«Last Updated on November 22, 2023 »
from Klingon Ship Recognition Manual, 2nd Edition, FASA, design by Forest G. Brown, graphics by Dana Knutson
Known Sphere Of Operation: Empire-wide use
Data Reliability: A for D-18A and D-18B; C for D-18C
Major Data Source: A and B models in Star Fleet possession; Klingon Sector Intelligence
The D-18, by far the most widely-used destroyer in the Klingon Imperial Navy, is found in every region of Klingon space and in the Triangle. There are even reports of D-18 groups accompanying research efforts in the spinward areas.
Like other Klingon vessels, the D-18 has the command pod forward of the main hull, though the boom or neck is considerably smaller than on other designs. The thin neck has no storage compartments or uses other than to contain a horizontal turbolift. The pod has jettison mechanism coupled with a small impulse drive system, but, unlike other self-contained pods, it contains no weapons. All the bridge crew quarters are located in the pod, as are food synthesizers and life-support systems.
The main hull of the D-18 is very large and spacious, featuring the very effective compartment-ed design to reduce decompression explosion in case of penetration. The warp drives are mounted at the outer edge of the wings, giving the ship a gull-wing appearance and its nickname. The warp engines may be jettisoned in case of an overload, leaving the hull to operate with its impulse drive system located center-aft. Inside the hull, forward of the impulse drive, is the engineering section for the entire ship, occupying a roomy eight decks. Forward of engineering, in the center-forward area of the main hull just above the connecting point for the boom, is the impressive shuttle bay, containing space for twelve shuttle-craft, more than most major warships. The beam weapons are mounted on the underside of the main hull, with the forward-firing KD-5’s at the corners and center of the hull and the aft-firing KD-14 centrally mounted; in later models, the KD-14 is mounted on the bottom of the torpedo bay.
When the D-18A entered service on Stardate 2/0108, the military situation along all borders was relatively calm. The Klingons, still recovering from the war with the Federation, did not wish to antagonize Star Fleet any more than necessary, so the first groups of D-18As were placed along the Romulan and Triangle borders. For three years, the D-18As performed patrol duties without incident.
In the ship’s first combat test, three D-18s were ordered into the Triangle to intercept a Romulan convoy and destroy the transports. Intelligence reports had shown that there would be an escort of only one ship, a new R-4 about which nothing was known. The D-18s approached the convoy from three different directions, hoping to catch the escort with flanking fire and dispatch it easily. The R-4 was not alone, however, but was accompanied by another R-4. The Klingons began firing as soon as they were in range. In response, the Romulans concentrated all fire on first one of the D-18s and then another, doing heavy damage. The Klingon captains realized that their ships were under-powered and under gunned for this type of mission, and began a fighting withdrawal; one survived.
This engagement showed the Imperial Command that the D-18 needed more efficient engines and a better array of weapons. As originally designed, the pod on the D-18A did carry beam weapons, but, by Stardate 2/1512, all of the old A models had been converted to Bs.
Of the 231 D-18As built, 156 have been converted to Bs, 62 have been destroyed, 4 (3 by the Romulans and 1 by Star Fleet) have been captured, 2 are listed as missing, 3 have been scrapped, and 3 have been sold to private interests in the Triangle.
The D-18B and later models have command pods with an angular appearance and no weaponry. In addition, the D-18B mounts the highly efficient KWE-3 warp drive system, giving cruising speeds of Warp 8 and emergency speeds of Warp 9, making the D-18B one of the fastest ships in known space, and providing more maneuverability and more power to the weapons systems. The addition of four more KD-5 disruptors gives this model the firepower lacking in the D-18A. The only drawback of this model is that when the additional engine mass was added, the effectiveness of the shield generators decreased.
The D-18B, the most common model to be encountered before 2300, had served the Klingon Imperial Navy well and had been involved in many encounters both with the Federation and Romulans. The most notable of these is ‘The Kargon Incident’. In this skirmish, Captain Kresz sutai Kargon, commanding a group of six D-18Bs, attacked a Federation outpost located in the Orion sector. Responding to the outpost’s distress call was the USS Kongo (a Constitution class cruiser) accompanied by the USS Halk and USS Rome (both Loknar class frigates). The Federation ships arrived too late to save the outpost, but not too late to 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 Loknars to close with the Klingons and demand their surrender.
In the meantime, the Kongo approached the D-18 lying dead in space. As the Kongo neared the vessel, sensors picked up three ships coming out of warp to the rear and the systems aboard the dead ship coming to life. Captain Fredriksen ordered the helmsman to turn hard about, but it was too late. The damaged D-18 destructed with such tremendous force that the Kongo’s starboard warp nacelle was ripped from the hull and the port engine damaged beyond repair. The incoming D-18s fired into the burning wreck of the Kongo and completed the deed their comrades had begun. 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 D-18s totally destroyed the frigate. The Rome, however, opened fire on one of the disabled D-18s and scored two photon torpedo hits on its bridge and numerous phaser hits to its engines. The Rome then turned on the other disabled D-18 and began firing as fast as it could, scoring hits with every shot. The D-18’s rushing in from their attack on the Halk fired in unison, and the Rome, though it had fought valiantly, suffered the same fate as the other two Star Fleet vessels. News of this attack reached Star Fleet three days later when a communications marker from the Rome was retrieved. From this report, it was also learned that the Klingon ships in this engagement were painted in bright blue colors. Ships of this description have been seen in and near the Triangle. Whether they are the ships of Captain Kresz Sutai Kargon is unknown.
