Graphics by Atolm
NOTES - circa 2380:
Known Sphere Of Operation: Empire-wide use
Data Reliability: A for D-27a, D-27c and D-27d; B for D-27b; C for D-27e
Major Data Source: Model A, C and D in Star Fleet posession; Klingon Sector Intelligence
The The D-27 is another in a long line of attempts to supplant the infamous D-7 as the long running master of the Klingon Fleet. Yet it was the many differences between the D-27 and it's larger cousin the D-7 that would make it a popular vessel among fleet commanders and crew alike.
Design work began in the same year that the D-7m, Bringer of Destruction, was launched. The D-7's reign as monarch of the Klingon fleet had been challenged before, but designers wanted a slightly smaller yet dangerous vessel that could fill the D-7's military roll, yet remain cheaper and easier to build. Initial designs schematics saw a significant similarity to the D-7's appearance. And yet the differences were obvious. But it was the internal layout that gained the D-27 it's green light for production.
Internally, the D-27 was significantly different. No plans were made for troops aboard the D-27, which freed up significant crew space and reduced support requirements. Despite the D-27's smaller size, most crew members would have their own cabins. Several training areas were also added as were three separate recreation stations, a first among Klingon vessels. An enlarged galley was also included along with a larger cargo space. The D-27 became one of the rare front line combat vessels to have truly live food aboard. Descriptions of the nearly luxurious accommodations aboard the D-27 quickly spread through the empire. Officers and crew alike from many front line vessels began requesting reassignment as soon as the new ships were launched.
Yet the D-27's combat systems did not prove as innovative or popular as its crew support. The D-27a had the same power curve as its larger D-7m cousin, yet used the KWF warp drive. This left room for a more powerful impulse drive, the KIE-2. The impulse drive allowed excellent power transfer to the weapons and shields, yet was more maintenance intensive than the much lighter KIC system found on the large D-7. The D-27a also mounted four KD-9 disruptors with similar firing arcs to the K'Tinga class. The KD-9's required less maintenance and a smaller coolant systems than the heftier KD-8 found on other main line vessels. As with many Klingon cruisers, the KD-9's each had an independent fire control station that allowed gun crews to take command of the weapons should the bridge or auxiliary bridge be knocked out of action. A final touch for the D-27 was the addition of a large research bay near the cargo hold. Twice the size of most research compartments, designer hoped it would give the D-27 a significant advantage in exploration assignments.
Construction on the first ten D-27's was completed nearly simultaneously and a commissioning ceremony was held in early 2272. The D-27a was immediately assigned to patrols along the Romulan boarder, as well as exploration duty in deep space. As hoped, the ships more comfortable crew compartments and larger cargo facility allowed planners to send D-27s into open space to explore. But by the late 2270's, many D-27 commanders began to realize that these exploration missions did not bring quite the fame and glory of true combat assignments. The D-27's along the Romulan boarder did see significant combat, yet were often assigned in standard three ship squadrons. While crewmembers and junior officers rarely complained due to the more relaxed accommodations, senior officers soon found themselves requesting transfer to more combat oriented vessels.
Designers began to look into ways to make the D-27a more combat friendly vessel. While some discussion was had about reducing the research capabilities and adding ground troops, many realized that on-board troops were far less effective than once thought. Designers instead investigated adding a cloaking device to the D-27 to allow for more covet operations. By 2285, plans were in the works to field a cloaking device equipped version of the popular vessel. Later that year, designers decided to wait and install the more powerful KWF-2 warp drive. The KWF-2 was less maintenance intensive than the older KWF-1. The new intermix system also reduced the breakdown of Dilithium crystals. The main disruptors were refit with KD-13's which had greater range than the older weapon system. And enlarged torpedo was also installed, as was a more powerful shield system. The D-27b was more capable than its predecessor, but was also lagging compared to other, heavier combat platforms of the day. The D-27b's less expensive construction was all that saved the program by the mid-2290's.
