B'rel class

From Bravo Fleet
Klingon Faction

This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.

The B'rel-class bird-of-prey has been the premier versatile multi-purpose warship of the Klingon Empire since its inception in the late 23rd century. Although the overall original design is over a century old, several rounds of system refits and upgrades over the decades and its ease of production have kept this design at the forefront of Klingon military technology. Because of these ongoing upgrades, the B'rel is one of the most ubiquitous starships in the Klingon Empire.

Exploration and Science

The B'rel class is not, by any means, a ship of exploration or science. The primary use of its sensor array is to track down and hunt targets. The B'rel has limited capabilities to survey astronomic phenomena and would be far more likely to deploy a probe and signal for a more capable vessel to return to the area for a more extensive survey.


Much like exploration, the B'rel has extremely limited diplomatic facilities or functionality. The ship is, at best, an escort for a larger vessel of diplomacy. Should the need for diplomacy arise, short of having a Klingon general on board, a B'rel would be most likely to report back to the nearest starbase so that a true diplomatic attachment could be sent in its stead.


The B'rel is a simple design that follows the lineage of the Klingon-designed birds-of-prey dating back to the earliest years of Klingon interstellar travel. The design consists of a central "body", a "neck" with a "head" at the fore, and two "wings" flanking the body. The ship is capable of three configurations, signaled by the positioning of the wings on the B'rel: cruise (wings out), attack (wings down), and landing (wings up). Over the years the design has stayed the same while systems including the warp drive, impulse drive, disruptor cannons, and torpedo launchers have been refitted, upgraded, and even completely replaced throughout the design's history.

Like all previous bird-of-prey designs, the B'rel is capable of atmospheric flight and planet landing. This can increase its ability to stay away from a home port by making planetfall to enact critical repairs. Additionally, the B'rel can use planets to restock supplies such as foodstuffs or raw materials used to make new spare parts or even additional photon torpedoes.

Throughout the hundred-plus years of its service, the B'rel has largely been one of the most well-engineered vessels in the Klingon Defense Force arsenal. While visually identical throughout the years, several subclasses of the B'rel have sprung up as technological advances are made. As these advances come, the B'rel continues to get engineering refits class-wide.


While typically used as a scout, the B'rel class is a ship that is still quite dangerous by itself, utilizing its cloaking device to make surprise attack runs on targets. The B'rel has also proven itself by being used during times of war in packs, or wings, for concentrated attacks against larger, sometimes stationary, targets like capital ships and space stations. Although typically outgunned by cruiser-type vessels, the B'rel is small, agile, and highly maneuverable while still being able to inflict high amounts of damage. This gives them the ability to hold their own against many other ships that 'outclass' them and also makes them the perfect warship for Klingon attacks on enemy starbases and planetary outposts.

A B'rel firing a photon torpedo from its forward torpedo launcher in the 'head' of the ship.

Armaments employed aboard B'rel-class vessels have varied widely over their long service life, but the most common set of armaments is two forward-firing medium disruptor cannons located on the wingtips, a medium torpedo launcher located forward just beneath the bridge, and a light aft-firing torpedo launcher located just above the impulse engine. These ships are geared towards frontal assaults, followed by repositioning under cloak, and struggle when swarmed or otherwise boxed in by threat vessels. Some vessels of this class have been equipped with disrupter beam emitters on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the ship to address this deficit, but the majority of Klingon houses have not bothered with doing so, preferring instead to let B'rel captains prove their worth through guile, instinct, and tactics rather than technology.

Shipboard Life

The B'rel-class is a ship that is quintessentially Klingon to its core. With very few amenities, life on a B'rel is a cramped one of committing to the duty of the ship. The ship is efficiently built with little to no room to spare. Crew quarters are largely barrack style with some double bunks. Very few single cabins exist on the ship and are solely reserved for the captain and select officers. A mess hall exists that can accommodate the entire crew at once and is largely the extent of "recreation" on a B'rel.

The standard complement for a B'rel is 12 crew, but certain mission profiles may call for more. The B'rel, even for a ship its size, can still comfortably (by Klingon standards) crew up to 36 crew members.

