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Author Topic: Klingon Warship Design : 1610-1667 IR  (Read 4475 times)

Offline Squire James

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Klingon Warship Design : 1610-1667 IR
« on: 09 February 2010 06:40 AM »
( A little background text I wrote for KA2. Not entirely 'canon' but it fits I think. I have a similar text I wrote for the Federation. I unfortunately lost the Romulan, Gorn and Tholian ones though. I wrote these from a perspective of a 24th Century, Dominion War-Era Historian who found this document in a Federation archive and added post-TMP Era notes to it. Sounds complex, but you'll see what I mean.)


Translators Note: The Klingon Empire was founded in 1 Imperial Reckoning (IR), or 625CE in the Federation Standard Calendar. Therefore subtracting 625 from any Klingon date will give you the Terran equivalent. For the purposes of cultural completion the dates in the original text are left in IR, but any dates referenced in the added footnotes will be in Federation Standard Calendar years with the IR in brackets. The same applies to Klingon ship names (only at the time of first appearance in the text)

Writers Note: Ever bastions of tradition, the Klingon Empire carried on competitive design contracts well into the 24th Century, but this fell out of favour during the Dominion War where all Shipyards were taken over by the High Council in an effort to consolidate construction and repairs. However, at the time this document was written, this practice was still in vogue. The shipyards of Earth and Andoria held this sort of competition until the designs of the Pyotr Velikiy and Constitution Class cruisers resulted in the demise of Andorian designs. Some Andorian designs have since been accepted into Starfleet, such as the Venture, Sabre, and Aegean Class starships.

All Klingon vessels have a design class letter and 'lineage' specific number designation, as well as a class name. The design letters are largely based on the types "seniority" in the order of battle (although, this is from a Klingon perspective, and so doesn't follow the Federation perspective)

B (Example B11) Battleships
C (Example C9A) Capital Ships
D (Example D7C) Cruisers
E (Example E12) Escorts
F (Example F5B) Frigates (although, see the Class F for the changing meaning of Class F)

The only clear exception is L, which is a generic design class for all non-combat vessels. (Such vessels being seen as not important enough to warrant specific listing in Klingon eyes)

It is important to note that why they may seem to be linked with the hull type (from a Federation perspective), the letters are purely symbolic (B does not stand for battleship, and hence why D is for Cruisers, not Destroyers). A popular explanation for the differing view of Escorts and Frigates/Destroyers in the eyes of the Klingon Empire is that Escorts are often the smallest ship in a conventional battle line, whereas Frigates and Destroyers operate independently of the battle line on an almost permanent basis (Escorts being used both in the battle line and out of it)

Lineage numbers are used to link certain designs, projects, specifications and such together. In addition to this, they have a letter suffix that denotes their role or refit.

Refit specific letters:-

[no suffix] (example D6) Original design, no refits or modifications. Often the first in a family line.
A (example C9A) First refit of the hull or first pure replacement (i.e designed as an improvement to the original)
B (example F5B) Second refit of the hull or second replacement (Exception: The Emperor Class bears little resemblance to the Ber'Taa but they are designated C8B and C8 respectively. There is no C8A. Apparently this was to try and show how much of an improvement the Emperor was.)
C (example D5C) Third refit of the hull or third replacement.
and so on.

Role or usage specific letters (i.e reserved for specific roles rather than being used for the above)

L  (example F15L) Command (Note, the letter in Klingon is not directly translated to "L" but Federation historians use L to stand for Leader)
M (example D7M) While not role related, this suffix relates to a very large (almost total) modification of the hull itself. (Note, same applies as the L suffix, Federation historians use M for "Modified", but the Klingon letter does not translate to M)
Q (example F5Q) Assault or Transport orientated.
U (example D7U) General utility (although often used for colony ships, as almost every kind of transport or utility ship in the Klingon Empire is military)
V (example B10V) Carrier, Shuttle Tender etc
S (example F5S) Special Duties (although a common misconception is that it means Science or Scout; admittedly these are its most common usages)
T (example D7T) Torpedo (Note, same applies as the M suffix, Federation historians use T for Torpedo, but the Klingon letter does not translate to T)
X (example E12X) Only used for the experimental fire-while-cloaked-capable Bird of Prey, it is a historiographical term used by 24th Century historians)

