Just curious why I cannot have multiple ships with the same name. I have the option for my registry number to be NCC XXXXX-A or NCC XXXXX-B, but I cannot reuse the same name on those ships. Is the reasoning behind this that you should not have both A and B and C and D in service at the same time? Are the A-B-C-D etc for role play only? Thanks!
The ship name is tied to your account and acts as the identifier for all the data associated with that ship (equipment, seat assignments, customization, etc.). You can't have more than one data array with an identical name, so you can't have more than one ship with the exact same name.
What you can do, however, is discharge your older ship(s) once you've moved on if you never plan on flying that ship again. Just make sure you strip all its equipment first so you don't just lose those energy credits. Then, hit the big Discharge button in the select-your-ship interface and it's gone, leaving you free to rename your new ship to the same name as your old one and save the letter for the NCC registry number.
The ship name or any other name you can change (character name, bridge officers' names) is just an attribute of the appropriate object, it doesn't identify the object, there is a separate ID for that we'll probably never see. So in theory it would be fine to have 3 ships with the same name, however, it's rather an interface issue as we are allowed to have multiple ships and we identify them by their name, and it may not be perfectly clear which ship is which if it would be allowed to give them identical names. It is not that big of an issue to have similarly named ships but it would make the interface unclear and it could be seen as an issue for some. I think that is behind the decision to disallow multiple ships having the same names for a character.