From Memory-Beta:

Under the Treaty of Algeron, the Federation was banned from using cloaking technology without the explicit permission of the Romulans.

What caused the signing of the treaty? I can assume from a few links on the site that such a treaty was the result of a War, but I couldn't find much more than that.

So, Why are cloaked ships banned in the federation?

marked as duplicate by Aegon, Jason Baker, Ward - Reinstate Monica, Adamant, SQB Nov 24 '16 at 9:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • @shufler I started writing a very similar question to that, but changed my wording last minute. I've updated the title to relfect that. – AncientSwordRage Apr 2 '12 at 22:04
  • Could also merge the two Qs. – Möoz Nov 13 '16 at 23:57

It was more to prevent war from erupting. The Earth-Romulan War had ended about 160 years prior to the Tomed Incided when Romulan Admiral Aventeer Vokar tried to prompt a war between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire

due to his long-standing Romulan chauvinism and imperialistic stances.

All out war would probably have occured except the Klingon Empire sided with the Federation

Two months after the Tomed Incident, the Romulan Star Empire forced the Federation to sign The Treaty of Algeron that banned the development of cloaking technology within the Federation in return for the Star Empire's agreement to withdraw behind its borders and to recall all of its diplomatic missions and citizens, effectively isolating them on the astropolitical scene.

  • 2
    I'm no expert on interstellar politics, but that sounds like a very bad bargain for the Romulans. – HNL Apr 12 '12 at 17:40
  • 3
    Not necessarily the Romulans were quite xenophobic and a touch arrogant. Their empire was quite well established and for them being "isolated" might have been considered a good thing. – AidanO Apr 13 '12 at 8:01

Well, it is a peace treaty. That cannot be the only clause. Its just the one that seems to come up most often on screen. Its highly likely that there are hundreds of clauses that affect both sides. There are likely downsides on the Romulan side that counterweight the federations inability to have cloaking devices.

Out of universe its not entirely dramatic to have the ship have the ability to disappear at will. Look at DS9, how many times does the cloak get knocked offline in order to have a bit of dramatic tension.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.