Humans look like late member of Warp Drive community. Klingons were capable of interstellar travel from the time of Kahless. Vulcans were in contact with Andorians from ancient times (ST: Enterprise).

Which one first invented warp capabilities: Klingons or Vulcans? Or, others?

  • 2
    Perhaps warp drive was invented more than once by the vulcans, in the same was that different cultures invented the same things on Earth but at different time periods (can't recall specifics but I'm pretty sure there are some - someone want to help me out?). Just a thought.
    – Chad Levy
    Jan 7, 2012 at 6:42
  • 2
    I read once that in an early encounter between the Kligons and Romulans the Klingons exchanged their Warp technology against the Romulan cloak. So the Klingons had Warp before the Romulans. Mar 13, 2012 at 20:53
  • @MartinScharrer: If I recall, the Klingons actually traded starship designs for the cloak, not warp technology. Romulan ships were large and blulky before the trade, but were more streamlined and more avian-like afterwards (akin to Klingon design). However, I have no idea what difference the changes in design made for the efficiency/effectiveness of their ships.
    – Ellesedil
    Apr 14, 2015 at 12:35
  • 1
    The Preservers? Iconians?
    – IG_42
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:29
  • My answer to this question scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/220439/… claims that it is unanswerable. But it does suggest a possible answer to the question which warp capable and still active species known to the Federation was considered the oldest at one era of Federation history. Sep 22, 2019 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


Technically the first race to discover warp drive would be the ancient race in The Chase in Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is the species that moved out into the galaxy, explored it, and found it empty, so they seeded planets with DNA (which also explains why there are so many humanoid races in the galaxy).

But if you're talking races that are currently active on an interstellar scale, according to Memory Alpha, here's a simple table taken from the article on warp drive:

Vulcans: 9th century B.C.
Romulans: Didn't split from Vulcans until after Warp Drive.
Klingons: 9th century A.D.
Vissians: 12th century A.D.
Borg: 15th century A.D.
Humans: 21st century A.D.

(Note: Changes since original posting! The Memory Alpha article is confusing, one way it can be read is that Vulcans had an interstellar civilization in the 9th century B.C., but still didn't have warp drive until after A.D. 1947. It also took Vulcans a century to go from breaking lightspeed to reaching speeds as fast as warp 2.)

Data on other races and when they developed warp drive is apparently not available.

  • Do you know the name of ancient race in The Chase in Star Trek: The Next Generation??
    – user931
    Dec 30, 2011 at 15:51
  • And, what about Andorians?
    – user931
    Dec 30, 2011 at 15:53
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    The Romulans didn't depart Vulcan until the 4th century A.D., so they always had warp drive.
    – cjm
    Dec 30, 2011 at 21:06
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    @TangoOversway Unless you have a source I don't know about, the Borg were at least as far back as 1484, at which point they were already spacefaring. We don't know an actual date for them. A bit nitpicky, but when we don't know... ;)
    – Izkata
    Dec 31, 2011 at 0:03
  • 1
    @SachinShekhar There is speculation that the ancient race is the Preservers Jan 5, 2012 at 18:26

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