Class History

The B'rel first began development in the late 2260s as the first Klingon design to natively include the new and enhanced Klingon cloaking device derived from the Klingon vessel Sarcophagus; while other Klingon ships had used the cloaking technology in the interim, the B'rel was the first to be built with it integrated into the design. The B'rel was the first new bird-of-prey design in a generation and had a direct lineage from its immediate predecessor, the M'Chla-class bird-of-prey, and its predecessor before that the Vo'n'talk-class bird-of-prey. By the 2290s, the B'rel could be found wide and far throughout Klingon territory used in several different roles. The native inclusion of the new cloaking device allowed the ship to become a dangerous predator in the depths of space. In fact, the first B'rel encountered by the United Federation of Planets was during the Genesis Incident which indirectly caused the destruction of the USS Enterprise, also resulting in the capture of the B'rel by Rear Admiral James T. Kirk. This vessel remains in Starfleet hands at the Fleet Museum over Athan Prime.

After that incident, the run-ins with the B'rel on the frontier against both the Federation and Romulan Star Empire increased exponentially. The ease of construction, adaptability, and versatility of the design allowed the Klingon Empire to mass-produce these vessels at staggering rates. Additionally, many upgrades and customizations to the B'rel systems allowed for the Great Houses to customize their own with slight modifications over the coming decades.

A B'rel landed on a planet, wings in the landed (up) position, being resupplied.

By the 2370s, the B'rel had been in service to the Empire for a hundred years. There were thousands of these vessels in service, and likely just as many lost over the years in glorious battles. However, the class received its largest litmus test during the Dominion War in the 2370s. As the Klingons entered the war against the Dominion, they largely found themselves responsible for counteracting the Dominion's most pervasive warship: the Dominion attack ship. Originally the Dominion attack ships quickly overwhelmed the Klingon B'rels showing superior weaponry and tactics. However, within only a few weeks of the war, the Klingons were able to develop new techniques for fighting enemies that were so unlike anything they had encountered before. Using Federation shield upgrades on their ships, and a few modifications to their weapons systems, the B'rel proved to be a match for the Dominion attack ship. Nearly neck-and-neck in every way, the remainder of the encounters during the Dominion War were decided by pure tactics and ship commander experience when the two ships ever came head to head. The B'rel proved to be very successful against the Dominion attack ships; so much so that the Klingon flagship, the IKS Rotarran, was a B'rel-class bird-of-prey.

During the Dominion War, the Klingon Defense Force was hit the hardest of the Alliance in terms of ships lost. Many of these ships for the Klingon Empire were of the B'rel class. However, because of the ease of construction of the B'rel, hundreds more of these ships have been constructed to recoup the losses of the war and continue production into the 25th century. Additionally, the Klingon Empire has continued to enact persistent overhauls to the internal systems of the B'rel to keep it on par with the latest technical advances. The B'rel continues to be in widespread use across the Klingon Empire by all houses, both major and minor, with no end in sight on its production.


The K'Vort-class in attack configuration.
The K'vort-class bird-of-prey is a wholly different class from the B'rel, but is distinct only in size. Everything about the K'vort is just a scaled-up B'rel. Originally built in the 2340s as a response to Romulan aggression, the K'vort serves as a troop transport being able to hold upwards of 400 troops with an additional 150 crew. The sole premise of the vessel is that it uses the original B'rel design to pack as many troops as possible onto the vessel that can then successfully and safely make planetfall to rapidly deploy troops. Due to its very niche design, the K'vort is not a common sight in the Empire and is primarily purpose-built with very few exceptions.

In Play

  • The B'rel is still one of the most common designs in use by the Klingon Empire, even in the 25th century. This is due to the fact that they had to be mass-produced following the Dominion War for the Empire to regain its military capacity after such immense losses.
  • Make no mistake - just because the B'rel is an "old" design doesn't mean it can't still hold its own. The ship has been getting regular refits over the years to keep it in line with other ships in surrounding empires as well as between Great Houses.
  • The B'rel is a dogfighter. Its main tactic is to make runs at targets in their fore, cloak, and reposition themselves for another attack run. Their goal is to always keep their enemy in front of them where they can bring their main weapons to bear.
  • The B'rel is one of the best examples of the Klingons finding a design that works and, true to their militaristic nature, using it until the wheels fall off. The B'rel won't be fully replaced until a new bird-of-prey design comes out that completely overshadows the B'rel. It's also favored by too many captains who know and trust the design.