Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Nob Akimoto, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 9, 2004
    This does raise an interesting question -- could this have contributed to the deteriorating relations with the Klingons? Perhaps there really was some kind of START process layed out, and from the Klingon's POV, the Federation exploited their weakness, using technicalities and loopholes to circumvent provisions of the agreement.
  2. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    I see the point once again went right over your head.:rolleyes:

    Because 40 Perry-class frigates were decommissioned long with 25 or so hopelessly obsolete 1960s/70s era guided missile cruisers, you manage to completely gloss over the fact that almost all of the 109 currently existing ships are equipped with the Aegis combat system, the Mk-41 VLS system and are compatible with the ESSM quad pack that allows a single vessel so equipped to do the work of FIVE ships with the old Terrior radar systems.

    Basically, you're touting the "warship gap." Made all the more hilarious by the fact that the next largest navy in the world has only 76 destroyers/frigates in is entire registry (guess which one? Go ahead, guess!)

    Which is equivalent to a military BUILDUP, not maintaining the same level of capability. An AEGIS destroyer that can simultaneously engage 60 targets at a time can do the work of a 5 Tartar ships that only engage 12. For a naval force that has no serious military rivals, there's no coherent reason to build 5 Aegis ships to replace the 5 tartars, unless you can think of a scenario where an aircraft carrier is going to be attacked by upwards of 200 enemy missiles in a single volley.

    Which is exactly what she is meant to ask in the script. The response is exactly the same: "Our scientific and exploration programs will not be affected, but the facts speak for themselves."

    What are the FACTS of this case?
    1) Starfleet no longer needs space installations along the neutral zone
    2) The Federation has bigger fish to fry than the Klingons
    3) The Klingons can't afford to keep jousting with the Federation even if they wanted to.

    The installations along the neutral zone are being negotiated because under the circumstances they are no longer needed, and Starfleet can and will get back to whatever it was doing before the Organian Peace Treaty CREATED that neutral zone in the first place (assuming they ever STOPPED doing it, and by all accounts they did not). The facts speak for themselves; everything else is just meaningless speculation.

    There is not a shred of evidence that even a SINGLE starship was decommissioned as a result of the Khitomer accords; there is even less evidence that the Klingon threat itself was anything more than a minor blip on Starfleet's necessarily large radar.

    But you are making the assumption that some portion of the fleet was "purely" military in nature and its only reason to exist was to keep the Klingons in check. This is demonstrably counter-factual: we have an account of a starship on a mission of peaceful exploration (one of which would be unaffected by Spock's negotiations) that REPEATEDLY engages in combat with Klingon warships during its 5-year mission. There is not, in other words, any reason whatsoever to assume that the "scientific and exploration program" of the fleet is physically distinct or separable from its defense role. In fact, as I've said many times over the years, it's very likely that Starfleet combined its exploratory and combat systems in all their designs specifically to avoid having their budget cut in times of peace. The space stations are out of luck, because their purpose is obvious; Starships, however, can ALWAYS be used for exploration, especially in times of peace.

    There's the fact that the USS Enterprise -- a vessel whose stated purpose is peaceful exploration of the galaxy -- engages in armed conflict with the Klingons on multiple occasions and even directly participates in a short-lived war with said Klingons. It's doubtful that any part of the fleet ISN'T involved in scientific research and exploration, and yet they are still perfectly capable of keeping the Klingons in check between survey missions.
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    Your point is that these FEWER ships are better than the ones they replaced.

    My point is that we have FEWER ships and thus not be able to absorb losses as well and it would be preferable to have MORE ships with the same better capabilities.

    How is that a buildup when maintaining the same number of ships?

    That single destroyer can only patrol 1/5th the number of locations in a given year and mean a reduction in global commitments that the US can take on. And if that single destroyer goes down for maintenance you'll need another one to fill the gap.

    Aren't there certain countries taking their time to build up a stockpile of missiles that is forcing the US Navy to reconsider how close they can conduct wartime operations to their shores?

    The "facts speak for themselves" was never said in the film.

    The only FACTS of this case are 1) and 3).

    In the same vein, Starfleet's military program that dealt with 70 years of unremitting Klingon hostility was no longer needed as well.

    Why then are you speculating on dialogue that wasn't spoken or cut from the filmed movie?

    What shred of evidence do you have 95% of Starfleet is composed of science and exploration? (I already pointed out we're both guessing on the composition.)

    As to the Klingons being a minor blip - going to war with them in "Errand of Mercy" looked like a major blip.

