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In Star Trek the Undiscovered Country, Scotty says: "raving lunatics they'll call us, willing to say anything to exonerate the captain" - all in regards to claiming that a Klingon Bird of Prey can fire while cloaked. Of course, we learn later that there is a new Bird of Prey that actually can fire while cloaked, but that this is something new. Anyway, from this statement by a well-respected engineer in the Star Trek universe, I understand there was some technical reason why a ship in cloak cannot fire weapons.

Was it ever explained why ships can't fire when cloaked?

  • Power problem... Plus, it should be design issue too.. If ship fires a weapon, it'd become visible to the enemy ship... – Baby Yoda Dec 4 '15 at 17:54
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Memory Alpha entry

Due to the enormous amount of power required to generate a cloaking field, there was, by and large, not enough power available to also power the weapons and shields. (TOS: "Balance of Terror") When the Romulan cloaking device was first installed on the USS Defiant, the ship even had to decloak to use the transporter.

  • This explanation never made sense to me. Lack of energy just does not make sense considering they can travel at warp speeds while cloaked and warp takes FAR more energy than weapons. – HighInBC Dec 7 '15 at 16:29

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