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Star Trek: Klingon Bird-of-Prey Haynes Manual Hardcover – November 6, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145169590X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451695908
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Sternbach is a Hugo and Emmy Award-winning visual artist with extensive film and television experience. Famous for his work on Star Trek, he has been responsible for a number of starship designs. He co-wrote the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual and the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual.

Ben Robinson
worked on The Official Star Trek Fact Files, the most extensive source of Star Trek information ever published. He was also the lead author on the U.S.S. Enterprise Haynes Manual.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


The Bird-of-Prey is the classic Klingon starship. It is a fast and deadly scouting and raiding ship that has been at the heart of the Klingon Defense Force for centuries. The first examples even pre-date Klingon spaceflight. Small fighters with the same basic layout have been in use since early planetary conflicts. That design has been modified over the centuries, first to incorporate impulse engines, then warp engines. Even fundamental changes to the science have been incorporated into the same basic spaceframe. The Klingons have simply seen no need to change something that they believe is fundamentally correct.

By the late 2370s, the design of the Bird-of-Prey had been settled for over a century, but ships were produced at a variety of scales from vast K’vort-class battlecruisers to tiny scouting vessels. The archetypal version of the ship is the B’rel-class, a 139-meter long ship with seven decks and a crew of 36. The internal layout and even weaponry vary from ship to ship, but they are all capable of high warp speeds, and fitted with a cloaking device. To many Klingon minds it is the perfect fighting vessel—as fast, tough and deadly as its crew.

When the semi-mythical Klingon leader Kahless united the Klingon people over a thousand years ago, he established the great Klingon Military Academies, which are operated under the control of the High Council rather than by the individual Great Houses. The most famous of these are the Training Academy at Ogat and the Klingon Naval Academy on Dek’Go’Kor. The Klingon Naval Academy is responsible for the principal design and mass production of ships.

The Academy has far greater resources than even the most powerful of the Great Houses and has the remit of concentrating on large-scale technological developments in areas such as warp and impulse dynamics, and the fundamentals of spaceframe design. The Houses are then left to concentrate on the details of how the ships are fitted out and are much more likely to improve the design of weapons and shielding as they seek to find even the smallest advantage in combat.

Klingon design philosophy has always centered on tried-and-tested methods and places great importance on the ability to mass-produce ships at great speed. As such, it has concentrated on a handful of basic designs, which form the backbone of the Klingon fleet, the Bird-of-Prey and the battle cruiser being the most common. The modular design means that the maximum number of ships can be produced at the fastest possible rate.

Wherever possible, the same structural elements are scaled up or down to produce ships of different sizes. The Klingons are reluctant to make major structural changes to their starship designs, preferring to concentrate on improving the individual systems. As a result, Birds-of-Prey vary enormously in size from tiny B’rel-class scouting ships to vast K’vort-class cruisers. The larger of these ships are literally scaled up versions of the basic design even down to the size of the disruptor cannons, which become enormous units that are almost as long as the smallest ships.


1 Defensive Shield Plating

2 Cloaking Field Emitter

3 Deck 4 Entry/Escape Hatch

4 Subspace Communications Antenna

5 Space Environment Sensor Group

6 Tactical Command Transceiver

7 Atmospheric Flight Flow Sensor

8 Deck 3 Cargo Bay External Access

9 Deck 3 Access Hatch

10 Deck 1 & 2 Dorsal Blister

11 Upper Wing Hinge Plates

12 Lower Wing Hinge Plates

13 Warp Field External Shaping Plates

14 Reaction Control System Thrusters

15 Warp Wing Induction Energy Storage

16 Warp System External Resupply Connections

17 Dorsal Aft Impulse Engines

All the Great Houses in the Empire pledge their loyalty—and their ships—to the High Chancellor.

Of course, this approach means that Klingon ship design is rarely as innovative as that used by other groups such as the Federation and although there have been advances in warp and weapons technology, anyone looking at a Bird-of-Prey from the 2370s would instantly recognize it as being the same as models that were in use well over a century earlier.

For hundreds of years the Bird-of-Prey has been designed for warp flight, for sublight travel within a planetary system, and to enter a planet’s atmosphere, where it is highly maneuverable and can land on the surface. All Birds-of-Prey are heavily armed and heavily armored, follow the same basic layout, and are fitted with a cloaking device that can render them invisible to sensors, but beyond this there are significant differences between each ship.

There is no central authority that dictates how a Klingon starship should be fitted out. Although almost all Klingon ships operate as part of the Klingon Defense Force, they are not commissioned or even operated by a central body in the way that ships are in the Federation or the Romulan Empire. Klingon society operates on feudal lines, with individuals and families pledging their allegiance to Houses, the greatest of which come together to form the Klingon High Council, which is led by the High Chancellor. It is these Houses that are responsible for commissioning ships.


