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Weapons in Star Trek

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Title: Weapons in Star Trek  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Star Trek, Technology in Star Trek, Medicine in Star Trek, Trekkies (film), Dilithium (Star Trek)
Collection: Lists of Fictional Weapons, Rayguns, Science Fiction Weapons, Star Trek Devices, Star Trek Lists
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Weapons in Star Trek

The Star Trek fictional universe contains a variety of weapons, ranging from missiles (the classic photon torpedo) to melee (primarily used by the Klingons, a race of aliens in the Star Trek universe).


  • Energy weapons 1
    • Laser 1.1
    • Pulse cannon 1.2
    • Plasma cannon 1.3
    • Phase cannon 1.4
    • Phaser 1.5
    • Disruptor 1.6
    • Phased polaron cannon 1.7
    • Tetryon Cannon 1.8
    • Varon-T Disruptor 1.9
    • Ferengi Energy Whip 1.10
  • Projectile Weapons 2
    • Spatial torpedo 2.1
    • Photon torpedo 2.2
    • Plasma torpedo 2.3
    • Gravimetric Torpedoes 2.4
    • Quantum Torpedo 2.5
    • Polaron Torpedo 2.6
    • Transphasic Torpedo 2.7
    • Isokinetic Cannon 2.8
    • TR-116 Projectile Rifle 2.9
    • Phased Plasma Torpedo 2.10
    • Chroniton Torpedo 2.11
    • Positron Torpedo 2.12
  • Biological, radioactive, and chemical weapons 3
    • Thalaron radiation 3.1
    • Metreon cascade 3.2
    • Trilithium resin 3.3
    • Cobalt diselenide 3.4
    • Aceton assimilators 3.5
  • Melee weapons 4
    • Federation 4.1
      • KaBar combat knife 4.1.1
      • Katana 4.1.2
    • Jem'Hadar 4.2
      • Bayonet 4.2.1
      • Kar'takin 4.2.2
    • Klingon 4.3
      • Bat'leth 4.3.1
      • D'k tahg 4.3.2
      • Qutluch 4.3.3
      • Mek'leth 4.3.4
    • Romulan 4.4
      • Teral'n 4.4.1
    • Vulcan 4.5
      • Lirpa 4.5.1
      • Ahn'woon 4.5.2
    • Other 4.6
      • Ushaan-tor 4.6.1
      • Mortaes and Thongs 4.6.2
      • Glavin 4.6.3
  • Subspace weapons 5
    • Isolytic burst 5.1
    • Tricobalt devices 5.2
  • Other weapons 6
    • Magnetometric guided charges 6.1
    • Multikinetic neutronic mines 6.2
    • Dreadnought 6.3
    • Series 5 long range tactical armor unit 6.4
    • Q firearms 6.5
    • Red matter 6.6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Energy weapons

A directed-energy weapon emits energy in an aimed direction without the means of a projectile. It transfers energy to a target for a desired effect. Intended effects may be non-lethal or lethal. For example, in Star Trek, a hand phaser can be set to "stun" or "kill".


Lasers are a sidearm in the original Star Trek pilot "Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Q Who" and is apparently incapable of directly penetrating Federation shielding. (Although it is effective at making 'surgical' incisions into a ship's hull.)

According to The Making of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry claimed that production staff realized that using laser technology would cause problems in the future as people came to understand what lasers could and could not do; this resulted in the move to phasers on-screen, while letting lasers be known as a more primitive weapon style.

Pulse cannon

When the laser had reached its upper limits of power, a new weapon was invented at Jupiter Station for the newly designed NX-class. This new weapon could fire much greater energies at longer range but the drawback was that continuous fire would cause damage to the emitter. To solve this problem, Starfleet scientists devised a way to fire the weapon in short pulsed burst streams to help regulate the temperatures of the emitters in a state of constant fire. The pulse cannon is a rather simple particle beam weapon and Starfleet Command ultimately decided on using the more powerful plasma cannon on the NX-class Enterprise. The pulse cannon was nevertheless considered an effective energy weapon at the time and was adopted by many private craft such as freighters and privateers due to its lower cost of implementation.

Plasma cannon

Plasma cannons are a form of directed energy weaponry used by both Earth Starfleet and the early Romulan Star Empire. On Starfleet vessels, they were the precursors to phase cannons. Plasma cannons fired a plasma discharge in the form of a beam or a burst similar to the plasma bullets fired by hand-held plasma weapons, but much bigger in size. The NX-class was initially armed with plasma cannons.

Phase cannon

Phase cannons are 22nd century weapons, several of which first appear mounted to the Enterprise in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Silent Enemy". Phase cannons have a variable yield, with the cannons on the Enterprise being rated for a maximum output of 500 gigajoules.[4] Phase cannons are generally more powerful than spatial torpedoes.[5] They are the 22nd century precursor to phaser technology. Phase pistols are hand-carried Phase cannons, and are also the 22nd century precursor to phaser technology. However, unlike phasers, they do not have the normal sixteen power settings or a variable beam width—only stun and kill.


