|A q'paQ class Corvette in Way of the Warrior
Klingon Bird-of-Prey size Chart.
The infamous Klingon Bird-of-Prey has appeared in many sizes. According to the Haynes Klingon Bird-of-Prey Workshop Owners' Manual, this is because when the Klingons come upon a design that works, they use it over and over again, often scaling it up and down as it becomes necessary. The Bird-of-Prey first appeared in Star Trek III, The Search for Spock and was designed to be 360' long, or 109.7 metres. It appeared to be several sized in that movie, and the trend continued in Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home. In the scene on Vulcan, the captured Bird-of-Prey HMS Bounty can be seen to be only about 50 metres long as compared to the Enterprise crew and the Vulcan technicians, but appeared to more than its original 109.7 metres when hovering over the whaling vessel. In Star Trek the Next Generation it appeared to be anywhere from 325 metres in Rascals to 654 metres in The Defector. In Star Trek Deep Space Nine, the Rotarran, General Martok's ship, was 139 metres long. The two-part episode Way of the Warrior depicted tiny Birds-of-Prey accompanying several Vor'cha class Battlecruisers. These scaled out to be approximately 30 metres long, and The Daystrom Institute Technical Library website dubbed this variant the K'pak class Corvette, which works out to q'paQ in pIqaD. At 35 metres, it has only one 2.5 metre deck and a 1.7 metre engineering crawlspace; and has a crew of 6 warriors. It carries a weapons load of 6 pach peng (Talon's Strike) photon torpedoes and two Type 5 disruptor cannon.
There has been much debate as to why the ships are called Birds-of-Prey in light of the Romulan use of the same name for their Bird of Prey class Light Cruiser. This is due to the use of the term by Vulcan advisors as a generic term for small warships in the early days of the UESPA Starfleet. As the Vulcan and Romulan tongues are closely related, it is therefore not surprising that some terms are shared by the two.