For a supposedly utopian setting created by Gene Roddenberry, the Star Trek universe features plenty of space warfare. This means that, throughout all the series and movies, we get to see some pretty deadly spaceships in action. And sometimes your typical starship just isn’t enough. There is always a need for bigger, better, and more guns.
In no particular order, below are some of the most devastating (or potentially devastating) ships in the Star Trek ‘Prime Universe” in our opinion. One caveat though, while firepower is obviously the major consideration when examining the “most powerful ships”, “context” also matters and power don’t necessarily directly translate to weapons – as we know them.
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There’s no denying the awesome power of V’Ger. Taking the form of a mysterious, menacing, luminous cloud the size of a solar system, V’Ger was unlike anything the Enterprise crew, or the Federation in general, had ever encountered. By far the largest vessel ever portrayed on Star Trek, V’Ger’s ship was almost 300 million kilometers (186 million miles) across. For comparison, the Death Star was around 160 kilometers (99 miles).
The Krenim temporal weapon ship
The Krenim weapon ship was a weapon developed by the Krenim Imperium sometime around 2174. Its design and construction were spearheaded by Annorax, a military temporal scientist. The powers of this craft from Star Trek: Voyager is virtually unlimited. The temporal weapon ship had the power to eliminate its targets from the space-time continuum entirely, even erasing entire species from history. It was first used against the Rilnar, mortal enemies of the Krenim, but was also used against the Alsuran Empire, the Malkoth, the Zahl, the Garenor, and the Ram Izad.
The Voth city ship
The Voth city ship was a massive transwarp-capable starship that served as the center of the highly advanced Voth civilization. The ship located and captured the USS Voyager in 2373 and proceeded to beam the Federation starship aboard. Once aboard, the crew of the city ship established a ship-wide dampening field, which rendered tricorders, phasers, and main power inoperative.
Species 8472 emerged as the first species able to carve through Borg ships like a hot knife through butter and made a big impression on the Star Trek universe in doing so. Invading from “fluidic space,” the unnamed species used organic ships with biotechnology more advanced than anything the Borg had ever seen. After a failed Borg invasion of fluidic space, Species 8472 began a systematic extermination of the Borg and other species. Within a period of five months, their bioships had destroyed tens of billions of drones, and hundreds of Borg-controlled planets.
The Whale Probe
Dwarfing the Earth Spacedock, this unknown cigar-shaped probe came to Earth in order to contact members of the long-extinct humpback whale species in the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Everything in its proximity is drained of power and the sheer amount of energy contained in the broadcast began to vaporize Earth’s oceans and ionize the atmosphere. It is one of the largest vessels ever encountered by Starfleet, measuring at roughly seventy kilometers (43 miles) long.
The Doomsday Machine
The Doomsday Machine is one of the most iconic vessels from Star Trek: The Original Series. This aptly-named “planet-killer” is an automated device capable of destroying entire planets.
The Borg Cube
The first officially publicized Federation contact with a Borg cube took place in 2365, when the USS Enterprise-D encountered a single cube in System J-25. Described as massive in size, a perfect cube that measures over three kilometers (1.9 miles) along on side, with an internal volume of 28 cubic kilometers (6,7 cubic miles). Every borg cube has a subspace electromagnetic field that can be altered to adapt to enemy weaponry, making it exceedingly difficult to destroy. It is capable of both warp and transwarp velocities. Perhaps most impressive is that all Borg ships have a regenerative hull, making them highly resistant to damage and system failures.
The Scimitar was a massive, heavily-armed warship of unique Reman design. It is a variation on the classic Romulan Warbird that appeared in the film Star Trek: Nemesis. Having been designed for war, the Scimitar had 52 disruptor banks and 27 photon torpedo bays; it was thus ready for nearly any battle, carrying roughly five times the armament of any other single ship. Also, the powerful thalaron radiation weapon with which it was also equipped was capable of stripping the life off a planet in a matter of seconds, though it took seven minutes to prepare.
The Xindi Weapons
The Xindi, an alliance of alien species, decided to send a large mobile particle beam superweapon to destroy Earth since they were being manipulated into believing that humans were evil and would destroy their future homeworld in the 26th century. Three of these weapons were built in total, with the final and biggest weapon’s goal being the complete destruction of Earth. The first one was merely a prototype, it bypassed Earth’s defenses and used a powerful particle beam to cut a 4,000-kilometer (2,485 miles) swath of destruction from Florida to Venezuela, killing 7 million people before self-destructing.
The Jem’Hadar Battleship
The Jem’Hadar battleship was twice the size of a Galaxy-class starship and three times as powerful according to sensor probes used by the USS Valiant. These ships were a menace for the Federation and its allies during the course of the Dominion war in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The battleship was more than capable of engaging almost any Federation, Klingon, or Romulan vessel, and more often than not emerged victorious.
Modified USS Voyager
You might wonder why we have put the USS Voyager on this list, this Intrepid-class starship launched by the Federation was not a match for the much more capable Sovereign class or even the Defiant-class starship of its time period. Even so, Voyager featured several recent technological innovations that had recently become available, including bio-neural circuitry, advanced sensors, variable geometry warp nacelles, and the Emergency Medical Holographic program (everyone’s favorite doctor). But the reason for it being on the list is solely due to a certain future version of Captain Janeway from the year 2404, who provided Voyager with advanced weapons (transphasic torpedoes) and ablative generators that proved highly resistant to Borg weaponry.
The last ship on the list is perhaps a surprise to many, well, we argue that the capability to jump anywhere in space, can be quite an advantage in any space combat scenario. The USS Discovery was a Crossfield class type of Federation starship in service during the mid-23rd century. Although the ability of the spore drive to transport the ship instantaneously across the universe is seemingly limited to how long Stamets can deal with having the calculations running through his brain, considering that Star Trek Discovery takes place before The Original Series, this ability is far beyond any other ship at the time.
Honorable mentioning goes to the USS Excelsior (the ship was the first Starfleet vessel to be equipped with a transwarp drive), the Negh’Var warship (a big heavily armed Klingon ship with phasers, disruptors, torpedoes, and outfitted with a cloaking device), the Romulan Warbird (D’deridex class), USS Enterprise-E (Sovereign class), the USS Prometheus (warp 9,99), the
Delta Rana warship (Husnock warship with enormous energy reserves), and lastly the USS Enterprise-J (we know practically nothing about it, but considering it is from the 26th century, it is probably beyond any other ship on this list).
Do you have an opinion on this list, please leave us a comment below.