It’s difficult to determine the exact size of Starfleet in each era, but the efforts of the dedicated Star Trek fan base have made the estimate easier.
star trek is famous for having one of the largest and most detailed starship fleets in any sci-fi franchise, but the number of Starfleet ships has changed with each era. the star trek The brand has endured for over half a century since the series first aired in 1966. The series was originally conceived as a parable for the social issues of the time, such as nuclear proliferation, civil rights and gender equality. It has since morphed into a vast and multi-faceted sci-fi universe, spanning thousands of light years and centuries of stories. From Captains Kirk and Picard to Janeway and Archer, the world of star trek follows the evolution of humans as they learn to live in a world in which they are far from alone. Excitingly, 2022 is shaping up to be star trekthe greatest year ever.
Since star trek The franchise spans 300 years of human space travel (and even an alternate timeline of blockbuster movies), the creative teams behind it have worked painstakingly to ensure the canon is consistent through every era. As such, they made social and technological changes seem fluid and natural over time. Starfleet has grown with the series, from relatively humble beginnings in Star Trek: Enterprise to a huge presence across the cosmos in Star Trek: The Next Generation and its contemporary stories.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the exact size of Starfleet in each era. However, thanks to the efforts of an incredibly dedicated fanbase, a lot of information has been extrapolated from the known numbers. Thanks to fan-run online encyclopedias such as the Daystrom Institute’s Technical Library, it’s possible to make accurate estimates of the number of ships in Starfleet in each major era of the franchise.
There is extremely little information about the size of Starfleet at the time of Star Trek: Enterprisethe prequel series is set a century before Star Trek: The Original Series. What is known, however, is that it was only a century after Zephram Cochrane first made contact with Vulcans in 2063. That doesn’t leave Earth’s inhabitants much time to develop their own space fleet, especially since the arrival of Cochrane. The first contact with the Vulcans occurred in the ruins of the terrible ravages of World War III. Nuclear war had left much of Earth in an “atomic horror” that threatened the human race with a new dark age before contact with extraterrestrial life blessed it with new technologies and an era of global cooperation.
The Enterprise NX-01 is also confirmed to be the first human spacecraft capable of warp-5 space travel. This limited information combined with Starfleet’s more explicit size in The original series, there may be no more than two or three fully-fledged ships in Starfleet. Everything would change in the next century, as the Federation and Starfleet broadened their horizons and began to explore deeper and deeper. star trekthe final frontier.
2200s (The Original Series, Discovery)
As for when it all started, there is actually some real hard data on a key aspect of Starfleet’s size, and it comes straight from the most primary sources: series creator and generalist. star trek visionary Gene Roddenberry himself. The creation of Star Trek author Stephen E. Whitfield gained access to Roddenberry and his team of creatives who developed the original star trek series that ran from 1966 to 1969. Roddenberry confirmed the size of Starfleet as he originally envisioned it when making the show that launched the legendary franchise, saying, “In addition to the twelve starships, there are lesser classes of starships, capable of operating over much more limited distances.”
Here it is. In the days of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, there were 12 full-fledged starships such as the Enterprise. There is no record of Roddenberry specifying the exact number of small ships he referred to. But comparing multiple accounts, the Daystrom Institute’s Technical Library estimates that there were likely several hundred such ships. In terms of Star Trek: Discovery Starfleet, as the series begins only 10 years before the start of the Enterprise’s five-year mission, any change in fleet size between the two series will likely be negligible.
2300s (The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, Picard)
One hundred years after the Enterprise’s five-year mission, Starfleet had stretched across the stars. Captain Jean-Luc Picard once noticed that the Federation fleet covered a territory of 8,000 light years. The DITL calculates their figure based on the number of starships in various fleets mentioned during Star Trek: The Next Generationas well as the size of the armadas called upon to defend the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 station during the Dominion War. By their estimate, the number of Starfleet main ships had numbered several thousand. Specifically, the narrower figure is 5,000 to 10,000 starships. Like Star Trek: Voyager takes place at the same time as The next generation and Star Trek: Picard picks up about a decade later Star Trek: Nemesis concluded The next generationthe fleet is unlikely to have grown significantly between these rounds.
2200s – Kelvin Timeline (Star Trek, Into Darkness, Beyond)
It would not be in every era of star trek not to mention Kelvin Timeline, the alternate reality that contains the years 2009 star trek and its two suites, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond. There is no data on fleet size differences between timelines, if any. But it’s likely that Starfleet was about the same size as the main timeline at the time of the 2009 movie.
However, the destruction of Vulcan changed the course of the Federation. Star Trek Into Darkness saw the secret construction of the USS Vengeance, a spacecraft built specifically for war rather than exploration and diplomacy. The Vengeance was destroyed at the end of the film when it crashed in San Francisco Bay during an act of terrorism against the Federation. It’s unclear if there were more warships under construction at the time, but the combined trauma of the two attacks likely resulted in further expansion and militarization of Starfleet, and at a much faster rate than in the main timeline of star trek.
Next: Star Trek: Discovery Resolves A 29-Year-Old Starfleet Academy Problem
Quantum Leap revival can fix the worst cliffhanger in TV history
About the Author