    If you're talking about the Enterprise and her crew, they were also identified specifically by the Organians as Military forces. The Enterprise also patrolled the Romulan Neutral Zone and enforced laws.

    There's lotsa ways to reduce the military in Starfleet. Stop training crew to think they're soldiers because they identified themselves as such in TOS. *During the war in DS9 they had to train them a soldiers. Switch to only using ships with minimal self-defenses for science and exploration and retire the heavily armed ones.

    Yes the fact that a 3rd party, the Organians, identified the same "peaceful explorer of the galaxy" as part of the Military forces of the Federation indicates a military ship that also happens to have science and exploration facilities.

    Now, the question is would the "Science Probe Vessel Antares" in "Charlie X" or the USS Grissom be also identified as military or just science?
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain
    We of course have on idea how close the Klingons were to defeat. Sure the Federation might have been six months away, but the Klingons might have been 5 weeks.
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    That's very true. We only know the war from Picard and his crew's POV in the episode.
  6. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

    Dec 27, 2012
    Georgia, United States
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    That's just it: we never before HAD this number of ships with the SAME CAPABILITIES. What we had before was group of about 25 Aegis ships, 30 post-terrier ships, 40 tartar ships, and an assload of Sitting Duck-class FFGs. We couldn't as easily absorb the loss of 5 Aegis ships because the Tartars didn't provide anywhere close to the same capabilities; if by some fluke of naval power projection we lost ALL 25 of the Aegis boats we'd have to make due with the Perry's and tartars.

    Presently, we can loose 25 Aegis boats in a single nightmarish engagement and we'd still have 30 left that provide the same capability. Even in that horrific scenario, we could absorb the loss just fine, especially since we would be unlikely to suffer FURTHER losses that would be expected if the remainder of the fleet was a mix of tartars and Perry class FFGs.

    Because the ships are getting steadily more powerful despite their numbers remaining steady. Put this another way: a country that starts its navy with ten combat vessels (all ten of them are motorboats with machineguns bolted to the deck) could be said to be "Building up" if it replaces those motorboats with fast attack craft, or fast attack craft with frigates, frigates with destroyers, destroyers etc.

    One real example is the IDF, which actually has fewer ships in its navy now than it did in the 1960s, but the capabilities provided by those newer ships means their navy is actually MORE powerful than it was 40 years ago.

    Yes, two countries are doing this: China, and Imaginationland. Neither of which are likely to declare war on us within the forseeable future.

    Was already piggybacked on its exploration program, as we saw demonstrated unequivocally in TOS.

    There is no separate military program for fighting the Klingons, only specific expenditures directly related to the Klingons. That, specifically, is the neutral zone outposts, and even then it wouldn't affect all of them since some of them still serve a scientific purpose as well.

    That's what breaks the parallel between Starfleet and the U.S. Navy. The Klingons aren't their only enemy, in fact they're not even their most powerful enemy; even if they were, "hostilities with the Klingons" is NOT their main fleet priority and arguably never was.

    Because in almost 50 years of Trek canon, of the literally hundreds of starships we have seen mentioned by name, of the dozens of ships and crews and space stations we have come to be familiar with through the interactions of their crew and dialog references to them, we have only seen three vessels that were NOT equipped for science and exploration, and all three of them (The Defiant, the Valiant and the Sao Paulo) were the same class of vessel. Significantly, the Defiant class starship was almost scrapped before it even entered service since the existential threat it was made to respond to -- the Borg threat -- ceased to be an emergency. This directly parallels your "military program is drawn down" theory, since it indicates that Starfleet DOES decommission purely military hardware whenever it finds said hardware is no longer necessary.

    Yet from what we have seen, the majority of Starfleet isn't designed for purely military missions. The most powerful ships in the fleet are deep space exploration vessels carrying enough armament to smack down their toughest Klingon counterparts. Barely a year after the Khitomer accords, we have the Enterprise-B entering service for the first time; half a century later, Enterprise-C is powerful enough that even its failed performance at Narendra-III is pretty damn impressive even to the Klingons.

    "Our scientific and exploration programs" in this context means MOST OF THE FLEET. You can speculate all you want about a hidden armada of purely military vessels with no scientific equipment on board (The Dreadnaut? The Akyazi class? USS Vengeance?) but since the existence of that hidden fleet remains speculation, its decommissioning remains thoroughly irrelevant since the REST of the fleet -- the Starfleet we are presently familiar with -- would remain intact either way.

