Starfleet Size

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Mike DiCenso
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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Mike DiCenso » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:10 pm

So far, my general stance on these matters has basically been "it may suck, but that doesn't mean it isn't canon," but I thought I heard something about the show runners themselves making noise about DISCO departing from the "real" timeline? Admittedly I haven't been paying much attention, maybe that was only in reference to the Discovery itself after disappearing into the void, or the future or whatever. Perhaps I got my information garbled.
No, that's a bad mangling of what Alex Kurtzman has stated:

"That’s the same thought process that went into jumping 950 years into the future. We’re now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore."

The misunderstanding is on how generally Kurtzman is being here. Most people recognize that he's talking about doing something different for S3 by having the ship thrown 950 years in the future of the Prime Timeline and so they won't be constrained to the canon of the TOS era any more. By S4 they'll probably wind up back in the TOS time frame. I disagree with the reasoning Kurtzman is using here, but I understand why he's doing it.
Also consider TNG S:4E:1 "BoBW" where Starfleet assembled roughly 40 ships to intercept the Borg in about six days time, with Klingon ships on their way, though apparently not arriving in time. Roughly seven years later, another Federation fleet of apparently comparable, though probably greater size engaged another Borg cube in ST:9 "First Contact" within roughly a day, remember this was amid growing tensions with the Dominion as well however.


I have to disagree with this somewhat. That correlation is probably more coincidence or bias confirmation than anything else. In TOS we saw far thinner deployments than any of that, though I think it's safe to say we can largely ignore it given some of the retconning that has occurred over the years since FX budgets and technology now allow for larger fleets and more diverse fleet composition or we can take what we've learned and apply it in that the Enterprise in TOS was on the fringe of deep space exploration as she apparently was during the Klingon-Federation war along with other vessels, only occasionally being brought back into Federation space proper for certain high-profile patrols on Klingon or Romulan territory or for special duties, like shuttling ambassadors to Babel. The Motion Picture unfortunately set up a perplexing problem in that Earth had no major ship deployments to intercept V'Ger, but fifteen years later did for the Whale Probe. At least in the Kelvin Timeline there were 8-9 ships that could be sent to Vulcan's aid. In the TNG-era, we see that the Federation got a bad case of arrogance and complacency which the return of the Romulans and the initial encounters with the Borg soon shocked them out of. That also ties back into 2256 with a similar arrogance and complacency the Federation was suffering from that nearly lead to its defeat at the hands of the Klingons.

This is nothing new from a fandom point of view. The Federation seems to at times become a victim of its own success and becomes too ideological for its own good, even if Section 31 has apparently been there from the earliest days to try to keep that curbed. Not enough ships because ideology over being peaceful explorers in good times takes over and all the ships get dispersed to the four corners of the Alpha and Beta quadrants, then crap goes down and everyone has to be brought back for defense for a period time and Starfleet gets all military as we saw post Borg and Dominion contacts. The calculations on the TNG-era fleet sizes were done based on the 30,000 Dominion/Cardassian ship number calculated from the being outnumbered 20 to 1 statement in Deep Space Nine. But that was at a point of time near the end of the war and after the Federation was nearly 3 years in and had suffered horrendous losses. So after all those years of fighting and the Federation still had a fleet of at least 10 thousand ships of uncertain composition is mighty impressive.
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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by 2046 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:52 am

Mike DiCenso wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:10 pm
Most people recognize that he's talking about doing something different for S3 by having the ship thrown 950 years in the future of the Prime Timeline and so they won't be constrained to the canon of the TOS era any more.


Correct, in context. The damage they can do will be minimized, limited to flashbacks, recollections, et cetera, unless they go to places we know for an 'update'. (I can see them hitting Sigma Iotia Starfleet HQ, for instance.)

This comes from a place (that I've long said is a hallmark of bad writers) wherein canon is considered a straitjacket, as opposed to the DS9 writers for whom canon was a source of stories.

By S4 they'll probably wind up back in the TOS time frame.


Indications thus far point to no S4. They mean to roll into S31. Indeed, I rather suspect that if S31 had been ready they'd've executed the roll already, but YMMV.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Darth Spock » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:06 am

Mike DiCenso wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:10 pm
Alex Kurtzman has stated:

"That’s the same thought process that went into jumping 950 years into the future. We’re now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore."

