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Is there canon information regarding the fate of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey that was re-christened "HMS Bounty"?

In this scene from Star Trek IV, the Klingon Bird of Prey in question hovers above a whaling ship and Earth waters.

It was last seen floating in San Francisco Bay at the end of The Voyage Home, as a backdrop to Kirk and friends playing with whales in the water.

By some standards, it should be a famous ship.

  • It was the last vessel to be nose-to-nose with the original USS Enterprise.

  • It was the last ship to orbit the planet Genesis before its demise.

  • It probably has the distinction of being the first Klingon Bird-of-Prey to be captained by a non-Klingon — for several months, for that matter.

  • It's probably the only Klingon warship to have been to the surface of Vulcan (certainly true in pre-Khitomer Accord times, and likely even after the Accord).

  • It's probably the only (full-blown) Klingon warship to have been to the surface of Earth — in multiple centuries, for that matter.

  • It's probably the only K'Vort class warship to have been to the 20th Century.

  • It's probably the only Klingon warship to ever have an aquarium installed in it.

  • It's probably the only Klingon ship to have intimidated a whaling vessel.

  • It managed to return the AWOL Enterprise crew, a recently resurrected Spock, a Terran marine biologist from the 1980s, and two humpback whales also from the 1980s to 23rd Century Earth.

  • Finally, it saved Earth from certain destruction at the hands of a space probe that only speaks to whales.

Fame aside, the ship's grounding on Earth would probably represent an immense tactical advantage for Starfleet at the time. Is there any canonical information about what was done with the ship by Starfleet?

Related enough to be part of this question: Did the capture of the Bounty influence any subsequent design decisions of Federation starships or of Birds-of-Prey? (This should be treated as a sub-question of the main question, regarding the fate of the ship.)

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    It's definitely not the only Klingon ship ever to have been to the surface of the Earth, because the Enterprise pilot episode, "Broken Bow", begins with a Klingon scoutship crashing on Earth.
    – Mike Scott
    Jan 25, 2015 at 17:48
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    It's also the only ship to have sunk to the bottom of San Francisco Bay on that particular occasion. Worth raising and restoring? Maybe. Probably not. Jan 25, 2015 at 18:26
  • Good question in a sense but probably unanswerable. Jan 25, 2015 at 18:26
  • Define canonical. Do you mean in the films/TV show (in which case no) or the EU novels?
    – Valorum
    Jan 25, 2015 at 19:33
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    In the EU, there's a glancing reference to McCoy keeping a piece of the Bounty's hull in the novel "Crucible : McCoy"
    – Valorum
    Jan 25, 2015 at 20:14

2 Answers 2

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We learn in STP: The Bounty that the ship was mothballed, then restored as a museum piece.

The Bounty was subsequently recovered from the bay, though finding it took some time as its cloaking device had reactivated. The ship was then restored to functionality and placed on display in the Fleet Museum at Athan Prime.

The ship, as far as we know, remains in place at the museum, but its cloak went on to have several more adventures before being destroyed.

In 2401, Ensign Sidney La Forge and Jack Crusher removed the cloaking device from the Bounty and installed it, with Commodore Geordi La Forge's help, on the USS Titan-A. This enabled the Titan to evade the USS Sternbach and the USS Cole long enough to extract its away team from Daystrom Station. The Bounty's cloak was later used again by the crew who managed to avoid Borg assimilation in their efforts to hold off an assimilated Starfleet. However, the cloak was eventually destroyed by Sidney and Alandra La Forge while under Borg control. (PIC: "The Last Generation")

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  • What took you so long, my old friend? I watched this months ago! ;-) Thanks for the excellent answer and closing the loop on this one.
    – Praxis
    Sep 12, 2023 at 4:35
  • @Praxis - I haven't watched STP past season 1. I just grabbed this from Memory Alpha.
    – Valorum
    Sep 12, 2023 at 9:52
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The fate of the HMS Bounty was not officially addressed.

However it was part of an early storyboard draft for a scene in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in which the HMS Bounty was to be disassembled by Starfleet engineers.

Ink and watercolour sketch of a Klingon Bird of Prey sitting in a long semi-cylindrical hanger, surrounded by telescoping work platforms

Just not enough time/money it seems.

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  • It was addressed a little bit in EU novels (Praxis was mainly interested in movie/TV stuff but said EU stories would be worth mentioning as well), see the "Legacy" section of the article on Memory Beta.
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 26, 2015 at 17:43
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    Not enough money? But the Federation is a post-scarcity society that had evolved beyond the need for money. /sarcasm
    – Xantec
    May 22, 2015 at 22:48
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    @Xantec Not enough time/money to show it in the film, not for it to happen in-universe.
    – T.J.L.
    Apr 1, 2019 at 20:59

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