1 Central Navigational Deflector

2 Photon Torpedo Launcher

3 Emergency Subspace Buoys

4 Central Computer Core

5 Ventral Sensor Cap

6 Plasma Power Conduit

7 Forward Impulse Engine

8 Active/Passive Targeting Sensors

9 Port Warp Wing

10 Wingtip Disruptor

11 Secondary Disruptor Cannons

12 Primary Disruptor Cannon

13 Warp Field External Shaping Plates

14 Warp Wing Structural Reinforcements

15 Ventral Aft Impulse Engines

16 Deck 7 Loading Ramp

17 Tractor Beam Emitter

Kruge’s Bird-of-Prey decloaking before its encounter with the tiny Merchantman.

This means that individual Birds-of-Prey are fitted out very differently depending on the resources and personal preferences of the House that commissions them. One House may prefer speed and maneuverability over pure power; another may choose to fit its ships with phasers rather than disruptors. There are potentiality as many permutations as there are Klingon ships. It is a well-known saying that no two weapons are the same. This variety has proved a great strength in battle; for example, during the Dominion War one Klingon Bird-of-Prey, the Ki’tang, proved to be immune to the devastating Breen energy dampening weapon because it used a different tritium intermix to the other ships in the fleet.

Despite this enormous diversity in the way Klingon ships are equipped, the fundamental structure of the spaceframe is the same for almost every one and all Birds-of-Prey, whether they are raiders or cruisers, have the same basic layout with the bridge in the section at the head, above the photon torpedo launcher, and the impulse and warp engineering sections at the rear between the wings, which generate the warp fields. The disruptor cannons are always at the tips of the wings, and the bottom of the ship always features a landing ramp that can be extended to the ground.

When a House is ready to commission a ship, it contacts the Naval Academy shipyards and arranges payment. The shipyards then assign a renwl’, or architect, to the project and he meets with the representatives of the House to discuss the exact fit and specifications of the ship. The standard Bird-of -Prey is the 139-meter B’rel-class scout. This is the starting point for every version of the ship and is by far the most common. When a Bird-of-Prey is scaled up, the basic vehicle spaceframe remains proportionally the same, with extra decks being added as the ship increases in size.



1 Defensive Shield Plating

2 Central Navigational Deflector

3 Photon Torpedo Launcher

4 Cloaking Field Emitter

5 Subspace Communications Antenna

6 Active/Passive Targeting Sensors

7 Warp Wing

8 Reaction Control System Thrusters

9 Deck 1 & 2 Dorsal Blister

10 Lower Wing Hinge Plates

11 Short Range Sensors

12 Disruptor Cannon Structural Extension

13 Wingtip Disruptor

14 Secondary Disruptor Cannons

15 Primary Disruptor Cannon

16 Upper Wing Hinge Plates

17 Warp Wing Induction Energy Storage

18 Warp Wing Structural Reinforcements

19 Dorsal Aft Impulse Engines

20 Ventral Aft Impulse Engines

21 Deck 7 Loading Ramp

The Bird-of-Prey is one of the most common ships in the Klingon fleet and is the ideal scouting and raiding vessel.

However, most Klingon commanders are happy with the standard sized ship. The disagreements tend to come when the shipyard has to fit the engines and weapon systems. Not all Klingons appreciate the compromises that are needed to produce an effective ship and there are stories of Klingon Houses insisting on overpowered engines and dangerously over-specced disruptors. The renwl’ has a duty to reign in these excesses and to produce a good fighting ship. It is not unheard of for these disagreements to end in violence and accordingly the architects are among the most physically impressive and skilled non-warriors in the Klingon Empire. It is a position of great honor since it is one of the rare roles that allows a common civilian to tell a noble warrior that he is wrong.


1 Cloaking Field Emitter

2 Central Navigational Deflector

3 Defensive Shield Plating

4 Space Environment Sensor Group

5 Ventral Sensor Cap

6 Central Computer Core

7 Plasma Power Conduit

8 Atmospheric Flight Flow Sensor

9 Short Range Sensors

10 Lower W...

Customer Reviews

I am glad that I added this book to my library.
The author does a great job of explaining every detail of the Bird of Prey and the pictures are amazingly detailed.
Anthony S. McComas
If you are a Star Trek fan and you love schematics and details about Treknology this is a fun book to own.
Robert Carver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Skuldren on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of what kind of fan you are, the iconic Klingon Bird-of-Prey is a ship that is just plain candy for the eyes. The ship looks like a hunting falcon, poised and ready to strike. Inside the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Owners' Workshop Manual, readers will find a plethora of information on the ship and its creators. This is without a doubt a must have for ship junkies.

