In the Mirror Universe, the Terran Empire is more war and combat focused than the United Federation of Planets, and way more aggressive. The ships on screen appear VERY similar to their counterparts though.

With its war focus, are the ships of the Empire stronger combatwise than those of the Federation?

  • It may be notable that the mirror Enterprise had the older style TOS warp nacelles with a spike on the Bussard collectors and a grille in the back. Wheras the proper Enterprise has no spike and white domes in the back when stock footage isn't used. This may be a subtle indication of technological inferiority. IDIC must have some benefits for R&D collaboration. Jun 2, 2020 at 5:31

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There is no evidence that the Terran ships in the mirror universe are any more powerful than those in the Federation. For instance, in "Shattered Mirror" (DS9 S4E20), Sisko is brought over to the mirror universe to help build another version of the Defiant. This Defiant is exactly the same as the prime universe Defiant (indeed, it's built from the specs mirror O'Brien saw on prime DS9); however, the Defiant is still a major player in the battle, and it seems that the Defiant is still matched evenly with the Alliance's ships. This would not be the case, however, if the mirror universe ships were substantially more powerful.

Another piece of (circumstantial) evidence I can think of the (other) Defiant seen in the two-part Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly". This Defiant, crossing over from the prime universe, is used by mirror Hoshi Sato to very quickly take over the mirror version of Starfleet, and I suspect this would not be possible if the other mirror ships were heavily armed and able to put up a fight against the Defiant (which is not from that far into the future of the prime universe).

Clearly, war and conquest is a major focus in the mirror universe, so one can only speculate as to why the weapons are not more powerful - my personal guess is that with the perpetual war-footing that everyone found themselves in, science and engineering took a permanent backseat, and so weapon technology did not progress as quickly as could've been possible.

  • There's also the issue that managers of research projects are always paranoid of literally getting a knife in the back from subordinates. There's also the bit from TOS series where McCoy complains his research area is a mess, suggesting that researchers may be a bit sloppy in general. Jul 2, 2020 at 15:03

Judging by their militant nature. It's a safe assumption their ships are more..........accrued for combative operations. Even if the vessels are identical in terms of power output and weaponry, it's a matter of combat experience and tactics.

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