Lara’atan (“Gull”) class

Lara'atan (
Lara’atan (“Gull”) class (FASA-2301)

Specifications Original Refit
Length 215 meters[1] 212 meters[1]
Width 159 meters[1] 159 meters[1]
Height 38 meters[1] 38 meters[1]
Mass 90,500 metric tons[1] 125,800 metric tons[1]
Crew 265[1] 280[1]
Passengers 20[1] 20[1]
Shuttlecraft 12[1] 12[1]
Cruising Speed Warp 6[1] Warp 8[1]
Emergency Speed Warp 7[1] Warp 9[1]
Weapons 2 KD-5 disruptors; 1 KD-14 disruptor[1] 6 KD-5 disruptors; 1 KD-14 disruptor; 1 torpedo launcher[1]

The Lara’atan class, also known as the D-18 to Starfleet, was by far the most widely-used destroyer in the Klingon Empire, and in the late 23rd century could be found in every region of Klingon space and in the Triangle; there were even reports of Lara’atan class ships accompanying research efforts into the Empire’s spinward regions. The Klingon name Lara’atan translated to “protector of brothers,” but the class was more commonly known to Starfleet personnel as “Gull,” an obvious reference to its appearance. Like other Klingon vessels, the Lara’atan class had the command pod forward of the main hull, though the neck was considerably smaller than on other designs; the neck contained no storage compartments or uses other than a horizontal turbolift. The pod had a jettison mechanism coupled with an impulse drive, but unlike other designs it contained no weapons. All senior officer quarters were in the command pod, as well as life support and food synthesis systems.[1]

The main hull of the Lara’atan class was very large and spacious, and featured a very effective compartmented design to reduce decompressive explosion in case of hull penetration. The warp nacelles’ mounting points at the ends of the wings gave the ships a gull-wing appearance, and led to its nickname among Starfleet crews. Main engineering spanned a roomy eight decks, while forward of engineering, in the center-forward area just above the connecting point for the boom, was an impressive shuttlebay, which held twelve shuttles—more than most Klingon warships. The beam weapons were mounted on the underside of the main hull, with the forward-firing KD-5s at the corners and center of the hull, and the aft-firing KD-14 centrally mounted; in later models, the KD-14 was mounted beneath the torpedo bay.[1]

When the class entered service in 2259, the military situation along the Klingons’ borders was relatively calm. The Klingons, still recovering from the recent Four Years War with the Federation, did not wish to antagonize Starfleet any more than necessary, so the first groups of Lara’atan class ships were placed along the Romulan and Triangle borders. For three years, they performed their duties without incident.[1]

In their first combat test, three ships were ordered into the Triangle to intercept and destroy a Romulan convoy. Intelligence reports had shown that there would be an escort of only one ship, a new Mularr class escort about which nothing was known. The Klingons approached the convoy from three different directions, hoping to catch the escort with flanking fire and dispatch it easily. The Mularr was not alone, however, but was accompanied by another escort of the same class. The Klingons began firing as soon as they were within range, and the Romulans responded by concentrating all fire on one Klingon ship at a time, doing heavy damage. The Klingons soon realized their ships were underpowered and undergunned for the mission, and began a fighting withdrawl; only one survived. This engagement showed the Empire that the class needed more efficient engines and a better array of weapons.[1]

The refit Lara’atan class served the Empire well after its introduction and was involved in many encounters with the Federation and the Romulans. The most notable of these was known as the “Kargon Incident;” in this skirmish, Captain Kresz sutai Kargon, commanding a group of six refit Lara’atan class ships, attacked a Federation outpost in the Orion sector. The Constitution class U.S.S. Kongo NCC-1710 and the Loknar class ships U.S.S. Halk NCC-2742 and U.S.S. Rome NCC-2726 responded to the outpost’s distress call. Though they arrived too late to save the outpost, they did engage the Klingons. Detecting only three ships on sensors, one with severe damage and the others with minor damage, Captain J.C. Fredriksen of the Kongo ordered the Loknar class ships to close with the Klingons and demand their surrender. The Kongo approached one of the Klingon ships lying dead in space. As the Kongo neared, sensors picked up three more Klingon ships coming out of warp to the rear, and the systems aboard the “dead” ship coming to life. Fredriksen ordered the helmsman to turn hard about, but it was too late. The damaged Lara’atan class ship self-destructed with such force that the Kongo‘s starboard warp nacelle was ripped from the hull and the port engine damaged beyond repair. The incoming ships fired into the Kongo‘s burning wreck, completing its destruction. The Halk was so taken by surprise that it, too, never had a chance to return fire, and the first volley of shots from the oncoming Klingons destroyed the ship. The Rome, however, opened fire on one of the disabled Lara’atan class ships, scoring two torpedo hits on its bridge and numerous phaser strikes on its engines. The Rome then turned on the other disabled Lara’atan class ship and began firing as fast as it could, scoring hits with every shot. The ships rushing in from their attack on the Halk fired in unison, and the Rome, though it fought valiantly, suffered the same fate as her sister ships. News of the attack reached Starfleet three days later, when a communications buoy from the Rome was retrieved. From this report, it was also learned that the Klingon ships from the engagement were painted in bright blue colors; ships of that description had also been seen in and near the Triangle.[1]

The Lara’atan class was constructed at Taamar, Fonawl, and Mustaka, at a rate of about 18 per year.[1]


Monday, August 16th, 2010 Games, Klingon, Library, Ships

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