number of proposed systems redesigns for starships were ready for testing. Some of this we see in changes to Enterprise from "Where No Man has Gone Before" to later missions.

    By the time Kirks 5 year mission was complete Starfleet wanted to see how these design changes would work together in a real time setting. Since Enterprise was in need of an overhaul anyway , she was chosen as a test vessel to integrate these changes. To ensure that the results of the testing would not be affected by a new . inexperienced crew , most of the TOS crew remained with the ship during her refit as they had developed a good working relationship and were seasoned veterans to space exploration.

    The year plus refit gave the crew the needed rest from being mission active and could give insights as to how best to use the new tech based on past experience
     
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  19. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you see all the work they did on the ww-1 era Queen Elizabeth battleships then the rifitting of the Enterprise isn't all that special, same for HMS Renown and a lot of the Japanese battleships, Nagato for example.

    As for the 1701, I think they wanted to upgrade the whole ship and switch to an entire generation of new equipment all at once instead of doing it bit by bit.
     
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  20. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    The Enterprise “just” underwent a 18 month (1.5 years) redesign and refit. Kirk hasn’t logged a single star hour in 2.5 years, so, we have at least a "missing" year in the Enterprise's history without Kirk in command. Did it just sit idle in space dock? There's room for a special (or secret) mission or two for the old TOS girl.
     
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