Unlike Federation starships, Cardassian vessels are functional and built with combat in mind. They use a funnelled version of the Kzin disruptor as their primary weapons. Known as Spiral Wave Disruptors these weapons fire a constant pulsating particle stream. Cardassian ships also carry the Disruptor Wave Cannon. A heavy weapon based on the Spiral Wave Disruptor and the standard ship mounted heavy disruptor cannons. Smaller Cardassian vessels carry photon torpedoes in lieu of the bulkier and power hungry Disruptor Wave Cannon however.
The Federation, marred by the General War, lacked the political will power to strike hard against the Cardassians early on in the war and bring a swift end to the conflict. Though technologically superior at the time the pacifist nature of the Federation Council saw too much interference by politicians in Star Fleet operations. Many opportunities were squandered by the Federation, much to the frustration of Star Fleet admirals. Finally, when the Cardassian Union could no longer afford to maintain the conflict, envoys from Cardassia approached the Federation Council to discuss ending the conflict. A truce was agreed upon in 2367 and a border established between the two powers. Sadly, many Federation colonies ended up on the wrong side of the border after the treaty. This led to an armed resistance by the colonists known as the Marquis. Isolated incidents continued along the border right up until the Dominion War.