Class D

Arguable the most long lived of design classes is the Class D. While ships of this type can vary widely, their basic characteristics are that of a "Boom and Wing" form. The bridge and a central torpedo launcher, and occasionally a clutch of disruptors, along with the officers quarters, form the command module. This is connected to the "wing" module, containing engineering, weapons systems and crew quarters, by a boom. This design originally featured the entire habitable area inside the command module, with the then unstable warp drive and its dangerous radiation risks isolated by the long boom, but for the past 2 Centuries, this design has been unnecessary, and the "Boom and Wing" design has become largely a tradition rather than a necessity. The D5, D6 and D7 Cruisers, known in their latest iterations as the D5 Qa'HoS Class Light Cruiser and the qItI'tinga' Class Heavy Cruiser are the most commonly recognised classes of this design class.

Historical Note: The Relentless (Qa'HoS) was one of the designs that had great promise, but was withdrawn with the Khithomer Accords. However, it wasn't until after the end of the Dominion War that the venerable (or "vulnerable" as many Klingon Captains would complain) Great Powerful Conqueror (qItI'tinga', often Terran-ised to K'T'Inga rather than writing the lengthy translation) was finally withdrawn in favour of its descendant, the Attacker (Vor'Cha) Class.

Class E

The Class E is more commonly known by the founder of its design, the B'rel. Designed around the cloaking device acquired from the Romulans, B'rels are small predatory designs that are fast and maneuverable and for their size, have a sizable punch.

Historical Note. Ships of the Class E can still be found in the 24th Century, namely the latest iteration of the Bird of Prey (B'rel).

Class F

The first ships of this type were designed just prior to the acquisition of cloaking technology. Since they were essentially designed for the same purpose as the new Class E, the Class F was due to be withdrawn, however they managed to survive in niche forms, like the current pIH Class. In the KDF, the last survivors of the Class F are often to be found fulling roles as repair vessels, armed supply ships, and marine transports, although some original Battle Frigates survive in remote areas. For reasons not entirely understood, the QuD Class was given the Class F Designation. It is believed that the 'old' Class F designation is to be phased out, and the 'new' Class F to be used for Destroyer type ships (a new type in the KDF)

Historical Note: The tired old Suspicious (pIH) Class was not finally withdrawn until the early 2320s (c1695 IR), due to its special sensor detection and interruption equipment. The Insurrection (QuD) Class suffered from space frame fatigue before its time, and was withdrawn unusually early for a Klingon vessel, in the mid 2340s. (c1715 IR)

Class M

The Class M is a very new design class that is descended from the Class D. They are essentially heavily modified Class D vessels, principally the D7C qItI'tinga'. Featuring 3 warp engines, the two classes in this design class, the D7M Suvwel'QeH and the D7T mek'LetH Class are specialised cruisers, the former a command cruiser, and the latter a torpedo cruiser.

Historical Note: These ships were withdrawn with the Khithomer Accords, much to the dismay of the KDF. Federation historians recognise the Class D lineage and term the Warrior's Anger (Suvwel'QeH) and Shortsword* (mek'LetH) D7M and D7T respectively (when they should be M7 and M7T). See the notes on the Class C for more details on where Federation translations differ to the original.

*Not a direct translation. A mek'LetH is a Klingon weapon similar in shape, size, style and usage to a Terran Shortsword, hence the usage of the term.

Class C

The Class C has two subclasses. While both fulfilling the roles of battlecruisers, dreadnoughts and other capital ships, they have very different origins.

Class C-I

Designed by the Cheng'Duwj Shipyards around Qo'Nos, the most well known and successful of its type is the pumwl Class dreadnought. While very powerful and with little in the way of design faults, ships of this type are very expensive and time consuming to produce. They formed the core of the KDF during the Organian Conflict, and during the ISC War of Pacification. However the cost of their construction, and the need for more ships to replace those lost during these conflicts and to expand the KDF further, lead to other avenues of design being explored by other shipyards.

