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