36

In the Star Trek universe, the Federation's Starfleet has a large number of ships in its fleet. But there's something bugging me about the scale of it. The battle at Wolf 359 is presented as being some great loss, which it was, but we're talking only a few dozen ships lost. Compare this to the battles that take place late in Deep Space 9, we have hundreds of ships battling on screen. This makes Wolf 359 seem pretty tiny in comparison.

What's the scale of Starfleet's fleet? Are there thousands of ships? Tens of thousands? Millions? I know a precise number of ships is pretty impossible to have, but do we have a rough idea of the scope of their fleet?

  • 9
    I kind of think the losses a Wolf 359 cause Starfleet to beef up production of ships, so they had more by the later DS9 episodes, but I'm not sure. – thedaian Jan 23 '12 at 21:44
  • 2
    Hardware is often easy. Crews are harder. You can ramp up how fast you build a ship with parallel lines, but people are slow learners in comparison. – geoffc Jan 23 '12 at 21:47
  • 4
    Perhaps limited cloning is used to fill out crews? This would explain why some enlisted personnel look like others but have different names (i.e. regular guest-stars and one shot actors that get tapped for full time parts, ex. Robert Duncan McNeill as Nick Locarno on TNG and Tom Paris on VOY) – Xantec Jan 23 '12 at 22:03
  • 4
    @Keen The thing is, you can parellel production lines to speed up production of ships. You can use technology to speed up the minimal time for a single ship to be built. But 9 women cannot make a baby in one month. Its nice having a large population to pull from, but it still takes too long to train people. – geoffc Jan 24 '12 at 0:57
  • 3
    DS9 battles and Wolf 359 aren't comparable. The engagement at Wolf 359 was an emergency response to a surprise peacetime attack on Earth. Starfleet only had hours to assemble the fleet. In comparison, large scale DS9 battles were in the middle of a war, after each side has had weeks or months to assemble their fleets. – Lèse majesté May 3 '14 at 19:08

15 Answers 15

23

I would postulate that there were probably on the order of 10-30,000 active ships in Starfleet around the time of TNG/DS9/Voyager. This is from the fact that there are no ships seen with more than 5 digits in the registry, and that Starfleet has been around for a hundred and fifty years.

It would appear that most ships are in service for only about 20-30 years (if not destroyed).

I would consider the loss of the fleet at Wolf 359 analogous to the loss of the NATO Atlantic Fleet - there are still a large number of ships operating in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Similarly, the battle of Wolf 359 would have been fought by the "home fleet" gathered from around Sector Zero-Zero-One - other ships would have been around in the outer sectors of the Federation, but the loss of the home fleet is pretty catastrophic.

Also - note the shift in ship designs - prior to Wolf 359 we see large ships like the Galaxy, Ambassador and Excelsior classes dominate the fleet. Afterwards, smaller vessels like the Defiant, Akira, and Steamrunner classes are built in great numbers. Mind you - the final battle against Cardassia at the end of DS9 does show a huge number of Galaxy class starships.

After writing all of this, I discovered http://www.ditl.org/index.php?daymain=/pagarticle.php?14 - which follows some of the same reasoning regarding the ships lost at Wolf 359. It also follows some other lines of reasoning to arrive at similar numbers - upwards to about 30,000 (allied, not just Starfleet) ships at the end of DS9.

  • 3
    Excelsior class ships were a staple of the fleet. Thanks to a consistent design and upgrades some of those ships saw service lifes in excess of 70 years. en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Excelsior_class – Jack B Nimble Jan 23 '12 at 22:36
  • 2
    Actual ships saw 70 years service? Or the class saw service? – HorusKol Jan 23 '12 at 22:48
  • 2
    Hmm maybe I imagined it. But the Stargazer was salvaged, repaired, and it available for duty if needed. A ship that saw at least 45 years of service. en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Stargazer#Background – Jack B Nimble Jan 23 '12 at 23:18
  • 4
    With so many ships, how does it happen that the Enterprise is so frequently "the only ship in range" when an emergency arises? – Xantec Jan 24 '12 at 0:06
  • 37
    @Xantec Space... is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. – user1027 Jan 24 '12 at 1:31
11

I asked this question some time ago, along related lines but generally disbelieving the scale that was suggested. Since then, I've found this page which deals with the size of Starfleet at any given time, based on things both seen AND said.

