Federation industrial capacity

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Federation industrial capacity

Post by Picard578 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:30 am

Indications of Federation industrial capability are relatively few as I recall... in BobW it is indicated that loss of 39 starships can be made good in less than a year... so 6 months to 12 months, leading to construction capability of 40 - 80 starships per year on top of normal replacement rate. Assuming production capability was doubled for the purpose, and with starship lifespan of 80 - 120 years, you get a fleet of 3.200 - 9.600 ships.

Dominion war implies a fleet of no more than 10.000 or so... Klingons are said to be outnumbered 20:1 by Dominion, Breen and Cardassia while having 1500 ships ready by the next day. Thus the three hostile powers have a total of 30.000 ships. Assuming parity, and taking the fact that Klingons and Federation account for majority of the ships (Romulan warbirds are massive, so they may be outnumbered 4:1 to 5:1 or even more by rest of the Alliance, which combat scenes seem to confirm), Federation would have some 12.000 ships. Considering this is wartime, and time later than The Next Generation, this seems to fit. At any rate, considering combat losses and such, production capability was definitely significantly increased, several hundred per year for certain.

Then there is the matter of industrial replicators, several of which are said to be capable of repairing Cardassian economy. But if that is so, shouldn't Federation's production capability be even greater than shown above? So where is the bottleneck? Production of parts, actually putting parts together, or something else (crewing, logistical capability)?

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Re: Federation industrial capacity

Post by 2046 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:26 pm

Post-scarcity doesn't equal post-budget. To be sure, an industrial replicator should be able to transition to wartime materiel production at the literal press of a button, but (a) not everything can be replicated, and (b) expanding production should be relatively easy in the 24th Century, but expanding supply chains in wartime might be hard.

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Re: Federation industrial capacity

Post by Trinoya » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 am

I've suspected that the heavy use of older or mothballed ships is the federations stop gap measure to increasing their industrial capability in a time of war. Basically the idea being that any threat of another nation will be seen and they can slowly ramp up fleet numbers while prepping for newer ships to enter the line up.

When they get serious about it, some significant measure of their industry goes to boosting it. Likely building industrial scale replicators, increasing dilithium mining, getting more ship yards up and running. Meanwhile the fleets get more Mirandas and Excelsiors, which I presume is due to their designs being easy to update on the fly. The federation really seems to like reusing ships if they are even remotely reusable as it were.

This is why the Borg was such a major problem. There is no fleet build up, it's just suddenly there are Borg, and they will stomp around and do what they want, where they want. The battle of Sector 001 pretty much showed that the Borgs damage was best described as "starship per x seconds."

The thing is I suspect both the Klingons and the Romulans, who had comprable fleet sizes to the Federation, almost certainly do a similar thing, and politically it makes sense. No one wants a long, dirty, bloody war, especially the Federation. They want political stability with grand gestures of how awesome they personally are. The Romulans didn't think the Federation would go to war over Vulcan if they could just entrench soldiers on it... so clearly all three of the major empires were stagnating on their own military fronts until the Dominion showed up. Suddenly we have large massive ships being built, new designs all over, and we see them get very active very quick. The Dominion is apparently even better at shipbuilding, replacing losses near effortlessly, though even the Dominions ships make Klingon ships seem downright comfortable by comparison. I guess it's easy to build ships when you don't really concern yourself with where the crew sleeps, eats, or how they would even survive. It's just cheaper for them to use an economy of scale to replace the a ship whole sale.

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