    Despite the obvious sarcasm in that's statement, that could very well be the case. Especially if the entire context of that war was a Klingon military campaign specifically aimed at the annexation of Sherman's Planet.
  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    That doesn't change that today we have almost half as many cruisers+destroyers+frigates as we had back in '91. You're arguing that each ship is worth more today so we don't need as many and I'm arguing that we should keep the same number of ships we had back in then and keep them upgraded so they're at the same capability as today's ships. Having fewer ships means its harder to absorb losses.

    Wouldn't upgrading them to stay current with the threat environment be just normal? Are we or another country called out on when fighters are upgraded or ships modernized?

    That's different from what I was saying. We have 10 destroyers and we keep modernizing or replacing them with the same types. Not swapping them up for different types.

    Sure, I'm not debating the increased power.

    I thought there was a country with that capability. Thanks.

    We only followed one ship around in TOS. Was Unit XY-75847 an exploration ship or a military ship? Or what about Colonel West and his task force of ships to go get Kirk and McCoy out of Klingon space? There's definitely room for having military ships in TOS-TUC timeframe.

    Speaking of outposts, how do we know the Klingon or even RNZ outposts have any scientific purpose to them? I can see some outposts that are not on the borders having scientific reasons but the ones on the Neutral Zones there to watch the zone... not so much.

    There are a lot of things that break the parallel between Starfleet and the US Navy. However, we don't know what their main priority was, other than they had multiple programs.

    Since we're talking about TUC and the events before it then that would only include TOS and the TOS movies as those are the ones only applicable.

    Of that, we know of military outposts on the RNZ, the Organians identified the Enterprise and all of the fleet that was with her as a military ship, characters have identified Starfleet as "the Military", we've heard of another ship identified as a "dreadnaught" in TMP, and know Colonel West had a plan for ships to go in and get Kirk and McCoy out. That's among the other ships that are plain-jane science ships like the Antares and Grissom.

    Whatever they were aiming for it was just called a war.
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Irrelevant. You can have a fleet that consists of one ultra-modern warship and five thousand boghamers, but that won't put you in any better position to "absorb" the loss of that one modern ship.

    No, I'm arguing that have more AEGIS ships than we did in the 1980s (and even in the 90s) and that the AEGIS system is vastly more capable than any of the ships they replaced. Thus we ARE able to "absorb" those losses far better than we would have if we had a mix of less-capable vessels serving side by side with the newer ones.

    Strictly speaking, our current navy is severely mismatched to the current threat environment and is, in fact, six times larger and more powerful than it needs to be to do the same job.

    If it takes a thousand B-17s to carpet bomb a city into a parking lot, you can maintain your city-busting capability -- and then some -- by replacing that thousand B-17s with with about fifty B-52s. If you then go on to build a thousand B-52s, you have now gained the ability to carpet bomb TWENTY cities at the same time. That amounts to a military buildup, especially when you consider that in the absence of a world war you don't really have a coherent reason to carpet bomb ONE city, let alone twenty.

    The United States has never been "called out" for anything, ever. Japan, on the other hand, was recently accused of "disturbing militarism" when they replaced one of their old helicopter destroyers with a newer, larger vessel that bears an uncanny resemblance to an aircraft carrier.

    But we DID swap them for different types. The AEGIS system is a massive improvement over the old tartar ships, and the weapons they carry are considerably more advanced than the old Standard types.

    More to the point, we've basically already done this with carrier air wings. Modern supercarriers do not carry anything close to the number of fighters as their WW-II counterparts; a modern air wing has perhaps 50 fighter-bombers, 10 electronic warfare craft and a mix of anti-submarine helicopters and planes, refueling craft and other support craft.

    By your suggestion, we ought to have air wings composed entirely of F/A-18 Superhornets, at least 100 aircraft on each carrier. Presently, a typical airwing has less than half of that; so the air wing can't "absorb" the loss of an aircraft as well, right?

    Starfleet doesn't have "military" ships. EVERY ship in the fleet is a multi-purpose vessel. The highly notable exceptions to this practice -- USS Vengeance, USS Defiant -- have always been highly controversial.

    Even USS Excelsior, arguably one of the most powerful ships in the fleet at the time, is seen "cataloging gaseous anomalies" along the Klingon neutral zone. All that needs to be said, therefore, is that neither the Excelsior nor the Enterprise-B were in any way threatened by the Khitomer accords.

    Because Starfleet builds scientific purpose into EVERYTHING. It's their longstanding and highly effective technique to avoid Federation budget cuts.

    The scope of which is not at all known, nor do we even know if this is the first or only time the Federation has gone to war with the Klingons.

    Interestingly, though, the Enterprise -- well underway on its five-year mission of exploration -- manages to get involved with this conflict too. That should also tell you something.

