The Predator class, also known as a Kazon carrier vessel, was a type of large starship originally designed by the Trabe. Many of the vessels were seized by the Kazon after they overthrew the Trabe in 2346, though several remained within the Trabe convoy. (VOY: "Alliances")
The class was first encountered in 2371, when one arrived to reinforce the Kazon-Ogla forces attacking the USS Voyager and Val Jean at the Caretaker's array. Chakotay rammed the Val Jean into the carrier, causing it to collide with the array and damage the array's self-destruct system. (VOY: "Caretaker")
Later that year, The Doctor experienced a holographic scenario in which two Predator-class vessels surprised Voyager with a volley of plasma torpedoes, causing a core breach and forcing the crew to abandon ship.(VOY: "Projections")
In late 2372, First Maje Culluh of the Kazon-Nistrim gathered a fleet of eight carriers to attack Voyager. Their formation was a classic Cardassian echelon. Voyager diverted four ships from the fleet with false sensor readings, leaving them to face the remaining four. They were able to destroy one of the carriers, but Teirna's suicidal sabotage severely damaged Voyager and allowed the other three carriers to overwhelm the ship. (VOY: "Basics, Part I")
The Predator class was "armed to the teeth" with numerous phaser emitters distributed over its hull, as well as plasma torpedoes, giving it greater firepower than an Intrepid-class starship. Conversely, its shields could not withstand a sustained phaser and photon torpedo barrage from the Intrepid class. The ship was relatively clumsy at impulse speeds and could be out-maneuvered by an agile craft. It carried Kazon fighters on board. (VOY: "Initiations", "Caretaker", "Basics, Part I", "The Voyager Conspiracy")
Ships of the classEdit
Background information Edit
According to Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 383), the Kazon carrier vessels were the Predator-class warships mentioned in "Projections". The most recent edition of the Encyclopedia featured an inaccurate representation of this class of vessel. The image was later used on screen in an LCARS display in "Relativity".
In the first draft script of "Caretaker" (written at a time when the Kazon were to be called "Gazon"), this type of vessel was described as "a HUGE Gazon ship – an eight hundred pound gorilla."
The script notes for "Basics, Part I" describe the design as "one of the mammoth carriers that is more than our match. [...] Voyager seems more maneuverable than they are..."
The Kazon carrier vessel was a design by Dan Curry. At the time, the production team of Star Trek was spread thin as several productions were in various stages of development (Star Trek Generations, TNG: "All Good Things...", DS9: "The Jem'Hadar" and VOY: "Caretaker" as well as the documentary Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation). The regular design team for Voyager had their hands full, hammering out the details for the USS Voyager and the Caretaker's array (as was related in the book A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager). To ease the workload, Curry, whose regular function was that of Effects Supervisor, pitched in by tackling the Kazon ships, wanting to imbue the ships with that culture's "rough, low-tech retro" look. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 105, p. 59) For the same reason, the build of the models, once the design was approved, was sub-contracted out to an outside vendor, WonderWorks Inc., who delivered the two models as per specification.. Unlike with its contemporary companion fighter design, no need was ever perceived to modify the carrier vessel model.
A relatively small model, when delivered, it was not up to the task of the close-up of Chakotay's suicide run with the Val Jean in the penultimate act of VOY: "Caretaker", so a larger partial model was needed. As Dan Curry remembered, "Joe [Bauer] built the big foreground (kamikaze) miniature of the Kazon ship; David [Stipes] just did endless hours supervising motion control...and everybody really did a magnificent job." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 105, p. 59) Bauer actually built the enlarged forward section and Stipes had to composite all the footage shot. (The whole sequence was discussed by Curry in the VOY Season 1 DVD special feature "Red Alert: Visual Effects Season One".)
As the role of the Kazon as main antagonists was played out early on in the series, no CGI version of the design was ever produced, the two later appearances being either stock footage or a LCAR display.
The physical model, measuring 31"×8", listed as Lot#352 and estimated at US$2,000–$3,000 was sold on 6 October 2006, in the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction, with a winning bid of US$3,500 ($4,200 including buyer's premium).