The link I posted above suggests that Starfleet has roughly 6,000 to 9,000 ships through most of the TNG arc, based primarily on things said in dialogue during the series. This is a best guess based on the Federation having ten "fleets" (like the US Navy's Atlantic Fleet vs Pacific Fleet) of about 600-900 ships apiece. This is arguable, as it's based on the Tenth Fleet being the highest fleet designation, and each fleet being composed of more than 300 ships (as 300 ships was an "element" of a fleet, two such elements making up one of the attack forces in a DS9 episode. A fleet could in reality have as few as 112 ships (the Seventh Fleet is mentioned as having lost 98 of 112 ships at a particular battle of the Dominion War), which could mean Starfleet has as few as 1000 ships. Or, there could be eleven Fleets, or a hundred and eleven.

Going by numbering system, and discounting the possibility of large gaps in the numbering (which may or may not be logical; the numbers may have some system based on ship class and/or generation, shipyard, or Federation appropriations bill), the link agrees there could very well be over 70,000 ships still in service, numbering from the extremely-old but probably oft-overhauled Repulse (NCC-2544) and Stargazer (officially still in service but mothballed; NCC-2893), up to the USS Bellerophon at NCC-74705. This is rationalized by considering the size of Federation space; it is stated to encompass an area of 8,000 cubic light years. Travelling between Earth and DS9 is about a month's trip at maximum warp. Getting to Amargosa or Veridian from Earth is several times that distance, would require crossing Klingon space according to at least one map, and would thus likely take a period of months or years at "cruising speeds" (Warp 6-7). To be able to respond quickly at any corner of Federation space with a sizable fleet, you'd need a LOT of ships.

3

I have come to the conclusion that the Federation Fleet at Voyager; Endgame must be roughly 20 to 25,000 active Starfleet Starships. Voyager's Registry # is NCC74656. The first Enterprise under Archer was/is NX01 and the USS Enterprise under Kirk was/is 1701. So obviously, the UFP being about 150 years old by the end of Voyager, Season 7, would have had to produce around 70,000 ships.

Now between ships being de-commissioned, scrapped, and destroyed over that period, and with continued construction and refits, the fleet would fluctuate to this amount. Remember, Runabouts and Peregrine Fighters are numbered also. The Rio Grande had a registry number NCC72452. Their small size and necessity for a small craft with easy construction would account for around 5,000. Other fighters, another 5,000.

Now back to the Primary fleet. Starship fleet. Given the vast area of Federation Space, the size and amount of Starbases and such, they would have only been constructed to facilitate a large fleet of thousands of ships. Despite the battle of Wolf 359 and the dialogue of TNG, there is just no way it would consist of a few hundred or even a few thousand. At the end of 'Best of Both Worlds' Commander Shelby stated that the fleet would be up in a year. But "the Fleet" can be a subjective term. The fact that JUST one ship (A Borg Cube) could destroy 38 Federation Starships made it seem like a bigger deal than it was. In DS9, there were constant examples given that Starfleet was much larger. And the Klingon Fleet was almost as large. Together they would have surpassed the Romulan Fleet, but not separately.

Remember, the Romulan Star Empire was the Dominant superpower throughout TNG. In DS9 during the Dominion War, it took all 3, to challenge the Dominion's Alpha Quadrant fleets plus the Cardassians, and then the Breen fleets. The Cardassians were threatened by the UFP and in DS9, beaten quickly by just the KDF. During the war, when the Dominion got a hold of DS9, The Dominion, was almost able to get in another 3800 ships when the cloaked minefield was taken down. That would have "sealed the deal" in winning the war. Obviously that's not all of the Dominion's fleet, but around 1/8th (est.). Their fleet would most likely be close to 30,000 total.

The Romulan Fleet, 25,000 with much of it being the large D'deridex Class Warbird. They had the Reman Slaves to manpower such large construction efforts, unlike the UFP. Clearly Starfleets' bulk is the Miranda Class, the Excelsior Class and the Nebula Class. Followed by the Galaxy Class and Akira ships. They would have had to double their efforts building and housing larger ships to combat possible Warbirds. More advanced mission focused ships were built on demand. Like the Intrepid, Defiant or Olympic.

