Star Trek question: So...WHY exactly can't the Federation use a cloaking device?

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Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes, I'm familiar with the treaty with the Romulans where they promise not to leave their territory for 53 years and we promised not to use a cloaking device. But what happened AFTER the 53 years? Now the Romulans can go where they please but we still can't use a cloaking device? How does THAT make sense?

Also, the Klingons are allowed (and they do) to use a cloaking device. But...they're freakin' Klingons! You know, the guys who don't turn away from a fight and would be the last ones to use a hiding tactic to win a battle!

Please help me understand!
 

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Wes R

Legendary Member
Because the federation is weak and spineless just like their modern real world equivalent. That said whose to say they're really following the rules? In the real world you know they'd be breaking and bending the treaty all over. In the past didn't they have trouble getting the tech to work with federation ships or something? I seem to remember the enterprise stealing at least one cloaking device at some point. Personally the cloaking device would be handy for exploration and not military uses. I mean the federation allowed a research team to use one in the last next gen movie on that planet.
 

Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I mean the federation allowed a research team to use one in the last next gen movie on that planet.

I think the treaty was only speaking of full sized vessels.
Besides, what you're talking about was projecting a hologram to disguise, not a cloaking device.
 

Zombie_61

Master Member
So...WHY exactly can't the Federation use a cloaking device?
Because it's only a plot device that makes it appear as though the Federation's adversaries have a major advantage, but is really used to make our heroes look better when they defeat said adversaries anyway. :D
 

Luke Skyvader

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Because it's only a plot device that makes it appear as though the Federation's adversaries have a major advantage, but is really used to make our heroes look better when they defeat said adversaries anyway. :D

That was pretty much my answer. Because a bunch of writers in a room decided where's the fun in everyone having a cloaking device.
 

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joberg

Master Member
If everybody had a cloaking device, no space ships would be on screen...only stars and planets...sometimes:rolleyes
 

Hotsam

Well-Known Member
Probably because the federation are allies with the Klingon Empire and thus had access to the technology anyway.
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well actually the Feds DID have and USE cloaking tech as well as going one better with a Phase cloak.
 

CB2001

Master Member
Well actually the Feds DID have and USE cloaking tech as well as going one better with a Phase cloak.

I know they used them to observe pre-industrial societies. I remember an episode of TNG that involved an observation post's cloak malfunctioned and the pre-industrial society it was observing spotted it.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Believe it of not, I think I found an answer...well, at least an answer that I can comfortably accept.

I've scoured the interwebs and hit every reputable Star Trek site I could find to find a definitive answer. This is what I've found.
First and foremost, there is no real 100% undisputable answer for the question. There is, however, a logical, respected answer that I believe most Trek lovers have accepted. This is pieced together information from several sites summed up in a simple answer.

After the treaty of Algernon expired the Romulans are now free to explore and the Federation CAN use cloaking technology. However, we typically don't for two reasons. One, out of the spirit of the original treaty (and because the Federation are courteous, nice-guys) we don't use it out of respect to the Romulans. Second, the cloak sucks up so much power that only very small ships or larger ships that have minimum technology (ie, anything that sucks a lot of power) can use the cloak practically. Now, the usual Federation ships are set up mostly for science and exploration, so their ships are large and have a butt-load of power-sucking equipment to accomplish this task, so it simply isn't practical. The federation is better off using their usual weapons and shields rather than the cloak which leaves you pretty much defenseless.

That's all I got. :lol

Remember, this is pretty much a watered-down summary of the miles of information out there, so it's pretty simple but I think it gets the point across. Now unless someone has a better, iron-clad reason, screw you, this is what I'm goin' with! :D
 

Jeyl

Master Member
I never liked the handling of cloaking technology in Star Trek since they introduced the Klingons having the technology in Star Trek III. Until that point, the Romulans were the only species with cloaking devices. Now that Klingons got the cloaking devices... what do the Romulans bring to the big trio? Big green ships? Well, the Klingons have that area covered as well. It's like the only thing the Romulans could do was just be the two-dimensional jerks with terrible costume design. Also, I miss the dull metallic gray coloring of the Klingon ships had form TMP. THAT is my idea of Klingon warships. Not nice, smooth or welcoming. Just raw strength.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Master Member
I know they used them to observe pre-industrial societies. I remember an episode of TNG that involved an observation post's cloak malfunctioned and the pre-industrial society it was observing spotted it.