The misunderstanding is on how generally Kurtzman is being here. Most people recognize that he's talking about doing something different for S3 by having the ship thrown 950 years in the future of the Prime Timeline and so they won't be constrained to the canon of the TOS era any more. By S4 they'll probably wind up back in the TOS time frame. I disagree with the reasoning Kurtzman is using here, but I understand why he's doing it.
OK, that makes sense. It was probably some article or video I saw in passing and I read too much into it.

Mike DiCenso wrote:
Also consider TNG S:4E:1 "BoBW" where Starfleet assembled roughly 40 ships to intercept the Borg in about six days time, with Klingon ships on their way, though apparently not arriving in time. Roughly seven years later, another Federation fleet of apparently comparable, though probably greater size engaged another Borg cube in ST:9 "First Contact" within roughly a day, remember this was amid growing tensions with the Dominion as well however.


I have to disagree with this somewhat. That correlation is probably more coincidence or bias confirmation than anything else.
Sure, I didn't mean that those few incidents by themselves gave more valuable information on fleet size, only that the relative availability of ships on short notice, and not during a massive military operation wasn't all that high even in the twenty-fourth century. Ultimately the message I wanted to convey was that I suspected the growth rate of Starfleet in the two hundred years from its inception was probably a lot flatter than commonly thought in the past, and to offer possible explanations for apparent discrepancies in registry numbers and estimated fleet sizes in the twenty-third and twenty-fourth centuries, without assuming that the DISCO number is impossible and should be ignored.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Sothis » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:38 am

The notion of 7,000 ships as per the TOS makes me wonder if Starfleet has a habit of moth-balling ships in times of peace - then refreshing some of them as needed (it would help explain why Miranda and Excelsior classes, despite being several decades old by the Dominion War, could still be useful - substantial upgrades owing to easily adjusted designs could give Starfleet an advantage).

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Mike DiCenso » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:58 pm

Darth Spock wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:06 am
Sure, I didn't mean that those few incidents by themselves gave more valuable information on fleet size, only that the relative availability of ships on short notice, and not during a massive military operation wasn't all that high even in the twenty-fourth century. Ultimately the message I wanted to convey was that I suspected the growth rate of Starfleet in the two hundred years from its inception was probably a lot flatter than commonly thought in the past, and to offer possible explanations for apparent discrepancies in registry numbers and estimated fleet sizes in the twenty-third and twenty-fourth centuries, without assuming that the DISCO number is impossible and should be ignored.
Well, without any data, but just common sense, the expansion of Federation territory would be huge over time. Even just a factor of two in size would mean that the 7,000-10,000 ships of the TOS/Discovery-era would be far too stretched out to be meaningful. A sudden growth spurt of gigantic proportions along with another time of relative peace and prosperity might explain why by TMP in 2273 Enterprise was the only viable ship that could intercept V'Ger. After that incident and probably others we don't know about between TMP and TWOK, we see the shift towards more a militaristic Starfleet, but still only a couple of starships in one small sector (Enterprise and Reliant). But a few months later (in universe) by the time of TVH there are suddenly more ships, both in Spacedock and in the immediate vicinity of Earth to attempt the intercept of the whale probe, possibly a change made due to the huge international controversy caused by the Genesis detonation, and subsequently the failed attempt to steal it made by the Klingon Kruge. Then there's a gap of time and by TNG we seem to be back again, possibly as the one Romulan commander in "The Neutral Zone" put it "Federation expansion everywhere" occurred and even if the fleet had double or triple the ship counts, things would seem to be the same. But the 40 ship fleet hastily gathered in a few days time by Starfleet to intercept the Borg is still bigger than any previous number until the Dominion War with ships being built, others brought out of mothballs, others pulled from the fleets of member worlds, and the recall of deep space missions.
-Mike

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Nowhereman10 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:21 am

I stand corrected then. It's been a while since I saw the episode but I seem to remember them literally attempting to use sonar from a tower on a planet in season 1
There is no such thing in any episode in the 1st or 2nd season. The Battle of Pahvo involved the Klingon Sarcophagus command ship being drawn to the planet by the Pahvo's subspace transmission and as a result Discovery was able to penetrate the cloak by doing multiple spore drive jumps around it in conjunction with the transmitters that Ash and Burham placed aboard the klingon ship. Once the data needed was obtained, Discovery fired photo torpedoes at the cloaked ship and destroyed it.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by sonofccn » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:42 pm