  • 1
    Welcome to SFFSE! This is quite a large block of text so a bit of formatting, especially adding paragraphs, will immensely help the readability of your answer. – Often Right Nov 22 '15 at 4:31
  • In STTOS, Captain KIRK tells USAF Captain Christopher, that "...there are only twelve like her in the fleet...", referring tof course too the CONSTITUTION class. Those ships seemed to be the first part of the registry numbers 1700 et,al. They had been around for perhaps fifthteen too twenty years, including the commands of Captains April and Pike. That was roughly a century after the founding of the UFP. And yet, in less than a century we see 70,000 odd ships, shuttles etc... I suppose this could be rapid expansion of the Federation. – templerman Sep 19 '18 at 21:01
3

Keep in mind in the real naval world, to field one ship in constant permanent formation you need a minimum of 3 ships to a maximum of 5. You need 2 enlisted crews ( a blue or gold crew in American naval parlance) per ship and one crew of officers permanently attached to each ship. Most navies around the world use a 3 to 1 ratio for available ships. This means, if you want 1 ship on constant patrol you need 1 ship actually operating and 1 in training or extended equipment trials, as well as this ship being ready in an emergency to respond to a threat and the 3rd ship either docked and inactive or in a heavy maintenance cycle.

Extending this to the Star Trek universe maybe a fleet 50,000 means that only 16,666 are actually available for use at any time warfare exasperates this 3 to 1 ratio to probably 5 to 1. Thus with the massive physical volume of the Federation, that explains why only small squadrons are available for quick emergency response. Starfleet also had a large reserve fleet of old inactive fleet ships that, in the event of an emergency like a highly destructive war can be quickly re activated according to Gene Roddenberry & Rick Berman.

As for the Romulans, it was said that the large Romulan D'deridex warbird fleet had actually been a big disadvantage because they were actually far less combat capable than first thought. As combat vessels they were too easily damaged which complicated time sensitive repairs during wartime (the famous glass jaw syndrome). There large size and odd shape was obviously meant for intimidation and maybe cloaking field effectiveness, not combat. Thus the smaller Valdore Warbirds armed with a greater number of medium to heavy energy weapons instead of a smaller number of all very heavy energy weapons, appears as far more effective combat ship and economically more viable as well. For example, during WW2 British, Canadian, Australian and American naval Corvette, Destroyer and Light Cruiser production limited the number of screws and propulsion shafts to one per ship. Yes, the ships were more vulnerable to equipment break downs. However, more than one drive shaft held up the building and repair times thus lowered wartime production and combat availability/effectiveness.

As for the size of the Klingon and Romulan Fleets they are obviously smaller in peace time compared to the Federation due to their much smaller economies. Its said several times during movies and TV shows that, the Klingon Empire especially is a very poor Empire economically and must use a much larger percentage of the budget for defence than the Federation. The Romulans probably had a much larger fleet during the Dominion War because they were late arrivals and didn't have a very large percentage of their entire fleet either being repaired because of battle damage and other ships in need of emergency of resupply, which is hinted at several times during DS9's 3 seasons at war. Not to mention, the Federation needed to build new ships as replacements and re-activing old ones as quickly as possible, most likely using up every available ship berth in every fleet yard, station and starbase, throughout the Federation.

The Romulan Fleet is also smaller or otherwise there would be a far greater number of incursions by Romulan ships everywhere. There cloaking devices are probably the main reason for this because such a delicate device that needs so exacting standards of maintaining ship and engine emissions not to mention odd shapes that physically assist the cloaking device's ability. This would severely limit production of shipping.

  • 2
    You make a good argument, but how many starships are there in Starfleet? – Blackwood Dec 12 '16 at 16:16
2

Starfleet had around 6 thousand-9 thousand ships, varying between 10-15 different classes of Starships, numbers of 30,000 were in combination of ships in Dominion war not just federation.

1500, be said about be outnumber 20-1, was just a mistake or more likely means 1500 bird of pray only, which are not the most powerful ships and are pretty much only good in groups of 3.

