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A Klingon warbird

A Romulan D'deridex-class warbird

In starship classification, a warbird was a type of warship. They generally resembled large predatory birds. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; TNG: "The Defector")

Three cultures are known to have operated warbirds:

The Romulan starship was described as a warbird in The Ready Room episode for "Absolute Candor". [1]


Background information

The term "warbird", as used within the Romulan Empire, dates back as far as 2154, as the Romulan drone ship was a modified warbird; this, however, was most likely a warbird of a much earlier design than that of the D'deridex class. The term was known to Starfleet as early as a 2344 encounter with the USS Enterprise-C. It is, however, unclear if this specifically refers to the D'deridex-class design or that of yet another unknown warbird class.

The word in the Romulan language apparently is "D'deridex", as what Data refers to in the episode "Tin Man" as a "D'deridex-class cruiser" is also referred to as a "Warbird-class starship" by Picard in "The Defector".

Prior to Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek Nemesis, "warbird" or "Romulan warbird" were used exclusively to refer to D'deridex-class starships. Brannon Braga has mentioned that the use of the term "warbird" to describe Klingon ships in "Broken Bow" was a mistake, implying that the production team only wished Romulan ships to be identified as warbirds.

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