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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
06-05-2012, 07:36 AM
There is already a lot of evidence to support starships being water capable. Leaving aside the obvious fluidic space one:

Evidence
  1. They are airtight, They also have airlock capabilities similar to ships of our era.
  2. Almost all ships, even the ancient Bajoran sublight ship, can be equipped with anti-grav capability and have Structural Integrity Fields. They can clearly negate any kind of issues with displacement or pressure from depth that affects dive depth in submarines today.
  3. It's been established that forcfields can replace glass, are able to withstand significant abuse, and can hold large tanks of water effortlessly.
  4. Starship shields are able to withstand severe punishment from things far worse than water pressure and are built for the hazards of space.
  5. Deflector dishes are capable of providing additional protection. These were originally designed to protect a star ship from colliding with small particles what would destroy the ship instantly. This is a far more difficult task than holding back some water.
  6. Starship engines are capable of working in an atmosphere, meaning they can act like physical propulsion engines which work under water.
  7. Star ships are self contained, so they don't rely on anything externally available to function (i.e. diesel engines on subs require them to surface or use a snorkel). So there is no danger of flooding their propulsion system or anything that would cause the ship to break down.

Conclusion
Voyager's bubble shields will allow it to stay dry under water, at least at shallow depths. It's hard to say for sure how deep the bubble shield could go, but I would guess based on the technology of our era vs. depicted on screen Voyager can dive deeper than any vessel of our time. Even if the bubble shield didn't hold, combinations of structural integrity, forcefields, and hull plating means it will have no trouble surviving.

As for shuttles, the same as above would apply here as well. Smaller ones might have to specially fitted for the environment as we do with modern subs and aircraft. But it was obvious shuttles (not Fed ones though) had the ability to go under water in Enterprise, so adapting the technology wouldn't be far fetched.

Propulsion would be a non-factor given the number of different environments where it is clearly able to function. And warp drive is far more powerful than anything we are using today.

So in short, yes they can without question.