  • What are your sources? – Ryan Sep 29 '15 at 20:13
2

If you have 10 fleets, not every ship is assigned to a fleet. You have to realize that you need patrol ships, escorts ships, training ships, etc. The 98 out of 112 ships destroyed at the Tyre system were two attack wings of the 7th Fleet. The attack on DS9 was an attack group of elements of different fleets. A fleet rarely engages its entire force in one battle. In Earth history, look at the battle of Midway. The Japanese had their carrier task force, battleship task force, and landing task force. The US fleet destroyed only the carrier task force, causing the rest to retreat. The assault group of 600 odd ships attacking DS9 was not a full fleet as they had to keep fleets in place to hold the line.

The Federation, being the strongest of the three Alpha Quadrant super powers, had to contain a fleet to keep in check the Romulans and Klingons as well as the smaller powers. Because of a peace treaty they could not develop cloaking technology, and that is obviously a big disadvantage, but the Federation has proven to have better shield technology than the other two powers to balance. I would surmise that the 10 fleets, with primarily combat ships, equal 1000-1200 per fleet. Totaling 6000-8000. Based on DS9 episodes, the majority of these ships are capital ships. The beginning of the war saw many older ships like the Excelsior. As the war went on, these ships were replaced by newer, dedicated warships and stronger capital ships (Galaxy, Defiant, Sovereign...). I would guess that just like a wartime Earth fleet, you would see a ratio of 1 capital ship for 4-6 escort ships like destroyers, cruisers, and such. I believe the fighters would not number more than 200 per fleet. You see in a TNG episode how easily fighters are dealt with for a capital ship. You also see in that the Enterprise E did not see many engagements during the war yet had a top-of-the-line ship and crew. You had ships patrolling the Romulan border before they joined the war. The Romulans joining the war not only added the Romulan fleet but at least 3000 ships that were freed up from the border. I say at least 3000 because you had to have enough ships to hold or make a tactical retreat if the Romulans tried to take advantage of the war.

With the supply lines long given the size of the Federation, and the ability for Earth to be attacked so far from the front lines, the Federation had to keep many ships in reserve for patrol and escort duties as well as guarding shipyards and refit facilities; 3000 at least. You see the Defiant taking assignment this way. Side note, as you see with the Defiant, you rotate your ships and crew from front line duty to refit/resupply to patrol/escort then back to the front line.

8000 ships in the 10 fleets fighting the war, 3000 ships guarding against the Romulans, 3000 patrol/escort. The Federation needs fewer ships as their ships are stronger. The war brought the Federation new life as they were slowly dying. Their ships were old and they built new ships very slowly. With new ships like the Defiant made for combat and minimalist in nature, they could build faster. Just as Sisko received Defiant 2 so quickly. The Dominion had 25000-30000 ships. If the Federation had 12000-14000 roughly as I estimate, the Klingons starting the war with probably 8000-10000 ships, (smaller territory) they could barely match the Dominion and were at a disadvantage with the large sensor grids that could monitor all Federation fleet movements. As the war progressed, the Klingons lost many ships quickly and the Federation lost their older ships and it took time to replace them. That is why the Romulans were needed. At the end of the war I would say that the Federation fleet went from 12000 with 70% being older ships and mothballed fleets to 15000, with over ⅔ being new ships. Look at the end of VOY. Within less than an hour a small fleet appeared to meet the Borg sphere and they consisted of mostly new more powerful ships.

  • This appears to be mostly unsourced speculation.  Also, you say ≥ 1000 ships per fleet; 10 fleets ≤ 8000 ships total.  Can you explain that math? – Peregrine Rook Jan 12 '16 at 16:50
  • Fleet size: I base my math on both star trek history and earth history. A fleet rarely engages it's entire strength at one. In WW2 you had the Carrier fleet, which is seperated into battle groups with one or two carriers per group, a battleship fleet, and a landing fleet. Fleets would vary in size and if there are 10 fleets the fleets that are engaged would be larger. – Chris Mar 15 '16 at 14:59
  • You never really see an entire fleet in one battle but rather attack wings or parts of a few fleets gathered to take DS9. A good example is the battle of Leyte Gulf, You had 3 separate engagements.The American fleet sent their carrier fleet north, there protective battleships east, and the landing fleet and their destroyer escorts had to fight off a surprise Japanese attack by themselves. 3 separate fleets in 3 different engagements. So 10 fleets, 800-1200 ships a piece with a ratio of for every capital ship is 4-5 escort ships. – Chris Mar 15 '16 at 14:59
  • My math has the fleets totaling roughly 8000 ships. Now think, the Federation couldn't leave the Romulan, Ferengi, Izanathi, and Tholan Expanse borders unguarded. The Federation would need a force in place to be able to hold the Romulans or at least make a tactical retreat against Romulus forces. 3000 roughly is my educated guess. – Chris Mar 15 '16 at 15:03
  • Also, you have to realize that you have to protect shipping lanes and escort supply ships to and from the front. The Defiant did as such. We don't see the Enterprise-E or hear about them. They primarily did escort and diplomatic duties. You also had ships protect construction yards, being refitted, or training ships. With such a large terriorty like the Federation compared to the Dominion controlled Cardasia space I surmise that these ships would be roughly 3000. That is why Romulus joining the war was so important, it freed up Federation ships as well as added the romulan fleet. – Chris Mar 15 '16 at 15:08
0