    Most important of all though: neither Spock nor the CnC nor even the alarmists in the room bother to differentiate between "Scientific and exploration" programs and one that is purely military in nature. There is, indeed, no implication whatsoever that a "purely military" program even exists, as the distinction ITSELF is never made by anyone.
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    You are now presenting an answer to a different argument.

    Let's look at your own example:
    Crazie Eddie said, "What we had before was group of about 25 Aegis ships, 30 post-terrier ships, 40 tartar ships, and an assload of Sitting Duck-class FFGs. We couldn't as easily absorb the loss of 5 Aegis ships because the Tartars didn't provide anywhere close to the same capabilities; if by some fluke of naval power projection we lost ALL 25 of the Aegis boats we'd have to make due with the Perry's and tartars.

    Presently, we can loose 25 Aegis boats in a single nightmarish engagement and we'd still have 30 left that provide the same capability."
    By your words, we can lose more ships if we had more total ships. We can't absorb losses as easily if we had fewer ships.

    That doesn't sound right given that the threat environment has evolved to include supersonic antiship missiles and other assorted weapons to deny US ships from operating as close to shore as it once did.

    OTOH, a thousand B-17s can bomb a thousand targets while 50 B-52s only 50. Now a thousand B-52s could bomb a thousand targets. OTOH, if the threat environment has an effective anti-air capability that it takes a thousand B-52s to carpet bomb one city it evens out in numbers.

    Fair enough. So it depends on who is doing the replacing whether it would be labeled a build-up or not.

    So you're saying Frigates were replaced by Cruisers and Destroyers by something else? AEGIS is an overly broad term that includes whatever types of ships that happen to use the AEGIS system.

    Of course modern carriers can't carry the same numbers because they stopped getting bigger :)

    We ought to have bigger carriers that can carry 100 fighters. And yes, a smaller airwing still means they can't absorb the loss of an aircraft as well :)

    The existence of "military" ships in Starfleet invalidates the idea that it "doesn't have military ships." Obviously NOT EVERY ship in the fleet is a multi-purpose vessel.

    Or the Excelsior isn't one of the most powerful ships and there are others bigger or more powerful?

    LOL, I agree that they do it in SOME but NOT EVERYTHING, and that still doesn't show that outposts monitoring the neutral zones have any scientific gear though.

    It tells me that they weren't doing their mission. :)

    Not at all. The implication has always been that Starfleet during that time is the Military and when the CnC answered whether Starfleet would be mothballed he differentiated that the Scientific and Explorations programs would be unaffected. That leaves the Military and other programs not said to be affected.
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    Still irrelevant, since we are considerably better able to absorb those losses now than we were in the 1980s. And this still leaves unanswered the question of who exactly we're going to be loosing those warships TO.

    Most of which are operated by our allies and/or closest trading partners. That's not a "threat environment" so much as a "guy to whom we owe an assload of money" environment.

    Strategic bombers don't do pinpoint strikes on individual targets; that's what fighter-bombers and ground attack aircraft are for.

    OTOH, a B-52 can carry up to 18 cruise missiles or several dozen GPS-guided bombs in its payload, so actually, you COULD hit a thousand targets with 50 B-52s if you wanted to.:techman:

    No it doesn't. EVERYONE knows the United States has been practicing unmitigated military buildup for over a hundred years. Nobody has "called out" the United States because our usual response to that kind of statement is "Fuck you, we're America."

    Yes and no. During the original "missile gap" reorganization, several frigates literally BECAME cruisers just so Congress could say they didn't have a shortage of cruisers.

    After the Cold War, however, most of the Perry FFGs were decommissioned as their capabilities were filled by Burke-class DDGs or rendered irrelevant by the lack of need for roving ASW ocean patrol missions. The Spruance boats were replaced altogether, and the CGNs were scrapped as the Ticonderogas came online.

    That's because AEGIS is designed to do a shitload of things and do them better than any of its predecessors.

    Incorrect. USS Midway began its career with about 100 planes in its airwing. 40 years later -- having gained 20,000 tons in its replacement -- the ship's air wing had been reduced to 65 aircraft, just 40 of which were fighter/attack craft.

    The Nimitz class carriers currently in service have 20,000 tons on the Midway and are three times the size of the Essex carriers of WW-II; their air wings stand between 75 and 85 aircraft compared to 90-100 in WWII, and only half of those are fighter-attack craft.

