Hello and Welcome to Truth OR Myth, an informational series which speaks the Truth, or canon, to dispel all the myths surrounding any given topic… In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at the Romulan Bird of Prey to better understand this vessels place in Star Trek History.
The Pride of the Romulan Praetor, This Class was sent out to test the defences of the United Federation Of Planets along the Neutral Zone Border in hopes of proving the Romulan Star Empire to be ready for War with the Federation and Starfleet, it failed.
A simple design based on a design from a century prior, similar to that of a saucer section of a Federation Starship, The Romulan Bird of Prey stood at approximately 192 meters length and was 5 decks tall and was commissioned in the mid-2260s.
In order to strike fear in the hearts of their enemies, a large Bird was painted on the underside of the Hull. The effectiveness of this tactic is still being debated.
The internal layout of this vessel class was also similar to that of it’s Federation Counterparts with the Main Bridge located on deck 1.
Designed with the sole purpose of War in mind, the Romulan Bird of Prey was equipped with not only standard disrupter style weapons but also the newly invented and massively powerful Plasma Torpedo System.
These new Plasma Torpedoes would unleash an enveloping energy plasma, forcing an implosion in the target, though the weapon had a limited range, and the plasma effect would dissipate after only a few minutes of faster-than-light travel.
For situations where the Plasma torpedo system was not available, and in case a self destruct was warranted, this class also had a limited supply of conventional Nuclear Weapons.
The major tactical advantage included in this class was that of a Romulan Invisibility screen that would come to be known as a cloaking device. This cloaking device had the ability of rendering the ship invisible to the naked eye, though, at the initial deployment of this test vessel, Federation sensor would still be able to detect the vessel through an exact position could not be determined.
By 2268 however this flaw had been eliminated and as such, no cloaked Romulan vessel could be detected by Federation Sensors until the said vessel decloaked. This was an enormous tactical advantage though because of the enormous power required to maintain the cloak all Romulan Ships were required to decloak before they could fire any of their weapons systems.
Shielding for this vessel was standard for what was available at the time.
The Prototype Vessel itself sent to test Federation Defenses did not contain warp drive. All power for the Vessel came from its Impulse Drive Units. But again by 2268, after a temporary alliance between the Klingon And Romulan Star Empire, Standard S2 Graf Warp Drive units had been installed on all Vessels of this class trading the cloaking device technology for various Klingon Ships Designs and their Warp Technology.
The interior of this class was quite small in comparison to Federation vessels, containing only the essentials. As such the Main Bridge was much smaller than on a Federation Starship containing only the essentials needed to run the ship. And unlike Federation Starships, all the bridges main consoles were in the centre of Bridge in a hexagonal configuration.
Each console on the bridge contained a scope as space for standard vessel viewing and monitoring screens were not available although this class did contain a forward facing main viewscreen where the Romulan Vessels Commander could call up any information he or she desired. Also, this bridge design contained no seating for Officers or even the ships commander.
Access to the rest of the ship was achieved by a corridor in the aft section of the bridge. The main colours of this class were Pink, reds and Greys.
Not much is known about the rest of the interior of this class, however, it is believed that ALL Officers and Crew, except the Vessel Commander, were bunked up in large quarters type facilities, though this has never been confirmed.
Another unconfirmed rumour is that this class had the ability to land on a planet’s surface, allowing rapid deployment of troops while simultaneously allowing the ship to act as a base of operations.
Starfleet first encounter with this class occurred in 2266 when the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain James T Kirk was sent to investigate why contact was lost with some of the outpost bordering and monitoring the Romulan Neutral Zone. An Area of space acting as a buffer between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire.
While on route to the Area, the Enterprise observes the destruction of outpost 4 but begins tracking a Romulan Ships which seems to have the ability to render itself invisible. As a result, the Enterprise must track the vessel using a blip on motion sensors only, having never seen a Romulan in the flesh before, the crew of the Enterprise are astonished when First Officer Spock is able to get a picture of their bridge revealing the Romulans to have identical features with the Vulcan Race.
Spock quickly surmises the Romulan Race must be an Offshoot of the Vulcan race, more specifically, the Vulcans that left the homeworld known as “Those Who March Beneath The Raptor’s Wings,” rather than destroy Vulcan Completely in a civil war around Vulcans 4th Century.
Playing a cat and mouse game with the Vessel, the Enterprise was eventually able to outmanoeuvre and disable starship averting another costly war with the Federation.
The Vessels Commander did the honourable thing and to avoid his ship falling into the enemies hands he initiated it’s self destruct and the vessel was destroyed.
In 2267 the Enterprise, Under the Command of Commodore Stocker briefly crossed into Neutral Zone when Captain James T Kirk and most of his landing Party sent to resupply gamma Hydra 4, began ageing at a rapid rate.
Determining captain Kirk to be unfit to continue in command of the Enterprise, Stocker ordered a direct course to Starbase 10 as he believed the Starbase Facilities could better help the ageing crewmen.
The direct course violated the zone and as a result, the Enterprise was attacked by a squadron of 10 Birds of Prey.
However, during the attack, a cure to the affliction was found and a recovered Capitan Kirk took back command and outwitted the Romulan Vessels and saved the Ship.
Starfleet intelligence, believing the Romulan Star Empire to have perfected their cloaking technology would send the Enterprise on a secret mission into Romulan Space in 2268.
Captain Kirk and Commander Spock devised an elaborate ruse with the sole purpose of stealing one of these new cloaking devices and bring it back to Starfleet for analysis.
Ultimately successful in their mission, the Enterprise would use the Romulans own cloaking device to escape their captures and return the cloaking device for Federation Study.
This mission was also Starfleet’s first encounter with the new Romulan Version of the D7 Battle Cruiser. Almost identical to its Klingon Counterparts, the main difference between the ships was again the painting of a large bird on the underside of the D7’s hull. Though a fascinating design, this class would become the gateway and catalyst for many new ship designs for the Romulan Star Empire.
Though it is unknown when the class was decommissioned it is believed that by the early 2270s the Romulan Star Empire began developing other designs based on the technology that had received from the Klingon Empire as well as the new Technology Developed by Romulan Scientists in an effort to bring its vessels more in line with that of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets.
Elegant and simple this design served the Star Empire well and would prove to the Alpha and Beta Quadrants the Romulans were still a force to be re-conned with…
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Thanks again for Watching, Jo Lon tru…
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