Of the 358 D-18Bs built, 200 were converted to D models, 57 were converted to E models, 2 are used as training vessels, 82 have been destroyed, 9 have been captured (5 by Star Fleet and 4 by the Romulans), 4 are listed as missing, 1 has been scrapped, and 3 are in the service of ranking families in the Empire. The D-18B was produced at the construction facilities located at H’renn and losia. These facilities had an average production rate of 20 ships per year before being converted to producing the D-18D.
The D-18C was most noted for having an aft-firing photon torpedo, added to cover the weak spot of the ship. It also mounted the KSD shield generator, which has a binary transformer that produces shielding at twice the level of efficiency as the KSE system found on the D-18B. Of the 82 D-18C’s built, 75 were converted to D-18Es, 4 have been destroyed, 1 is listed as missing, and 2 have been sold to private interests in the Triangle. The D-18C was produced at Taamar, Fonawl, and Mustaka. Information received from Operation Dixie indicates that these facilities had a combined production rate of 18 per year.
The D-18D was quickly fielded to respond to the perceived threat of the Excelsior class. With the fear of a “Genesis” weapon still fresh in the minds of Klingon commanders, the announcement that the Excelsior class would see large scale production polarized the Empire into action. The D-18’s boxy design meant upgrades and modifications were far easier for this class than for most. By 2288, the D-18D was in full scale production. The addition of a forward torpedo gave the D-18D a far better offensive capability than it’s predecessors. The inclusion of the trinary transformer-ed KSP meant the D-18D had even greater amounts of power for maneuvering and weapons during combat.
A total of 114 new D-18D were built. Completion of the modification to 200 D-18B were done in record time, bringing the total number of D-18Ds fielded to 314. 3 D-18D are reported as missing; 19 are have been destroyed, 2 have been scrapped and 1 was Captured by the Romulans. 30 are listed in reserve fleets. 259 were converted to D-18Gs.
The D-18E was scheduled for production in 2290. The E model removed the aft disruptor in favor of a more powerful set of torpedoes. However, this design proved too strenuous for the main computer. All three prototypes were severely damaged due to computer malfunctions.
In 2295, several production yards were granted permission to upgrade the D-18’s primary torpedo to the more powerful KP-3. To prevent a repeat of the difficulties seen in the D-18E, the upgrade procedure also included replacing old 1st and 2nd generation versions of the ZD-6, some of which were nearly 40 years old. The ZD-7 was installed to ensure that the computers were able to handle the additional targeting software needed for the KP-3.
Due in large part to the reduction of the Klingon Military budget after Praxis, the D-18F was scheduled for a production run of only 150 new vessels. Introduction of the D-18G in 2304 cut short the production of the F model. Only 57 new D-18Fs were ever commissioned. 57 additional D-18Bs and 75 D-18Cs were converted to F models. Of the 189 D-18Fs commissioned, 5 were destroyed, 1 was scrapped, 10 were sold to private interests in the Triangle and 50 of the older converted B models were placed in reserve fleets.
The D-18G would see a number of significant improvements in the D-18 design that would help maintain the D-18’s place in the Klingon Fleet. Although the peace accord with the Federation was extremely unpopular, several technologies were “shared” that would benefit the Empire. Klingon refurbishment of their older vessels was often expensive and difficult, requiring physical replacement of many of the hull plating and deck beams. The Federation had long since used a molecular refurbishment technique that would essentially create new beams and plates without the need for physical replacement or re-welding. The technique was more difficult on the Klingon hull material, but essentially allowed the Empire to replace worn ships with new upgrades at a fraction of the cost. In most cases, the operational extension program allowed numerous hulls to remain active for 50 and in rare cases even 100 years beyond their original service life. The D-18G was quickly entered into the rotation for update and service life extension. The D-18G also saw the most significant changes over the older models. The main computer was again replaced. More significantly, the KWE-3 warp drive was replaced with the third generation KWC-2. Although not as powerful as the KWE system, the KWC was easier to field repair and used less deuterium in normal operations. The KWC was also less massive and required less bracing. To counteract the power reduction from the Warp drive, the large and well established KIF-2 impulse drive was installed. The KD-6’s were replaced with older KD-8. The single aft KD-12 was removed and two KD-15’s were placed on the underside of the wings. The Torpedoes were also upgraded. Although other designs were more powerful, the D-18 remained a primary patrol vessel for the Empire.
In 2325, backers of the D-18 convinced military procurement to once again update the venerable destroyer. The D-18H saw the replacement of the KD-8 with the easier to maintain KD-17. A more powerful torpedo and shield system rounded out the D-18H. While only 44 new hulls were built, 445 G models were converted to H models. 1 D-18H is listed as missing; 9 have been destroyed, 6 have been scrapped and 1 was captured by Cardassian forces. Taamar, Fonawl and Quronos were the primary sites for construction and conversion of the D-18.
The final variant fielded by the Empire, the D-18J would also see more combat than any other destroyer in the Empire. The D-18J saw the replacement of the ZD series of computer with the ZI series, and enlargement of the impulse drive and torpedoes as well as the installation of the KST deflectors. While only 39 D-18Js were built, 472 were converted from D-18Hs. During the initial months of the Dominion War, a further 100 were reactivated from reserve fleets bringing the total active during the war to over 600. While the D-18 was vital to stemming the tide during the war, 168 were destroyed, 34 were scrapped and 3 remain listed as missing. 5 are known to have been captures (3 by Dominion forces and 2 by Cardassian forces). 100 were returned to reserve fleet status after the war. 301 D-18Js are still in active service, although many are slated for permanent retirement by 2401.
The Klingons call the class QanwI’ loDnl’, which translates to ‘protector of brothers’. The class is more commonly referred to as ‘Gull’ by Star Fleet personnel, an obvious reference to its appearance.