Fashionably late to the party, as always heh, but I have to say 7,000 starships for 2260's era starfleet seems a lot higher than I'd have pegged it. Not only because its a lot higher than the NCC numbers would suggest but because this is really closer to what we might otherwise have estimated for the, presumbly larger, 24th century Starfleet. Admittedly I'm reminded of the similar issue with the Kelvin-timeline where the Federation had like 70 members in the 2250's are thereabout whereas the Prime-timeline Federation would only have approximately 100 going into 2360's despite decades of "expansion everywhere" and no real ideological or military challengers . Just seems like recent Trek flips everything backwards then how you'd expect things to progress.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Trinoya » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:26 pm

Nothinf wrong with bring it back up when there are points to be made. :)

Anyway we are about to get into more advanced designs... I suspect some of these numbers are most readily explained by older ships just staying around as police cruisers or what not.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by sonofccn » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:59 pm

Trinoya wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:26 pm
Nothinf wrong with bring it back up when there are points to be made. :)

Anyway we are about to get into more advanced designs... I suspect some of these numbers are most readily explained by older ships just staying around as police cruisers or what not.
True. I expect a large part of that number are class J starships and science vessels like the Oberth as well as older ships resigned to policing and other mundane duties like you say. Much like, as Mike and 2046 discussed, the US had a similar number of ships at the end of WW2 but that was counting almost everything that could float and actual "warships" were a fraction of that.

Edit:
Mike DiCenso wrote:The calculations on the TNG-era fleet sizes were done based on the 30,000 Dominion/Cardassian ship number calculated from the being outnumbered 20 to 1 statement in Deep Space Nine. But that was at a point of time near the end of the war and after the Federation was nearly 3 years in and had suffered horrendous losses. So after all those years of fighting and the Federation still had a fleet of at least 10 thousand ships of uncertain composition is mighty impressive.
The problem for me is, while the Federation certainly took losses, the Federation at that point had been at war for, as you say for 3 years. During which they certainly would have ramped up production gearing towards a war economy, pulled older ships out of mothballs, recalled long range missions and possible, as you mentioned, bring in the member world ships to bolster their ship numbers. And yet with these presumably greater reserves and industry to draw upon they apparently can barely outpace themselves a century prior after a war with the Klingons.

Outside of assuming a large majority of the 7,000 number is inflated via transports and freighters and that there's only something like 1000-2000 real "starships" I don't see how you can mesh that with the Domionion War and a presumably growing, more industrialized Federation. Outside of assuming the Federation has largely flatlined in terms of industry post 2250's.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Picard578 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:22 pm

sonofccn wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:59 pm
Edit:
Mike DiCenso wrote:The calculations on the TNG-era fleet sizes were done based on the 30,000 Dominion/Cardassian ship number calculated from the being outnumbered 20 to 1 statement in Deep Space Nine. But that was at a point of time near the end of the war and after the Federation was nearly 3 years in and had suffered horrendous losses. So after all those years of fighting and the Federation still had a fleet of at least 10 thousand ships of uncertain composition is mighty impressive.
The problem for me is, while the Federation certainly took losses, the Federation at that point had been at war for, as you say for 3 years. During which they certainly would have ramped up production gearing towards a war economy, pulled older ships out of mothballs, recalled long range missions and possible, as you mentioned, bring in the member world ships to bolster their ship numbers. And yet with these presumably greater reserves and industry to draw upon they apparently can barely outpace themselves a century prior after a war with the Klingons.

Outside of assuming a large majority of the 7,000 number is inflated via transports and freighters and that there's only something like 1000-2000 real "starships" I don't see how you can mesh that with the Domionion War and a presumably growing, more industrialized Federation. Outside of assuming the Federation has largely flatlined in terms of industry post 2250's.
Or assuming that losses during Dominion War greatly outpaced starship production, which is definitely not outside the realm of possibility considering the context.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by sonofccn » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:48 pm

Picard578 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:22 pm
sonofccn wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:59 pm
Edit:
Mike DiCenso wrote:The calculations on the TNG-era fleet sizes were done based on the 30,000 Dominion/Cardassian ship number calculated from the being outnumbered 20 to 1 statement in Deep Space Nine. But that was at a point of time near the end of the war and after the Federation was nearly 3 years in and had suffered horrendous losses. So after all those years of fighting and the Federation still had a fleet of at least 10 thousand ships of uncertain composition is mighty impressive.
The problem for me is, while the Federation certainly took losses, the Federation at that point had been at war for, as you say for 3 years. During which they certainly would have ramped up production gearing towards a war economy, pulled older ships out of mothballs, recalled long range missions and possible, as you mentioned, bring in the member world ships to bolster their ship numbers. And yet with these presumably greater reserves and industry to draw upon they apparently can barely outpace themselves a century prior after a war with the Klingons.