    And I just realized that our entire air fleet carries just over 2000 Hornets compared to the more than 5,000 Phantom-IIs of the Vietnam Era. You really should consider writing a letter to the Pentagon enlightening them as to the error of their ways.:vulcan:

    And yet, the very few ships that AREN'T multipurpose vessels have been highly notable for this specific reason. Even Starfleet invariably interprets their existence as extraordinary measures to meat extraordinary threats, measures whose very existence -- unlike Starfleet as a whole -- is fairly difficult to justify.

    Works for me. I've always thought the Ambassador class might be a 23rd century design anyway.

    Dude, EVERYTHING. Even the combat-oriented Defiant got sent on scientific missions on more than one occasion. Their combat systems may not specialize in scientific missions, but Starfleet builds those capabilities into them almost out of habit.

    He didn't DIFFERENTIATE anything at all. Starfleet has ALWAYS run scientific and exploration programs since its inception, and to the best of our knowledge those programs have been carried out by their most advanced and most powerful ships. If you are suggesting that the Constitution class really is just a glorified science vessel and not at all representative of Starfleet's "top of the line" ships, that is 1) completely unsupported by anything we have ever seen in TOS and 2) a drastic about-face from everything YOU have claimed about TOS.
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    Who we lose the warships to is irrelevant. Having more ships mean better ability to absorb losses.

    They are weapons that the US Navy has to plan against and can be used against them.

    50 B-52s with 18 cruise missiles each = 900 targets.
    1,000 B17s upgraded to carry two cruise missiles = 1,800 targets. :)

    If nobody calls out the US, then nobody calls out the US and it depends on who is doing the replacing will be labeled as a buiild up or not.

    So basically the number of cruisers and frigates decreased and the number of destroyers increased.

    So then a shitload more ships with AEGIS should be built then :)

    The Midway stopped getting bigger. Of course it couldn't carry as many as the planes got bigger faster.

    Better than only carrying 50 aircraft total.

    That's 5,000 total build Phantom IIs spread among USAF, USN and other countries. The 2000 Hornets are also spread across multiple countries. What is the actual number for the USN?

    How are they highly notable? Dreadnought Entente isn't pointed out as something unusual during TOS Movie time. Single purpose ships like the Grissom aren't called out as being notable as well.

    We know during TNG's time Starfleet was not a military so DS9's Defiant would stand out initially but later on it's just another ship type during the war.

    They sent the Runabout Rubicon in to take the measurements. Defiant was there to keep a tractor beam on it to minimize the spatial distortion effect on the runabout.

    Of course he DIFFERENTIATED. If he didn't differentiate then he wouldn't need to mention "scientific and exploration programs" SEPARATELY. To the best of our knowledge those have been carried out by single purpose survey and science ships as well as multipurpose ships and they ranged from small and weak to advanced and powerful.

    Show the quote where I suggest this.

    Show the quote where I suggest this.

    I've maintained that with the military drawn down after TUC what's left are the science and exploration ships (and ones that could be used to haul lots of cargo). IMO the Constitutions were military ships that happen to have labs and science gear and it was one of the reasons they got retired.
  13. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

    May 22, 2001
    The People's Republic of Austin
    I can't help but wonder what sort of DOD budget you have in mind, blssdwlf. If you really think it's a numbers game, then the amounts you'd want to spend on the military would easily dwarf what's available now by a substantial margin.
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2006
    Your Mom
    It's NOT irrelevant. "The ability to absorb losses" is a tactical capability one does not necessarily need. You might as well suggest that the U.S. Army has an alarming shortage of siege weapons.:vulcan:

    It IS a buildup when the U.S. does it. My point is that NOBODY CARES that the U.S. is constantly building up its military because there's nothing anyone can do about it.

    We don't NEED that many more. That would be a waste of money.

    The CARRIERS did not. Forestall was bigger than Midway and Nimitz was bigger than Forestall. The air wing is still considerably smaller than Midway's intended WW-II complement.

    Very small. About 750 altogether, most of which are Superhornets.

    As far as "Absorbing the losses" this is really only a problem for the old-model Harrier jump jets. Taliban insurgents raided a British airfield in Afghanistan a couple of years ago and sabotaged and destroyed an entire squadron of them; for all intents and purposes, this signals the Harrier's extinction.

    This would have been a problem for the old Tartar ships, which could not be repaired or replaced on a one-to-one parity. It is NOT a problem for the Superhornets, whose production line is still active and which CAN be replaced if a bunch of them get shot down. It is also not a problem for the AEGIS ships, whose basic components are also still in production and for whom additional units can be constructed if needed.