Class C-II
 
Designed in competition to the Class C-I by the Charg'Wubl Shipyards in the Ho'Thak System, the Class C-II is currently formed from a single ship class, the C8B VoD'LeH. Based on the D7C qItI'tinga', the C8B VoD'LeH Class battlecruiser shares many components with its smaller ancestor, and this allows faster construction and repair times, and also minimises on the amount of conversion training needed for newly graduated captains trained at the Academy on old D6 and D7 Class Cruisers. While not structurally strong enough to warrant further development into a dreadnought or battleship type vessel, the D7 hull in its C8B VoD'LeH guise is quite capable as a heavy battlecruiser.

Historical Note: The C-II Design Class fell from favour after the explosion of Kronos' (Qo'NoS) moon, Praxis. The costs of developing such vessels in light of this event proved too great. However, existing C9A Accuser (puwml) and other earlier vessels such as the "Super-Cruiser" C8 Bird of Blood (Ber'Taa) Class were repaired, refit and kept in service until the 2340's (c1700 IR) when the heavy photon torpedo became obsolete with the invention and adoption of Ion Torpedoes. These hulls were neither strong enough for modern warfare, nor capable of mounting Ion Torpedo launchers, and had a crew complement requirement way above modern designs. An interesting point is that of the C7 Kronos Class. Technically this should be termed the "D7L Kronos Class" but since it is merely an enlarged K'T'Inga, Federation historians use the term C7 to link it to the D7C K'T'Inga rather than the Class C design class (ironically the reverse of the Class M). Also of note is that the terms "C-I" and "C-II are purely historiographical terms, using Roman numerals to distinguish between the two subtypes. The actual Klingon terms for these subclasses would require a lengthy lesson on the Klingon mathematical system to understand.

The Class C-II designs proved extremely popular, and many types of vessel were constructed to this design class. This marked the end of Cheng'Duwj Shipyards prime, and soon it was seen as a dinosaur holding onto past glories. With its three most famous designs, the Accuser, Sword of Kahless (QeyLiS bet'LetH, often Terran-ised to Kahless Bat'LetH) and Suspicious Class all withdrawn, in 2350 (1725 IR), the shipyards were won in a challenge between Qor'Pok, the head of Cheng'Duwj shipyards, and Char'Thol, head of Charg'Wubl shipyards, in which Char'Thol won. The Class C-II design class however, had been retired 4 years before, suffering the same disadvantages with the advent of Ion Torpedoes as its erstwhile rival. It can be argued however, that in the successive designs of the Anvil (Voodieh), Warlord (Negh'Var) and Sto'Vo'Kor* Class capital ships, all laid down during and after the Dominion War and all descended from the design style laid down with the Attacker Class, that the Class C-II's design principles have lived on in the new generation of Klingon Warships.

*No direct translation, although the usage of Valhalla in Earth-Norse Mythology is a cogent paradigm.

Class B

A very limited design class, the Class B is portrayed best in the massive QeyLiS bet'LetH Class Battleship designed and constructed by Cheng'Duwj shipyards. Armed with a powerful bank of heavy photon torpedo tubes, a large battery of disruptors and a huge dorsal spine mounted assault phaser, the QeyLiS bet'LetH is an enormous outlay of materials and manpower, offset only by the fact that they shared some components with the shipyards C-I Designed pumwl Class, and only 4 were completed by the end of the War of Pacification. However, 3 more were laid down, but as of the time of writing, none are completed beyond basic hulls.

Historical Note: In the aftermath of the explosion at Praxis, the Sword of Kahless Class went the same way as its smaller brother the Accuser. This class of ship fell out of favour with most powers during the period of relative peace after the Khithomer Accords, (although notably, not with the Romulan Star Empire) and in common with its stablemates, the Sword of Kahless was no longer produced, and while the 3 remaining in service* had a minor systems refit in 2335 (1710 IR) , their assault phaser power relays removed as these massive weapons could no longer be operated safely due to their age, they were essentially mothballed, and finally dismantled during the Dominion War for war materiel.

*The IKS Defender of the Empire (Ho'Wubl) was lost during the Gorn assault in the General War. However, unofficial reports show that the Klingons had constructed several more Sword of Kahless Class Battleships in secret, apparently half finished, and Melkor merely completed them, thrust them into battle and lost them. Gorn Captains were not known for their reliability in reporting their victories, and a "Klingon Battleship" could be anything from a Command Cruiser upwards.