The prefix code is a code that is assigned to every Starfleet vessel. These unique codes are primarily designed as a defensive measure so that Starfleet forces can gain control of any of their vessels that have been captured by hostile forces. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Non-Starfleet usesEdit

Mirak captains used prefix codes for the same purposes as their Starfleet counterparts. However, unlike Federation ships, the prefix codes were set in stone and, if they wanted to change the prefix codes of their ships, they had to engrave a new tablet, with the new prefix code set on it. (RIS Bouteina: "Take Me Out to the Zoo")

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