In Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country, we learn that General Chang has a unique Bird of Prey with the ability to fire while cloaked, something that up to that point was considered impossible. But after that point, I don't think I've seen another ship with that ability again, even through the TNG timeline (I'll admit I'm not as familiar with DS9). Did the Klingons (or anyone) ever come up with another ship that could fire while cloaked?

I understand that Chang's ship was a one-of-a-kind prototype and was destroyed. I also understand from this source that Chang's house built the ship in secret, so the technology was never shared with the rest of Empire.

But it seems to me that having the ability to fire while cloaked would be important enough to have Klingon scientists all over the Empire working on it. Surely, Chang's ship builders weren't so far ahead of the rest of the Empire that no one else ever figured it out, especially over the 77-year span between TUC (2293) and the end of the TNG series (2370). And wouldn't Chang's house still have the knowledge to build another one?

Why don't we ever see another ship with the ability to fire while cloaked?

  • 8
    And now I see I set myself up for a bad joke by asking why we don't see a cloaked ship. But you know what I mean.
    – Seth R
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 5:06

2 Answers 2


We do.

Go watch Star Trek: Nemesis. The Scimitar warship is capable of firing even while cloaked.

  • Oh, I had forgotten about Nemesis. I don't recall the reactions of the characters, were they surprised when the Scimitar fired when cloaked, or did they act like it was something they had seen before? Was the Scimitar the only ship that could do it, or did the Romulans have more? That does fit my "or anyone" qualifier, so +1
    – Seth R
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 12:49
  • I haven't seen the move in years. But I think it was a one of a kind because the people using it were Reman's rather than Romulan's and they had taken over Romulus by using the Scimitar to kill the Romulan leaders. Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 22:55
  • Actually, Shinzon used a miniature version of the Thalaron weapon inside the Scimitar to kill the Romulan Senate. You can see it in the opening scene.
    – Tom Lint
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 10:17

There doesn't seem to be any evidence of Chang's specific design being duplicated, which is probably because it didn't really work.

At the end of the movie Uhura suggests locating the cloaked vessel by igniting its exhaust gasses, which are detectable. So the cloak is flawed, and once the flaw is known it isn't of much use again.

  • Wasn't that a flaw in all cloaked ships though? I don't think that was a problem unique to Chang's ship. It was still more effective than a ship that had to decloak first before firing (Chang was just too arrogant to use it to his full advantage).
    – Seth R
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 14:25
  • @SethR maybe, although it seems like some time between VI and TNG the cloaking tech fixed that flaw, and we could speculate that the fix also negated the ability to fire while cloaked too.
    – user
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 14:54

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