Flare Sci-fi Forums
Flare Sci-Fi Forums
Topic Closed  Topic Closed
Post New Topic  
Topic Closed  Topic Closed
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Star Trek » Starships & Technology » Size of Starfleet (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4   
Author Topic: Size of Starfleet
Matrix
AMEAN McAvoy
Member # 376

 - posted      Profile for Matrix     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, I am new. A very interesting forum here.

What do you think the size of Starfleet is?

I think a reasonable number is about 5,000 ships. Giving there are 9 seperate mobile fleets of about 200-250 ships each giving a total of 1,800 to 2,250 ships. There are also system fleets that protect the major worlds like Vulcan or Earth with about 250-300 ships each. There are perhaps 6-10 of these fleets giving a total of 1,500 to 3,000 ships. There are also the Starfleet's exploratory branch with a likely total of about 750 ships.

Starfleet probably has over 30,000 ships of the smaller craft like the Danube, Peregrine, and the scout type ships.

Is this reasonable?

------------------
It is better to walk the path of the devil than to be in the path of the devil. Though it still might not be the right path.


Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
The359
The bitch is back
Member # 37

 - posted      Profile for The359     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
5,000 real starships (non-small craft) is really small. And we don't know there are only 9 defensive fleets. It's just the highest number for a fleet was heard was 9. For all we know, "Fleets" could be line "Divisions" in the Air Force, and there are hundreds of those.

------------------
"The things hollow--it goes on forever--and--oh my God!--it's full of stars!" -David Bowman's last transmission back to Earth, 2001: A Space Odyssey

The 359 Webpage



Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
Joshua Bell
Member
Member # 327

 - posted      Profile for Joshua Bell     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We should also attempt to answer these questions. They may be easier, and point us in the right direction for estimating the size of Starfleet.

How large is the Federation? (population, planets, volume, surface area/perimeter)

How large is the current U.S. Navy, with a breakdown by type? How many carrier groups does the U.S. have?

Are there other "fleets" within the Federation? E.g. Earth Defense Force, Vulcan Defense Force, ... ? Would those be considered part of Starfleet, and/or share ships?

How long do Starfleet ships remain in service?

What is the *minimum* size of Starfleet, given all evidence to date? (e.g. total count of contemporary ships named; number of ships seen at once in CG montage, etc)

Personally, TOS and TNG always convinced me that Starfleet was small; a few hundred ships total in TOS, a few thousand at most in TNG, and mostly smaller or service ships in both cases. The DS9 battle scenes and an overview of registry numbers appear to contradict that - I consider it unfortunate. Throwing large Star Trek starships around like Star Wars fighters just looks dumb (and like a ratings grab). I also never liked the huge lists of ships seen in the SFTM - TOS made the Federation and Starfleet seem weak and tiny, not a culture that could produce hundreds of capital ships a decade.


Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
The_Tom
recently silent
Member # 38

 - posted      Profile for The_Tom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(it seems like we do one of these threads every three months)

Keep in mind that Peregrines and Danubes, are, for all intents and purposes, ships just like any other. They have names, NCC numbers etc. It seems reasonable that the fleet numbers expressed in various war arc episodes would include even the hordes of fighters (which might have been more than a quarter of the ship total in eps like SoA)

So.. numbers....

I can't see there being many more than nine Dominion War fleets. They do strike me as the largest subdivision of Starfleet, and each seemed to make up the sole fighting force on each front (ie. the third fleet on the Vulcan front, the sixth on the Bajoran front etc.) When not concentrating a direct assault on one target (ie. Chin'toka, Cardassia) each fleet was probably spread out a fair bit.

Assuming 350 ships to a fleet, of which 250 are Miranda or bigger, that means 2500 capital ships directly involved in the war effort. Add another 1500 elsewhere in the Federation, and that gives us 4000. Toss in another 6000 small ships (fighters, runabouts) and 10,000 freighters, tenders, transports, tugs etc. That's 20,000 ships in Starfleet. Some might say too small, but I'm cool with that...

------------------
"Truth about Santa Claus debunks Santa God. God evolves from Santa."
-Gene Ray, http://www.timecube.com


[This message has been edited by The_Tom (edited July 11, 2000).]


Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
Timo
Moderator
Member # 245

 - posted      Profile for Timo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One has to remember that Starfleet *is* too small in practice. It has a low starship density in peacetime, and it apparently takes a long time for it to muster wartime strength when a crisis looms. There are no major permanently deployed defensive fleets around Earth or other big planets in peacetime, or even in a time of recently heightened tensions. Even major border starbases in political hot spots cannot deploy war-strength fleets at short notice, as seen in "Redemption".

