Canon Facts  Backstage Info  Speculation
Orbital Defence Platform
Unit Run
Production run unknown but thought to be approximately one thousand.
Diameter : 46 m
Height : 40 m
Decks : N/A
25,000 tons
3 x Type XII Phaser arrays, total output 60,000 TeraWatts
Rapid fire plasma torpedo launcher + 1,000 Plasma torpedoes
Defence Systems
Regenerative shield system, total capacity 3,240,000 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium/Tritanium single hull + 8.5 cm high density armour
Low level Structural Integrity field
Warp Speeds
(TNG Scale)
Not Applicable
Docking Facilities
Strength Indices
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 1,200
Torpedo Firepower : 1,000
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 1,100
Shield Strength : 1,600
Hull Armour : 862.5
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : -
Overall Strength Index
Expected Hull Life
27 years
Refit Cycle
Minor : 1 year 
Standard : 3 years 
Major : 9 years

Notes : In some respects the design of these orbital weapon platforms is typically Cardassian. Like the Dreadnought class heavy penetrators the ODP's are an interesting and innovative system in many ways, but are badly let down by a single aspect of their design. In the case of the Dreadnought it was the detonator; in the case of the ODP it is by the power system.

The platforms are one of the first Cardassian systems produced entirely under their membership of the Dominion. The alien influences are apparent in the power of the platforms - even though they are considerably smaller than a Miranda class starship, each one holds a regenerative shield generator, three heavy phaser banks and no less than one thousand plasma torpedoes. This makes every single platform more than the equal of a standard Galaxy class starship. However, although the Cardassian designers have clearly used their new technology to the fullest, their attitude to design seems to have remained firmly fixed in the past. Cardassian philosophy has always been shaped by the need to face down foes who are considerably larger and more powerful than themselves; to this end they have employed various tactics to wring every last ounce of combat capability out of a given design. In the case of the ODP's, they chose to power the entire system from a central reactor unit which would be located on an asteroid or other suitable body within the network. This allowed both reactor and fuel to be removed from individual platforms, making them significantly smaller. This in turn allows a more compact field geometry, which increases the effectiveness of the shields. Building one large reactor is also considerably more efficient than many small ones of equal overall output.

This over-emphasis on weapons has often proved to be the undoing of Cardassian designs, and never more so than in the ODP. Although the Cardassians were confident that the asteroids own regenerative shields would protect it from all but the most determined and costly attack, they reckoned without the ingenuity of Starfleet personnel. During the attack on the Chin'toka system the USS Defiant was able to imprint a Federation warp signature on the asteroid, causing all nearby platforms to open fire on their own power system. That the ODP's controlling computer system could allow this to happen is, of course, another glaring deficiency in the design.

Once the platforms destroyed their power system, the entire network was useless and the Allies were able to destroy most of the remaining platforms with ease. Three were deliberately left intact, however, and once the initial planetary landings had proved successful one platform was returned to each of the Allies for research.

Correcting such a fundamental weakness in the design was difficult for the Dominion given their shrinking resources by this point in the war. The Dominion proper appears to have made little effort on the project after Chin'toka; apparently the Founders began to loose faith in the Cardassians after this point, a trend which increased rapidly as the war progressed towards it's conclusion. The Cardassians decided to press ahead with deployment of the system without modification, but provided each network with several independant power sources. A network of these platforms was employed around Cardassia itself during the latter stages of the war, although the Allied fleet was not forced to engage it due to the political settlement reached with the Founders.

Last updated : 22nd January 2000.
This page is Copyright Graham Kennedy 1998.

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