In one of the final episodes of DS9 I remember a reference to 1500 klingon ships being deployed to the front line, and then the remark between the Jem'hadar, the Cardassians, and the Breen they'd be outnumbered 20 to 1 (simple math) giving the Dominion a fleet a number of 30,000 in the alpha quadrant. The combined forces of the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans has to be somewhere in the neighborhood of that. I would guess around 15,000 - 20,000. The number I have arrived on for the Federation is ~ 6000 ships, the Klingons (being warriors probably have more) ~10,000 and the Romulans (being in a balance of power for so long with the Federation would match the federations 6000) giving the alliance about 22,000 seems like a good guess.

  • I follow your logic regarding the Klingons and the Dominion fleet, but what are you basing the rest of the numbers on? – phantom42 Oct 13 '13 at 22:52
  • The numbers for the Federation, Romulans & Klingons are an educated guess. I don't think there's any reference to compare fleet numbers for the Federation or Romulan fleets in any of the series. Don't take my numbers as fact, its just pure conjecture. – Dan Goertzen Oct 14 '13 at 5:48
0

Ok. I'm no expert, however, if the federation is 8000ly across and we are assuming that the said star-ship could maintain a warp of 9.0 and at that it would take over 5 years to cross the federation. And even at Voyager's top speed of 9.975, again assuming she could hold it, that would only make it in one year and 161 days. Now with that said, to have an effective fleet able to respond in reasonable time periods with the fleets we saw in deep space nine, the federation must have a fleet near the 35,000 maybe up to 50,000. In Star Trek canon especially in the books the UFP is the superpower of the alpha quadrant, during the late 23 century / early 24th century. They must have that amount to cover that many sectors and be able to assemble enough assets to counter threats, like in the dominion war and against the Borg. The math simply wouldn't work to defend an area of space that size with any kind of effectiveness. In the Sacrifice of angels episode to defend against fleets with 1,200 ships the federation assembled 600 ships. Now, they were taking time to do this and with this math they must have at least 40 to 50 ships spread across 10^2 sectors to have a fleet assembled in a period of week or so. Just my thoughts.

0

First off it was called the federation alliance and from what weyoun said "without the federation the others are nothing". Would lead me to believe that starfleet had the greater number of ships involved in the war. The seventh fleet had a 112 ships at the battle of tyra and lost 98 ships. But in an episode a bit later in the series, the seventh fleet was at half strength. So I am thinking there were at least 250 ships in the seventh fleet(it took just under a year to replace 39 ships destroyed at wolf 359). Then we move to operation return sisko used components of a couple of fleets to get 600+ starships not full fleets and the ninth fleet was on its way. So from this and just taking a look at our own military here on earth(circ2014), I am going to guess they would have at least 50000 yes fifty thousand ships spread across 8000+ light of space, and that about 6000-8000 could be made available to the offensive segment of the war. Planets still need defending after all. This is purely a guess but if you look at say the US navy has about 300+ ships one country. With a 150+ member worlds and thousands of colonies and outpost I might even be a little conservative on that number STARFLEET IS HUGE AND WEALTHY. Thats why everyone wants to conquer the federation the..BORG..DOMINION..SONA..and who knows who else. Please chime in.

