|File:Iks kronos one.jpg|
|Armaments:||Disruptors; phasers; photon torpedo launchers (fore and aft); concussive charge launcher|
|Defenses:||Deflector shields, cloaking device|
Introduced in the early 2270s, the K't'inga-class cruiser was considered one of the most powerful warships in the Klingon Defense Forces, even serving as a flagship of the Imperial Fleet for a time during the 2290s. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
K't'inga-class cruisers were in service as early as 2272, when the Epsilon IX station recorded the destruction of three K't'inga-class vessels by the V'Ger entity. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) Starfleet's interest in the K't'inga-class cruiser was such that in 2285 the class of ship appeared in the Kobayashi Maru training scenario at Starfleet Academy. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) Interest in these vessels by the Federation would continue to appear well into the 2370s, as data on this class would commonly be found within numerous Starfleet files. (TNG: "The Naked Now", "The Last Outpost", "Conspiracy"; VOY: "The Voyager Conspiracy")
For nearly a century, the K't'inga-class cruiser proved to be a rugged, sturdy design that saw continuous use. In that they were much like their Federation counterparts the Excelsior and Miranda-class starships, whose usefulness out-lived contemporaries such as the Constitution-class cruiser.
With marked improvements, these warships saw continuous use as frontline and border patrol ships throughout the Second Klingon-Federation War and the Dominion War of the early-2370s. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", "Soldiers of the Empire", "Call to Arms", et al.) They were not always the ship of choice for all missions, however, as more agile craft like the Klingon Bird-of-Prey were better suited for some tasks. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")
The K't'inga-class cruiser was one of the most advanced and versatile warships in the Klingon Imperial Fleet, more than capable of facing an Excelsior-class cruiser in a one on one confrontation. (VOY: "Flashback")
The outboard plan of the K't'inga design incorporated the same basic shape and classic design lineage dating back over one hundred years to the D5 class battle cruiser.
The bulk of the ship's overall mass was incorporated in the aft section of the ship. The bridge module was located on a bulbous forward section, which was separated from the aft section by a relatively thin connective section that attached to and flared into the aft portion. Jutting from below the major side sections of the aft area were a pair of warp nacelles. Finally, located on the caudal section of the ship, were the ship's impulse engines.
The K't'inga-cruiser was a direct offshoot in design-lineage from the venerable D7-class battle cruiser introduced in the 2260s. Aside from possessing a slightly sleeker shape and contour than its older counterpart, the most notable design variations between the two classes included a less bulbous forward section, a larger bridge-dome, differently-designed warp nacelles, and more extensive external hull plating.
In its original configuration the torpedo launchers were located such that one was forward and one aft. The aft torpedo bay was located between the impulse engines. During the arming sequence, the interior perimeter of the torpedo tube area glowed a bright red until the torpedo or torpedoes were fired. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, VOY: "Flashback")
This class of ship was also equipped with dual, forward mounted disruptors, including emitters located at the mid-point on each of the forward-facing portions of the aft section. (VOY: "Flashback") Considered "state of the art" during the late 2290s, they were no-match for a Galaxy-class starship. They were, however, more than a match for any weakly defended colony or outpost. (TNG: "The Emissary")
- It is unknown if the disruptor types used were the type-3 disruptors mentioned in Star Trek: Generations.
- The apocryphal Star Trek: Starship Spotter identifies eight disruptor emitters; only two have been seen, however. But if the weapon placement on the D7 is any indication of the weapon placement on the K't'inga-class cruiser, then it is possible that there is also a pair of dual, forward disruptor emitters mounted on the nacelles. Examination of the K't'inga model itself appears to indicate that there are also disruptor emitters located on either side of the bulbous "head" on the forward section of the ship. These have not been confirmed in usage, though.
By the late 24th century, many of the K't'inga-class battle cruisers had been retrofitted to keep up with the advances of technology. By the 2370s, their forward torpedo launchers had been replaced with more powerful disruptors, allowing these vessels to remain the formidable adversaries they were nearly a century earlier. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", "Rules of Engagement")
These vessels also had incorporated, like many Klingon starships of the time, a cloaking device, which hid them from detection in most evasive situations. (TNG: "The Emissary"; DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", et al.)
K't'inga-class cruisers underwent several cloak upgrades during their years of service. Those cruisers equipped with cloaks installed prior to 2290 were known for the particular weakness of not being 100% efficient at blocking gamma-ray output. (TNG: "The Emissary")
The configuration of the darkened main bridge design of the K't'inga-class cruiser set the tone for many of the later Klingon warship bridges layouts, including the later Birds-of-Prey and Vor'cha-class cruisers.
The main bridge was located at the top portion of the forward section of the vessel. Located in the front of the bridge, against the forward bulkhead, was the ship's main viewscreen, used by the ship's Captain.
Featured in the center of the bridge, on a raised platform, directly behind the viewscreen was the command chair, which had the ability to swivel 360 degrees. This positioning provided the commanding officer an unobstructed view of the screen, as well as allowed the commander to visually monitor all bridge operations.
