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Klingon Starship Classes and History

by Eric Schulman

The Klingon Empire has had nine major starship classes since the early 22nd Century. Klingons do not quickly discard starship designs that work well for them. Of the six Klingon starship classes first commissioned in the 22nd or 23rd Centuries, only one was in the fleet for less than 100 years. That class (the D-4 Bird of Prey) was replaced by a similar class (the D-11 Bird of Prey) within a decade. ((1,2))

Klingon Starship Classes
Name Type Dates in Service Length of Service
D-5 Battlecruiser 2120 – 2280 160 years
Bird of Prey (D-4) Scout 2125 – 2170 45 years
Raptor Scout 2145 – 2260 115 years
D-7 Battlecruiser 2146 – 2285 139 years
K’Tinga Light Cruiser 2269 – Present 118+ years
Bird of Prey (D-11/D-12/D-13) Scout 2277 – Present 110+ years
B’Rel Cruiser 2327 – Present 60+ years
Vor’Cha Attack Cruiser 2347 – Present 40+ years
Negh’Var Battleship 2368 – Present 19+ years

Klingon D5 class battlecruiser
D-5 Battlecruiser

The D-5 Battlecruiser was the most powerful Klingon starship during the first half of the 22nd Century. The ship had dispersive armor and shields and was equipped with both disruptors and photon torpedoes. It was capable of speeds up to Warp 6 and had advanced sensors. The D-5 remained in the fleet well after the arrival of the larger and more capable D-7 (Kor commanded an old D-5 during the Battle of Caleb IV in the 2260s). ((3))

D4 Bird of Prey
Bird of Prey (D-4)

The D-4 scout ship was the first Klingon Bird of Prey. It had eight disruptor cannons and two photon torpedo launchers (one facing forward and the other facing aft). It had defensive shields, was equipped with a tractor beam, and could exceed Warp 5. It had a crew of 18 and was in service for 45 years. ((1, 4))

Raptor Class

The Raptor scout ship was similar in size to the D-4. It had a crew of 12 and was equipped with defensive shields, two disruptor cannons, and one photon torpedo launcher. The Raptor was in the Klingon fleet from 2145 to 2260. ((1, 5))

D7 Battlecruiser
D-7 Battlecruiser

The D-7 Battlecruiser was the workhorse of the Klingon fleet for more than 100 years, from 2146 to 2285. The early versions had four disruptor cannons and two photon torpedo launchers, but by the end of its service life the number of disruptor cannons had been increased to ten. It had a crew complement of 430. The D-7 was so impressive in the 23rd Century that the Romulan Empire traded cloaking technology to the Klingon Empire in exchange for several D 7s. ((1, 6))

K't'inga Light Cruiser
K’Tinga Light Cruiser

The K’Tinga Light Cruiser replaced the D-7 in the middle of the 23rd Century and it still remains in service today. It packs a powerful punch, with 14 disruptor cannons and two photon torpedo launchers. It has a crew of 510. A K’Tinga was the flagship of the Imperial Fleet during the late 23rd Century. ((1, 7))

((1)) http://www.ditl.org/
((2)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Klingon_starship_classes
((3)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/D5_class
((4)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Klingon_Bird-of-Prey_%2822nd_century%29
((5)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Raptor_class
((6)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/D7_class
((7)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/K%27t%27inga_class
((8)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Klingon_Bird-of-Prey
((9)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/IKS_Pagh
((10)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Vor%27cha_class
((11)) http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Negh%27Var_warship

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Bird of Prey

Bird of Prey (D-11/D-12/D-13)

A new Bird of Prey (the D-11) replaced the D-4 the late 23rd Century. The D-11 and its similar successors (the D-12 and D-13) have been in the Klingon Fleet in large numbers ever since. The ships typically had two disruptor cannons and one photon torpedo launcher. The crew complement ranged from 12 to more than 30 depending on the design and the mission. ((1, 8))

B'Rel Cruiser
B’rel Cruiser

The B’rel Cruiser looks very similar to a Bird of Prey at first glance, but it is in fact much larger (three times the length and 25 times the volume). It is equipped with 8 disruptor cannons and 6 photon torpedo launchers and has a crew complement of 390. In 2365, Commander Riker of the USS Enterprise-D became the first Starfleet officer to serve aboard a Klingon vessel when he became first officer of the B’rel-class IKS Pagh as part of an officer exchange program. The B’Rel is still in service. ((1, 9))

Vor'Cha Attack Cruiser
Vor’Cha Attack Cruiser

The Vor’Cha Attack Cruiser was first fielded in 2347 and was the largest ship in the Klingon fleet at the time. It has 15 disruptor cannons, four photon torpedo launchers, and a crew of 1,900. A Vor’Cha was the flagship of the Imperial Fleet until the introduction of the Negh’Var battleship in 2368. ((1, 10))

Negh'Var Battleship
Negh’Var Battleship

The Negh’Var Battleship is a staggeringly large starship. It can carry 10,000 troops in addition to its crew complement of 2,500. The Negh’Var transports the troops to a planet using large numbers of landing craft and more than 30 personnel transporters. It has 20 disruptor cannons and eight photon torpedo launchers. The Negh’Var is not very maneuverable, so its main disruptor batteries are generally only used against large space stations and planetary installations. ((1, 11))