    But that "if needed" is the whole point of the discussion. You need X-capability and that capability is provided by Y number of units. To use your B-17 example: do we NEED to be able to hit 1800 targets at once? Do we NEED to able to hit 1000 targets at once? The U.S. military is infamous for procuring weapons based on the capabilities they provide rather than its actual strategic needs; almost every time they have done this, it has resulted in a huge mismatch between system capability and emerging threat environment (I'm lookin at you, F-35 Lightning-II) and a colossal waste of money. The only coherent reason to do this is when a given capability (say, the ability to launch missiles from 1000 cheap planes at once) can only be provided by a particular manufacturer (say, the Blsdwlf aircraft company) that happens to be located in a congressional district of an armed sevice committee member (Senator Peter Chung, who just happens to own the blsdwlf aircraft company).

    The Federation doesn't seem to have this problem. Its procurement priorities ALWAYS focus on the possibility fo exploration missions no matter what's happening militarily. They don't have to draw down their fleet because a large fleet is always useful to them, and the deeper into space they go, the bigger a fleet they need. This is the exact OPPOSITE of the U.S. Navy, which -- as technology continues to improve -- needs fewer and fewer ships with smaller crews that can do the same job twice as well.

    That's probably because it was never pointed out AT ALL during TOS movie time. Its existence is suggested by comm chatter and nothing else.

    Are never described as "single-purpose" ships.

    He didn't mention anything "separately" because there is no separation to be had.

    Put it in terms of a school:
    Superintendent: Our budget's been slashed again, so we've decided to cut the philosophy and comparative religion classes from the curriculum.
    PhilosophyTeacher: Bill, are we talking about firing all the teachers?
    Superintendent: Our core curriculum will remain unaffected, but...
    ShopTeacher: I must protest! Scoffing at philosophy and comparative religion is suicide! Our children will be come the ignorant trash of America! And if we fire the teachers, the students will have no education at all!

    Put it in terms of a real world navy:
    President: The Russians want to begin negotiations for the dismantling of our SLBM submarine force.
    Admiral1: George, are we talking about mothballing the navy?
    President: I'm sure our non-nuclear military forces would be unaffected, but...
    Admiral2: I must protest! To offer the Russians safe haven in the U.S. mainland would be suicide! Russians would become the foreign trash of America! And if we dismantle the navy, we'd be defenseless against against a communist incursion with a foothold on our territory!

    All three -- including the Starfleet case -- are examples of bullshit/extremist objections to otherwise modest proposals. In the broader context "scientific and exploration programs" is in fact the original basis of Starfleet's EXISTENCE and there is little to suggest this has ever changed.

    Like the Exclesiors, the Constellations, the Mirandas... IOW, the only Starfleet we've ever been familiar with in the first place.

    Only to be replaced by the even more powerful Excelsior class ships which are both more heavily armed AND better equipped for scientific missions? More than that, to be SURVIVED by the also more heavily armed Miranda and Constellation class ships?

    That's a really odd kind of "drawdown" considering Starfleet went on to build around ten times as many Excelsiors as Constitutions. :vulcan:
  15. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    No, but it applies to the Army as well. More soldiers mean better ability to absorb losses.

    Then if there can be a country where no one cares about it building up their military then there can be other countries where the same can apply.

    If it's "designed to do a shitload of things and do them better than any of its predecessors" then getting more would make sense. But if they are limited in what they can do or they are no longer relevant in the current threat environment of course getting them replaced would be important.

    You wrote, "USS Midway began its career with about 100 planes in its airwing. 40 years later -- having gained 20,000 tons in its replacement -- the ship's air wing had been reduced to 65 aircraft, just 40 of which were fighter/attack craft."

    And I replied back based on what you wrote which is that the Midway stopped getting bigger.

    If you wanted me to reply back in a more broader context about all aircraft carriers then aircraft carriers in general have not kept pace with the increased size in aircraft. Although you could get 100 aircraft on a Nimitz if they switched to smaller manned or unmanned aircraft, theoretically speaking.

    Well if they're retiring out the older model Hornets and replacing them with Super Hornets while keeping the same number of squadrons then they'd keep roughly the same numbers.

    It's also not a problem if enough copies of the same vehicle exists that you can cannibalize a damaged one to maintain others if the vehicle or it's components are not manufactured anymore and there are no more spare parts.

    Sure. And my original argument was that 10 modern day destroyers would guarantee a win over 10 cold war destroyers. More ships mean better ability to absorb losses. And more ships mean more ocean coverage.

    Now if you want to look at the need then it's a question of what the Navy needs to do now and whether they have enough ships to fulfill their missions.

