Cookie Usage Statistics Colour Key Sudden Death Monthly Poll Caption Comp eMail Author Shops
Ships Fleets Weaponry Species People Timelines Calculators Photo Galleries
Stations Design Lineage Size Charts Battles Science / Tech Temporal Styling Maps / Politics
Articles Reviews Lists Recreation Search Site Guide What's New Forum
Bioship Planetbuster Assault Ship Fighter Emissary Kendra Pagh Prophet Solar Sail Additional Cube Probe Singularity Ship Sphere Tactical Cube Transwarp Prototype Yacht Dreadnought Freighter Galor Hideki Keldon Breen Frigate Attack Ship Battlecruiser Battleship Dreadnought Karemma Ship Air Tram Akira Ambassador Antares Centaur Challenger Cheyenne Class F Shuttle Constellation Constitution Constitution Daedalus Danube Defender Defiant Delta Flyer Endgame Nova Endgame Shuttle Excelsior Excelsior II Excelsior Variant 1 Federation Class Raider Scout Trainer Freedom Gagarin Gage Galaxy Galaxy Yacht Griffin Hermes Holo Ship Intrepid Kelvin Luna Miranda Nebula New Orleans Niagara Norway Nova Oberth Olympic Orbital Shuttle Peregrine Polaris Prometheus Ptolemy Raven Refit Galaxy Reliant Rigel Ross Saber Sagan Saladin Shelley Sovereign Sovereign Yacht Soyuz Springfield Steamrunner Sutherland Sydney Travel Pod Trident Type 3 Shuttle Type 6 Shuttle Type 7 Shuttle Type 8 Shuttle Type 9 Shuttle Type 10 Shuttle Type 11 Shuttle Type 14 Shuttle Type 15 Shuttle Type 17 Shuttle Type 18 Shuttle Warp Sled Wells Work Bee Yeager Additional D'Kora Additional Ares Conestoga DY-100 Intrepid J Class Neptune NX Class NX Test Ship Saturn V SS Enterprise The Phoenix Type 0 Shuttle USS Enterprise Valiant Y Class Additional Raider Predator Additional B'rel D'tai D-5 D-7 Early Bird of Prey K'pak K'T'Inga Bird of Prey Cargo Ship Tanker Negh'var Raptor Regency Voodieh Vor'cha Additional D'Deridex Early Bird of Prey Narada Norexan Bird of Prey D7 Science ship Scout Shuttle Scimitar Scorpion Additional Battleship Collector Destroyer Additional Cell Ship Module Ship Salvage Ship Additional Observation Ship War Ship Additional D'Kyr Sh'Raan Suurok Vahklas Lander Additional Aquatic Cruiser Arboreal Ship Insectoid Assault Ship Insectoid Fighter Insectoid Warship Primate Ship Primate Shuttle Reptilian Warship Additional Dauntless Doomsday Machine Kumari class Angosian Ship Cravic Ship Yonada Hirogen Ship Husnock Ship Krenim Patrol Krenim Timeship Krenim Warship Malon Ship Mawasi Cruiser Eymorg Ship Nihydron Ship Pralor Ship Promellian Battlecruiser Tarellian Ship Early Tholian Ship V'Ger Whale Probe Varro Ship Zahl Ship Additional

Cardassian Dreadnought

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Cardassians
Class Name : Cardassian Dreadnought
Type : Automated drone weapon [1]
Commissioned : 2370 [1] - present [2]
Dimensions : Length : 100 m [3]
Beam : 15 m
Height : 6 m
Decks : 1
Mass : 100,000 metric tons
Armament : , total output 32,500 TeraWatts
2 x Model 3 quantum torpedo tube [1] with 20 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 1,836,000 TeraJoules
Heavy Duranium / Tritanium Double hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 7
Maximum Rated : 9 for 12 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 650
Torpedo Firepower : 112
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 770
Shield Strength : 680
Hull Armour : 200
Speed : 792
Combat Manoeuvrability : 9,160
Overall Strength Index : 515
Diplomatic Capability : None
Expected Hull Life : Single Mission


Prior to becoming a member of the Dominion the Cardassian military had never really been capable of projecting forces well beyond its own borders in sufficient numbers to seriously threaten the core worlds of the Federation or Klingon Empire. The Dreadnought project was an attempt to rectify this situation by fielding a heavy-duty automated drone weapon. This craft was to employ advanced computer technology in order to operate completely autonomously under all situations. It was to have advanced tactical analysis and response systems and would be fitted with heavy duty shielding and defensive weaponry in order to enable it to penetrate almostĀ  any standard level of defences.

Once at the programmed target Dreadnought would detonate its main warhead - a two thousand kilogram matter/antimatter device [1]
with a 45,000 Megaton yield. This would be used against 'high value' targets such as shipyards, starbases and planets - although Dreadnought was also technically capable of engaging ship sized targets if required.

The Dreadnought project was approved in 2364, and from the first suffered many problems. The Cardassians had intended to have the first missile ready by 2367, but a combination of technical difficulties caused many delays. These problems centred around the computer core and the warhead; the former was always going to be a highly ambitious effort for the Cardassians, who have little experience with self programmable computer systems. The warhead was also the largest the Cardassians have ever fielded, and many problems were experienced in its development. Eventually the Cardassians decided to use a kinetic detonator unit [1] in order to overcome these problems.

The first prototype Dreadnought was finally ready in 2370. [1] After several months of tests with a dummy warhead - nearly half of them unsuccessful - the Cardassians decided to expend the prototype in a live fire test. It was launched against a Maquis munitions facility at Alpha 441 in the Badlands [1] in order to give it a combat workout while not subjecting it to a high threat environment. Unfortunately for the Cardassians, the Dreadnought vanished without trace. [1] Assuming that it had failed in even this relatively simple mission, the Central Command ordered the project cancelled.

Had the Cardassians known the truth they would have been more than alarmed; the Dreadnought had in fact penetrated the Maquis defences but then failed to detonate. The Maquis recovered the missile and re-programmed it to attack a Cardassian shipyard on Aschelan V, but after launch the missile was swept into the Delta quadrant by the Caretaker. Dreadnought, now suffering malfunctions to several systems, subsequently locked onto Rakosa V, an inhabited system in that quadrant. USS Voyager made several attempts to stop the missile, but this time Dreadnought performed exactly up to specifications. Eventually Voyagers chief engineer managed to phaser a hole in the warp core, destroying the missile just short of its target. [1]

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 VOY 2 Dreadnought
2 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
3 Speculative Approximation.
Series : VOY Season 2
Episode : Dreadnought
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Source : Speculative
Comment : Approximation.


Something of an oddity, Dreadnought (seen in the episode of the same name) is a rare example of the Cardassians producing a weapon that out-performs anybody else. It's repeatedly called a missile in the episode, but really it's more an automated starship in its own right. I've had to guess at a lot of the specifications since we're not told a great deal of definitive information in the episode - In keeping with the statement made by B'Elanna about Cardassian designers, I've tried to depict it as a mixture of the ingenious and the primitive. Basically, a good idea strangled by the political system back home.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 73,714 Last updated : 22 Dec 2021