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Is there a reason that Starfleet doesn't use cloaks on their ships?

The Klingons and Romulans both use cloaking devices and many of the Alien species that Voyager comes across in the D quadrant also use cloaks and the Starfleet ships are left at a disadvantage.

Since the Klingons have long been apart of the federation it is only natural that Starfleet has their cloaking technology and the knowledge of their own to create an outstanding cloak. Why is it that they don't use it on any of their ships.

marked as duplicate by Major Stackings, Thaddeus Howze, NikolaiDante, Izkata, phantom42 Apr 2 '13 at 13:05

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  • Not exactly an in-universe explanation, but Gene Roddenberry didn't like the idea of the Federation "sneaking around." The Federation's principles kind of prohibit it, although they obviously broke those with the Defiant because of the extreme threat of the Dominion. – ApproachingDarknessFish Apr 2 '13 at 5:17
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    They broke it several times by borrowing Klingon ships. – Brian Ortiz Apr 2 '13 at 15:15
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    Don't forget: Space is BIG. In general, you don't need a cloaking device, because there's nobody else around. You only need cloaks if you're planning on infiltrating and attacking defended targets, and that's not the Federation's goal. Not being an expansionist empire, and not being an aggressive empire, the Federation depends on defense in depth and powerful shields and weapons instead of small unit guerilla tactics. – Zoey Boles Jan 30 '17 at 16:47
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2311 Treaty of Algeron:

The treaty also expressly prohibited the development or use of cloaking device technology by the Federation.

There were a couple of attempts to run around that restriction (see Memory Alpha article linked above), but nothing meaningful.

As an aside, since 2371, Defiant did have the cloaking device (Romulan one!), allowed explicitly by Romulans, with the stipulation that it's only used in Gamma Quadrant and any intel gathered on Dominion is shared with Romulans.

  • Ahh. I am only on Season 3 of TNG... I have not gotten there yet. – Sponge Bob Apr 2 '13 at 5:19
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    How I envy you. – Sam152 Apr 2 '13 at 7:14
  • @Sam152 Uh-oh... Why is that? – Sponge Bob Apr 2 '13 at 16:04
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    @KeeganMcCarthy You get to experience it for the first time. We're all grizzled TNG veterans, who can't remember the magic of that first viewing. – user1027 Apr 2 '13 at 18:36
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    @SpongeBob - there are some truly awful episodes coming for you, but also some amazing ones. Don't get discouraged by the crap. – Tim Jan 17 '17 at 0:28

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