Directly behind the command chair were two manned consoles. The port side position had control over the viewscreen display and could take the ship into evasive maneuvers (as with helm control on a Constitution-class ship.
Lastly, at the rear of the bridge were two pivoting weapons targeting stations. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
- Andrew Probert's conceptualization of what lurked beneath the battle cruiser's oddly shaped bridge helped set the Klingon style for all the Star Trek productions to follow, including the IKS Hegt'ta and the IKS Bortas.
- According to the text commentary by Mike Okuda on the director's edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Klingon interiors were intended to be "a contrast to the clean, sleek Enterprise interiors seen later" in the movie.
- The bridge featured in Star Trek: The Motion Picture would later be redressed and used as the Enterprise torpedo room in Star Trek II and III.
An alternative bridge style was used on some ships during the mid-2360s. It featured the captain's chair at the back of a dimly lit bridge with banners of the Federation and Klingon Empire on the rear wall. (TNG: "Heart of Glory")
- It is most likely that this simplistic design was intended to be the main bridge as it was the cheapest way for the production staff to create a Klingon bridge on the relatively tight budget established for TNG Season 1.
- The bridge of Kang's battle cruiser, briefly shown in "Flashback", was presumably a reuse of Dukat's Bird-of-Prey bridge from DS9: "Apocalypse Rising", which was filmed around the same time.
The transporter room aboard a K't'inga-class cruiser contained five transporter pads, arranged linearly.
At an angle, and to the right of the pads, was the transporter control console, with an operator's chair; to the left was the doorway. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
The stateroom aboard the IKS Kronos One was the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon's private dining and conference room. This room featured a large transparent pedestal-table, with an overhead chandelier, set on a raised platform with surrounding chairs. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
- Star Trek: Starship Spotter. Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz & Robert Bonchune. New York: Pocket Books, 2001. ISBN 0-7434-3725-X
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition). ISBN 0-7921-6685-X
- Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook. Herbert F. Solow & Yvonne Fern Solow. New York: Pocket Books, 1997. ISBN 0-671-00219-8
In the Star Trek: Phase II script, written by Harold Livingston, entitled "In Thy Image", the three Klingon warships were identified as Koro-class. They were later changed to K't'inga-class in Gene Roddenberry's novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The size of the K't'inga has been the subject of intense speculation. The first indication of size was in the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Blueprints, published in connection with the movie. That work was based on the designs used in the film, but was not actually produced by the production staff itself. (And contained some unusual oddities, like naming the class the "Drell-4".) The ship's length in that work: 214.3 meters. Since then the ship's size has ranged from 214 meters (in the Star Trek Fact Files) to 350 meters (in the Decipher works). The Star Trek Encyclopedia makes things even worse: not only does it not nail down the size, in comparison drawings it vacilates between showing the K't'inga as smaller than a D-7 in one place, and bigger in another! The only specific length provided by the Trek production staff was in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, and that was listed at 349.54 meters.
The problem is that the size of the D-7 class ship is fairly well known from a diagram provided on-screen in TOS: "The Enterprise Incident" (and reproduced in The Making of Star Trek). If the K't'inga is thought of as an upgrade to the D-7, then the size of 214 or so meters noted in numerous apocryphal works is reasonable. If it is thought of as an entirely new class, it can be any size at all, and the 350 or so meters is not unreasonable.
Along with the size, the crew complement is wildly in flux in various works. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual has the crew at over 800; the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Blueprints lists 385. Other works range between the two.
Unfortunately, the actual dimensions for this ship have not yet been clarified in canon, and so will remain unknown for the time being.
The original model built for The Motion Picture was built by Magicam, and measured six feet in length. The most significant change in the design of the K't'inga model was its more detailed surface, so that it would look more believable on the movie screen. The K't'inga-class cruiser sequence shots for Star Trek: The Motion Picture were shot under the supervision of John Dykstra.
In the 'Special Features' segment on disc seven of the VOY Season 3 DVD entitled Flashback to "Flashback", there is a 0:02:45 segment with Dan Curry discussing the filming of the encounter between the USS Excelsior and Kang's battle cruiser in the Azure Nebula.
In the words of The Motion Picture's special photographic effects director, Douglas Trumbull, a Klingon battle cruiser should look like "an enemy submarine in World War II that's been out at sea for too long."
The movies Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country both heavily featured the interior of the K't'inga-class cruiser – the only glimpses we've had into one of the oldest, yet most unexplored designs featured on Star Trek.
The K't'inga-class model that appeared in "Prophecy" (VOY) was incorrectly identified as a D-7 class cruiser in the dialog. According to Mike Sussman, it was not known that the K't'inga-class model was going to be used instead of the D-7, so the script was never changed to reflect the model used. Some fans have speculated that this vessel may, in fact, be a prototype or predecessor to the K't'inga in the D-7 lineage. For more information on that vessel see Kohlar's battle cruiser.
The K't'inga-class model would also inadvertently appear in "Unexpected" (ENT), nearly 120 years before the original appearance of the vessel. For more information on that vessel and model, see Vorok's battle cruiser.
The K't'inga-class was also seen several times in the Star Trek newspaper comic strip.