Star Trek FAQ

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On with the FAQ:

Q. Exactly how many starship designs do you currently have?
A. Currently, I have ships for the following groups:

UFP/Federation - 3673
Klingon Empire - 245
Romulan Star Empire - 143
Alternate Universe - 83
Cardassian Union - 49
Bajoran Militia - 8
Borg Collective - 10
Ferengi Alliance - 5
Maquis - 3
The Dominion - 6
Kazon Collective - 4
Gorn Defense Force - 32
Tholian Assembly - 18
Vulcan Navy - 36
N'Redomm - 6
Misc/Non-Aligned - 236
TOTAL - 4557

Q. What do you mean by "Alternate Universe" and what is "N'Redomm"?
A. "Alternate Universe" pertains to ships that were designed and built by Federations of other universes/parallel dimensions, such as the one we first saw in the Star Trek original series episode "Mirror, Mirror", and more recently in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. These are ships that have a tendency to bristle with weapons and specialized equipment to bring an entire planet to its knees, ripe for conquest - this is because we assume that all alternate universes other than the Federation we see on TV MUST be evil ;-) Anyway, these are designs that were made by myself and a friend for the Sovereign Empire of Planets when we were heavy in to Roleplaying Games, specifically in the Star Trek genre. We weren't content with just what was given us in the basic sets, so we made our own stuff to liven it up a bit. This leads me into the "N'Redomm" designs: These are also custom designs made by me, representing ships built by an alien race named the "N'Redomm" that exhibit Federation design attributes. Without getting too involved in a long-forgotten 10-year old story line, the N'Redomm saw the Federation design, and decided to embellish on it for their own ends. Since they are Fed-like (and there are only six ships), I decided to throw them into the Fed section.

Q. What does "NCC" and "NX" mean?
A. There are several registry classifications listed in the database:

   NCC ------- Naval Construction Contract
   NCC-FXXXX - Naval Construction Contract/Freighter-Tender
   NCC-SXXXX - Naval Construction Contract/Support Vessel
   NCC-GXXXX - Naval Construction Contract/General Use
   NA -------- Naval Automaton
   NX -------- Naval Experiment
   NCO ------- Naval Construction Order (For Alternate-Federation Vessels)
   NCP ------- Naval Construction - Patrol/Perimeter Vessel
   NCV ------- Naval Cross-temporal Vessel
   NDT ------- Naval Detached Transport
   NSP ------- Naval Science Program
   NSX ------- Naval SpecialOps Experiment
   SNC ------- Shi'ar Naval Contract
   Q --------- Intelligence "Q-Ship"
   C --------- Contract # (For pre-Federation Vessels)
   DT -------- Designated Tactical Vessel
   FCC ------- Fleet Command Crusier
   FF -------- Frigate Flagship/Fast Frigate
   FR -------- Freighter (For pre-Federation Vessels)
   L --------- Luxury/Civilian
   G --------- General Use
   SFDD ------ Starfleet Drydock
   TP -------- Travel Pod Registry
   NAR ------- Naval Auxiliary Resource/Research/Reserve
   NAK ------- Naval Auxiliary Resource - Merchant Marine/Logistics
   NFT ------- Non-Federation Transport
   NGL ------- Non-Starfleet General-Purpose Liner

Any info on the above "** Unknown **" registry classifications would be appreciated. Also, any confirmation (positive or negative) on the classifications I do have to make my listing more accurate would be great.

Q. How exactly do I search for a ship design in the Federation section?
A. Simply type in the name of a ship, or part of its name if you're not quite sure how to spell it. DO NOT use the phrases/strings "USS", "U.S.S.", "NCC-XXXX-D", "class", "vessel", or anything OTHER than just the ship name you're looking for. If the search engine still doesn't produce a hit, check your spelling, or choose less letters to search on in the ship's name to widen the scope of the search. If that still doesn't work, chances are the ship doesn't exist in the database.

Q. I tried searching on "Reliant", and I got something, but it's not Khan's ship from Star Trek II. What's up with that?
A. Yes, there are entries for the U.S.S. Reliant, but like many other ships in the database, you might not find exactly what you're looking for. Other examples that come to mind are the Enterprise-C, D and E. These ships specifically DO NOT exist within this database! Pay close attention to the class a particular ship belongs to. The Reliant you might be looking for belongs to the Miranda class. So, you would find what you're looking for if you choose Miranda from the Heavy Frigates section. The Enterprise-C is of the Ambassador class, the D from the Galaxy class, and the E from the Sovereign class. HOWEVER, the presence of ship names are not always class-name based. When a ship has a particular item to distinguish it from the rest of its class, it is included as an individual vessel. For example, the U.S.S. Phoenix Tactical Cruiser is a member of the Nebula class, but since the Phoenix has that oversized sensor pod to distinguish it from other Nebula class vessels (which have that delta-shaped weapons pod), it has a separate entry in the database. That's why the U.S.S. Sutherland doesn't exist in the database, for example. There's nothing to distinguish it from other Nebulas.

Q. I'm searching for "Enterprize", and the "Defient" and I can't find them! I KNOW you MUST have the U.S.S. Enterprize and U.S.S. Defient!
A. I'll keep this brief...PLEASE learn to spell the ship names properly!