    It's actually your example. You wrote, "If it takes a thousand B-17s to carpet bomb a city into a parking lot, you can maintain your city-busting capability..."

    I'm just playing along with it.

    You brought up your example of hitting 900 targets at once with B52s so that answer is in your court.

    Well that's getting into military contractors, politics and waste. It would be nice if the DOD actually could purchase equipment unencumbered by that.

    I wouldn't say opposite because if the US Navy continues to want to have command of the seas then they'll need enough ships to do this. If they're forced to fewer ships because of budgetary reasons then they have to change their mission to avoid being stretched thin.

    A dreadnought existed and it was not called out at anytime for being unusual.

    At the time it was a "Federation Science Vessel". Not a general purpose starship or something broad.

    Actually the answer would be more like this:
    Superintendent: Our math and sciences program will remain unaffected, but...

    That would be close to the liberal arts that was mentioned earlier. And this would then call in question how much the other programs will be affected.

    And that would imply that all the nuclear military forces would be affected. Remember that he never gets to finish that "but..."

    No, those are just questions and answers. And we know from dialogue that TOS and TOS movies the Starfleet of that time was the Military. You could argue that they didn't want to be the military, but they became it due to the volatile times.

    Yes. In a funny way when you point to these other ship classes you get to see that more space on those ships are available for non-military use like for hauling cargo which is useful for moving science teams and colonists around.

    How do we know that the Excelsior is more heavily armed? We know she's bigger than the Enterprise so she can carry more scientific equipment. But her killing power in TUC didn't appear to be any better.

    Same question. The Reliant has at least two more tubes pointing aft. But does that make her more heavily armed or more powerful? And the Constellations at that time appear to only have the same neck torpedo launcher the Enterprise had so she might have only had only 2 tubes.

    More cargo hauling ability ;)
  16. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

    Jun 9, 2013
    The Captain's Table

  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2004
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    I've often wondered if it was the much speculated (in fandom) but never seen dreadnoughts and battleships that were retired post-TUC. I'm not entirely sold on the idea either way.
  18. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 30, 2011
    At star's end.
    By TUC, military strategists on both sides predicted an easy federation victory over the klingons.
    By 'Yesterday Enterprise', the klingons had crushed the federation (the end of the war was no longer in question)*.

    Meaning the federation/starfleet leadership was utterly incompetent/naively optimistic.

    A probable scenario:
    A large part of the fleet was mothballed after TUC (as per canon TUC, this was implied to be a serious possibility - and not contradicted).
    The klingons recover from Praxis.

    Starfleet training is reorganised to limit military training, to instill in starfleet personnel a distaste toward honing one's military skills.
    This is made obvious in Picard, Riker's (leaders of THE top starfleet crew) behaviour from 'Peak performance'. See also Picard, Riker's airhead combat performance in episodes like 'Rascals' and others, proving they cannot use effectively the combat capabilities of their ship.

    As per 'Yesterday's enterprise', the klingons killed 40 billion. You can't do that by killing merely military personnel.
    Most likely, the klingons massed their forces for a surprise attack. Starfleet intelligence, as redundantly shown in canon, was/is utterly incompetent and failed to discover this.
    The klingons launched their attack, destroying many federation worlds with populations numbering in the billions, eliminating large parts of the federation infrastructure.
    By the time starfleet manages to mass its dispersed fleet to respond/starfleet officers manage to come up with behaviour distinguishable from utter incompetence, the klingons have a substantial advantage.

    The federation is incapable of recovering during the war. Perhaps because many worlds seceded from the federation, not wanting to be the next world the klingons burn to a crisp. This is even more probable when one considers how different the cultures of the federation member worlds are.

    Not a chance.
    During war, when both parties use their assets, each side knows the situation pretty accurately. Unless the klingons had hidden reserves - which makes the situation worse for the federation.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  19. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

    May 22, 2001
    The People's Republic of Austin
    I'm not sure how your scenario is really a probable one.

    First, Guinan's line about 43 billion casualties is in reference to the entire war. Presumably this includes Klingon as well as Federation casualties. It's a figure from nearly 20 years of fighting, which the characters repeatedly refer to as being the case. Now they might be exaggerating, but it's clear the conflict had been waging for a long while, certainly longer than the career of NCC-1701-D. (Stated to be 4 years in service at this point.)