  • You might want to edit this with an axe. There's a good answer hiding in there somewhere. – Valorum Sep 21 '14 at 15:28
-1

Starfleet at start of Dominion War had strength of ca. 30,000 spacecraft. However, this included transports, supply vessels and other auxiliaries. The size of the UFP and the fact that it seems to comprise at least 4 regional cores; original Fed Core, Antares, Deneb and Rigel, would imply a widely dispersed fleet as much for political reasons as strategic necessity.

There is apparently only one Academy churning out the officer corps. How many graduate per year? 1,000 or fewer? And these graduates have to man several hundred Starbases as well as the glamorous frontline Starships.

Since 2364/65 UFP have faced Romulan resurgence, the Borg threat, the brief Klingon War of 2372-73 and total war vs. the Dominion. Until mid 2360's it seems complacency and lack of any obvious strategic threat meant Starfleet dispersed its assets widely and could assemble a patchwork force of 40 starships at Wolf 359 within 24-36 hours.

2366-2373 increased production of combat-capable starships and upgrade of many older ships, and since the fleet would be 'back up within a year' after Wolf 359 presumably Starfleet is already building ca. 40 starships and/or will redeploy vessels from other sectors to rebuild the so-called Home Fleet.

I accept Brannon Braga's (?) assertion that Starfleet had around 8,000 starships in service ca. 2373. However, at least 2,000 of these would be Oberth type science vessels with another third in refit, en route to and from missions or otherwise unavailable except in a dire emergency. Also, large numbers of ships would be deployed in the outer regions and possibly months away from UFP inner core.

That is why I think that 'Enterprise' is only ship avaliable, apart from dramatic requirements of a fictional TV show. Furthermore, from 2371 Starfleet seems to have, logically, begun to concentrate its assets within the inner core, hence the "sudden" appearance of huge fleets of 100-300 ships, and lest we forget these fleets included smaller vessels like Fighters which will have given these fleet's an artificially powerful appearance based on numbers alone.

  • 2
    You could dramatically improve this post by referencing or backing up the figures you've given. Are they from a reliable source or just your own opinion? – Valorum May 3 '14 at 18:55
-2

Dominion War: as for the Romulans, who knows? However, based upon their apparent all-eggs-one-basket approach to capital ship policy re: the D'deridex class, their innate arrogance and racial contempt for the UFP and the fact that they seem to need to detach the Klingons from their alliance with the Feds before considering an invasion of the UFP (with exception of Shinzon, but he was unbalanced), and the fact that there can't be too many of 'em considering they've only been around for less than 2,000 years, I doubt they have more than 1,000 frontline capital ships and probably far fewer, maybe 600-800? When they join Dominion War they have advantage of surprise and concentrated numbers to launch surprise attacks along Cardassian border.

Presumably they have other, smaller vessels e.g the 'Scout ship' which could function as a light escort/heavy fighter if deployed in large numbers. Considering their heavy losses during the final battles of the war in 2375 it seems that they would be unlikely to pose much of a threat to the Feds post war until a renegade like Shinzon made the effort.

One piece of 'evidence' from "Nemesis" is that of battle group Omega, deployed to provide support to the Enterprse in event of a Romulan incursion. It comprised 7 ships, hardly a major force considering Starfleet was fielding hundreds of ships in battle groups less than 4 years earlier. However, this might imply that the pacifist and anti-militarist politicians of UFP had in the interim forced Starfleet to resume its pre-2366 policy of fleet dispersal and that 7 ships was the minimum available and the maximum considered politically correct to avoid provoking the Romulans.

Anyhoo, ultimately assessments of Romulan strength are even more speculative than Starfleet. However, we can make a reasonable attempt based on Romulan character, their impact on Dominion War and after 2375 on their defence of captured Cardassian worlds, Shinzon's apparent power over the military and presumed continued watchfulness over their border with the Klingon Empire. Either way, I reckon that they remain powerful but strategically and economically overstretched.

-2

I think all the estimations go out the window with the Dominion War. It was mentioned several times towards the end of DS9 that the majority of the fighting capable ships in Starfleet were destroyed. They were able to make new ships but they were running out of officers, specifically captains to crew the ships. The lack of officers enabled Nog to end up a LTJG without even finishing half of the Academy.

Nemesis took place a short time after that. All Alpha Quadrant powers were greatly weakened. My guess is however many fleets Starfleet had before, by the end of the war/Nemesis time frame, there would be less than 100 ships, and 100 seems way high.