Q. Do you have deck plans, specifications, or close-ups of the bridges of each ship?
A. No. The only things I have in this database are general outboard designs. Nothing specific such as bridge or deck layout. I had long considered including some specifications for each ship in the database, but decided against it, as it would have required too much extra research (which I, quite frankly, don't have the time to do).

Q. What is your definition of "Official"?
A. Generally speaking, I consider "Official" to be any ship mentioned or, more especially, physically appearing in a Star Trek episode or movie. This can get a little complicated, as we know that the Original Series U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) is a Constitution-class vessel, yet we're not quite sure what the U.S.S. Constitution (NCC-1700) looks like, because it's never been seen. I have a schematic design for the Constitution, and it looks considerably different (older) than the original Enterprise (explained away by ship upgrades, built at different times in different yards with newer equipment, etc.) But, since we know the Constitution to be the duly-mentioned ship of the line, I consider it official. The same goes for the U.S.S. Galaxy, the U.S.S. Intrepid, the Kobayashi Maru, and so forth.

Q. What is the canonical criteria for designing an "Official" Starship?
A. This information was given to me via e-mail by Jon Caroll which follows:

Years ago, I was lucky enough to attend an Industrial Design class conducted at a Star Trek
convention by Andrew Probert, head of the design team for the Enterprise in ST:TMP
and primary designer of the Enterprise-D.  He was nice enough to relay to me the
"Unofficial Starship Design Rules" as told to him by Gene Roddenberry...
• Warp nacelles MUST be in pairs. (The "All  Good Things" Enterprise is explained not
  to violate these because it has two warp field coils in each nacelle, thus creating three
  pairs.  The Franz Joseph Designs single-nacelle ships are not official canon... )
• Warp nacelles must have at least 50% line-of-sight on each other across the hull.
• Both warp nacelles must be fully visible from the front.
• The bridge must be located at the top center of the primary hull.

Thanks for the info, Jon. -JMS

Q. How come there are duplicate registry numbers between ships?
A. This is really a subset of the official/unofficial question. I've got hundreds of Federation starship designs, 99% of which are unofficial. There's going to be some overlap.

Q. How come some designs have registry numbers listed and others don't?
A. There were cases where registry numbers simply weren't provided for me to include in the database. As far as registry numbers being on some of the ships and not on others, some ship designs had to be made from scratch, or from components of others, and I didn't have time to muck around with the fonts and rounding them to an approximation of a curve and all that, so I removed them altogether.

Q. What does the checkerboard pattern mean that I see occasionally on the ships?
A. That's an unofficial designation for experimental starships. It seems to be a widely accepted "unofficial standard" among design developers, as I have seen the checkerboard pattern used by many authors over the years. I've even seen sheets of decals specifically made for the customization of plastic/resin Federation starship models with the checkerboard pattern on them.

Q. If the Federation really did have all these ships, why did they have such trouble with the Borg and all the other rival races in the Alpha Quadrant? Why don't they rule the galaxy by the 24th century?
A. I generally like to stay away from theoretical questions like this one, but I think due to the extreme volume of ships I have registered, the question is a valid one. This is once again an officiality issue. The only ships that I consider the Federation to truly have in their possession are the ones we see in the TV shows and movies. Anything else is pure speculation and is fan-driven for the most part. Even the books that Paramount dubs to be "official" in the Star Trek universe are never given lip-service in the shows, and are therefore considered "not-quite-official".

A#2. Received some email from another point of view with regards to this question. Thanks for the input on this one, David.

The Federation is extremely vast, but it is always expanding.  Many of the ships are spread
out across the quadrant, too far to help against the Borg.
The Federation doesn't rule because they are peaceful, leaving races alone that want to be
left alone, never attacking but instead defending against attack.

A#3. Received another email on the subject from Matthew Maunder in response to answer number 2 above...

I Agree 100% with all the points made by David, but one thing seems to be a glaring ommition
and one that could also aid in the explanation of this question: De-Commision. SO many of
those ships are kicking on a bit and are museum peices. Many of the names mentioned have
been destroyed. And generally speaking, when you see a StarFleet Armada, It's pretty damned
impressive as it is. You would also notice that they have a tendancy to be the more modern
battleworthy vessels - many featured are, by their design, scientific, or exploratory. Of course at
a time of war, spare all you can, but I don't think the top brass of the Federation would wholey
approve of the concept of Cannon Fodder. That seems very UN-STARFLEET.

A#4. And yet another explanation from Robert W. Ray...

I was reading your FAQ file and was really curious about the last question
that was posted there about the numbers of vessels listed verses the
problems with the Borg.  I think that at least part of the answer lies with
the fact that the design timelines are rather vast, stretching more than 200
years.  Also add that Starfleet Command isn't going to throw every garbage
scow and tugboat at a technologically superior threat force and the
comparitave ease at wich the borg seem to be able to dispatch even the most
advanced of Starfleet's designs.  Let's face it, there were at least 39 of
Starfleet's most advanced vessels at at Wolf 359, and the Borg swatted them
like flies.  What would a Grissom class science vessel be able to do against
the Borg?  Especially if you consider that Starfleet doesn't exactly condone

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