The Star Trek Universe rarely shows Vulcan ships, and when they do, they usually don't seem to be that powerful. The Federation, Romulans, Klingons, Borg, Cardassians, Dominion, etc. all seem to have ships that are designed for battle. They had to have had their own fleet before they became a member of the Federation. We usually see Vulcan ships as science and exploration ships, and they didn't seem to be heavily armed. Why do Vulcans, as an advanced species, have such a small fleet onscreen, and why didn't see see them in the TNG era after they joined the Federation?
I know that Vulcan ships can be large, and they aren't weak and weaponless, but they've never seemed to be a major power.– Sovereign InquiryApr 17, 2020 at 15:35
are you asking whether the Vulcans have warships or if they use warships?– user126198Apr 17, 2020 at 15:41
2Do you mean the 22nd Century where the Vulcans are their own power or 24th centuary vulcan ship where vulcan is a federation member?– user126198Apr 17, 2020 at 15:47
5keep in mind - the Vulcan's are part of the United Federation of Planets, so any larger "Vulcan" ship would be a federation starship. In Enterprise (pre-Federation), you do see Vulcan Battleships– psubsee2003Apr 17, 2020 at 15:47
@psubsee2003 where in enterprise are there Vulcan Battleships– user126198Apr 17, 2020 at 15:48
The Vulcans have at least one canonically seen combat vessel: the D'kyr class "combat cruiser". It's both well-shielded and well-armed as well as being quite nippy.
ARCHER: Take a look at your long-range sensors. There's a Vulcan combat cruiser a few million kilometres from here. Unless you want to upset them, I suggest you turn around.
This class of vessel is referred to in the scripts as being a
powerful-looking Vulcan ship[s]
In the Extended Universe, we encounter an even more formidable Vulcan ship, the ShRaan-class, described as being even more powerful than their combat cruisers.
Dropping out of warp were two more DKyr-type combat cruisers, and one of the larger, better-armed ShRaan-class ships, which looked like a spear jammed through a hoop. The weaponry the newcomers carried between them would be more than enough to blow both Columbia and the remnants of the cargo fleet to little more than drifting trails of vapor in a few seconds, polarized hull plating notwithstanding.
Assuming you are asking about the TOS/TNG era, the Vulcans are a Federation member and don't have their own warships just like Earth doesn't have its own warships.
The Vulcan ships that we do encounter are generally civilian or science vessels. While it may appear that most Federation ships are human-dominated, we do sometimes encounter Federation ships that are primilary manned by Vulcans, such as TOS era Intrepid.
In short, this is sort of like asking why California doesn't have battleships.
this is a good answer but what about the 22nd Century– user126198Apr 17, 2020 at 15:53
@ ThePopMachine I understand, but California doesn't house a different humanoid species, isn't a planet, and didn't come into contact with Earth after WW 3. Apr 17, 2020 at 15:57
3@MarkusRutledge before it became part of the USA, Texas had their own Navy. Pre-Federation, Vulcan would have had their own independent equivalent to Starfleet. But once they joined, their defensive fleet was probably absorbed into starfleet. I think you need to clarify your question a bit as to what you might be looking for in terms of timeline Apr 17, 2020 at 16:01
1@psubsee2003 yet there were Vulcan ships in Unification part II and mention of Tellarite freighters in ds9– user126198Apr 17, 2020 at 16:18
1There's at least 1 Federation ship that had an all Vulcan crew, it was the DS9 episode where the Vulcan goes crazy and starts killing people. Another DS9 episode is where the crew play baseball against a team from an all Vulcan ship Apr 17, 2020 at 16:59