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In 2358, Starfleet Intelligence developed a phasing cloaking device (or an interphasic cloaking device) that, unlike standard cloaking devices (which rendered starships invisible to sensors and direct eyesight of most humanoids), could permit a starship to travel through solid matter and high-energy fields. Though the Treaty of Algeron between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation forbade the latter from developing cloaking devices, advocates of its development used the USS Pegasus as a testbed for the interphase cloak. Despite initially successful tests, the device malfunctioned, merging Pegasus with an asteroid as a result of the cloak's functional properties, making the ship irretrievable. (TNG: "The Pegasus")
In 2374, the USS Baldwin was discovered in orbit of Aloran IV, equipped with a cloaking device. Starfleet and the Romulans subsequently agreed that the section of the treaty barring the Federation from using cloaking devices is unenforceable, and the interphase cloak was deployed aboard Baldwin. (USS Baldwin: "The Find")
Field testing continued aboard Baldwin. The interphase generator could be switched on or off as needed. (USS Baldwin: "Storm Front") An attack by continuous weapons fire can cause the generator to deactivate involuntarily, leaving the affected ship vulnerable but still cloaked. (USS Baldwin: "Wartime Productions") A scan with proper temporal variance can make a phased ship detectable. Similar modifications to the weapons can make a phased ship vulnerable to attack. However, a simple retuning of the cloak can counteract the effects. (USS Baldwin: "The Return of Khan") Scanning for a phased ship without knowing the proper variance is limited to 6000 kilometers. (USS Baldwin: "Infinity")
A second cloaking device is kept aboard the runabout Neosho. It has been used to take off from Baldwin without opening the shuttle bay doors (USS Baldwin: "Evolution", "Reaction to Action") as well as a tactical advantage for Baldwin captain Patrick Ingrum in a fight against Khan (USS Baldwin: "Storm Front")
The cloak itself is, in practice, rarely used in Starfleet, with access to the designs kept aboard Baldwin and requiring high-level security clearance to access. (USS Baldwin: "Shadow Justice") In showing shipboard JAG Sara Jackson the cloaking device, Patrick suggested that she draft a set of rules on its use. (USS Baldwin: "Evolution")
In 2383, another interphase cloak was installed onto the USS Phoenix-X at Regula I. The cloak was found to be sabotaged, thus overloading the ship's external sensors during a phase-test inside the Regula planetoid. To make matters worse, the clusters of ore within the rock was found to be highly reactive to the effects of Genesis' protomatter, a century earlier; placing any phased ship in danger of destabilizing if coming in contact with it. With the help of Erik Pressman, the Phoenix-X was able to reverse the sabotage to the cloak and leave the planetoid. ("These Aren't the Voyages...")