In the Star Trek reboot movie, Nero's ship the Narada was a mining ship. However, it was very heavily armed with devastating weaponry that far outmatched any ships from the earlier time. While the Romulans are a warlike race and a mining ship may need to defend itself against pirates or the like, the sheer level of offensive weaponry on the Narada seems very out of place on a civilian vessel*. The fact that the ship has decades newer technology doesn't really explain just how well armed it is.

If I understand the timeline, the Narada encountered Spock's Vulcan ship just as it had failed to prevent the destruction of Romulus, which would have given no opportunity to arm itself beyond what it was already provisioned with.

So my question is, What canon reason would there be for the Narada to be carrying such extensive weaponry when it is a mining ship?

* In my head I pronounced this as "wessel" in honour of Chekov :)

  • @Politank-Z Darn, I went looking for duplicates prior to posting, but I specifically used the ship name, not "mining vessel" :(
    – Jane S
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 9:56
  • 1
    @JaneS don't worry; I didn't realise this question had already been answered either! Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 10:10
  • The USSR had the worlds largest trawler fleet that never fished, so to me it stands to reason that the Romulans have a similar fleet of "civilian" vessels which never carry out their civilian jobs. Having a massive armed merchant navy fleet that no one suspects can come in handy... The Narada, in my mind, just happened to be one of those ships.
    – Moo
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


This is explained in Star Trek Countdown:

In the Star Trek prequel comic book miniseries Star Trek: Countdown, the Narada's advanced weaponry and appearance are explained as being the result of the ship being retrofitted with salvaged and reverse-engineered Borg technology.

And as for why this was the case:

The Tal Shiar in the 24th century had been experimenting with Borg technology, and Nero's ship was the experimental vessel used.


The other aspect, of course, is that this ship comes from the late 24th century (which was crippling for 24th century Federation vessels, let alone the relatively weaker 23rd century's vessels). When you combine Borg technology, which is highly advanced for its own time period, with it also being from the future, you have a powerful mix.

  • Ok, that makes sense. But it still seems odd that it was carrying so much ammunition; it seemed to have an endless supply of missiles. That still doesn't really explain why it was still so heavily armed at the point when it intercepted Spock's ship.
    – Jane S
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 9:51
  • @JaneS two words will explain that: JJ and plot-convenience 😉 Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 9:53
  • LOL! I know, but I was hoping there'd be a nice canon reason for it :)
    – Jane S
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 9:54
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    @JaneS I suppose it had been recently refitted and was still being tested(possibly extended testing to see how it went) when the Romulus disaster occurred Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 10:08
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    @JaneS : Unfortunately, anything and everything is possible in the Abramsverse. Why would Nero have pools of water with creatures similar to those on Ceti Alpha V on his ship? Why is Khan designing starships in Into Darkness? Sure, he's intelligent, but there's a difference between being a cunning strategist and a starship designer. Why would Khan hide his comrades in torpedoes? Can you beam yourself from Earth all the way to Qo'noS because of a few equations? Those equations existed in the Prime timeline but never got anyone that far. I just ignore the reboot completely....
    – Praxis
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 1:07

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