The Dominion approach to shipbuilding is akin to their policy regarding those
who man them, the Jem'Hadar - designed to be effective fighters who can nevertheless
be built in the largest possible numbers at the highest possible rate. Their
ships are highly modular in design, allowing them to be built in sections at
the kinds of facilities which would normally only be capable of constructing
shuttlecraft. These sections are then assembled at larger facilities.
This approach allowed the Dominion to build up the number of ships in the Alpha
Quadrant with amazing speed, and to replace huge losses relatively quicly once
the war was under way. Fortunately, the method is not without its drawbacks;
the presence of many major joints in the body of their ships tends to lead to
weak spots, most especially when those ships are produced under conditions of
great urgency. The interior connections required to unite the various systems
into an integrated whole also tend to overcomplicate the machinery, leading
to lower reliability in peacetime and complicating repairs of battle damage.
Nevertheless, the Dominion war machine was a fearsome one and many analysts
considered it unbeatable even by the combined might of the Federation, Klingon,
and Romulan fleets.
Various forms of information gathering allowed Starfleet to gain a reasonably
accurate picture of the size of the Dominion fleet. There is also a fair certainty
about the losses inflicted during the war, while the capture of at least two
Dominion ships - one reasonably intact,1 the other in ideal condition2
- has allowed Starfleet to get a very good idea of the capabilities of their
ships. The following data can therefore be regarded as being quite accurate.
|Dominion Attack Ship
The Dominion outnumbered the Klingon/Federation alliance from the beginning
of the war, and although the addition of the Romulan forces helped even the
the Dominion still had seven ships for every four allied
ones. The allies were nevertheless turning the tide of the war ever more in
their favour,4 until the addition of the Breen forces swung the balance
In the aftermath of the Breen's introduction of the energy damping weapon,
the Klingons could field only 1,500 ships against a combined fleet of 30,000
- odds of twenty to one.2 Although this situation improved once the Federation
had acquired an example of the Breen weapon,2 the numerical odds were still
heavily against the allies.