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The Groumall-type was a type of starship utilized throughout the Cardassian Union during the late 24th century.


During the early 2370s, this class of vessel, was utilized primarily as a freighter or transport ship, and occasionally fielded by the Cardassian Central Command as a military freighter.

The Federation retained knowledge of this class, dating back to the early 2370s. A graphic display of a military freighter appeared on the USS Voyager's library computer screen that was viewed by One after Seven of Nine had activated the drone's linguistic database, and allowed him to assimilate information. (VOY: "Drone")

Technical data

Physical arrangement

Design overview

The Groumall design consisted of an aft command section sitting atop the ship's engine section, the middle of the ship was made of cargo containers for the rapid transport of material. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

This design was described by John Eaves as "just a series of boxes, all stacked on top of each other in series of sixes, with a big engine detail on the back and the familiar looking Cardassian fork on the front. They wanted it very "freighterish" so I put the bridge on the back like it is on an oil tanker of today. [...] That's where this design had come from: it's a bunch of huge, huge engines on the back which take it wherever you want to go." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 2, p. 22)

Defensive systems

This class of vessel was equipped with low-yield phasers, making it significantly inferior to most things, and was barely able to destroy an asteroid. The weapons range was less than 400,000 kilometers, and had a noticeable recoil whenever fired.

During a battle drill aboard the Groumall in 2372, it took the time of 3:47 to destroy an asteroid, with the bulk of the wait depending on the slow recharge rate of the phaser banks. This was due, primarily, for the lack of having an anodyne capacitor to route power through.

When Gul Dukat attempted to take the Groumall up against a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, his passenger, Kira Nerys warned him that if "You attack them and all you'll be doing is giving them a little target practice. They'll blow us to pieces with their first shot!" Nevertheless Dukat fired at the Bird-of-Prey, and although they were locked onto the the ship's weakest spot, they failed to produce any damage to the enemy ship's hull, even with its shields down. In a later, second confrontation, Kira's statement was proved incorrect, as the Groumall withstood the first disruptor volley from the Bird-of-Prey, knocking both the forward and aft shields down to twenty percent. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

The script described the ship's firepower, or what it called an "antique phaser", with the following analogy: "It is a pathetic little hit and it has about as much effect as scratching the tail of a rhinoceros with a blade of grass."

In 2373, a Maquis raider easily disabled a Cardassian transport that was leaving the surface of Quatal Prime with a short phaser burst. (DS9: "For the Uniform")

Other systems

Among the other technologies equipped aboard or integrated into this class' design was a transporter system.

Power consumption was apparently a concern aboard these vessels, as it was required aboard the Groumall to disable the ship's tractor beam so that they could reroute enough power to operate the system-5 disruptor they had planned on installing in the ship's cargo hold. Upon the further installation and firing said disruptor, the aftereffects to the system caused power relays and plasma circuits to rupture all over the ship.

Later, when attempting to lure a Bird-of-Prey captain into believing the Groumall to be a more valuable target than it was, the Groumall's subspace transceiver array was rigged to emit a false dilithium signal. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

Interior design


Forward section of bridge with viewscreen

The bridge for this class of vessel was long and narrow.

It featured a forward viewscreen, with two forward console stations, both with seats. The port-side console was the weapons station and the starboard-side was the helm – with access to several operations features, such as sensors, tactical and engineering.

The weapons station was identified in the script, the helm was identified by dialogue.

Groumall bridge, view favoring port side

Several monitors along the starboard wall sat nearby from the helm station. Further along the starboard wall, towards the rear of the bridge, was a free-standing console. A second console stood directly across from it on the port side.

Groumall's captain's chair

In the center of the forward section of the bridge, behind forward consoles, and in front of the rear port- and starboard-side consoles, sat a swiveled captain's chair, that could be rotated to view any position on the bridge.

At the aft section of the bridge was the main entryway to corridor. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

Cargo hold

Groumall cargo bay

As a freighter, the cargo hold was the most important area of the ship for allowing it to serve its main purpose. This design had multiple sections designate for this purpose. The largest bay had a cargo bay doors that opened from the top into space.

The script described the follow in the episode's cargo bay scene: "The cargo hold is packed to the rafters with large crates of all kinds (Cardassia is in dire need of anything, and that's just what Dukat has loaded the ship with). Kira and Dukat stand in the middle of this huge shipment."

When, in 2372, Dukat planned to avenge the deaths of several Cardassians and Bajorans killed at Korma, as well as fight back against the Klingons in general, Kira Nerys suggested they remove the ship's cargo from the cargo hold and install the system-5 disruptor from the planet's planetary defense system. Upon hearing that suggestion, Dukat explained that "this cargo bay wasn't designed to hold [a system-5 disruptor]." (DS9: "Return to Grace")


The quarters of this design were small and functional. They contained a bunk bed to the right of the door when entering, a table with chairs near the far wall of the room, and a computer console on the wall opposite of the bunks. (DS9: "Return to Grace")

Regarding these quarters, the script described that "The Cardassian stateroom may be the best room on the ship, but it's not much -- certainly not opulent." It later described, in one instance, how "Kira and Ziyal sit, making themselves as comfortable as possible in the tight quarters," and later, "Kira and Dukat sit at a well-set table in her small quarters."

Ships of the class




Background information

The Groumall was the only Cardassian starship class to have any considerable screen time and interior sets constructed for its appearance.

"Military freighter"

The apparent "official" designation for this class can be read briefly on an okudagram appearing in VOY, which reads "military freighter", though the monikers "Cardassian freighter" and "Cardassian transport ship" have also been applied to this design.

The Groumall was designed by John Eaves. (Star Trek: The Art of John Eaves) For more information on history of this studio model, please see Groumall studio model.

Technical Manual

The following specifications, which describes this vessel simply as a Cardassian freighter, comes exclusively from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual:

  • Production Base: Cardassia Prime Orbital Three Assembly Facility
  • Type: Freighter
  • Accommodation: 30 plus flight crew
  • Power Plant: One M/A warp system; two or more impulse systems
  • Dimensions: Length, 255.65 meters; beam, 55.13 meters; height: 63.21 meters
  • Mass: 1,340,000 metric tons (est.)
  • Performance: Warp 6.5 (observed)
  • Armament: Four or more spiral-wave disruptors, one medium aft disruptor wave cannon; possibly other weapons


  • In Star Trek: Armada II, this ship appeared as a "cargo ship." It was an unarmed, non-warp-capable starship that traveled between allied trading stations.
  • The Starships RPG sourcebook calls it the Groumall-class.
  • In Star Trek Online the Groumall-type is an available ship, renamed the Tuffli-class freighter.

External links