|Class Name :
|Unit Run :
|plus 447 others built in total. 328 have been lost in all.
Belak - Destroyed
D'deridex - ActiveDevoras1
Makar - DestroyedTemet5
Unknown, but approx. 2345 to date
||Length : 1,041.65 m7
Beam : 772.43 m8
Height : 285.47 m8
Decks : 82
4,320,0008 metric tons (estimated)
1,5008, troops and officers
68 x Class 21 disruptor cannon4, total output 65,000 TeraWatts
12 x S2 photon torpedo tube8 with 800 rounds
|Defence Systems :
||Standard shield system, total capacity 2,295,000 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium / Tritanium Double hull plus 11 cm High density armour.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
(TNG scale) :
|Normal Cruise : 5
Maximum Cruise : 9
Maximum Rated : 9.5 for 10 hours.
|Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
|Beam Firepower : 1,300
Torpedo Firepower : 750
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 880
Shield Strength : 850
Hull Armour : 1,200
Speed : 955
Combat Manoeuvrability : 680
|Overall Strength Index :
|Diplomatic Capability :
Equivalent to Starfleet Grade 3/4
|Expected Hull Life :
|Refit Cycle :
||Minor : 2 year
Standard : 2 years
Major : 10 years
For much of the operational life of the Romulan Warbird, Starfleet knew absolutely nothing about it. Indeed, it was not until 2364 that any Starfleet personnel even saw a Warbird firsthand. Prior to this only the haziest of intelligence reports existed concerning any class of Romulan vessel. An encounter between a Romulan Warbird and the USS Enterprise at the Romulan neutral zone in that year provided Starfleet with its first good information on the Warbird.9 The first impressions were not comforting ones; the Romulan vessel was almost double the length of the Enterprise,10
itself then the largest and most powerful vessel in Starfleet.11 The Warbird's cloaking device was highly effective against the latest Federation sensors,9
and the great size of the vessel indicated that it outgunned Starfleets finest by a considerable margin.
Over the next few years Starfleet intelligence devoted considerable resources to the new Romulan threat; the defection of Admiral Jarok promised to be a famous intelligence coup, but disappointingly it proved to be a disinformation ploy by the Romulans.12 The return of former Ensign DeSeve, who had previously defected to the Romulan Empire in 2349, 4
generated a good deal of background information on the Romulan military structure and the general capability of their fleet, but provided little specific detail. The Federation's greatest victory in the intelligence war occurred shortly after the defection of DeSeve when Vice Proconsul M'ret and two of his aides defected.4
M'ret, who had served on several defence related councils in the Romulan Senate, was able to provide a great deal of detailed information on the capabilities of the Warbird - among other things.
The appearances of overwhelming size and strength was to prove somewhat deceptive. Much of the vessels internal volume is given over to ground forces and their supporting equipment. Although the disruptor armament is impressive, the technology behind it is significantly behind that of the Federations phaser banks; the disruptors have a high power but relatively low rate of fire and somewhat limited range. The twelve torpedo tubes are capable of firing only one torpedo each at a time, and have a combined rate of fire some 80% that of the two tubes of a Galaxy class battle section. The Warbird is somewhat slower than a Galaxy class starship13
, and also a great deal less agile. The Federation has also made considerable progress in defeating the Romulan cloaking technology in the past few years; the deployment of wide area tachyon nets along the border together with advanced sensor posts has made penetrating Federation space a rather chancy proposition for the Warbird.4
Nevertheless, the Romulan Warbird remains an impressive design which is capable of defeating all but the most advanced and powerful Federation vessels. Starfleet continues to treat these behemoths with a considerable degree of respect.
We know a surprising amount of detail about the Warbird in terms of when and where it was first seen, but relatively little about its capabilities. Most people assume that a Warbird out-guns a Galaxy class by a considerable factor, but I've never seen anybody provide an actual specific bit of dialogue to support this. On the other hand, we have seen that when the Romulans wanted to capture or destroy the Enterprise in "The Defector", they sent two
Warbirds - and these were chased off by the threat of having to deal with two or three Klingon Bird of Prey types in addition to the Enterprise!
Given that the Warbird seems to be just about the only
serious warship employed by the Romulans, I assume that it is about 10% weaker than a Galaxy class and exists in much larger numbers than the Galaxy, although in rather smaller numbers than Starfleet as a whole. I've put this weakness down to relatively lower technology - I think Warbirds are basically built huge to threaten and frighten an opponent, which is in line with the psychological approach the Romulans seem to take to things.
The size, crew, and mass figures are from the DS9 tech manual, and as such should be treated with a little suspicion. The number of disruptors is also from there, but I have arbitrarily decided to over-rule the book concerning the number of torpedo tubes. I have also disregarded the book's claim that the ship is capable of at least Warp 9.6 since "Tin Man" establishes that the Enterprise-D is a little faster than a D'Deridex.