TACFLEET Romulan Fleet Memorandum: Information File
Star Fleet Intelligence has gathered extensive data on Romulan ship
design specifications from the many operatives working within the
Empire. Additationally, TACFLEET has substantial close scan data
from various contacts with the ship types and direct analysis from
the remains of Romulan ships lost at the Second Battle of Gamma. As
a result, Romulan ship design standards are nearly as well known as
Klingon and Federation designs.
Romulan warships have, traditionally, been given the generic name
"Bird of Prey" and any Romulan warship, regardless of class or
designation, may be properly called such. At present, the Federation
Standard designations for the Romulan warships and their Romulan
BC: WARHAWK - t'liss (bird of prey)
CA: EAGLE - Morgai (Romulan-sized carnivorous bird native to ch'Rihan)
CL: FALCON - deletham (defender)
DD: RAVEN - vas'tagor (flying talon)
FF: KESTREL - nei'rrh (small bird with poison beak)
Unlike many space-faring races, the main power source on most Romulan
Star Empire starships is not derived from a matter-antimatter reactor.
Instead, they capture their power from the powerful gravitational
field of a quantum singularity, often described as a miniature black
hole. The strength of the singularity and the exact power systems, of
course, vary from vessel to vessel.
Romulan impulse drives are similar to those in common usage by the
Klingon Empire. The drives consist of a fusion reactor network
connected to a linear accelerator and a vectored thrust nozzle.
Romulan weaponry seems, at first, to be an ecclectic combination of
whatever happens to be at hand. Through the history of Romulan ship
design, efficiency and efficacy have been the rules and no particular
technology base has been favored. This has become especially true
over the past few years during the Romulan conflict with the Borg.
In many ways the Empire was fighting for survival, and the
replacement of damaged weapon systems was often based on whatever was
at hand rather than what the design specification called for. It is
often not possible to tell what weapons a particular Romulan ship is
equipped with until she begins firing.
The signature weapon of the Romulan Star Empire is the plasma torpedo.
Despite the fact that the torpedo has not been in constant use by the
Empire, no other single weapon system is so well associated with the
RSE. Although the weapon has undergone many major revisions since its
first appearance over a century and a half ago, the operating
principles remain the same. The plasma torpedo is, essentially, a
particle cannon which fires a superheated ball of ionized particles
(plasma) at a target.
Originally, the weapon was simply a plasma ball pushed by a ship's
tractor beam emitter. Modern, seventh generation, plasma weapons are
far more sophisticated and long range than their early cousins. The
modern plasma torpedo has a range exceeding that of phaser weapons and
massive destructive power. The plasma ball can destabilize shields
and short out shield generators, vaporize hull materials, dirupt
electronic systems, and fuse power transfer grids. For these reasons,
no weapon in the Romulan arsenal is quite as feared as the plasma
As one might expect, the plasma torpedo requires a tremendous amount
of power to charge and fire. The use of the plasma torpedo is
therefore generally limited to capital ships, since smaller ships
simply cannot provide the power for it. However, older generation
plasma torpedo systems, while not as powerful or accurate as their
modern counterparts, are occasionally found on RSE frigates and
destroyers. In many cases those weapons were cannibalized from older
More standard missile weapons also find a place in the Romulan
arsenal. The matter-antimatter torpedo first found its way into
Romulan service after the First Romulan-Klingon Technology Exchange.
The Star Empire currently employs two versions of photon torpedo, the
design of which is influenced both by Klingon and Federation weapons
technology. The first type is similar to the standard Federation
photon torpedo. Its warhead charge is somewhat smaller than that of
its Federation counterpart, allowing it to be employed within closer
proximity to the launch vessel. This torpedo also has a more
powerful drive unit which makes it more maneuverable than its
Federation counterpart. These features made this weapon very useful
in the war against the Borg, especially when the Borg acquired
cloaking devices. The more powerful drive unit allowed the weapon
longer endurance and better maneuverability to track and intercept a
cloaked Borg ship.
The advanced warhead of the Romulan counterpart of the quantum flux
torpedo is the opposite of the first photon torpedo in Romulan
service. Instead of being reduced in size to make room for a larger
drive, it packs the maximum possible charge into the warhead. This
weapon, unlike its Federation counterpart is meant to supplement, not
replace, the standard photon torpedo load. When a target is located,
the Romulan flux torpedo is made to reduce that target in the minimum
Both types of torpedoes are capable of being fired from the same
launch systems. Larger ships typically carry the Mark XLI-m
(a multiple shot launcher system) which has a targetting system
roughly equivalent to the Federation's Mark III flux torpedo system.
Smaller ships usually carry the Mark XLI-s (the smaller single shot
cousin of the XLI-m), Mark XL, or the older Mark XXXIX systems. The
Mark XXXIX has targetting sensors which are roughly the equivalent of
the Federation Mark XXII photon torpedo system.
Romulan beam weapons can only be described as an ecclectic collection
of "whatever works." They have employed weapons ranging from beams
nearly identical to Federation phasers to actual Klingon disruptors
acquired during the technological exchanges during times of better
relations between the two empires. The standard for Romulan beam
weapons is a fourth generation phased X-ray laser. The system has
capabilities similar to those of Federaion phasers, but a slightly
lower peak power output. They make up for this disadvantage by
having a more efficient power usage curve which allows longer firing
duration and slightly longer range than their Federation counterparts.
The XrL-4 emitter is seen on all models of Romulan starship.
Capacitor bank capacity for the emplacements varies from ship to ship
with larger ships capable of firing higher intensity blasts for
longer durations than smaller units.
There is also a pulsed version of the phased X-ray Laser, the XrL-4p,
which is similar to the Type Xa pulse phaser. This system is less
powerful than the Xa system, but has a faster recycle time resulting
in a higher rate of fire and approximately equal damage potential.
Ships that are considered too small to mount a plasme torpedo
launchers are generally equipped with a pulsed phaser system.
The standard Romulan arsenal relied heavily on Klingon inspired
disruptors up until about 50 years ago. Older ships would have been
built with these weapons and many still have them. Again, because of
equipment cannibalization during the Borg wars, many newer ships will
mount disruptors instead of phasers in some locations. As the
Romulan Star Empire recovers from their less than friendly encounter
with the Borg, disruptors are expected to be slowly retired from
The best well known piece of Romulan equipment is the cloaking device.
Like other hardware, the cloaking device has undergone continuous
improvement. Modern cloaking devices are more efficient, requiring
30% less power than they did only 50 years ago. Cloaking field
manipulation is still a problem, and most Romulan ships are limited
to cruising speeds of Warp 7 when the cloak is active. At higher
speeds, spatial distortion becomes evident making the cloak
The Romulans have done some limited research into phase cloaking
technology, however, they have not yet developed an operational phase
cloaking device. There are indications that there is a fundamental
incompatibility between phase cloaking technology and the quantum
singularity power sources that they use.
Romulan shields and sensors are about on par with similar Starfleet
equipment. Their standard sensor suites tend to lean more toward
military, rather than scientific endevours.
Alton J. Reich
CAPT Jacob Miller
COMBATA, TACFLEET - Engineering Liason