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The Battle of Coppelius: An argument for the single ship class fleet

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Petrarch, 4 Weeks Ago
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    #1
    Some minor spoilers for the Picard finale in here, but I came across this in my google news feed.

    It's an analysis of the Federation fleet which appeared and gives several reasons why the composition of it, while disliked by fans, would have logical reasons and traits in real military thinking. It's quite an interesting take by a US Naval Academy professor.

    Battle of Coppelius and the single ship design
    Petrarch
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    #2
    Thats actually quite an interesting article and it does make some sense especially when it's related to a real world example (and I was one of hte people really annoyed by the C+P ship design).

    Thanks for the share Petrarch
    ChrisWilkinson
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    #3
    That's why we (America) have so many Nimitz Class carriers (10). And Virginia Class submarines (19, headed for a total of 66). When you make capital investments like those, you don't want to redesign everything just so that you have a different design. You go with what works until it doesn't. You make small changes as technologies are proven.* But eventually something drastic happens and you create a new class because integration of the new technologies in a new design is cheaper than trying to retrofit it into the older design.

    * The Ford Class aircraft carrier and the F-35 Lightning II notwithstanding. Those are both simply horrible, horrible pieces of ... hardware.
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    #4
    Totally agree with the analysis. This is true and you can see this when you are playing RTS games, you always tend to produce same type of units that is either balance in all sorts of your need (starcraft comes in to mind - mass produce goliath, hyrdralisk or dragoons because they are all rounders) or the most powerful unit you can have.
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    #5
    That's why we (America) have so many Nimitz Class carriers (10). And Virginia Class submarines (19, headed for a total of 66). When you make capital investments like those, you don't want to redesign everything just so that you have a different design. You go with what works until it doesn't. You make small changes as technologies are proven.* But eventually something drastic happens and you create a new class because integration of the new technologies in a new design is cheaper than trying to retrofit it into the older design.

    * The Ford Class aircraft carrier and the F-35 Lightning II notwithstanding. Those are both simply horrible, horrible pieces of ... hardware.
    The ford class? Really? I have heard about the F-35 being a boondoggle, but the new carrier I hadn't heard anything about.
    Speaking of capital ships, though, those take so long to build each member of the class tends to be subtly different as various lessons from the last ship get rolled into the design of the next one.

    As far as Star Trek goes, I rather like the aesthetic of the Nebula as a common descendant of the Galaxy line. Maybe it doesn't make a whole lot of logical engineering/design sense, but it at least lends some verisimilitude to the notion they saved efforts by making some sort of common platform. And while navies DO tend to be fairly uniform, they aren't all big ships. The nature of Starfleet needing a large portion of self-sufficient ships for exploration and border duties may skew the fleet, but I'd still expect a few smaller designs.

    Really, though I didn't have a problem with the fleet in the Picard finale being uniform. My issue was that the fleets on both sides seemed quite large. The current era of Star trek has this issue that everything has to be more bigger. There was a BIT of disappointment to not see any familiar vessels, though.
    CurzonPeers
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    #6
    I will give you that it make sense to the real world, but never the less the scene was boring with a fleet of copy and paste ships. People get excited when they can see new never seen parts of a ship or are introduced to a new ship class all together.

    One thing for sure this would have been so much better for old and new fans a fleet mixed with old and new ship.

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    #7
    After reading this article it made more sense to me why Starfleet would invest heavily in one class of Starship.

    But like Admiral Bridger, I would've loved to see some of our old favorites on the screen again, and perhaps in season 2 we will. Since Akiva Goldsman has stated we will have more of Starfleet in it. Plus with CBS and Paramount being happily married again. It might make such a thing a lot easier to accomplish.

    From a story standpoint though, Utopia Planitia seems to be back in operation between 2409 - 2411, perhaps STO Represents the renaissance of multiple classes & different designs.

    Only time will tell. Thanks for sharing this article.
    Jbyb04
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    #8
    This article pretty much summed up my train of thought after seeing the episode. Sure I was miffed at first but once I thought about it, it made sense. There was the multiple engagements with the Borg, the War with the Klingons and the War with the Dominion, starfleet was bound to have a shortage of ships especially once you think about the fact that there was the matter of securing cardassian Space as well as territory previously lost in the war. Another thing to consider is the loss of man power, sure you lost a bunch of ships but you also lost a crap ton of people who know how to operate and maintain said ships, so starfleet would probably have been stretched pretty damn thin.

    My headcanon was the new ships we see were streamlined to be both easy to build, easy to operate with limited crew requirement and be easily modified for certain mission parameters such as exploration and defense, the destruction of Utopia Planetia Probably made it difficult to manufacture more sophisticated ships on a large scale since we really don't know how the other shipyards compare to it, sure these other shipyards could probably build something like a sovereign but how many and how quickly? As for the older ships, I assume they're probably reserved for admiralty and deep space exploration like the Excelsior was.
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    #9
    One thing to consider for all those ships is that they might not actually be crewed vessels like the Enterprise was or like Riker’s Zheng He is.
    They could possibly be identical drone ships that are slaved to an actual crewed vessel somewhere and control remotely. Something a bit like the Romulan Drone ship in Enterprise, or those little fighter things they had in Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Each proper vessel might have an operations centre onboard from where several drone versions are controlled from. After all, the Prometheus showed a ship could easily be used in combat with only two crew members some a fully trained “UAV” crew should be quite capable.

    Combine this sort of combat approach with rapidly building of modular ships in automated assembly plants maybe and tot could have a very big fleet of identical ships without needing thousands of crew on them all.
    SulMatuul
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    #10
    The ford class? Really? I have heard about the F-35 being a boondoggle, but the new carrier I hadn't heard anything about.
    Yeah, the EMALS has a single point of failure in the power grid. It went offline for five days last month while a "workaround" was developed so they could offload the fighter wing of F/A-18s.

    I'm not positive, but I think there are issues hooking up the F-35C to the EMALS and the AAG. I remember reading it somewhere... AH!

    Anyway, I get what you're saying about small changes during the lifetime of construction. The Nimitz Class went through it. There are technically 3 classes of Nimitz Class carrier. 1. Nimitz (3); 2. Teddy Roosevelt (5); and 3. Ronald Reagan (2). But the previous classes are upgraded to the current (Reagan) design standard when they roll in for refueling and updating.

    Starfleet has the same basic principle with their theorized modular construction. The pods on the Nebula, all of the bridges, mission-specific modules, warp cores and nacelles, torpedo launchers... All can be swapped for upgraded units with minimal fuss (theoretically). So that design changes made on the 200th Inquiry Class ship can be quickly retrofitted into the 1st ship off the line when it comes in for routine shipyard maintenance.

    It's like the wood grain on the ENT-D bridge. 😊