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"I'll keep my flag aboard the Rotarran. It may be cramped, but at least I'll feel like I'm still in the war."
– Martok, following his promotion to Supreme Commander, 2374 ("You Are Cordially Invited")

The IKS Rotarran was a Klingon Bird-of-Prey that was in service with the Klingon Defense Force in the late 24th century. The Rotarran served with distinction during the Dominion War, with General Martok using the vessel as his flagship.

Service on the Cardassian border[]

During the Klingon-Cardassian War that began in 2372, the Rotarran spent two years as part of the occupation force patrolling against the Cardassian fleet. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")

In mid-2373, the Rotarran was forced to retreat along with the rest of the Klingon fleet when the Cardassian Union joined the Dominion. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

Following that event, the Rotarran suffered half a dozen defeats in combat with the Jem'Hadar. Heavy casualties mounted as this continued over a period of seven months. In one instance, a Cardassian ship was trapped between the Rotarran and an asteroid field. The Cardassians' power was failing, they had no other reinforcements nearby, and the Rotarran's weapons were fully charged. Suddenly, three Jem'Hadar ships appeared out of the asteroid field, and the Rotarran was denied the kill. Because of this and many other similar encounters, the crew came to believe that the Rotarran was a cursed ship, and all aboard were dishonored. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")

Martok's captaincy of the Rotarran[]

IKS Rotarran bridge

Martok and Worf on the bridge of the Rotarran

In late-2373, General Martok was assigned command of the Rotarran by the Klingon High Council and dispatched to locate the missing IKS B'Moth. Joining him as his first officer was Lieutenant Commander Worf and Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax as science officer. Both were serving on detached duty from Starfleet at the time.

Plotting course for the last known position of the B'Moth, the Rotarran was forced to circumnavigate the Tong Beak Nebula in order to avoid the Jem'Hadar. Martok's wish to avoid a fight struck a sour chord with his weary crew.

On the way, Martok reviewed his crew's personnel reports, which included remarks such as: "Dishonorable conduct," "lack of respect," "dereliction of duty," "inattention to orders," "unmotivated," and "insufficiently aggressive." This did not go over well with Martok nor Worf, Martok likening the report to a prison record. Together they vowed to restore honor to the Rotarran and make it a ship worthy of the Empire.

Mid-route, the Rotarran detected a Jem'Hadar attack ship on a reconnaissance mission outside of Cardassian space, performing active polaron scans of the sector. Despite the tactical advantage the cloaked and armed Rotarran had over the attack ship, Martok opted to avoid a conflict and continue to pursue their mission of locating the B'Moth. Frustration from this missed opportunity, combined with three barrels of bloodwine, finally made things come to a head on the Rotarran.

Upon reaching the Cardassian border, the B'Moth was discovered 500,000 kellicams inside Cardassian territory. Martok, who had explicit orders from the High Council not to enter Cardassian territory, was unwilling to cross the border to rescue a crew that may or may not be alive at all. This struck a major chord with Martok's crew, which nearly led to mutiny.

IKS Rotarran fires on third Jem'Hadar attack ship

Taking on a Jem'Hadar fighter

Moments later, a Jem'Hadar warship entered sensor range, which the Rotarran defeated. Afterward, the Rotarran successfully rescued thirty-five survivors from the B'Moth.

Upon their return, the High Council issued a commendation to the entire crew of the Rotarran. Despite crossing the border against orders, the Council viewed the destruction of a Jem'Hadar ship and the rescue of thirty-five warriors as ample justification for crossing the Cardassian border. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")

Martok continued to maintain the Rotarran as his flagship, and also continued using it for patrolling the Cardassian border. (DS9: "Blaze of Glory")

Prior to the Second Battle of Deep Space 9, the Rotarran served as a lookout for the incoming Dominion-Cardassian fleet. Upon its return to Deep Space 9, the Rotarran took up a defensive position near the USS Defiant, which was mining the entrance to the Bajoran wormhole, and engaged several Jem'Hadar warships. Following the battle, Worf was once again assigned to the Rotarran. (DS9: "Call to Arms")

Service during the Dominion War[]

Duty with the Second Fleet[]

USS Defiant and IKS Rotarran at Starbase 375

The Rotarran and Defiant at Starbase 375

Following the Second Battle of Deep Space 9, the Rotarran and the Defiant joined the Second Fleet. After three months of defeat by the Dominion, the Rotarran, with the remains of the Second Fleet, was forced to return back behind Federation lines in early-2374. (DS9: "Call to Arms", "A Time to Stand")

The Rotarran later rescued Captain Benjamin Sisko and his crew from a planet in an uncharted dark matter nebula, and returned them to Starbase 375. The Rotarran docked at the starbase briefly before rendezvousing with the IKS Vor'nak to receive reinforcements. Although Martok requested fifteen replacements, he only received five from General Tanas.

After the completion of the personnel transfer, Martok received orders to escort a convoy of Klingon Par'tok-type cargo vessels to Donatu V, a two-day journey. En route, Martok conducted battle drills to train the reflexes of his new crew.

Klingon cargo vessels

Convoy duty

Following the simulation, the crew was recalled to the bridge because the ship's sensors detected a Jem'Hadar attack ship. After a frantic yet fruitless "encounter", it was realized that Bekk Alexander Rozhenko had forgotten to erase the battle simulation program from the sensor display.

