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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 55
03-18-2012, 12:16 PM
Originally Posted by mister_dee
There it is again "for its size" and given the Defiant is actually one of the tiniest ships the Federation has that's not that impressive.
There are also some minor issues to consider like physics.
Meaning if you put a whole lot of armor onto a small hull, you end up increasing its mass, thus you are required to increase the propulsion power to keep it moving which in turn requires a more powerful power source etc.
In addition on such a small frame you will have to pack your vital systems rather close to each other which means if and when you receive a hit that will actually damage something it's very likely to hit a far greater amount of vital components than a larger ships.
Also something ovserved on the South Dakota class battleships as opposed to their North carolina class cousins is that stacking too many components into a frame is that you become succeptible to having components damaged while the hull itself remains intact because they are so tightly put together.

The same is true for the supposedly enormous firepower:
As you cannot have more output from the weapons than power you put into them, you need a warpcore to power them and transfer lines to the weapons that can transmit the mount of power needed without overheating and/or burning up.
The same rules as for the weapons apply to the warpcore itself meaning it can only produce power that is proportional to the amount of fuel put into it.
Thus how long the ship can operate with that power consumption depends on the fuel supply that is of course limited by the ship's own size.
So unless the ship is much bigger on the inside than the outside it can't have such a gigantig power output otherwise it would be sucked dry of its fuel reseves in a monumentally short amount of time.

Let's also not forget that the performance of ships in Star Trek increases geometrically depending on the amount of main characters on them.
The Defiant could defeat Birds of Prey and JH fighters with equal ease which would make someone conclude both are roughly of the same performance yet we've seen that a BoP with at least one main character aboard has the ability to withstand as much damage as the Defiant and destroy JH fighters with equal ease.
So the "armor" you're referring to is actually this one:

Maybe you have a different edition of the episode ("Defiant") than everyone else because there was nothing in that episode about the Defiant being the ship with the most firepower of any Federation ship in that episode.
Gul Dukat explicitly says in that episode ("Defiant") that the Defiant is the most heavily armed warship in the sector, putting it at least equal to or better than the Galor-class Cardassian cruisers.

It's also said that the Defiant is overpowered for its size, and this was actually one of the design issues that needed to be addressed early on. On top of that, the warp cores for larger starships like the Galaxy are huge, because the ship is not only also huge, but also because it's designed to power a lot more systems (holodecks, science equipment, etc.) as well as be independent for prolonged periods of time. The Defiant, on the other hand, is specifically designed as an escort and guard ship -- it's only active when out on a specific mission, otherwise it's docked at a station and likely hooked up to the station's power umbilical. It's also explicitly noted that the warp core signature for the Defiant is as much as a much larger starship.

As for the quote that quantum torpedoes from the Lakota would destroy the Defiant... yeah, Quantums were very powerful. But let's also look at screen evidence for the Galaxy-class at hand: the Enterprise-D was destroyed by an old Bird-of-Prey firing photon torpedoes, because the Galaxy had a demonstrated design flaw that made its warp core very temperamental. Seriously, watch the show + Generations, and count the number of times the warp core breaches, or is under threat of breach. It's crazy! Relatively speaking, for hero ships, the Defiant holds up much better in combat situations.