What Might a Dedicated Trek Warship Be Like?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by FalTorPan, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral In Memoriam

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    There's a simpler answer.. in the TOS era they DID build dedicated warships. In the TNG era, they didn't...
     
  2. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Except that this isn't really "simpler." None of the TOS-era ships we've ever seen were "dedicated warships." (and I'm including the FJ stuff there, obviously)

    The Dreadnought is the ship that most people think of as one, but it simply makes no sense from that perspective. It's not heavily-enough armed, it's too big of a target, it has too much "additional capability" that a pure warship wouldn't need (and thus a pure warship wouldn't HAVE).

    So I disagree, Vance. I don't think that's a SIMPLER explanation at all. I think it's a less believable one... and things that are unbelievable to me NEVER seem "simpler" to me.

    It might seem simple to claim that a planetary sky on a world with an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere (like ours) will be red... but that's WRONG. If you know WHY the sky is blue (it has to do with scattering of light), you'd realize why you couldn't get that effect (unless you're talking about massive amounts of red dust in the atmosphere, for instance... which would make breathing nearly impossible).

    Alien worlds where our heroes can breath without masks need to have skies pretty similar to our own. That's the SIMPLEST explanation. Because it's the only one that makes sense. ;)
     
  3. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I understand why the contemporary term "warship" would be defined as a heavily armed and armored naval vessel.

    In terms of a "warship" in the form of a Federation starship, there would obviously have to be some important differences. The exploration and science dimensions of "ordinary" Federation starships could not be totally supressed. Even in a combat situation, a Federation warship would still likely be operating in deep space.
     
  4. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You're missing the point, I think. Nobody (certainly not ME) suggested that ships would have no sensors or whatever.

    A "pure warship" is a ship which is outfitted with exactly the systems required for being effective in combat, and nothing more. That doesn't mean that you forgo the elements necessary to operate in deep space. Obviously, a deep-space warship needs to be able to operate in deep space.

    But it will not have science labs, or an extended mission duration. It will not have planetary sensors for identifying and cataloging lifeforms. It will not have cargo space (obviously, that doesn't mean it won't carry spare parts, medical supplies, food stores, etc, sufficient for its expected mission requirements, but it DOES mean it won't ever serve in a role of carrying medicines from Starbase A to Planet B. It will not have large luxurious spaces for the crew, or and NO space for passengers. Other ships that are not "pure warships" would be used for ferrying personnel, and since it would be a limited range ship, the crew would have "permanent quarters" at their home base, and merely "bunkrooms" on the fighting vessel... more like a PT boat than like The Love Boat, in other words.

    The trick is that MOST Federation starships are designed to fulfill multiple jobs... cargo, research, combat, long-range patrol, whatever. They're designed to be "jacks of all trades" and as such aren't really OPTIMIZED for any one specific role.

    The only evidently "optimized for a role" ship we may have seen would be the Grissom... no armaments in evidence there, but massive sensor capabilities, designed purely as a from-orbit planetary observation vessel (remember, Esteban didn't want to beam anyone down... that either means he was a coward (unlikely if Starfleet were a REAL organization) or he knows the job his ship is intended to do, and beaming people down was not part of that mission profile (not hard to buy, considering that the entire beam-down consisted of two personnel... and not personnel permanently assigned to the ship, no less!)

    So, I'd say that the Grissom was a "pure science vessel," and a very specialized one at that. A pure warship would be an ineffective in doing the sort of work that Grissom was sent to do as Grissom would be doing the sort of work that Defiant was made for.

    Doesn't mean that a bad fleet commander might not assign a research job to a Defiant, or patrol duties to a Grissom.. but that they would be remarkably bad in those roles. But they'd be equally effective if their jobs were swapped.

    Make sense?
     
  5. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I'd say the Defiant is perhaps the only "optimized" warship we've seen. I see your point, Cary - the dreadnoughts might have more emphasis on tactical value, but they generally don't omit the multimission stuff. It's somewhat cheaper, and also a better justification for building them. If they've got no war to fight, they can serve on other missions.
     
