Discussion in 'Star Trek: Lower Decks' started by Tuskin38, Apr 6, 2021.
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Small ship doesn't necessarily mean science vessel.
Multitude of ships in service of varying sizes (practically all of them) perform science duties at any given point.
Look at USS Discovery (Crossfield class). In the 23rd century, that ship was huge (bigger than the 1701) and was considered to be a dedicated science vessel at the time (plus it seemed to have had decent armaments too).
Science vessels can still be decently armed. I mean, given the multitude of dangers in space, you never know when you might need defensive/offensive systems in larger quantities. As such, I don't think sensor arrays and dedicated labs would be occupying that much space to prevent installation of sizeable armaments (should they be needed).
The Nova class in particular has a decent amount of phaser strips which seemingly cover the entire ship well, but I'm not sure about its compliment of torpedoes (those are small and can presumably be packed in huge quantities even on small ships - the USS Defiant was at one point left with about 40-ish torpedoes after expending some of them in previous battle - granted, that was a dedicated 'warship', but my point is that if the Defiant can hold a stupid number of torpedoes, there is no reason to think the Nova [which has a size advantage] couldn't pack a similar number.
But, in the 24th century, it was implied that ships are modified according to their mission profiles (and I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case for the 23rd century too).
Take the Nebula class with its different pods for example. One pod contains more torpedo tubes (and possibly torpedoes themselves), the other pod contains a massive sensor module.
The Equinox (Nova class) was predominantly used as a planetary survey ship in the 2370-ies and it gave Voyager a somewhat hard time in combat... and then in the alternate future from which Admiral Janeway came in 'Endgame', the Nova class (as commanded by captain Kim) was modified and managed to subdue 2 Klingon Negh'Var class ships fairly quickly.
So, I don't think science class ships are necessarily of a certain size. Even a medical ship from the final TNG episode (the USS Pasteur) was of fairly decent size and had pretty tough shielding.
Medical Ships are just flying Hospital Complexes, given how large some of the biggest & best Medical facilities are, you probably expect a Medical Ship to be pretty large in general.
Especially a Medical Ship that is designed to cover all aspects of Medicine.
You need ALOT of room for everything.
Science ships will obviously vary based on their mission profile and what they're expected to do and how deep of a assignment / research they're expected to do.
Everybody's favorite Oberth Class Planetary Survey vessel is optimally designed to map Planetary Bodies and Stellar phenomena.
The standard Pontoon sensors was optimally designed for mapping large Spheriod objects by making multiple passes around the planet.
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