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Dominion Dreadnought

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Dominion
Class Name : Dominion Dreadnought
Type : Super Battleship
Unit Run : Unknown, but at least several in service by the end of the war 4 built in total.
Commissioned : Unknown, but in service by late 23751
Dimensions : Length : 4,800 m2
Beam : 3,235 m
Height : 1,393 m
Mass : Unknown
Crew : Unknown, but probably several thousand crew plus estimated 2,000,000 troops
Armament : 6 x Heavy duty Pulse polaron cannon
152 x Phased polaron beam emitters, total output 3,000,000 TeraWatts
48 x Mark 2 photon torpedo tube with 2,000 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 5,049,000 TeraJoules
Heavy Variethiel Double hull plus 100 cm High density armour.
High level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 8
Maximum Cruise : 9.4
Maximum Rated : 9.95
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 60,000
Torpedo Firepower : 17,280
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 1,500
Shield Strength : 1,870
Hull Armour : 10,440
Speed : 2,184
Combat Manoeuvrability : 500
Overall Strength Index : 22,514
Diplomatic Capability : Believed to be equivalent to Starfleet Grade 1
Expected Hull Life : Unknown


Information regarding the Dominions shipbuilding activities during the war is never likely to be complete, but some facts are known. In 2374 the Dominion was rumoured to be working on a large Battleship design, and this was confirmed when the USS Valiant was destroyed while engaging such a ship.3 It was feared that this vessel would go into series production, but in fact this vessel remains the only known example of its kind.

However, the Dominion was not finished with Battleship production. When the Allied fleet advanced on Cardassia at the end of the war, the fleet which gathered to meet them included several examples of a new and much larger vessel,1 the Dreadnought. These ships are amongst the largest known at almost five kilometres; in design they are an almost direct scale up of the Battleship prototype, to which they are externally identical in every respect except that of size.1 Internal details are unknown, but it can be expected that three or four decks have been substituted for each one, with the deck height increased or reduced as needed to fit the design. Comparisons between the Klingon K'Vort and B'Rel classes are inevitable, and much of Starfleets more conjectural data on the class is based on assumptions derived from the Klingon model.

The Dominion forces surrendered before the Allies had to engage these ships,1 and as a result little is known for certain regarding their capabilities. Starfleet has published estimated figures in some fields, notably weaponry and defensive systems, based on known Dominion technology and practices.

The Dreadnoughts returned to Dominion space via the wormhole with the rest of the Dominion fleet.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 DS9 7 What You Leave Behind, Part 1
2 Speculative Based on several comparisons made to the Dominion Battlecruiser in What You Leave Behind. Note that the Dreadnoughts appearing in this scene may be Dominion Battleships rendered larger than their true size due to poor special effects.
3 DS9 6 Valiant
Series : DS9 Season 7 (Disc 7)
Episode : What You Leave Behind, Part 1
Source : Speculative
Comment : Based on several comparisons made to the Dominion Battlecruiser in What You Leave Behind. Note that the Dreadnoughts appearing in this scene may be Dominion Battleships rendered larger than their true size due to poor special effects.
Series : DS9 Season 6 (Disc 6)
Episode : Valiant


There are some peculiarities about the Dominion Dreadnought - indeed, by some points of view this class might not exist at all!

The Dominion Battleship first appeared in DS9's "Valiant". The ship was described as being "twice the length of a Galaxy class", and the visual effects of the episode seem to fit that description. The ship was damaged in a battle with the Defiant class USS Valiant, but was able to destroy the Valiant itself in return. The battleship was not seen again until "What You Leave Behind", the DS9 finale, when several were seen in orbit of Cardassia.

However, this scene caused all the problems. The battleships seen in "What You Leave Behind" were seen in the midst of a whole cloud of other Dominion ships, and the effects show them several times larger than the original battleship seen in "Valiant". It's hard to judge very accurately, but by comparison of the length of a battlecruiser to the fin structure on the dorsal aft surface of the big ship, I get a length of around 4,500 - 5,000 metres.

This leaves us with three basic possibilities :

1) There is only one battleship, and it is about 5 km long. In this case, the Valiant special effects and dialogue are wrong. The former is easy enough to believe - the Defiant is notoriously elastic in its size so comparisons are dangerous. The latter is more problematic. The twice as large statement is made before they actually sight the ship, and we can assume that the cadets were simply wrong about the ship. But if so, you would expect them to have said something when they finally did get to see it and find that it's several times larger than they had expected. Because of this, I tend to discount this option.

2) There is only one battleship, and it is about twice the size of a Galaxy class. This would make the visual effects in "What You Leave Behind" wrong. Those shots don't involve comparisons with the Defiant, so we have no particular reason to doubt them on that score. But effects shots aren't a hundred percent reliable even if they don't involve the Defiant, so this is certainly a strong possibility.

3) There are in fact two distinct types of ship here. One is twice the size of a Galaxy, while the other externally identical but several times the dimensions.

For many months I've argued with myself and co-creator Ian as to which option was the correct one. We both favoured option 3, but disagreed as to the numbers of the smaller battleship - Ian wanted to have it as a one of a kind prototype for the larger ship, a kind of scale model. This would explain why we have never seen any of the smaller battleships since "Valiant", but the idea didn't make much sense to me - I wanted to have two distinct classes, related in much the way that the Klingon B'Rel and K'Vort are. The argument ended up stalemated, which was a de facto choice of option 2 - both of us got what neither of us wanted!

We've finally reached a compromise, and this is what is reflected on the specs page. The compromise is this - ys, there are indeed two distinct classes of battleship. However, the smaller one wasn't very successful. After all, the Valiant did uncover a significant weakness, even if it wasn't a terminal one. So the Dominion went back to the drawing board to repair that weak spot, found it harder going than they expected, and eventually either abandoned the project or ran out of time as the war drew to a close. Either way, there was never any production of the smaller Battleship design.

Simultaneously they were developing the much larger Battleship and at least a handful of these were in service by the end of the war, as seen in "What You Leave Behind".

We puzzled for some time over what to call the larger ship. "Super Battleship" was the favourite, but unfortunately it wouldn't fit the button. Dreadnought has been used for another ship in the Voyager episode of the same name but that ship - an automatic drone weapon - doesn't really fit the dictionary definition of a Dreadnought, which is "a type of battleship greatly superior in armament to all its predecessors" according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary. This seems to fit the super battleship - and the button! - perfectly, so I've used it here.

The idea of ship designs being directly scaled up without modification is one which has cropped up a couple of times in Trek, most notably with the Klingon B'Rel and K'Vort classes. I'm of the opinion that it's fairly acceptable to scale up in this way by just, say, doubling the size and substitution two decks on the larger model for every one on the smaller. The biggest problem with this comes with external windows - if you increase the size you claim for a model you increase the window size. This is just about acceptable for a 3x model if you assume floor to ceiling windows on every third deck, but becomes problematic after that. Fortunately, Dominion ships don't have external windows and so this problem is largely removed.

As usual with non-Starfleet ships, I've felt much more at liberty to pepper the specs with "Unknowns" since the real Daystrom Institute wouldn't be expected to have detailed information on these ships. But I have put a few "Starfleet" speculations in because I wanted to generate some strength numbers for the ship to get a clearer image in my mind of how powerful they would end up as.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 68,538 Last updated : 23 Mar 2005