After the Dominion War, the Klingon Empire embarked on an aggressive period of starship design and construction to replace ships lost during the war and subsequent conflicts.
Facing the increasing demands of Chancellor Martok and the Klingon High Council to create more ships in less time, the design teams at the shipyards of Ty’Gokor looked to the past for inspiration for new ships for the Empire.
The Raptor class of the 22nd century was a small frigate intended for use as a scout ship. Its limited weapons and small crew compliment made it a ship for hit-and-run raids rather than extended conflicts. It was, according to lead designer Kurak of the House of Palkar, "capable of winning a battle, but not a war."
The new Raptor shares the basic geometry of its ancestor but is larger and packs a much more powerful punch. The ship is classified as a destroyer and is fast, maneuverable and armed to the teeth.
An improved cloaking device allows it to travel at warp six or higher without radiating a subspace variance detectable by Federation sensors and particle dampeners limit the Raptor’s emissions of tetryon particles. Ablative tetraburnium alloy hull plating adapted from captured Federation technology allows the ship to fight longer and harder.
Fore and aft torpedo launchers and disruptor beam arrays give the Raptor the ability to take on multiple foes at once, and a disruptor cannon and twin disruptor beam banks make it a dangerous opponent. While many of the weapons on the Raptor class are designed for a frontal attack, it can deal damage from almost any angle and then turn quickly for a decisive strike against a wounded foe.
The Klingon Defense Force is assigning some of its most aggressive and ambitious captains to the new Raptor vessels, and they have scored some impressive victories against Federation and Romulan targets. Captains of Raptor class ships are fond of overcharging their weapon banks for greater effect, and Federation ships facing a Raptor are warned to be prepared for these devastating attacks.
If the Raptor class ships have a weakness, it is that so much of the available space in the ships is taken up by weapons and shield generators that the limited medical facilities are ill-equipped to deal with large numbers of wounded crew. When asked, Kurak retorted that this was not a failing of the Raptor class, rather it was a reflection of the Klingon warrior ideal to fight with honor, to strive for success and, if necessary, to die in glorious battle. "Klingon warriors do not need healers to lick their wounds. Klingon warriors fight only one way – to the death."