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Jem'Hadar fighter
Jem'Hadar fighter.jpg

Dorsal view, damaged

Dorsal view, damaged
Affiliation: Dominion
Type: Attack fighter
Active: 2370s
Length: >90 meters
Crew complement: 1 Vorta, 42 Jem'Hadar
Speed: Warp 7+ (observed)
Armament: Phased polaron beams, disruptors, torpedoes, energy dissipator (late 2375)
Defenses: Deflector shields
Jem'Hadar fighter, profile.jpg

Starboard ventral profile

Starboard ventral profile

A Jem'Hadar fighter (also referred to as an attack ship or patrol ship) was a small type of warship that formed the bulk of the Dominion fleet. These versatile starships were also known to perform the roles of patrol ships and scouts.

Technical data

Design

Jem'Hadar attack ships were vaguely insectoid, looking much like a Terran scarab in design. Extremely sturdy, these warships were capable of surviving the impact onto a planet's surface. (DS9: "The Ship") As well, Jem'Hadar attack ships were able to land intact on a planet and take off again. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "Hippocratic Oath") Once landed, the Jem'Hadar could land troops from the warship from a large access hatch on the belly of the ship. (DS9: "The Ship") While capable of making planetary descents, they were not capable of conducting battle maneuvers while in sub-orbital flight. (DS9: "Penumbra")

Although highly maneuverable, they lacked the edge in maneuverability that Starfleet's Danube-class runabouts possessed. Despite this, they still heavily outgunned the smaller Federation vessels. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "Valiant") Jem'Hadar fighters generated a 39 cochrane warp field and were capable of achieving the speed of warp 7. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")

According to the Star Trek: Starship Spotter, the Jem'Hadar fighters featured ion propulsion units as their warp nacelles. The fighters could achieve a maximum speed of warp 9.6. According to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, Jem'Hadar fighters were powered by a M/A warp system and an impulse system.

Jem'Hadar fighters were relatively easy for a large starship to destroy. A few solid phaser or photon torpedo hits were enough to cripple or destroy one, therefore, they usually operated in groups of two or three during routine operations, and in much larger swarms in large battles so that the loss of one or two would not make much difference.

Tactical systems

JemHadar attack ships attack, The Search

Squadron firing phased polaron beams

The primary directed energy array was located in the forward section of the ship, and had a range that exceeded 100,000 kilometers. (DS9: "The Search, Part I") Armaments of this type employed by this class varied from disruptors to phased polaron beam weapons. During initial encounters with the Federation, these phased polaron beams were capable of penetrating the shields of Federation starships. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "Call to Arms", "The Dogs of War") During the waning days of the Dominion War, in late 2375, Jem'Hadar fighters were retrofitted with Breen energy dissipator following the Breen's alliance with the Dominion. However, this came too late in the war to have an effective impact; shortly after the refits began, the Cardassian Rebellion successfully obtained a fighter with the weapon and delivered it to Starfleet. (DS9: "When It Rains...", "Tacking Into the Wind") In addition to directed energy weapons, they were also armed with torpedoes manufactured by the Karemma. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", et al)

Vorcha class destroyed

Result of kamikaze attack on Klingon attack cruiser

Outside of conventional weapon use, these ships were also used in performing kamikaze attacks on enemy vessels, which allowed them to inflict more damage than their weapons alone could perform. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "Tears of the Prophets", "What You Leave Behind")

When this tactic was used against the USS Odyssey in 2370, Commander Benjamin Sisko explained that it was the Jem'Hadar's way of "showing us how far they're willing to go", in response to the shocked Miles O'Brien comment regarding the Federation's retreat from the battle. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")

The Jem'Hadar also used the tactic against the Federation Alliance invasion fleet during the first Battle of Chin'toka, resulting in the crippling or destruction of fifteen Klingon starships. Garak described the tactic as a means of "inflicting considerable damage on the Klingons," to which Worf added, "and buying time to get their weapon platforms operational. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")

Other systems

This class of vessel possessed transporter technology that was capable of transporting through Federation shields. The deflector technology that was employed by the attack ships was impervious to tractor beam locks. This form of deflector technology was unknown to Federation science as of late 2370. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar") The shields of a Jem'Hadar attack ship were weakest at the ships' dorsal field junction. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River")

In addition, cloaking technology would not reliably hide a vessel from a Jem'Hadar fighter's sensors because they used a form of antiproton beam. (DS9: "The Search, Part I", "Defiant", "The Die is Cast") This technology was later advanced to include a form of long-range tachyon scanner, which was capable of penetrating a starship's cloak from a great distance. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")

Interior design

Such fighters were typically commanded by a Vorta and a Jem'Hadar First. The bridge had no chairs, and only two head-mounted virtual display devices instead of a viewscreen. The bridge was designed to contain three side doors and two floor hatches leading to other parts of the ship. In place of the captain's chair was a central position with several access points to various system controls. Adjacent to this position were several stations pointed inward, facing towards the command position. (DS9: "The Ship")

Jem'Hadar attack ships lacked numerous amenities that were otherwise taken for granted on Federation starships, including an infirmary and food replicators. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")

Ships commissioned

Appendices

Appearances

Background

Studio model

Jem'Hadar fighter, concept art

Early Jim Martin concept art

Jem'Hadar fighter studio model

Jem'Hadar fighter physical studio model

The Jem'Hadar fighter was designed by Jim Martin, whose scarab-shaped design was based on Rick Sternbach's Egyptian influences. Two studio models were built at Tony Meininger's Brazil-Fabrication & Design model shop; the full scale mock-up of the ship, featured in "The Ship", being a John Eaves design.