So it is a futile attempt to begin to calculate the fleet size from the requirements imposed on the Fleet (say, "efficient defence of a volume of space X lightyears across"), since the Fleet does not meet those requirements. There are obviously some bottlenecks that prevent the production of unlimited numbers of starships, so the Fleet is always short of perfect defensive let alone offensive strength.

Our best hope is to use the numbers directly available to us from the DS9 episodes - at least half a dozen fleets explicitly named (there could be gaps in the naming scheme, so there could be LESS than nine fleets!), 150-300 ships per fleet indicated, 250 crew per ship averaged from Wolf 359 casualty figures (but that was in peacetime). In addition, the final episodes suggest 1500 Klingon ships is significantly down from normal (so UFP ships should number more than 1500 normally, too), and some ten thousand ships from a joint FKR fleet are probably pitted against some 30 000 in the final battle.

I'm personally in favor of a 5000-8000-ship wartime Starfleet, not counting any small craft or noncombatants, and with a very thin logistic structure completely unlike today's navies (because the combat starships are so independent and multimission-capable by themselves). That would be enough to equip twenty fleets or so, and it wouldn't yet be such a huge coincidence that we didn't hear of double-digit fleet numbers in DS9. More than 20 fleets,
and we definitely need an explanation for why we only heard of the low numbers.

Timo Saloniemi


Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Matrix
AMEAN McAvoy
Member # 376

 - posted      Profile for Matrix     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Like the US Navy during the peace times, many ships are laid up or scrapped. If the Navy thinks there would be a war immeniate then they start a build up. Then during war, production is at an all time high.

Asssuming that the Starfleet's territory is (2D) 8,000 lightlears in diameter(please no arguements about this) Then it would be 64 million square lightyears. Then the 5,000 ship figure would be small considering that every 100 lightyears there would be a ship. With the 8,000 ship figure it would be 90 lightyears.

But then during the war, the opposite side of StarFleet's territory from where the war is happening, Starfleet would take about 90% of the ships stationed there would be reassigned to the war fronts.

------------------
It is better to walk the path of the devil than to be in the path of the devil. Though it still might not be the right path.


Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
Aban Rune
Former ascended being
Member # 226

 - posted      Profile for Aban Rune     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is also no indication that Starfleet stays in any kind of "Division" or "Squadron" organization during peacetime. The first we heard of individual battle fleets was during the DS9 war arc.

I doubt the ship are organized into groups like that when there is no war on.

------------------
"A gathering of Angels appeared above my head. They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said..." -Styx

Aban's Illustration www.thespeakeasy.com/alanfore



Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
colin
Active Member
Member # 217

 - posted      Profile for colin         Edit/Delete Post 
The size of Starfleet is, like many things in Star Trek, subject to the studios' needs. In other words, don't look to the series to give a consistent answer.

Though this might be hard, I would suggest that we determine the size of Starfleet based on different criteria than those suggested by the series.

Personnally, I don't believe in the idea of a large, expanded Federation and a fleet of ten of thousands of starships and lesser starships, i.e. runabouts. Starships are built over a period of years, staffed with crew members who spend three or four years in the various military academies, and need maintenance facilities. To support such a large fleet, the budget (even non-currency economies, i.e. barter, have a budget) of Starfleet would be dominated by a military industry complex. This contradicts the known information about the Federation. Further, from reading ancient history, I know that governing a large region of territory, either as a contigous whole or as a region of mini-domains, is not the easiest way of doing things-maintaining communication, maintaining trade routes, maintaining peace and security. This is true today in our contemporary world. To do this in space, this would be impossible. The time for travel between stars would be measured in months and a crisis could emerge that Starfleet would be slow to respond to because of the distance.

If I am writing the shows, I would have a fleet of about 500 primary fleet ships and a smaller number of secondary fleet ships (home fleets) at Federation worlds in an area smaller than a thousand lightyears. This is more realistic.

------------------

takeoffs are optional; landings are mandatory

[This message has been edited by targetemployee (edited July 11, 2000).]


Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Matrix
AMEAN McAvoy
Member # 376

 - posted      Profile for Matrix     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think that is even remotely correct. If the what the series says about the size of the Federation then only 500 ship is pretty small. I would think that during peacetime, Starfleet has aboyt 2,000 ships and during war time about 5,000 ships. Those addtional ships are from the mothball fleets much similar to the the real US Navy.