At 128 pages, this hardcover covers a lot of ground and leaves no stone unturned. Every component of the ship is explored in detail with corresponding images and artwork. There's a deck-by-deck breakdown of the ship as well as a specific breakdown for major components like the weapons, the shields, the cloaking device, warp coils, landing struts, etc. In addition to all the nitty gritty details, there's a nice inclusion of Klingon history which helps put the ship in context with the Star Trek universe. The famous Rotarran gets a nice highlight and there are also images from the films and tv show scattered throughout. One of my favorite sections was the fleet comparison which details other Klingon ships. Each ship gets a full page with info and images. There is also a two page spread that shows a size comparison of all the vessels.

While all of the information was impressive, especially the detailed deck-by-deck breakdown, the overview of the crew was really surprising. The standard crew for a Bird-of-Prey is 36 people. The book actually details the full composition of the crew, their titles, and gives a summary of their role and duties on the ship. I was really surprised by that level of focus by the authors. Yet that attention to detail, and the willingness to include even the most minute of minutiae, was sprinkled throughout the book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stryker on November 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I think this is one of the best kind of books for individual ships like this. Finally. Haynes has the experience and history of getting into the nuts and bolts of things, but since adding the more Fantasy type vehicles, it has also adapted itself extremely well to story telling and giving History to otherwise rather vague sources of information. Ben Robinson is a great, imaginative writer and editor, Rick Sternbach's Trek knowledge is indisputable and Adam's CG work has always been excellent as he was a CG supervisor on the Star Trek:Voyager series. Put it all together and all I can say is :"Yes Please!" and, quoting a famous British novel and film: "Please sir, could I have some more?" This volume should do very well and then we can maybe see volumes that cover other single classes of ship from the Trek Universe that all us Science Fiction and Technical Illustrators love so much. A must for any Trek fan.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Petrosky on May 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
So I recently acquired a used Class G12 Bird of Prey and I discovered that the warranty work was never performed on the Plasma Coils. Unfortunately the recall campaign has since expired and that would've left me with the defective coils which are susceptible to low level iconic pulses. I really didn't care to have my cloaking device activated by my enemies so I bought this Haynes manual. It's got all the info needed to replace the Plasma Coils with the latest revision and covers many other topics as well! Qapla'!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SomeRandomGuy on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
When I found this book at my local store, I was filled with trepidation over what I might find inside, especially after having read the mess that the was the "Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise Haynes Manual". But to my great relief, it turned out to be completely the opposite and nearly everything I suggested needed to be done for the Enterprise manual, was implemented for the Bird of Prey one.

Authors Ben Robinson, Rick Sternbach (artist and consultant for the Next Generation and subsequent series, and author of the Next Generation Technical Manual) may very well have taken to heart some of the harsh critiques of the Enterprise book as they make several smart moves here with this book. First off, they focused solely on the B'rel-class Bird of Prey that was first introduced in the Star Trek: The Search for Spock", going into it's history, it's technology, and even give it in a fun "in universe" perspective. The text by Robinson and Sternbach is very competent and fairly well thought out, even including seemingly minor, but important "in universe" details, like maintenance schedules for hull and systems. They also do a very good job with maintaining continuity and both authors payed close attention to the canon, and keep their speculative material locked firmly within this.

One thing I suggested in my Enterprise manual review, which was implemented in this one, is that a brief description of Klingon starships, both past and present are given here, which gives a perspective on the Bird of Prey's role in the fleet, and sets up for additional future Haynes manuals.

The illustrations and photos provided are very well done, showing not only overall plan views of the ship, but individual systems and structural components of the Bird of Prey and it's variations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joe Zika TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Star Trek: Klingon Bird-of-Prey Haynes Manuel:

This is an "Owners' Workshop Manual" of the I.K.S. Rotarran (B'rel-class)type of ship. This is not one of the huge giant battle cruisers of the Vor'cha class that is capable of absorbing an attack by an entire fleet of warbirds or any known alien battle cruiser. The only warship in the Klingon fleet capable of executing the swiftness and elusiveness of ship-to-ship warfare is the B'rel-class Bird-of-Prey.

The Bird-of-Prey is the archetypal Klingon starship, a 139-meter long ship with seven decks and a crew of 36, replete with a cloaking device, high warp capability, with varied weaponry. It is a fast and deadly scouting and raiding ship that has been at the heart of the Klingon Defense Force for centuries. This design is a classic in the Star Trek movies and the first examples even pre-date Klingon spaceflight. Small fighters with the same basic layout have been in use since early planetary conflicts.

By the late 2370's, the design of the Bird-of-Prey had been settled for over a century, but ships were produced at a variety of scales from vast K'vort-class battle-cruisers to the scouting vessels. The Bird-of-Prey has variable geometry warp wings which means they can alter their angle for three distinct fight modes: landing, flight and attack.

Ok, now you know what the main thrust of this book is about. There are cutaways, an operational history, deck plans, a complete breakdown of weapons and defensive systems, propulsion and navigation, ships systems, a description of life on board from the bridge, bridge systems, crew, and shift systems. There is a fleet comparison, giving the reader a better idea of the variety of different ships in the Klingon fleet.
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