A noticeable change in the color of the nacelle glow was made between its first appearance in "The Jem'Hadar" in DS9 Season 2 and following appearances, beginning with "The Search, Part I" in DS9 Season 3. Initially it was given a blue glow, but this was later changed to purple.

Jem'Hadar fighter debris model

Nose cone debris model.

For the visual effects heavy episode "The Die is Cast", Effects Supervisor Gary Hutzel envisioned a shot where the USS Defiant flies through the exploding debris of a Jem'Hadar fighter it had just destroyed, "I needed something that would break apart. We wanted the scene to say that Sisko is really turning it on, so we designed the shot to have the Defiant fly right through a Jem'Hadar ship." Hutzel had Tony Meininger cast a series of small sections from the molds of the studio model. A Image G Hutzel lined up the pieces with the corresponding sections of the full model, photographing them individually in a break-away motion as the Defiant "collides" with the fighter. Looking at the screen however, after post-production, You see a Jem'Hadar ship blowing up, because that's all you're supposed to see.", Hutzel continued. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, page 324) What Meininger essentially had constructed was a break-away model after pyrotechnics would have been done with it. One of the pieces, a nose cone section, constructed of styrene elements with applied metal grid and plastic elements, measuring 15"×10", showed up as Lot 1482 in the Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 40 of 12 June 2010, estimated at US$300-$500, were it sold for US$300.

Jem'Hadar fighter CGI model upgraded at Foundation Imaging

Foundation's upgraded CGI model.

For appearances in later seasons, a CGI model, was constructed at VisionArt Design & Animation by Carl Hooper in the "Prisms" and "Ice" software, from SideFx Software [X]wbm, premiering in "Starship Down". When the episode "Sacrifice of Angels" went into pre-production, the CGI-model was turned over to Foundation Imaging for rebuilding and remapping into the LightWave 3D software. [X]wbm Foundation's CGI-modeler Michael Stetson recalled on Doug Drexler's blog, "I remember rebuilding this model at Foundation Imaging specifically for the Sacrifice of Angels episode. I don't remember where exactly the original model came from, but I believe we got it as a .obj file that was a mess when it was imported into Lightwave (version 5.5ish back in '97) I had a couple of days to make it usable in Lightwave3D which involved seriously cleaning up the geometry (I think the original might have been NURBS) and redoing the texture map since LW didn't have UV mapping back then. The CG model is about 500 feet long (150m). I don't remember how that size came about but the number was passed down through official channels. It's possible there was a mix-up in units as you'll notice that 45m is about 150ft. As Doug pointed out it's pretty light geometry-wise as we needed to conserve as much memory as possible." [X]wbm

The Jem'Hadar fighter model (measuring 27"×30"), known as Lot 485 was listed in the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction with an estimated sale price of US$3,000-$5,000; it sold for US$6,000 ($7,200 with premium) on October 6, 2006. An externally almost identical unused and internally unlit break-away model (slightly damaged and measuring 29×30×7 inches) was additionally offered as Lot 177 of the It's A Wrap! sale and auction selling for US$7,000 to a German collector. Several white foam core camera test models and miniatures were also sold as Lots 7506, 8336,10187, and 10336 at various It's A Wrap!-auctions.

This model design later appeared as one of many starships created as a Micro Machine. It was also one of the many models made by Furuta.

Size

According to a note "for future reference" found in the script of "The Jem'Hadar", "this type of Jem'Hadar ship is approximately the same size as a Klingon bird of prey," which is generally accepted as being 360 feet (110 meters) in length.

Jem'Hadar fighter buried

Ship "embedded 90 meters into the rock"

A quote taken from "The Ship", which seems to support this reference, states that the ship in question was "embedded 90 meters into the rock", while still partially exposed. If by using Benjamin Sisko's height (of approximately two meters) as a visual reference, it would appear that approximately nineteen meters of the ship remains exposed, calculating to a length of approximately 109 meters. When they ram the Birds-of-Prey in "Tears of the Prophets", they appear about the same size as the Birds-of-Prey.

Two foam core camera test models, sold by It's A Wrap!, gives further insight into the scaling used for this ship. An inscription on the models states "Jem Hadar 'Bug' 500ft [150 meters] in scale to 'Lead' Hadar". [1] [2] The same size was also stated by VFX supervisor David Stipes. [3]

Technical Manual

The following information of specifications and defenses comes exclusively from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual:

  • Production Base: Unknown; Gamma Quadrant.
  • Type: Strike Fighter.
  • Accommodation: 12 plus flight crew, and troops.
  • Power Plant: One M/A warp system; one impulse system.
  • Dimensions: Length, 68.32 meters; beam, 70.02 meters; height: 18.32 meters.
  • Mass: 2,450 metric tonnes.
  • Performance: Warp 9.6.
  • Armament: Three phased polaron beam weapons.

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