With the successful Klingon blockade of Cardassia Prime, a stranglehold was put on the Cardassian war industry. All of their convoys and most of their blockade runners were being intercepted by the Klingons. In a desperate effort to break the blockade Cardassian engineers went back to a 50-year-old design that could utilize locally available raw materials. In addition it could be produced quickly and cheaply. The design yielded a slow, awkward and heavily shielded cruiser. The Tonga's weapon systems were then updated with current technology applicable to its mission of breaking through the blockade while taking down as many enemy ships as possible. This ship was found to be ideal for pinning an opponent in place while the Galors and Hidekis went for the kill.