  6. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe Gene Roddenberry can shed some light on this subject.

    Quoting "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", a novel by Gene Roddenberry, page 115, when Spock's shuttle approached the Enterprise:


    This has long been the basis for how I felt about Starfleet and military applications: Kirk's Enterprise was the dreadnought, or battleship, if you prefer. No third nacelle needed. The Federation probably couldn't afford the personnel or resources to build or maintain a bigger, bad-ass ship then. In later years, Starfleet simply deployed improved versions of the same design: Excelsior.

    The other doubt I have about ships supposedly having a more warlike role than classes like Constitution, Galaxy, etc. is that layering on more weapons and nacelles would not necessarily give the ship superior combat abilities. Weapons and engines are all powered by the same source, and that source requires the same fuel. The only way around that is the zero-point-style technology used by the Borg. (Which isn't exactly a bad idea.)

    For the TNG/DS9 era, the closest thing the Federation came to purifiying the concept of a warship would be the Defiant. The design is simple enough to make it easier to defend/armor than a big starship, small enough so that it would not require a large crew or lots of conspicuous storage space, and simple and small enough to make it relatively easy to mass-produce if there were a serious threat to warrant it.

    In Kirk's day, if they ever had the need, I can envision the 23rd century Starfleet building a similar ship. It might not have been as sleek as Sisko's Defiant, or quite as powerful or armored, but it would still be possible and formidable. That point aside, the best battleship of that era was probably a Connie or a Miranda.
     
  7. philbob

    philbob Commander Red Shirt

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    even real naval warships have some science labs particualry the carriers and large/medium assault ships destroyers and frigates also have some very limited research facilites.....all of this is of medical nature though
     
  8. hellsgate

    hellsgate Commodore

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    Vance, yeah, but I would've loved to have seen how the Klingons would've tucked their bat'leths between their legs & run when they saw your Valley Forge-Class battleship!!!

    :) :) :)
     
  9. FordSVT

    FordSVT Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Watch your mouth! You're in Trek Tech, chock full of the most over-constipated of the Trekkie arch-types!
     
  10. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    :lol: Wingsley, Gene's description is interesting but I'm not sure how much stock I'd put in it, at least personally. I tend to include a lot of the fanon dreadnoughts, which would rule out the Enterprise falling into that category, and I haven't seen anything to suggest it's that powerful of a ship. I just stick with the heavy cruiser classification.
     
  11. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral In Memoriam

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    Well, we also know that by the time of TMP, Roddenberry was more and more full of ca-ca, and was jealous and angry at FJ in particular, but also other 'official' works that he didn't have direct control of.

    But, I disagree that TOS didn't have dedicated warships, particularly if you include the FJ material. After all, we get the Saladin class destroyer, which has much of the Enterprise's firepower.

    The Enterprise herself is armed to the teeth (particularly when correct for 'aft phasers'). Then, of course, you get the Dreadnought...

    I think you're trying to argue that just because a ship can do other missions that outright combat, that it's suddenly not a warpship. This logic will come as a huge surprise to every Naval commander on the ocean.
     
  12. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    TOS consistently put forth the point that Kirk's Enterprise was "the finest ship in the fleet", and that was more than just superficial rhetoric: it was a statement that the Enterprise represented not just the finest space vessel with the finest crew and facilities, but also the finest starship that offered the greatest power, as well as exploration and military capabilities.

    That aside, I would love to see a two-nacelle version of the Saladin with a full hangar deck on the aft-rear of the saucer.
     
  13. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral In Memoriam

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    But the 'finest ship of the fleet' doesn't automatically mean 'most powerful'. Sure, as a CA, the Enterprise is a daunting challenge. But a DN or BB could carry more power, but have a much more limited mission profile, or not be able to respond as quickly, etc... they may be perfect in their own roles, but they're not the Enterprise, and you wouldn't use them for what you would use the Enterprise for.

    Think of the Enterprise as the 'most well balanced' and not the 'most'.

    As for the twin-engine DHD, what engine arrangement were you thinking of? :P