The next day the convoy came under attack from two Jem'Hadar attack ships. During the attack, the Rotarran lost internal communications, and experienced a plasma leak on Deck 5 after suffering damage to the primary plasma injector. Ultimately the Rotarran destroyed the two attacking warships, and successfully delivered the convoy to Donatu. (DS9: "Sons and Daughters")

The Rotarran later undertook another mission. Benjamin Sisko spoke to Worf while he was aboard, telling him there had been no news of the Defiant, which was on a mission to destroy a sensor array in the Argolis Cluster. (DS9: "Behind the Lines")

The Rotarran later assisted the Defiant in destroying two Dominion ships. With the Defiant acting like a decoy, two Dominion ships were lured in to attack it. Just as the Dominion ships began their attack, the Rotarran decloaked and immediately destroyed one of the ships. The Defiant simultaneously powered up, and successfully destroyed the second ship. Following their successful ploy, the two ships were recalled to Starbase 375.

Klingon fleet joins Operation Return

Arriving with reinforcements

Following the recall to Starbase 375, Martok and Worf returned to Qo'noS aboard the Rotarran to make a plea to Chancellor Gowron, on behalf of Captain Sisko. It was their intention to convince Gowron that he must commit the Klingon Defense Forces to join the combined Federation fleet in their attempt to retake Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Favor the Bold")

After some convincing, Martok and Worf were able to persuade Gowron to spare some ships for Operation Return. Mid-battle, the Klingon fleet, led by the Rotarran, joined the fray and effectively opened a hole in the Dominion lines. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")

Duty with the Ninth Fleet[]

On stardate 51247.5, one week after the Rotarran's return to Deep Space 9, General Martok was promoted to Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet. Despite his promotion and the offer to have quarters aboard the station, Martok chose to keep his flag aboard the Rotarran. He noted that despite the ship's cramped quarters, he would still feel like he was in the war.

By the end of that same week, most of the Rotarran's crew was transferred to the battle cruiser IKS Ya'Vang, which had taken heavy losses in its previous engagement. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")

In late-2374, Martok lead an attack wing of Klingon warships from aboard the Rotarran during the First Battle of Chin'toka. Although fifteen ships were lost or severely damaged by Jem'Hadar fighters during the initial stages of the battle, the Rotarran made it through unscathed.

Upon the fleet's successful defeat of the Cardassian orbital weapon platforms, located around the orbit of Chin'toka, the Rotarran began transporting ground troops to the planet's surface. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")

IKS Rotarran escapes Monac solar flare

The Rotarran escaping Monac's solar flare

In early-2375, Martok re-enlisted Worf to once again serve as his first officer for a dangerous mission, where they intended to use the Rotarran to destroy the Monac shipyard in the name of Worf's late wife, Jadzia Dax. To do this, Chief Miles O'Brien devised a plan that used the Rotarran's deflector dish to fire an electromagnetic pulse at a magnetic instability near the equator of the Monac sun, to trigger a solar plasma ejection. When the Rotarran reached the system, the ship decloaked and fired the EM pulse at the sun's corona. Their first attempt was unsuccessful, but upon their second attempt, while under fire by the Jem'Hadar, they successfully triggered a solar flare, which destroyed the shipyards. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols")

Later that year, the Rotarran's cloaking device was stolen by Quark and Rom to be delivered to Ezri Tigan, a Trill mercenary in the mirror universe in exchange for the release of Grand Nagus Zek. Rom later installed the cloaking device aboard the Regent's flagship but also conveniently sabotaged it, disabling the ship. (DS9: "The Emperor's New Cloak")

Several weeks later, repairs to the Rotarran, as well as the USS Hornet, were delayed to repair the Romulan warbirds Dividices and the Genorex. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")

Near the end of the war, the Rotarran and the IKS Koraga, commanded by Worf, were ambushed by a Dominion patrol near the Badlands. The Koraga was destroyed, but the Rotarran was able to recover six of its starboard escape pods. (DS9: "Penumbra")

Not long after that incident, the Rotarran was involved in a failed attack on a Cardassian world, Avenal VII. Martok himself was seriously injured in the attack. The Rotarran returned to Deep Space 9 three days after the news of the defeat had reached the station. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind")

Crew of the Rotarran[]




Background information[]

According to the script for the "Soldiers of the Empire", [1] "Sons and Daughters", [2] and "Behind the Lines", [3] the pronunciation for Rotarran was "row-TAR-an". Later the pronunciation was changed to "ROW-tar-an" in the scripts for "You Are Cordially Invited" [4] and "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". [5]

Martok seems to have not used the Rotarran at the Second Battle of Chin'toka, for if he had, it was likely it would have been disabled by the Breen energy dissipaters and destroyed. We know he was present at the battle as his voice was heard over the communications system. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil") It is possible he may have commanded another ship, such as the IKS Ch'Tang, which he had also briefly commanded that same year.

It was unclear if Martok continued to use the Rotarran through the end of the war, if it was the vessel he used during the final Battle of Cardassia in DS9: "What You Leave Behind", or if he had taken command of the (later unseen) IKS Negh'Var, being that he had since risen to chancellor.

The Rotarran was the most frequently seen Klingon Bird-of-Prey in Star Trek, with thirteen appearances.

The scenes in the Rotarran mess hall in the episode "Sons and Daughters" were filmed on Paramount Stage 18, with the mess hall and ready room being redresses of the aft and the fore of the bridge set respectively.

The Klingon Bird of Prey Owners' Workshop Manual stated that the Rotarran was classified as a B'rel-class ship. It also says that the ship was launched in 2358 by the House of Gowron and served in the Klingon Civil War. Additionally, Martok used the Rotarran at the Battle of Cardassia, considering the Vor'cha class sluggish and the Negh'var too slow and unwieldy for his tactics (evading rather than absorbing attacks to minimise collateral damage).

The Starships RPG sourcebook gives its registry as IKC-62127.

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