The Romulan Bird-of-Prey was a type of space vessel that was in service with the military of the Romulan Star Empire during the latter half of the 23rd century.
Gaining its name from the bold pattern of an alien bird's feathers painted on the ship's ventral hull, the Romulan Bird-of-Prey was the successor of a 22nd century counterpart of similar design.
The Federation Starfleet first encountered this vessel in 2266, when a single ship of this type crossed the Romulan Neutral Zone and attacked several border outposts, destroying them utterly. The USS Enterprise responded to the alert and engaged in a tense game of cat-and-mouse with the intruder for more than ten hours, before the Bird-of-Prey was destroyed.
The Romulans later used larger numbers to patrol their border with the Federation in force. Typically during an incursion, one Bird-of-Prey will bring a starship out of warp with a plasma torpedo to allow the ships in its battle group to attack the target en masse. When the Enterprise violated the Neutral Zone on the orders of Commodore Stocker in 2267, it was ambushed by a squadron of ten Birds-of-Prey.
After the Romulan-Klingon Alliance of 2268, the Bird-of-Prey was largely supplanted by the more massive and more versatile Klingon D7-class battle cruiser, although some were used in concert with the D7s.
Information on this class of starship was assimilated in 2375, by the Borg drone One, from the database aboard USS Voyager.
Remarkably similar in design to contemporaneous Federation star-
ships, the Romulan Bird-of-Prey was designed with a sole primary hull configuration.
Grey in color, with its namesake bird design painted on the hull, the Bird-of-Prey was essentially a saucer with parallel warp nacelles mounted port and starboard of the main body. The aft of the ship was designed with a raised "fin."
Although incapable of matching the Federation's Constitution-class starship one-on-one, the ship still featured several technological advances that were previously unattainable to Federation science: the first practical invisibility screen, and the massively powerful plasma torpedo. This class of starship had a single forward torpedo launcher. It also carried a number of nuclear weapons.
With these combined abilities, the Bird-of-Prey was able to strike its enemies at will, practically un-
detected and unchallenged.
The main bridge featured a rather small command center, providing access to four computer terminals facing each other in a centrally located console. These terminals maintained the vessel's course control, tactical and cloaking systems. No seating was provided for any of the officers. The bridge had direct access to a corridor in the aft and a viewscreen in the forward section.