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 Comparison of Cardassian tech and other powers
Nerys Ghemor
 Posted: Dec 19 2011, 04:18 PM
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So...I've seen some debates about Cardassian technology versus the other powers in the quadrant, to include the Federation.

Overall, do you think Cardassia is ahead or behind the Federation? Other powers?

If it's not a single, uniform answer for all areas, are there certain areas where you think Cardassia particularly excels, or lags behind?

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Gul Re'jal
 Posted: Dec 19 2011, 06:43 PM
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I don't think Cardassian technology is so far behind Federation as the Federation likes to claim. If they were so weak, the Border Wars would end fast and not with huge gifts for Cardassia (the colonies).

I think Cardassian are behind in some aspects, but I also think that military, weaponry and warships are matters they put a lot of effort to develop and if something limits them, it's the lack of resources and money.

Other branches of science, which can't be directly used for military purpose, probably are behind, because they are not a priority.
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Nerys Ghemor
 Posted: Dec 20 2011, 01:04 PM
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At least personally, I always thought they were advanced beyond the Federation in the medical field. Unfortunately a lot of that seems to be an ill-gotten gain through sentient experimentation, bioweapons, and who knows what other horrible things the Obsidian Order has been up to. But it often seems to me that when the Federation encounters examples of Cardassian medical prowess, it often takes them some time--sometimes even a really long time, as in the example of "Raymond Boone," to figure it out.

For the purposes of my own stories, however, I have written their shipbuilding and engineering technology to be behind that of the Federation. Part of it is a matter of resources--another part is that sometimes their standards are more lax than those of the Federation; safety is not as high of a priority. (At least among the designers and builders.) Another part is that people tend not to give a 100% effort to an oppressive dictatorship. People may also fear being killed for suggesting that anything is inadequate or that improvement is needed. Overall, the result is somewhat comparable to Soviet technology--good ideas but less-than-stellar execution.

However, a Federation captain underestimates the Cardassians at his or her own peril; Cardassian strategy--their use of what they have--is so adept that the Cardassians can hold their own against the Federation.

Remember too that the Science Ministry must conduct its projects in a way that will keep them from appearing "too dangerous." That to me points directly to the idea that Cardassian scientific advancement is hampered by the oppressive regime these people are forced to work under, and that they could do better with freedom.

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Lt. Fedora
 Posted: Jan 1 2012, 11:13 PM
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As a general rule of thumb, I see them as being less than five years behind. Nevertheless, they do have some advantages. Because they don't have warp pylons, they are able to generate stronger shields.

Plus, I also see their ground tech as being more advanced than the Federation, who seems to see ground warfare as almost an afterthought.
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Nerys Ghemor
 Posted: Jan 2 2012, 12:01 AM
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While I disagree with the assessment of their ships, I TOTALLY agree about ground warfare. My Feddies are woefully underprepared for ground fighting--undersupplied, undertrained, and undermanned. And with some stupid philosophies and rules of engagement, to boot.

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Iliana Malek
 Posted: Apr 21 2012, 11:18 PM
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"The Wounded" definitely gave us the impression that Cardassian ships themselves were not on par with what the Federation had to offer. A bloody Nebula class ship with a one-man crew took out several Cardassian warships without a second thought, it was pretty ridiculous. I always thought that it made the Cardassians seem disproportionately weak, especially when members of the Federation would go on to talk about how long the conflict along the border had dragged out, and all the concessions made in the treaty.

I definitely agree with you, Nerys, that the Cardassians were decidedly ahead in the medical field. They had the ability to keep surgically altered agents within the Federation for years without detection. I would think that there would be something built into Federation transporters that could detect such deceptions (just an assumption on my part), so the fact that they were able to circumvent any sort of detection software is impressive.

I hadn't thought about the fact that productivity drops under regimes like that on Cardassia, but it's a great point. I could see resources being poured into things like the Bajoran occupation and other military campaigns, taking away from more technical fields in order to bring materials back to Cardassia.

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Nerys Ghemor
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 12:23 AM
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The only explanation I can "retcon" for how easily Maxwell did all that is that somehow the Federation got a huge intelligence coup on the Cardassians--one that I suspect "expired" after Macet found out from Picard that the Feddies could read their secret transponder codes. What do you bet Maxwell did a Lursa and B'Etor and got their shield frequencies too? (Another case of a ridiculous mismatch--but one evened out by a little espionage.)

That and the idea that Macet deliberately checked his power in that opening encounter with the Enterprise (i.e. fired a warning shot rather than one intended to damage).

But, I still think that going up against a Federation ship in a Galor is kind of like going up against one in...well, maybe not a Constitution-class refit (though in Gibraltar's excellent fanfic, we actually do see a Connie-refit in action in the 24th century), but perhaps something like an Excelsior-class without some of the upgrades that were needed to bring the ship into the 24th century. A major disadvantage, but one that can be dealt with by a clever gul who knows how to get the most out of his vessel. (The Galor-class in my universe, though, is about the size of a Connie, which combined with its tucked-in warp nacelles gives it great maneuverability and speed compared to lumbering cruisers like the Galaxy class.)

