Cloaked Bird of Prey - STVI

Board used to discuss Trek topics and theories!
Post Reply
MilesPrower Dagger
Command - Fleet Admiral
Command - Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2376
Joined: 081104.0908
Duty Post: Deputy Commander, UF Starfleet
Ship/Station Posted: UFS HQ
Grid: Unknown
Location: Virgnina
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 444 times


So since I made the crossword I had thought come up. In Star Trek VI the Klingons were able to fire weapons from a Bird of Prey and remain cloaked, something they had not been able to do before or since. The next time we see the technology is in Star Trek X with the Scimitar . So the question is how did they get this technology and never have it after.

To me, I think the Federation Conspirators modified the ship so the assassination of Gorkon could take place. It would explain why the Klingons could get it in the first place since they are not very tech savy, why the technology was lost to them because the Federation Conspirators held it back.

Archi Merlin
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian


Here's a thought. Considering that it was a conspiracy to keep the Klingons from attaining peace with the Federation, it's plausible that the Bird of Prey in question was a prototype. When it was destroyed and the Kitomir Peace Accords were signed, there was no such need for the tech. As for the Scimitar in Nemesis, it's possible that the Tal'Shiar were able to get the schematics for such a prototype and apply it to the Scimitar. Keep in mind, after Nemesis, at least as far as I can recall from the Star Trek EU, I don't recall seeing this technology again. Just my thoughts.
User avatar
Ishan Broek
Security - Captain
Security - Captain
Posts: 580
Joined: 120701.1130
Duty Post: Security Officer
Ship/Station Posted: Unassigned
Grid: Real Life
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 12 times


In the Undiscovered Country, the Klingons produced a single prototype which turned out to be nowhere near as stealthy as they needed it be.

For a start, the ship produced a massive neutron radiation surge while under cloak. This isn't an issue that traditional cloaking devices have, and if there's one thing that Federation starships lead the way in, it's sensor technology. Even though the Enterprise-A lacked the ability to pick the radiation surge up from a distance, I believe you can rest assured that Starfleet's engineers would have been making it a priority to devise an improved sensor package that would.

Even worse than that though was how the prototype ended up being defeated. The neutron radiation surge meant it couldn't get close to a target without revealing its presence. This forced it to engage from extreme ranges using torpedoes, which is the worst possible way for a cloaked ship to fight.

An un-shielded ship can't hope to survive in a drawn out exchange of fire with a shielded opponent. They simply don't have the endurance for it. The only defences Chang had was to keep them from realising where they needed to aim. But every time he fired, a torpedo suddenly appeared out of nowhere in open space to announce where he was. He would have had to burn his impulse engines hard after every shot to make sure he wasn't there, laying down a clear trail of bread crumbs that Spock's torpedo followed right up the prototype's un-shielded backside.

As a concept, I think the idea of a cloaked ship that doesn't need to reveal itself before firing seemed great. But the compromises that Klingon engineers needed to actually make it work with 23rd century technology pretty much ruled out the possibility of the design ever working more than once.

The fact that it took close to a century before the Remans successfully realised the concept of a ship capable of firing while cloaked without compromising itself shows just how much more work was required to solve these problems.
Since 070630
User avatar
Rich Lombardia
Command - Rear Admiral
Command - Rear Admiral
Posts: 313
Joined: 110101.1226
Duty Post: Commanding Officer
Ship/Station Posted: Pinastri HQ
Grid: Second Life
Location: EST
Has thanked: 53 times
Been thanked: 101 times


I dont think the neutron radistion surge was as big of an issue in combat as you might think since the ship continued moving. They make mention of using one in the movie. But it would be ineffective since the ship would be gone before it could get a locked. Using torpedoes at long range isnt a bad strategy either since they never seemed to miss and torpedoes are far more destructive than tradituonal energy weapons. Their tactics were very much like that of a submarine. Enter firing range under stealth, launch your weapons and move toanother location to minimize or avoid retaliation.

The reality is that if the enterprise didnt have the equipment for categorizing gaseous anomalies it would have been defeated. A better defense would have been to set the phasers in a point defence mode. Chang only fired one torpedo at a time so i cant image that at long range it should have been difficult to destroy a single incoming torpedo. Another note on tactics. It was strange the enterprise didnt systemically firing phasers in random arcs to try and tag the unshielded bird of prey. This could have been especially effective when the Excelsior arrived as they could have coordinated their attacks.

I find two other things interesting. In the novelization it indicates the BOP could of had its shields up while cloaked but Chang chose not to do that. This could be due to overconfidense or to avoid the potetial of detection.

The second ive pasted from menory alpha that addresses why you didnt see any other BOPs like Changs.

The Klingon Bird of Prey Owners' Workshop Manual states that Chang's vessel was developed by his House independently and kept secret. It claims that the cloak failed as the photon torpedo housings had been modified to pass through the cloaking field without its accuracy being disrupted by the spatial distortion. The fact that Chang used this for his own ends meant that the Klingon Defense Force did not have access to the plans so could not replicate the ship for their own use.

"Fear of failure is the greatest hurdle to achieving success." - Rich Lombardia

Access Service Jacket
User avatar
Kressler Constantine
UFSMC - Major General
UFSMC - Major General
Posts: 1091
Joined: 080903.1627
Duty Post: UFS Inspector General
Ship/Station Posted: Unknown
Grid: Unknown
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 15 times


I blame Section 31.
Major General Kressler Constantine

Service Jacket: ... onstantine
Post Reply

Return to “Trek Talk”