Raptor class

Raptor class (ENT-14)
Raptor class (ENT-14)

Raptor class (ENT-91)
Raptor class (ENT-91)

Designed for short and medium range reconnaissance missions and swift attacks, the Klingons employed these vessels to search for targets of opportunity and raid shipping lanes (which made it quite popular among Klingon pirates). Although small and lacking substantial armament, the Raptor class—or qampu in Klingon[3]—was best suited to missions calling for quick strikes. Spartan by design, the Klingons designed the class as a small, rapid attack ship capable of reconnoitering in advance of a larger attack fleet or raiding lightly-defended targets. In many ways, the Raptor class was the predecessor of the D-12 and B’rel class birds-of-prey.[2]

Raptor class armaments included disruptor cannons and a photon torpedo launcher (several years before Starfleet acquired the technology). As originally designed, the class didn’t include deflector shields, relying instead on reinforced hull plating and structural integrity fields.[1] The armored structure allowed the Raptor class to take considerably more damage, proportionally speaking, than most other unshielded vessels. The Klingons later installed a deflector shield grid, but at a cost to other systems.[2] When hunting for other ships to prey upon, the crews of these scouts preferred to skim the atmosphere of a planet, often a Class-J gas giant or a world with a strong magnetic field, to throw off a potential target’s sensors.[1]

An analysis of the class’ systems revealed several strengths and deficiencies. Built more than a century before the Romulan-Klingon alliance of the 23rd century, the scouts did not use cloaking devices, and Klingon crews often resorted to other means of stealth to gain a tactical edge. Space was a commodity on these vessels, and their impulse engines and warp core took up a great deal of it.[2] As a result, the Raptor class lacked escape pods,[1] as well as transporter systems, and relied on its atmospheric landing capability to disembark passengers, crew, and cargo. The tractor beam was used to attach the ship to a vessel for boarding actions. Its simple sensor systems suffered from signal degradation, limiting their effectiveness.[2]

While Klingon attacks on Vulcan ships initially worked, the strategy was too simple and the Vulcans quickly caught on. Vulcan starship crews learned easily enough to avoid certain telltale situations—distress beacons originating from asteroid fields, areas of recent ion storm activity, and the upper atmospheres of Class-J planets. Yet these Klingon ships remained a threat to other spacefaring civilizations. Attacks on Tandaran vessels tended to be more fruitful, and the Tandarans often assumed their losses were due to Suliban attacks. The Axanar were unprepared for a Klingon onslaught. Later historians would postulate that it was these attacks that to the aggresive Axanari stance toward their neighbors. Attempts to prey on Andorian ships proved disastrous, as the ships were evenly matched, and the Klingon Empire declared Andorian shipping, for the time being, off limits.[2]

Starfleet first encountered this type of ship when the Enterprise NX-01, under the command of Captain Jonathan Archer, detected a ship trapped in the gravity well of a Class-9 gas giant. Apparently, the SamraH (often alternately transliterated as Somraw) attempted to obtain the best concealment in the planet’s hydrogen atmosphere, got too close, and was pulled down to a depth with hull-crushing pressure.[1] Additional encounters between Starfleet and Raptor class ships occurred over the next several decades, particularly in and around Donatu V and Sherman’s Planet.[2]

Over time, however, these ships would go out with a whimper, rather than a bang. As the Klingon Empire grew, so did the need for larger battle cruisers. The Raptor class gave way to the D-12, B’rel, and K’t’inga classes, though they remained in service with smaller house fleets and stayed popular with itenerant Klingon warriors in need of simple transportation.[2]

Ships of the class

Name Registry
I.K.S. Amw’I[2] IKS-127
I.K.S. Barak[2] IKS-209
I.K.S. Balth[2] IKS-114
I.K.S. Bokor[2] IKS-284
I.K.S. Dit’kra[2] IKS-453
I.K.S. K’araH[2] IKS-312
I.K.S. K’eylat[2] IKS-424
I.K.S. Nu’paH[2] IKS-409
I.K.S. Nu’Tal[2] IKS-162
I.K.S. Patan[2] IKS-566
I.K.S. R’mora[2] IKS-319
I.K.S. Rok’lor[2] IKS-155
I.K.S. SamraH (Somraw)[1] IKS-173[2]
I.K.S. Veng[2] IKS-294


Length 105 meters[2]
Width 37 meters[2]
Height 22 meters[2]
Decks 3[2]
Crew 12[2]
Cruising Speed Warp 3[2]
Emergency Speed Warp 6[2]
Weapons 2 K-GDM-1 disruptors; 2 torpedo launchers[2]


Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 Enterprise, Games, Klingon, Library, Ships

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