Outside of assuming a large majority of the 7,000 number is inflated via transports and freighters and that there's only something like 1000-2000 real "starships" I don't see how you can mesh that with the Domionion War and a presumably growing, more industrialized Federation. Outside of assuming the Federation has largely flatlined in terms of industry post 2250's.
Or assuming that losses during Dominion War greatly outpaced starship production, which is definitely not outside the realm of possibility considering the context.
I suppose that is a possible but we have at least a good indication of the fleet sizes and major battles that the Dominon War revolved around. With the RFK allied fleet expected to lose "thousands" of ships taking Cardasia. The Dominion having a 2000-strong fleet waiting in the wings in the Gamma-quadrant which would have swung the war hopelessly in their favor. Sisko's fleet to retake DS9, even had it gotten all of its elements, was unlikely to top out over a 1000 while the Dominion and Cardassians only roused about 1200 ships IIRC to oppose Sisko's fleet

There would have to be a lot of unseen fighting with higher total losses than we observed. Just to put things in perspective the 7000 figure is after losing a third of Starfleet, correct? So 2250's starfleet similar took a beating yet could either maintain or build a fleet of 7000 despite smaller presumed industry, potential reserves and a shorter duration of hostilities if I understand everything correctly.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Picard578 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:43 pm

sonofccn wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:48 pm
Picard578 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:22 pm
sonofccn wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:59 pm
Edit:



The problem for me is, while the Federation certainly took losses, the Federation at that point had been at war for, as you say for 3 years. During which they certainly would have ramped up production gearing towards a war economy, pulled older ships out of mothballs, recalled long range missions and possible, as you mentioned, bring in the member world ships to bolster their ship numbers. And yet with these presumably greater reserves and industry to draw upon they apparently can barely outpace themselves a century prior after a war with the Klingons.

Outside of assuming a large majority of the 7,000 number is inflated via transports and freighters and that there's only something like 1000-2000 real "starships" I don't see how you can mesh that with the Domionion War and a presumably growing, more industrialized Federation. Outside of assuming the Federation has largely flatlined in terms of industry post 2250's.
Or assuming that losses during Dominion War greatly outpaced starship production, which is definitely not outside the realm of possibility considering the context.
I suppose that is a possible but we have at least a good indication of the fleet sizes and major battles that the Dominon War revolved around. With the RFK allied fleet expected to lose "thousands" of ships taking Cardasia. The Dominion having a 2000-strong fleet waiting in the wings in the Gamma-quadrant which would have swung the war hopelessly in their favor. Sisko's fleet to retake DS9, even had it gotten all of its elements, was unlikely to top out over a 1000 while the Dominion and Cardassians only roused about 1200 ships IIRC to oppose Sisko's fleet

There would have to be a lot of unseen fighting with higher total losses than we observed. Just to put things in perspective the 7000 figure is after losing a third of Starfleet, correct? So 2250's starfleet similar took a beating yet could either maintain or build a fleet of 7000 despite smaller presumed industry, potential reserves and a shorter duration of hostilities if I understand everything correctly.
Depends. My own estimate for Starfleet size runs between 6 000 and 12 000 ships, though a maximum of 27 000 ships can be supported:
http://picard578.6te.net/startrek-vs-st ... fleet.html
EAS also supports a rather large feet:
http://canonfodder.ex-astris-scientia.o ... _Starfleet

RE: Dominion fleet, I always interpreted the statement as meaning that the fleet would make retaking DS9 impossible, and that that, not the fleet by itself, would swing the war in Dominion's favour. Much like Stalingrad swung the war in USSR's favour: defeat was not enough to cause collapse of German military as such, but from then on Soviets had the advantage.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by sonofccn » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:09 am

Picard578 wrote:Depends. My own estimate for Starfleet size runs between 6 000 and 12 000 ships, though a maximum of 27 000 ships can be supported
I don't really see how. We see major battles through DS9 and TNG before that. We see a Federation that loses hundreds of ships in a major battle rather than say thousands per battle which would be more what you'd expect.