I thought that was a holographic cloak. Maybe that makes a difference?



I never liked the handling of cloaking technology in Star Trek since they introduced the Klingons having the technology in Star Trek III. Until that point, the Romulans were the only species with cloaking devices. Now that Klingons got the cloaking devices... what do the Romulans bring to the big trio? Big green ships? Well, the Klingons have that area covered as well. It's like the only thing the Romulans could do was just be the two-dimensional jerks with terrible costume design. Also, I miss the dull metallic gray coloring of the Klingon ships had form TMP. THAT is my idea of Klingon warships. Not nice, smooth or welcoming. Just raw strength.

Hey don't dis the Romulans. They probably save a lot of money on only having one haircut. I agree though that the Klingons and Romulans are too similar.

Obviously SF has access to the technology (ST:IV Klingon BoP), but choose to not use it for some reason.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, Gene's opinion on the matter was that Our Heroes (the Federation) would not skulk about under cloak. Originally, only the Romulans had it, for the surface ship/U-boat conflict of "Balance of Terror". The brief alliance the Klingons and Romulans had saw the latter start using Klingon battlecruiser designs. The real-world reason is someone dropped and broke the Bird-of-Prey model. No real rational in-universe theory as to why has been floated, and I won't try to make up that lapse here. The Klingons apparently got an older-model cloak-equipped scout ship design from the Romulans. The Klingons reverse-engineered them and started building their own, but they were still rare when Kruge stole a Romulan one to infiltrate Federation space. Sarek was able to use his influence with folks studying a captured Klingon one to get stuff to fix it after Kirk acquired it (why the bridge changed from Romulan to Klingon between TSFS and TVH).

So through all of this, the Federation had both the big-ship cloak yoinked in "The Enterprise Incident" and the small-ship cloak from the Bird-of Prey. Both Romulan, with the Klingons developing their own.

The Treaty of Algeron was a way for TNG to explain why, decades later, the Federation still wasn't using cloaks. We said we wouldn't. We didn't feel we were giving up anything, as we didn't engage in activities warranting of such tech (except we did, but that was all black-ops hush-hush stuff -- not standard equipment aboard every Starfleet ship). If the Romulans got pissy at the idea, it was no big sacrifice to give up to keep them happy.

--Jonah
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The Defiant had one on Ds-9, and before any of you Pataghs say well that was a small ship, The Enterprise D had the Phase cloak.

Funky, YOU need to rewatch ALL the Series PRONTO! :lol
 

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Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The Defiant had one on Ds-9, and before any of you Pataghs say well that was a small ship, The Enterprise D had the Phase cloak.

Funky, YOU need to rewatch ALL the Series PRONTO! :lol

Back off, man! I'm a "Trekker"! :lol
 

Zombie_61

Master Member
Hey, man, I'm an equal opportunity geek!
We're unique in that regard. I've never understood the whole "Star Trek vs. Star Wars" debate. I watch and enjoy both franchises, so I don't have to choose one over the other; if someone can't deal with that, it's their problem, not mine. :cool
 

Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
We're unique in that regard. I've never understood the whole "Star Trek vs. Star Wars" debate. I watch and enjoy both franchises, so I don't have to choose one over the other; if someone can't deal with that, it's their problem, not mine. :cool

Dood, in our house we drink Coke AND Pepsi.
I love both franchises equally. Now the wife knows more Trek and I know more Star Wars...collectively, between the wife and I, we can go toe to toe against ANY sci-fi trivia contest and most likely come out on top! :thumbsup
 

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