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Iliana Malek
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 11:26 AM
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Yeah, that would make sense. Since Maxwell was so intent on waging war on Cardassia, it wouldn't make sense for him to go in there without the means to eliminate his enemies. They tried to make it seem like he was some lunatic on a rampage, but the man single-handedly stole a starship and managed to get within the Union's borders, and a disorganized crazy person wouldn't be able to accomplish something like that.

I was always surprised with how easily the Keldon class warship was to defeat. They were built with the assistance of the Tal-Shiar, and the Romulans have always been acknowledged as being ahead of pretty much everyone when it came to technology. Sure, the Tal-Shiar aren't going to hand over their best and most amazing technology to Cardassia, but since they were going up against a common enemy, you'd think they would at least upgrade the Cardassian ships so they would be comparable to Federation technology. Yet, the Defiant was almost able to defeat a Keldon class ship on their first encounter...the Cardassians had numbers on their sides, otherwise it would probably have been a defeat.

This is a complete aside, but why did Cardassia never put agents into the Romulan Empire to collect technology? Were their detection methods too hard to get around, or was it too difficult to even get within Romulus' borders? Total missed opportunity for technological advancement on Cardassia's part, in my opinion.

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Gul Re'jal
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 07:09 PM
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I don't think Keldon class was built with Romulan assistance. Those ships from the Orias system were equipped by their cloaking device, but everything in there was a secret. That means Keldon class would be unknown to anyone outside the Orias system, but the officer in the command classified those ships as Keldon class, so it had to be known to the military.
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Iliana Malek
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 09:23 PM
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Really? I was always under the impression that the Keldon class ships were built with the assistance of the Tal-Shiar. Guess I'll have to rewatch some episodes. Oh, darn. wink.gif

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Gul Re'jal
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 09:33 PM
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They were equipped with the cloak, but I never thought they were Romulan improvements themselves.

But it's the only time we see them, I think. Unless in some battle, but I'd have to re-watch carefully looking for them to be certain.
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Nerys Ghemor
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 09:45 PM
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Here's how Memory Alpha describes the Keldon and its history.

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Keldon_class

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Iliana Malek
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 09:45 PM
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Checked Memory Alpha, and they say they were built by the Obsidian Order, with help from the Tal-Shiar:

QUOTE
A number of warships of this type were secretly constructed by the Obsidian Order in the Orias system in 2371. Built jointly with the Romulan Tal Shiar, these Keldon-class warships were fitted with cloaking devices, enhanced top speeds and weaponry.


It said we see them twice, once in "Defiant", and then again in "The Die is Cast" when they tried to destroy the Founder homeworld. I seem to recall seeing them floating around in some battles later on, as well.

It looks like they were just refits of Galor glass vessels, though I could be wrong. I seem to recall that Keldon class ships were bigger than Galor class, but I have no idea where I heard that. tongue.gif

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Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
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Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see
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Iliana Malek
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 09:46 PM
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Hah, Nerys, you beat me to it!

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Gul Re'jal
 Posted: Apr 22 2012, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (Iliana Malek @ Apr 23 2012, 10:45 AM)
Checked Memory Alpha, and they say they were built by the Obsidian Order, with help from the Tal-Shiar:

QUOTE
A number of warships of this type were secretly constructed by the Obsidian Order in the Orias system in 2371. Built jointly with the Romulan Tal Shiar, these Keldon-class warships were fitted with cloaking devices, enhanced top speeds and weaponry.


It said we see them twice, once in "Defiant", and then again in "The Die is Cast" when they tried to destroy the Founder homeworld. I seem to recall seeing them floating around in some battles later on, as well.

It looks like they were just refits of Galor glass vessels, though I could be wrong. I seem to recall that Keldon class ships were bigger than Galor class, but I have no idea where I heard that. tongue.gif

They say a "number" was built. As I understand it, the Order and the Tal Shiar chose Keldon class from available military vessels and refitted them. But it doesn't say they designed them (that's what I thought you meant in your first post on the subject).

And even if MA claimed the Order designed them, I would disagree.

QUOTE
[War room]

DUKAT: When you make out your report for the Obsidian Order be sure to mention the fact that I could have prevented the Defiant from reaching Orias if you hadn't interfered.
KORINAS: They will never reach Orias. You can count on that.
SOLDIER: Three more ships have just appeared in the Orias system.
DUKAT: What kind of ships?
SOLDIER: Cardassian warships. Keldon Class.

DUKAT: Whose ships are those, Korinas?


You can't know the class of a ship, if you've never seen that ship before wink.gif
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