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During Star Trek Discovery, Season 3 Episode 5:

When Discovery enters the Federation field, Tilly recognises Voyager “J” version and they make a remark about 11 generation of the ship.

According to Wikipedia, Discovery is set on 2255 while Voyager was launched on 2371. So, How is that possible?

Is it a goof on the production of the series or is there any in universe explanation? I seem to recall Voyager (the one in the series) was the first of its class but maybe it had a designation “C” or something already.

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    She's just reading the name and guessing based on some other ships she evidently already knows about that used letters for iterations.
    – IG_42
    Nov 15, 2020 at 2:22
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    She's only impressed by the J. Nov 15, 2020 at 2:52
  • Also previously the galaxy class Yamato was NCC-1305-E before production wanted only the Enterprise to have honorary letter registrations - so when it appeared for real and exploded it had NCC-71807 (or other numbers its complicated production errors) The Defiant on DS9 being the only canon non Enterprise to have a letter after that. Nov 15, 2020 at 2:59
  • Like @lucasbachmann said she was only impressed by the number of iterations. Nov 16, 2020 at 14:54
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    I think the question needs clarification. Are you asking how she knew the Voyager J was the result of upgrades? Nov 21, 2020 at 18:34

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The assumption here is that Starfleet had named other ships with letters by this time. Discovery left in 2258, and the Enterprise A was commissioned in 2286. That's only 28 years.

Furthermore, the Federation had lost a lot of ships in the Klingon War. The letter designations were clearly for "famous" ships and it's quite possible there were one or two "famous" ships already in service by the time Discovery leaves.

In other words, it's not unreasonable to assume they had seen a letter ship and knew the significance.

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