Like the D-27a, over 200 D-27b's were ordered. By 2295, fifty had been cancelled, and construction of new D-27s was significantly reduced due to constraints from the Praxis disaster. By 2300, 87 D-27b had been built, and only half of the now aged D-27a had been upgraded. Many D-27 commanders now found themselves pulling little better than escort duty. In 2301, designers desperately sought to bring the D-27 into the new century and prevent the program from being cancelled. Designers switched the focus of the D-27 into a powerful support role. Designers presented the D-27c which used well established technologies to keep cost extremely low. They main torpedo was enlarged to the KP-6, which had aged well over the years. A larger impulse engine was also installed, to further increase power. But the most significant system upgrade was the inclusion of tremendously accurate and powerful sensor systems. When specs were finally approved in 2301, it was clear that the D-27 would serve as a trip-wire vessel along hostile boarders. The D-27c was still effective against heavy scouts and destroyers from other rival empires and quickly became a favorite of commanders needing to redeem themselves for past failures. Commanders had to use skill and cunning to escape combat, rather than brute force. In 2320, the military command re-designated the D-27 as a scout cruiser to better reflect it's operational status.
With the Romulans no longer openly engaging the Federation, the Empire quickly realized its wars with the Romulan empire were becoming costly and difficult to maintain. The D-27 was refit with significantly more powerful shields and fitted with a heavy disruptor cannon. To provide the power necessary for the new weapon system, the much older KWC-3 was fitted. Now in its fourth generation, the KWC-3 was smaller than earlier version of the KWC system. More significantly, the KST shield system was also installed. The D-27d could now take multiple hits and still continue the attack. The D-27d would be the last mainline production vessel, and only 43 older D-27c's were converted to this model.
Even as D-27's were being mothballed in the late 2330's, many felt that the growing cold-war with the Cardassians would require a full scale war before centuries end. Designers quickly look into many vessels that were in reserve fleets, and in 2345, the D-27 was chosen along with dozens of other designs for refit. But the upgrade to the D-27 was not an easy one. To create space for the new and more powerful technology, much of the crew comforts were removed, as was the large science bay. Hull reinforcement, long range weapons and more powerful shields were all installed. In 2348, the first D-27e was commissioned and was soon bound for Cardassian space. The refit schedule for the aged D-27 was aggressive until 2452, when refits were scaled back to three per year. By 2360, the remaining refits were cancelled, and the remaining hulls were left in reserve fleets. None the less, the D-27e remained a popular scout cruiser until the Dominion war, were their age finally forced the retirement of the remaining fleet. The last D-27 was placed in mothballs in 2385, ending a venerable career for a capable, if understated platform.
The D-27 was built at the Gerly and Kodal shipyards at a rate of 10 per year. Refits were produced across the empire. A total of 351 D-27s were built. Currently, 22 C's, 15 D's 174 E's are in reserve fleets. 24 are listed as missing, including 2 A's, 4 B's, 3 C's 2 D's and 3 E's. 28 have been destroyed; 4 A's, 6 B's, 4 C's, 3 D's and 11 E's. A total of 34 have been scrapped, including 5 A's, 4 B's, 6 C's, 9 D's and 10 E's. 11 have been captured (1 A, 2 C's and 1 D by Star Fleet, 1 A, 1 B, 2 C's and 1 D by the Romulans, 1 C by forces within the Triangle, and 2 E's by Cardassian forces.) 40 have been sold (10 A's and 5 C's to the Orions, 5 A's to the Romulans, 3 A's and 5 C's to the OFMA, 2 A's and 3 C's to other forces within the Triangle, 6 C's to individuals in the Outmarch area, and 1 C to Ferengi concerns.) 5 A's, 5 B's and 5 C's have been sold to ranking families in the empire.
The class name is from K'Maq, which translates to Bringer of Proclamation. This refers to the tradition of sending a messenger to bring a Proclamation to a besieged town or castle. While threats and challenges were extremely common in antiquity, only the most famous of generals could issue a Proclamation, which was only sent when an enemy had no chance of victory. The proclamation allowed valiant warriors and their families to switch allegiances to the besieger at the cost of their town or castle which would be razed. During the 1,600 years that the tradition was in use, no town, city, outpost or castle that received such a proclamation ever survived. Bringers of such declarations were often seen as the harbingers of doom for a besieged town.