Despite the fact that the Romulans were Federation/Klingon allies for over a year during the Dominion war,1
their fleet remains a significant unknown. The pre-war Romulan Empire is thought to have engaged in considerable efforts
to confuse outsiders about the size and makeup of its fleet - unfortunately opinion is evely split about whether they were trying to hide their weakness or their strength. Many of these measures continued throughout the alliance - Starfleet knows of instances where some vessels have several names while others have none, in order to create confusion about the number in service. The Romulans also apparently devote considerable effort to creating realistic fake communications chatter to confuse anybody monitoring it about the disposition and intentions of their forces. Nevertheless, fighting alongside the Romulans has allowed Starfleet to refine its estimates somewhat, and the following table is believed to be accurate to within +
Although comparitive latecomers to the war,1
the Romulans have lost some 43% of their fleet during the fighting. This is thought to be a matter of great concern for them; analysts see it as a result of the Romulan habit of concentrating on very large and powerful ships such as the D'Deridex class - essentially putting most of their eggs in very few baskets. It is widely thought that Romulan vessels have been deliberately designed to be visually very impressive; for example the D'Deridex class is far larger than a Galaxy class Starship, yet the same design could have been a fraction of the size if much of its volume were not empty space. While there is some speculation that the layout of the ship was dictated by warp field considerations, no other major power has found it necessary to adopt such a wasteful design. The conclusion seems to be that the Romulans designed the vessel deliberately to impress and intimidate opponents both foreign and domestic.
Although predicting the activities of the Romulan fleet is always a matter of guesswork, it is likely that having been faced with the costs of such a policy during a full scale war, they will make at least some move towards larger numbers of smaller ships in the coming years.