------------------
It is better to walk the path of the devil than to be in the path of the devil. Though it still might not be the right path.


Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged
colin
Active Member
Member # 217

 - posted      Profile for colin         Edit/Delete Post 
The United States has about 400 ships that are used to patrol the world and maintain a presence in international affairs. This includes secondary ships-tugs, freighters, oil tankers, hospital ships, etc. Further, there are approximately 15 carrier fleets in operation today. I know from the news of the USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Eisenhower, USS America, USS John F. Kennedy, and USS Carl Vinson.

Another consideration-
technology is furthering the ability to predict an enemy's behavrior and the analysts of the technology plan a response to this behavrior. The result is that there is a need for less ships and personnal. Battles in Star Trek are based on an understanding of World War II where capital ships engaged in close combat. This is aesthically pleasing to both the studio, who decide on the matter, and to fans who like watching large starships explode apart. My feeling is that battle in space would actually be less pleasing to the viewer, more confusing (what is up? what is down?) to the casual viewer and beautiful to the trained viewer, and very dangerous (an exploding starship would create debris that would or could cut into other starships). Another consideration-warfare is no longer unlimited as in World War II. Warfare is becoming limited-people don't want to lose loved ones in combat when other alternatives are available. And people, with the exception of a small minority, are mostly satisfied with the results of a limited war.

Based on our contemporary society, with the Federation being the US, I would enivision giant automated starships alerted by border detection installtions, and possibly patrol ships, that would engage the first wave of enemy ships followed by primary capital ships with smaller lesser ships to further lessen the number of enemy ships, and then a home fleet, based at a member world, to sweep up the remainder. This is simply and would lessen the number of lives lost. And produce good press. (In Star Trek, there would seem to be primary capital ships with lesser starships and no automated starships nor home fleets. The fact that there are no automated starships is strange for in the series there is mention of automated freighters. Why didn't the Federation build automated starships? I feel that from watching the battles in DS9 that the Federation doesn't value life. Their society has advanced technology that can be used to preserve life.)

And for landing troops on an enemy planet. I believe that the Federation would first scout the planet, target and destroy military installations and personnel, and then land troops when the planet is secured by a small detachment of highly trained soldiers.

Based on what I spoke of above, I believe the total number of ships to be far less than is implied in the series. There would be a small number of primary ships for exploration, resolving local sector disputes, opening trade routes, spreading the word of the Federation, and so on; a greater number of smaller ships with more specific tasks-tugs, transports, carriers (as in cargo), patrol ships, scouts, and so on; and a number of automated warships that are used in times of crisis. Each member world would have a varied number of ships based on budgetary concerns and their views on the matters of war and peace.

------------------

takeoffs are optional; landings are mandatory

[This message has been edited by targetemployee (edited July 11, 2000).]


Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Saltah'na
Chinese Canadian, or 75% Commie Bastard.
Member # 33

 - posted      Profile for Saltah'na     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Don't forget the Science and Medical Ships as well. There are ships that are designed for research, medical, and supply purposes only, they don't have the necessary power to fight.

As well, many of these "secondary" vessels do have the NCC registries only. You'll have to look at that.

------------------
"My Name is Elmer Fudd, Millionaire. I own a Mansion and a Yacht."
Psychiatrist: "Again."


Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
Masao
doesn't like you either
Member # 232

 - posted      Profile for Masao     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's some historical data on the size of the US fleet in WWII to think about.

During WWII, the US Navy had 3400 large ships (1000 tons or more, from carriers to destroyer escorts and subs) and 6200 small seagoing ships (less than 1000 tons, including gunboats, torpedo boats, frigates, corvettes, subchasers). This doesn't count an additional 4000 costal or harbor craft and 60,000 amphibious assault boats (landing craft).

Large combat ships: From 1937 to 1945, the US built 39 fleet carriers (CV), 86 light and escort carriers (CVE), 13 battleships (BB), 63 cruisers (CC/CL), 423 destroyers (DD), 331 ecort destoyers (DE), and 246 submarines (SS) for a total of 1201 ships. All but 88 entered service from 1941 to 1945. An additional 168 ships were under constructon when the war ended. Commissioned ships in service during the war included 25 BB, 28 CV, 94 CVE, 91 CC/CL, 620 DD, 337 DE, and 350 SS for a total of 1545 large combatants. Therefore, before the war the navy had only about 344 large combat ships. In addition to these ships were 1400 amphibious shipping transports.

