VarrusTheEthical wrote:On theory, in response to the OP, is perhaps that the Klingons themselves never developed the concept of a fighter? Even as a space-faring culture, Klingons still have an emphasis on hand-to-hand combat. I suspect the human concept of airpower would have been considered "dishonorable" to Klingons. Why engage in combat using a fighter jet when it was more honorable to fight with a bat'leth? I would not be surprised if Klingons only developed warships after encountering aliens who were not so keen on fighting wars by Klingon rules.
Batman wrote:Um-Klingons have used warships since their first appearance in Trek (even the retroactive ones from ENT), and continued to do so even after the stupid 'let's use knives against guys with ray guns' tactics surfaced in the TNG/DS9 era. The 'RAR! Knives' thing seems to be exclusively infantry. Not that I know how this is supposed to translate into starship combat anyway.
I'm not sure when the Klingons developed space travel, but most of the AQ/BQ powers seem to have developed warp long before humanity did. I remember reading a passage on Memory Alpha indicating ENT's Klingons thought the Enterprise NX-01 was outdated, for instance. And we know from First Contact, etc., that the Vulcans had warp for quite a while.
Working from there, I would guess the Klingons met the Romulans or whoever a couple hundred years before Goddard launched his first rockets on Earth.