Though this classic design does not get nearly as much screen time as the various
"Bird Of Prey" Klingon ships, the old "D7" model is still far and away my favorite
among all Klingon vessels. First featured in the ST:TOS episode "The Enterprise
Incident", the D7 vessel would make two more appearances in ST:TOS, a return
enagement in the opening moments of ST:TMP, yet another appearance in Star
Trek II, and a final major film outing as the flagship Q'uonos One, used by Klingon Chancelor Gorkon in
Star Trek VI.
The D7 also has sundry minor appearances in ST:TNG and ST:DS9, as
well as ST:ENT, suggesting that these
venerable vessels underwent extensive refits and upgrades, making them viable over a
century before and after they are first introduced on-screen.
Cosmetically, we have seen several
different types of this class, all with the same general shape, but different
detailing. Since the original FASA schematics came in two types, one
smooth-faced and the other heavily etched with hull markings, I have
differentiated the D-7 into two separate ship pages; the one you are seeing now
and another one listed as the K'tinga class
cruiser. It is the more-detailed K'tinga that we see most often in later
Star Trek, though a "retro" version, with minimal hull feathering and a green
tint made an appearance in the special ST:DS9 episode, "Trials and
D7 model from ST:TOS sets the standard for all Klingon naval designs produced afterward,
just as the Constitution hull design would have a major impact on future Federation ship
design philosophy. With its spread-wing main hull, long neck, head-like command pod and
wingtip mounted nacelles, the D7 is rather predatory in appearance. Which is, I suppose,
what the original D7 designer had in mind. I think he did some great work, and the various
D-7 ships from the STSTCS are quite fun to play, whether in fleets or in one-to-one
From the FASA Star Trek KLINGON SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL, circa 1985
D-7 (Various Names) Class VII - VIII Cruiser
Known Sphere Of Operation: Empire-wide use
Data Reliability: A
Major Data Source: All models in Star Fleet possession; Klingon Sector Intelligence.
The D-7 is probably the most infamous cruiser ever to
stalk the spacelanes. These ships are associated with death and destruction on a scale
second to none. When first introduced, these vessels captured the minds and spirits of the
Klingon commanders so fully that for many years they were the symbol of Klingon tyranny.
This design was developed from the earlier D-4
cruiser and incorporated all of its most popular features. The command pod mounted forward
on the boom assembly and the wing-like main hull were changed slightly in the design, but
all of the basic concepts were retained. In all models, the command pod can be jettisoned
in case of emergency. A small micro-impulse drive system, mounted into the pod just for
such emergencies, allows the pod to maneuver itself and travel short distances in hopes of
rescue. A pod can maintain the life-support systems and operate the short-range sensors
and weapons for up to one year. One of the main features of the pod is the disruptors
mounted below the bridge; these weapons will give protection from hostiles and also allow
for the self-destruction of the pod if capture is imminent.
The secondary bridge, weapons control, and all
engineering facilities are located in the main hull. Separated from the command pod, this
section of the vessel is capable of maintaining fully functional life-support, weapons,
and engine systems for up to two years. Of course, this section is capable of warp speeds
and will effect its own rescue much quicker than can the command pod. Within the
engineering section of the main hull are the matter/anti-matter mix chambers, little
shielded, as servitor races man the engineering compartments of most Klingon vessels. All
D-7 models are capable of jettisoning the warp engines in case of an uncontrolled mix in
the matter/anti-matter chamber. This would leave the ship with only the impulse engines
for power. In most cases where warp engines have had to be ejected, the command pod has
been separated first to insure the captain will be safe.
In the center section of the main hull are
compartments containing hypothermia capsules for the marines. The troops are kept in a
frozen state until they are required, which reduces the requirement for food and
life-support and thus prolongs the on-station time of the ship.
Introduced on Stardate 1/8611, the D-7A didn't see
any action in the Unknown War, but the lessons learned from this conflict were reflected
in its design. By Stardate 1/9302, eight separate manufacturing facilities were producing
this model at a rate of five per month. When the Four Years War broke out, production of
these ships soared to twelve per month within the first year and peaked at 26 per month by
the third year. The Klingons, having brought the war on, were ready with over 400 of these
ships in the front-line; studies have shown that this numerical advantage was the prime
factor in their early advances into Federation territory. On a one-to-one basis,
Federation cruisers and frigates were far superior as warships, but their limited numbers
prevented them from turning the Klingons back in the early stages of the war. The D-7A
class, named "Painbringer" from the Klingon Ktagga, served the
Klingon Imperial Navy well in the war with a high reliability rating and ease of repairs.
Of the 1,671 D-7As produced, 431 remain in
active service, 83 have been placed in reserve fleets, 12 are used by the Klingon Naval
Academy as training vessels, 891 have been destroyed, 23 have been captured (10 by Star
Fleet and 13 by the Romulans), 15 are listed as missing, 26 have been scrapped, 170 have
been traded to the Romulans, and 20 have been sold to ranking families within the empire.
The D-7C, introduced at the close of the Four Years
War, saw no action in that conflict, but it was given its baptism of fire just seven
months after entering service. The D-7Cs involved in the incident were so badly
outclassed by their RomuIan adversaries that the design was never fully accepted by
starship captains, and the model was finally removed from service on Stardate 2/2004.
The D-7C, named "Bringer Of Destiny' from the
Klingon K't'kara, had more efficient warp engines than those mounted on the D-7A, but they
were incapable of powering all the weapons even though the ship was more maneuverable. The
designers felt that the increased warp speed and maneuvering ratio would make this ship
more cost-effective, even though it was a dismal failure because of it failed to meet its
design requirements as a gunship due to its inability to power all its disruptors during
combat. Furthermore, though the D-7C had slightly improved shielding, this advantage was
lost due to its weaker superstructure. For some unexplained reason, Klingons have never
put larger warp engines on this ship, though it seems that, if this had been done early in
its career, it certainly would have outclassed anything the Romulans or Star Fleet had at
Of the 162 D-7Cs built, 52 have been placed in
reserve fleets, 66 have been destroyed, 13 captured (9 by Star Fleet and 4 by the
Romulans), 4 listed as missing, 18 sold to the Orions, 6 sold to prominent families within
the Empire, and 4 sold to private groups or individuals in the Triangle.
The D-7G, named "Truthbringer" after the
Klingon Kt'alla, was the direct result of the first Romulan-Klingon technology
exchanges, as part of which the Klingons received 24 Romulan plasma weapons of the RPL-1
type. Sixteen of these were immediately installed on D-7s, and the remaining weapons were
given to weapons research firms within the Empire. The conversions to D-7Gs were
made on D-7As which otherwise remained the same. The plasma weapon design required
the ship to be close to the enemy in order to fire, and most Klingon commanders did not
like the tactics that the weapon dictated, hence no Klingon commander felt comfortable
with the conversions.
Of the l6 D-7Gs built,10 were converted to
D-7Rs, 4 were destroyed, 1 was captured by Star Fleet, and 1 is in the service of a
ranking family within the Empire.