Indeed rather than shrinkage or grinding exhausting we see more signs the Federation is ramping up its fleet numbers either via pulling ships out of mothballs, recalling far flung ships or new constructions. Going from 39 ships being a serious loss that'll take the better part of a year to replace and the 7th fleet having 112 ships to the Federation being able to adsorb the aforementioned hundreds of ships losses and possessing fleets large enough to the point mere elements can create an over 600 strong task force.

As for you analysis,6-12 thousand would more or less place them comparable to the 2250's fleet.

As for 27,000, which would be more in line with what I'd expect a 24th century Federation to grow out of a Starfleet of 7-10 thousand a century prior, it runs into the problem that there is no evidence to support that number. We have one number for the Dominion and their allies placing them at 30,000. There is little to no indication the Federation should nearly outnumber the Dominion-Breen-Cardassian fleet by themselves. If anything there is an argument to be made that the Domionion and its allies might be numerically superior, albeit with somewhat "weaker" battlebugs, to the Federation Alliance fleet.

As for the EAS page you linked too, it appeared less a rigorous attempt to analysis the universe with minimal speculation but more an intellectual exercise to see what one could get away with. Citing, among other things " Such a fleet would also provide an opportunity for a more diverse selection of starship names".

He also makes what I consider a rather faulty leap of logic. At one point he says this "Much was made about the Dominion’s shipbuilding and Jem’Hadar cloning capabilities so, for example, a Federation Alliance fleet of 50,000 ships may be necessary to combat a smaller Dominion fleet if the Dominion replaces its lost vessels at a rapid pace."

My thought is, when faced with a foe who can rapidly build ships and grow its soldiers in days, why assume the Federation is the one with more ships? If anything, to the extent these factors matter, it is the Dominion who should be more numerous because they can not only replace but expand their forces virtually only limited by raw resources. At minimum I would require a rather more in-depth argument and facts which support the author's argument.
Picard578 wrote:RE: Dominion fleet, I always interpreted the statement as meaning that the fleet would make retaking DS9 impossible, and that that, not the fleet by itself, would swing the war in Dominion's favour. Much like Stalingrad swung the war in USSR's favour: defeat was not enough to cause collapse of German military as such, but from then on Soviets had the advantage.
I certainly doubt those 2000 were the only ships the Dominion were going to send but the whole reason DS9 mattered was because it controlled the wormhole and thus allowed the Dominion to invade the Alpha Quadrant. With the 2000 ships representing that threat rather than just a group assembled to defeat Sisko. Further these numbers match the other numbers we're given. And indeed would be approximately a fifth of what we'd typically estimate the Federation fleet as.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Jasonbelkin » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:02 pm

In practice little smaller then expected since talk Merchant marines, Section 31 fleet and Starfleet minimal. Combine fact good number no were near UFP space do deep space explorations mission Also not all ship would able put much fight. Some ship likely defenseless merchant ships.Also the Kligion Empire near the end of the Dominion war had 6,000 starships available .

As Dominion war and UFP did having over 7,000 starship Dominion few facts. First UFP taking heavy loses having out fleet 122 to starships losing 106 . The UFP only lose that number 70 times in order to about equal UFP entire fleet during Star Trek discovery. This does go into fact UFP fighting relative high lose rates for three months. It possible UFP lost 7,000 starships think about it.

As for battle Worf 359 the and the Borg will few factors take into account
First we talk replace something 40 starships. Some might will take year into get service.
Second taking account also ship replace Cardassion war and possible other conflict.

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Re: Starfleet Size

Post by Darth Spock » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:34 pm

sonofccn wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:59 pm

Outside of assuming a large majority of the 7,000 number is inflated via transports and freighters and that there's only something like 1000-2000 real "starships" I don't see how you can mesh that with the Domionion War and a presumably growing, more industrialized Federation. Outside of assuming the Federation has largely flatlined in terms of industry post 2250's.
That's more what I would lean toward. The Discovery episode in question mentions the "7000 active ships in Starfleet" in direct reference to Control being able to hide in holographic form and further it's plans in secret. I think that would safely include everything from the lowest transports to the most far flung survey vessels to the biggest warships spread across the entire territory. Compared to the figures at the close of the Dominion War, which is probably looking primarily at vessels directly participating in the conflict, and not patrols still operating at the far side of Federation territory or every Raven-Type survey ship or unmanned hauler either, things Control would likely have included in it's context.

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