In my heart, Star Trek will forever be on pause until they make a canon show taking place post Nemesis-DS9-Voyager. I thought it would be really interesting to have series take place where the Federation is in shambles, even classically peaceful prosperous planets like Betazed were rubble. Ships would be out on their own.

  • 1
    This seems completely out of kilter with what we see in the show. Some of the single battles toward the end of DS9 had in excess of 100 ships and we see many/most of those surviving. – Valorum Jul 8 '17 at 10:11
  • "I thought it would be really interesting to have series take place where the Federation is in shambles, even classically peaceful prosperous planets like Betazed were rubble. Ships would be out on their own." - sounds like Firefly. – Rand al'Thor Jul 8 '17 at 10:19
  • This is true, however it is also stated that those battles were the combined entire forces of the Federation, in addition to Klingon and Romulan ships. They have a debate towards the end whether or not to commit everything, because if they failed they would be open to complete invasion. They decided on putting everything in. So that was the entire Federation fleet in the final battle. – Joshua Dec 11 '17 at 7:27
-3
  • 50,000 Federation, mostly science vessels (also remember that ships serving in war only, like the galaxy class ships need a fraction of the crew to function for just war)

  • 30,000 Klingon; most are simple birds of prey (Klingons rely more on ground forces for imperial control over subject races)

  • 80,000 Romulans, mostly valdore type and captial ships (I say this because they are paranoid and an empire with subject races, meaning they would need a lot of at-home ships maintaining the empire while still having an invasion-capable fleet to keep them on par with both of the biggest rivals as they became allies)

Total guess based on all the methods I've seen. Another thing to point out is that we have very little info on individual member species and what if any militaries or fleets they maintain outside of Starfleet. If members maintain large numbers of ships or at least some do, then Starfleet would need far fewer ships for defense.

  • 1
    What are you basing this on? – Valorum Sep 29 '14 at 16:34
  • @Richard: Buried in the jumble of text is the explanation "total guess." I've cleaned up the formatting so it's more readable now. – jwodder Sep 29 '14 at 17:26
-4

If I was to make a guess at the strength given to the UFP starfleet strength prior to the Dominion War would be between 2000 and 6000 ships. Most of the ships were large capital ships used for long-range exploration, not mainly for combat operations. The ships in one timeline with a 23 year war with the Klingons a galaxy class starship could carry over 6000 troops into a landing. There were several thousand light cruiser/heavy fighter ships mostly for patrol and civil defense. Each of the worlds also would have only a military, albeit a limited one not used for outside combat operations. In the series after the the wars with the Borg and the Dominion, Andoria seceded for the UFP and quickly reconstituted the Imperial guard or had a home battalion. The Vulcans also had a home defense force with elements of the high command still in place. In the book The Battle for Betazed, they never really gave up the security force, but they were also not very well trained in combat operations having turning over most of the defense to starfleet. And from the time of the Khitomer Accords to the time of the Borg, starfleet only fought border skirmishes with the Tzenkethi and the Cardassians. Most of the fleet was engaged in long term exploration and science discovery. So, for 60 to 80 years the UFP had no real enemies to contend with. The Romulans went silent after the Tomed incident, the Klingons were abstract allies to a point. Most of the budget was cut and the money directed to colonization efforts and other potential "social projects."

  • 1
    There's a lot of guesswork and precious little actual evidence here. Who's to say that the Federation didn't use this lull in hostilities to construct huge numbers of exploratory vessels or vast fleets of colonisation ships. You can use the same logic either way. – Valorum Feb 23 '15 at 1:44
-4

Using the US navy as a base line, which has about 430 ships and the rest of world roughly doubles that so let's say 1200 navy ships on this planet. Now at last count I had there was around 180 planets in the Federation. OK so not all world's would want to contribute to Starfleet. Now this is the hard part! I would guess that around 150 planets would put ships in the mix, after that math is simple 150x1200 now this a big number but now keep in mind not all of these ships are combatants. It is my opinion that their would be around 50000 ships of the line spread over 8000'LY. Now this makes no sense given the distances involved. But you can place your assets when an where needed....

  • 2
    This doesn't answer the question asked in any meaningful way. – Valorum Sep 22 '17 at 7:08

protected by Skooba Oct 23 '17 at 14:02

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?