    Second, if the Klingons had managed to so thoroughly route the Federation early, there's very little likelihood that the conflict could drag on for 20 years, much less allow the Federation to construct brand new and gigantic starships like the Enterprise. We also know that technology progressed in those two decades to the point where the Galaxy-class had a substantial superiority to the Ambassador and that Picard's warship Enterprise could have easily destroyed the 4 warbirds attacking Narendra III. That's not a state that got knocked out easily in the first few years of the war. If anything that's a state fighting total war for a long, long time in a conflict of attrition.

    The Federation's tactical training by 2366 was evidently far superior to anything taught in the 2330s/2340s, assuming Castillo wasn't just humoring Yar to flirt with her. But at the same time, the Federation's tactical abilities (Or at least Garrett's) were sufficient to survive a four to one odds battle against Romulan warships sufficiently long enough for both the Klingons and the Federation to know what had happened to Narendra III.

    We also know that the Klingons and Cardassians had fought an 18 year war at some point before 2370 (from the Betreka Nebula Incident). Noting for the record here that the Cardassians at least into the 2360s were not a "Great Power" like the Federation of the time, and their ships weren't as powerful. We know that an unshielded Nebula configured for something other than battle (Phoenix) could destroy a Cardassian warship (presumably a Galor given its crew compliment of 600) with relative ease. Yet the Klingons weren't able to conquer them or even meaningfully defeat them over the course of an 18 year war. This gives us some idea of the relative capabilities of the Klingon Empire in the era preceding TNG.

    We also know that the Federation had a fair share of conflicts in the early-mid 24th century. The ones we've heard as "wars" were with the Cardassians and Tzenkethi, and a series of border conflicts with the Talarians. We also know that the Tholians had destroyed a number of Federation outposts, like what happened with Kyle Riker.

    Further, even if large parts of the fleet active circa 2293 was mothballed after the Khitomer Conference, we know that Starfleet was given sufficient resources to go around building new upgrades of the Excelsior class. We know that they go from decommissioning Enterprise-A somewhere around Stardate 9529.1 and launching Enterprise-B on 9715.5. (Anywhere between a couple months and a couple years).

    By the 24th century we're treated to dozens upon dozens of Excelsior and Miranda-class ships which were "top of the line" circa TUC. So even if a portion of the older ships were mothballed, Starfleet had more than made up for their loss by the 2320s-2340s. They had also commissioned substantially larger ships like the Ambassador-class ships which were as much a boost in size over Excelsior as Excelsior was over Enterprise.

    Finally Yar in "Yesterday's Enterprise" seems to know a LOT about the capabilities of Romulan ships, giving Castillo a thorough overview of what they need to do to actually defeat the 4 Romulan ships. Given that Starfleet in the "standard" timeline had no extensive contact with Romulans from 2311 to 2364,so there's SOMETHING that gave them substantial knowledge on Romulan tactical capabilities by 2366 in the altered timeline. An expanded war where everyone from the Cardassians, Tzenkethi, Sheliak, Talarians, Tholians, and Romulans were taking shots at the Federation sounds more likely as a way for them to be ground down over 20 years.
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Feb 26, 2010
    40 billion deaths over 20 years = 2 billion a year on average. Even split between both sides it would be more than all the starship crews of a 6,000 ship fleet of 500 crew each.

    Probably not a rout, but it's possible the early years of the war resulted in high losses on both sides resulting in borders being pulled back to the core worlds and then settling into a war of attrition. This would still allow both sides to manufacture new ships. We know at the 20 year mark Starfleet had lost half their ships but that number likely fluctuated over the years since they were still manufacturing ships.

    Castillo as a non-wartime helmsman might not have had as much tactical training compared to Yar who's Starfleet had been fighting a war for 20 years would have emphasized war fighting skills.

    It might have been as simple as showing up to get destroyed and have the debris of the E-C found. In the altered history, there was no trace of the E-C so no evidence that she was there at all at Narendra 3.

    According to Garak it was a "skirmish" and Bashir made fun saying it lasted "18 years". We don't know how much actual fighting the Cardassians and Klingons had or if it was even a "war".

    Didn't the Feds and Cardassians stalemate during the Cardassian War? Did these conflicts take place post-2240?

    Although the Federation built more ships (as it should, assuming they were expanding) were they better at fighting? The ending to TUC doesn't show the Excelsior to have more ability to kill a BOP than the Enterprise-A did. And as we've seen in the Dominion War ships like the Lakota in "Way of the Warrior" had to have her weapons upgraded to be competitive in the firepower department. So even though more ships were built and of the bigger variety, they were not necessarily built for combat without having to go back in for upgrades.

    Sure, that's very possible. They'd be circling like vultures after watching both the Klingons and Feds wear down each sides forces for some years and then jump in when they felt it was advantageous to do so.