So a single country like the US in WWII, with a population of about 140 million and 18 million men and women in the armed services had an ocean going navy of around 10,000 ships. This doesn't include civilian transports. So, I think a figure of 30,000 for a wartime Starfleet is reasonable, if we include all ship types.

------------------
When you're in the Sol system, come visit the Starfleet Museum


Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
colin
Active Member
Member # 217

 - posted      Profile for colin         Edit/Delete Post 
The figures from World War II are a reflection of the combat that was fought then, not fifty years later. I have heard stated many times in many documentaries that the evolution of the airplane and advanced sensing technology of the last fifty years has rendered the combat of the last great war obsolete. A carrier fleet can do as much destruction as was done in the whole of World War II. The United States has about fifteen such carrier fleets. Think this way, the United States can wage fifteen World War IIs.

I just don't buy the concept of a large fleet for several reasons. I stated one reason above. The other reason is that the fleet suddenly has thousands and even tens of thousands of ships.

Brief history of the Federation from 2345-
2345 to 2366 Border wars, Cardassians, Tzenkethi, Tholians, Talarians. Federation is fighting on multiple fronts.
2367 Battle of Wolf 359
2372 Hostilities with the Dominion

During the period of 2366 to 2372, the Federation is hard pressed to deliver ships to the Wolf 359 fleet and to the blockade of the Romulan border. 40 ships lost is considered a major blow to the Federation. Suddenly, in 2370's, the Federation has tens of thousands of ships to fight the war. How did we go from having a small fleet to a large fleet? Wouldn't the large fleet be operational during the 2350's and the 2360's when the border wars were occuring? This is a major inconsistency in the series and can't be overlooked.

Everyone is attempting to justify this expansion of the fleet. To my view, this is like the war games that children play. Children believe that large fleets are impressive in battle and like to have as many ships as possible. It is wonderful to destroy ships and see pretty fireballs. This is not very realistic, nor is the battle scenes in DS9.

Further, why do people feel the need to justify this expansion of the fleet (or other things, like the separation of World War III from the Eugenics War or the official history.)?

------------------

takeoffs are optional; landings are mandatory


Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Fructose
Active Member
Member # 309

 - posted      Profile for Fructose     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, at the end of BoBW, the Admiral says they'll have the fleet back up within the year. So under normal peace time they can pump out at least 40+ ships. If they go to war time production and recomission mothballed ships, they could easily jump the number up to the thousands. I think the Federation got lulled into a relax mode after years of minor conflict. They figured they are all powerful and don't need a big fleet. Then the Borg come along and they start to worry. Then they new threats from the Dominion. They probably started cranking out new ships years before they went to war. Even if they didn't want to go to war, they would need the ships to present a image of power. I say a good conclusion was that the fleet was at a low during BoBW and got ramped up for the war. That's what happened to the US before WWII. Granted war was different, but the same thing could have happened to the Federation as far as fleet size was concerned.

------------------
It doesn't matter if you don't know what you're doing as long as you look good doing it.



Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
The Vorlon
Member
Member # 52

 - posted      Profile for The Vorlon     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's been said before, but I'll say it again... You DO realize that both the Borg invasion of "BobW" and the "Redemption pt 2" fleets were composed of only the amount of starships which could be pulled together in a few days time, right? You have a fleet stretched over 8000ly minimum (depending on which way you measure, 8000 cubic ly, 8000 ly across, etc), and mot likely a large amount out beyond that 8000ly exporing the unknown, and suddenly, you need a fleet at one spot ASAP. How many ships could get there in time? Most likely only those within 100ly radius, or less. With the Dominion War, SF had at least a YEAR to gather its ships...

The difference in fleet sizes is hardly hard to explain, and given how many ships ONE planet, or even ONE nation on ONE planet can support, 30,000 SF ships seems actually low to me, what with at least 150 member worlds, plus all their colonies, you've got much more than 1000 planets backing you up...

------------------
Sheridan: "Well, as answers go, short, to the point, utterly useless and totally consistant with what I've come to expect from a Vorlon..."
Kosh: "Good."
Sheridan: "I REALLY hate it when you do that..."
Kosh: "Good."

SapphireEclipse Productions
http://sapphireeclipse.virtualave.net/


Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
  This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4   

Post New Topic  
Topic Closed  Topic Closed
Open Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


© 1999-2008 Solareclipse Network.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3