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Cardassian Freighter

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Cardassians
Class Name : Cardassian Freighter
Type : General purpose cargo carrier
Unit Run :
Groumal - Destroyed [1]
plus 649 others built in total. 437 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2341 - 2371, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 255.65 m [2]
Beam : 55.13 m [3]
Height : 63.21 m [3]
Decks : 4
Mass : 1,340,000 [3] metric tons (estimated)
Crew : 30 [3]
Armament : 4 x Spiral wave [3] disruptor banks [1], total output 50 TeraWatts
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 13,500 TeraJoules
Light Monotanium Double hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 5
Maximum Cruise : 6
Maximum Rated : 6.5 [3] for 4 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 1
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 5
Shield Strength : 5
Hull Armour : 0.63
Speed : 268
Combat Manoeuvrability : 6,800
Overall Strength Index : 39
Diplomatic Capability : Approximately equivalent to Starfleet Grade 1 or less
Expected Hull Life : 100
Refit Cycle : Minor : 5 year
Standard : 5 years
Major : 20 years


The Cardassians use these useful craft as general purpose cargo carriers. It is a modular design, with a power system and warp and impulse engines in a stern section and the crew quarters, computer systems and bridge in the bow section. Between the two is anything from one to five cargo sections, each of which carries six storage pods. The standard pod is capable of carrying normal cargo items, but pods designed for bulk ores, liquids, and frozen items are also available.

Although most cargo vessels are unarmed, the Cardassians chose to equip this ship with a light disruptor cannon [1] in order to defend against low intensity threats such as mercenaries and raiders. The ship has only light shielding and no armour of any kind.

To date the most notable achievement of the cargo ship has been the capture of a Klingon bird of prey by the Groumall, under the command of Gul Dukat. Dukat, with the assistant of Major Kira of the Bajoran militia, mounted a system five disruptor cannon on his ship and waited for the Klingons to attempt to steal his cargo before firing on them. He beamed on board the Klingon ship while its shields where down, and used its own transporters to beam the Klingons onto his own ship, which he subsequently destroyed. [1]

The cargo ship is now out of production, and although many were destroyed during the war over two hundred remain in service and it is likely to be a common sight until well into the next century.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 DS9 4 Return to Grace
2 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Stated on page 165
3 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Series : DS9 Season 4
Episode : Return to Grace
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Comment : Stated on page 165
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual


With only one or two appearances there isn't much to say about this ship. The sizes come from the scale diagram on page 581 of the Encyclopedia (2nd edition), the background info is invented by me, and the story about Dukat naturally comes from "Return to Grace". The idea that the cargo containers are modular in nature is my own - the cargo units occupying the centre of the ship form a repeating pattern, and it just seemed like an obvious possibility. I doubt the front and rear sections of the ship are entirely separate - instead I imagine them being connected by some sort of relatively thin central spine, perhaps something that can telescope to a longer length to accommodate more cargo pods, but more likely something that each cargo pod has built in so they can just plug together. I would guess that this process would take a couple of hours.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 60,264 Last updated : 22 Dec 2021