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Vor'cha Class

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Klingons
Class Name : Vor'cha Class
Type : Attack Cruiser [1]
Unit Run :
IKC Bortas [2] - Active
IKS Drovna [3] - Active
IKS Maht-H'a [4] - Active
IKS P'Rang - Active
IKS Qu'Vat [5] - Active
IKS Toh'Kaht - Destroyed [6]
IKS Vor'nak [7] - Active
IKS Yavang [8] - Active
plus 459 others built in total. 345 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2347 - present
Dimensions : Length : 481.32 m [9]
Beam : 341.76 m [10]
Height : 106.87 m [10]
Decks : 28
Mass : 2,238,000 [10] metric tons
Crew : 1,900 [10]
Armament : 3 x Mark 12 pulse disruptor cannon [11]
12 x Mark 10 disruptor cannon [11], total output 60,000 TeraWatts
4 x Triple Fire photon torpedo tube [11] with 580 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard [11] shield system, total capacity 2,079,000 TeraJoules
Heavy Duranium / Tritanium Double hull plus 16 cm High density armour.
High level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 8.8
Maximum Rated : 9.6 [10] for 4 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 1,200
Torpedo Firepower : 480
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 820
Shield Strength : 770
Hull Armour : 2,000
Speed : 1,000
Combat Manoeuvrability : 2,590
Overall Strength Index : 919
Diplomatic Capability : Standard models approximately equivalent to Starfleet Grade 2. Some Vor'Chas have been refitted as diplomatic couriers for High Council members and are approximately equivalent to Starfleet Grade 4.
Expected Hull Life : 80
Refit Cycle : Minor : 2 year
Standard : 2 years
Major : 16 years


The Vor'Cha class was originally the Klingon response to Starfleets Ambassador class design. Intended to be significantly more powerful than the Ambassador, the ship had something of a troubled beginning. The project was approved in 2332, and immediately ran into snags; the Klingons experienced problems with the manufacture of the Warp Coils, a problem Starfleet would later encounter for itself. In addition, despite much effort the Klingons could not match Starfleets development of the burst fire torpedo tube. However, the materials problems were overcome and the first designs indicated that the new ships would comfortably meet the design requirements using larger numbers of single fire torpedo tubes. However, by the time construction of the first vessel was begun in 2341, Starfleet had issued the requirement for the Nebula class Starship. This would clearly be more than a match for the proposed Vor'Cha class, leaving the Klingons with a major new warship design which would be obsolete the moment it left the shipyards.

The Klingons responded by going back to the drawing board and reworking the design. Three of the Mark 10 disruptor cannon were replaced with more powerful models, designated the Mark 12. These were capable of operating in a 'pulse fire' mode, increasing their effectiveness against shield systems. High density armour plating was added around the ships Warp Core, nacelles, and around the weapons platforms. Efforts continued to field a burst fire torpedo system; in 2343 a group of six torpedoes exploded wile being fired from a test vessel, destroying it with the loss of two hundred personnel, including nine of the projects best design specialists. Despite this tragedy the Klingons pressed on, albeit with a less ambitious tube design capable of firing three torpedoes at a time, and were eventually successful.

The re-designed Vor'Cha began construction in 2345 and launched in 2351, three years before the first of the Nebula class. Comparisons between the two are inevitable; the Vor'Cha is generally considered to be about 15% more powerful than the standard Nebula design because of its superior armour and pulse fire disruptors. However, when fitted with an enhanced weapons pod the Nebula is generally reckoned to be more than a match for the Vor'Cha. The advent of the Galaxy class swung the balance further toward Starfleet, and the Vor'Cha class is decidedly behind the latest designs beginning to enter service in the quadrant. The Klingons are reported to be planning to upgrade the Vor'Cha fleet with more powerful disruptors, the latest torpedo tubes, and enhanced shielding systems to keep them on the front lines. It is not known when this process might begin.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 4 Reunion
2 TNG 3 The Defector
3 DS9 4 The Sons of Mogh
4 TNG 6 The Chase
5 TNG 6 Aquiel
6 DS9 1 Dramatis Personae
7 DS9 6 Sons and Daughters
8 DS9 6 You are Cordially Invited...
9 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Stated on page 150. David Stipes, DS9's Visual Effects Supervisor, and Rick Sternbach have both confirmed the length is approximately 481 metres.
10 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
11 Generic canonical information
Series : TNG Season 4
Episode : Reunion
Series : TNG Season 3
Episode : The Defector
Series : DS9 Season 4
Episode : The Sons of Mogh
Series : TNG Season 6
Episode : The Chase
Series : TNG Season 6
Episode : Aquiel
Series : DS9 Season 1
Episode : Dramatis Personae
Series : DS9 Season 6
Episode : Sons and Daughters
Series : DS9 Season 6
Episode : You are Cordially Invited...
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Comment : Stated on page 150. David Stipes, DS9's Visual Effects Supervisor, and Rick Sternbach have both confirmed the length is approximately 481 metres.
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Source : Generic canonical information


Seen throughout TNG, the Vor'Cha seems to be a high-tech derivative of the D-7 and K'T'Inga classes. The layout is pretty much the same, although the connecting neck is somewhat thicker. I've rated it as beating the Galaxy in terms of beam firepower, armour, and manoeuvrability while rating the Galaxy as having an edge in the other areas, most notably in torpedo firepower because of my assumption of the superiority of the Federations burst fire torpedo tubes.

The assumption of a slightly troubled development for this ship stems from the apparently high rate at which Starfleet churns out new designs compared to their adversaries or allies. Given this, it seems to me that people like the Klingons must have a lot of trouble fielding a ship to match Starfleets latest, when Starfleets latest changes every few months!

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 86,685 Last updated : 22 Dec 2021