Securing the Ardan system as a beached was the first step in the Klingon Empire's plans for the invasion of the Federation. The Klingon Defense Force dispatched a only a small task force, to quickly gain control of the Starfleet outpost on the dilithium rich planet. A week prior to the attack, the USS Essex defeated the IKS Gantin and under interrogation its captain, Worik, revealed the location, timing and the scale of the assault. Essex's commanding officer, Captain Bryce Shumar contacted Admiral Jonathan Archer at Starfleet Headquarters, who tasked Shumar with the defense of Ardan and diverted two Andorian battlecruisers from that sector to aid him.
The Essex was in orbit of Ardan IV, conducting the outpost's evacuation via shuttlecraft, when the Klingon strike force arrived. The two Andorian warships, the USS Atlirith and the USS Docana immediately moved to intercept the Klingon vessels. Captain Senthofar ch'Menlich, commander of the Docana issued a warning toward the invading forces, who answered by opening fire. Following the intens opening salvos, the Bird-of-pray managed slipped through the Andorians screen and headed for the Starfleet evacuation shuttles. They managed to disable one of the small crafts witch begun to fall back into the planets atmosphere, but was soon saved by the Essex, but the Bird-of-prey still targeted the Daedalus-class ship, which now had the Starfleet outpost's entire personnel onboard. After destroying one of the Klingon cruisers and disabling the other's warp drive and weapons, Atlirith and Docana moved to assist, however seeing that the battle was lost, the commanders of the Klingon ships decided to set a collision course for the planet. The Starfleet vessels were unable to stop them.
Starfleet was able to evacuate all 220 of the outposts personnel, but the Klingon vessel's suicide run ignited the planet's dilithium deposits, wiping out almost all life on the surface. Starfleet lost one of its important outposts in the region, weakening the border for the next assault, which ultimately never came, and after loosing the minerals of Arden IV, the Federation was forced to rely even more on the resouces provided by the tyrannical ruler of Sauria, Maltuvis. (ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: Live by the Code)