Phasers are common directed-energy weapons first seen in the original Star Trek and later seen or referenced in almost all subsequent films and TV spin-offs.

Phasers come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from Krenim. The weapons phase in and out of normal time, allowing them to pass through ordinary shields and directly damage a vessel's hull.[19] Though quite dangerous, their reliability is not absolute, as Seven of Nine and Tuvok (as well as Kes in the alternate timeline presented in Before and After) find an undetonated chroniton torpedo lodged in Voyager '​s hull, which in turn allowed the crew to adapt the shields to withstand further attacks.[19]

Positron Torpedo

The Kessok are a highly intelligent race that allied themselves with the Cardassians, albeit through deceit, in the video game Star Trek: Bridge Commander. They utilize positron torpedoes: powerful, slow-moving projectiles able to inflict nearly twice as much damage as quantum torpedoes.

Biological, radioactive, and chemical weapons

Thalaron radiation

Thalaron radiation was first used in the feature film Star Trek Nemesis by the villain Shinzon to assassinate the entire Romulan senate. Later in the movie, Shinzon attempts to kill the crew of the USS Enterprise-E using a ship-mounted version. Thalaron radiation, even in small amounts, petrifies living tissue almost instantly. Its properties also allow its range and area of effect to be precisely controlled, from encompassing a single room to engulfing an entire planet. Its massive destructive potential leads the Federation to consider it a biogenic weapon, and an extremely illegal one at that.[20] It later features prominently in the plot of "Homecoming", the Star Trek: New Frontier short story in the 2008 Mirror Universe anthology Shards and Shadows, in which the rebels manage to steal a Romulan thalaron bomb intended for use by the Alliance, to strike a balance of power against them.[21]

Metreon cascade

The metreon cascade was designed by Dr. Ma'Bor Jetrel of the Haakonian Order. Unstable metreon isotopes were used to create a devastating explosion, with radiation effects similar to those of the 20th-century atomic bomb. Those not killed or vaporized in the initial blast suffered terrible radiation poisoning and death in the aftermath. It was used only once, on the Talaxian moon Rinax in 2355.[22]

Trilithium resin

Trilithium resin is a byproduct of a starship's warp engines that is lethal to humans, but harmless to Cardassians. A team of terrorists attempted to steal Trilithium resin from the warp core of the Enterprise-D when it was docked at Arkaria Station to receive a baryon sweep.[23]

Captain Benjamin Sisko would later use a Trilithium resin torpedo to render a Maquis planet uninhabitable to all human life for fifty years by detonating it in the atmosphere.[24]

Cobalt diselenide

Cobalt diselenide is a biogenic weapon that affects the nervous system. It is composed of selenium and rhodium nitrates. It is the counterpart to trilithium resin, being lethal to Cardassians but harmless to most other humanoids.[24]

Aceton assimilators

Aceton assimilators are used to absorb energy from other sources and then redirect it back as hazardous radiation.[25]

Melee weapons


KaBar combat knife

The KaBar combat knife is the Federation's standard-issue combat and survival knife. It is 32.5 cm (12.8 in) and is standard equipment in survival gear and in emergency weapons caches aboard starships. Captain Kathryn Janeway uses one in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Macrocosm".

In the real world, the KA-BAR is an official combat knife of the United States Marine Corps.


A katana is a Federation sword of Japanese origin. The only major difference compared to the old sword of today is that the Star Trek version is foldable, thus occupying a minimum space when carried and stored. In the 2009 Star Trek XI film, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu produces a folding katana with which to cut the lines of his parachute, having stated just before this that his hand-to-hand combat expertise is in fencing.



The Jem'Hadar often have bayonets attached to their plasma rifles. They employ these in close combat or to execute prisoners.


These straight bladed polearms are used by the Jem'Hadar in close combat. They were used by both Starfleet officers and Jem'Hadar in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "To The Death". The Kar'takin bear a resemblance to the Bardiche axe.



A bat'leth
The bat'leth is the Klingon longsword, designed by martial arts enthusiast and Star Trek: The Next Generation effects producer Dan Curry.[26] The bat'leth is a curved blade with spiked protrusions and handholds along the middle of the blade's back. In battle, the handholds are used to twirl and spin the blade rapidly.

Klingon oral history holds that the first bat'leth was forged around 625 A.D. by Klingon homeworld.[26] This first bat'leth was known as the Sword of Kahless' and was stolen by the invading Hur'q; an episode of Deep Space Nine revolves around an effort to recover the Sword of Kahless.[26] The name bat'leth itself is a slight corruption of batlh 'etlh, which means "Sword of Honor" in Klingon.

A replica bat'leth was among the blades surrendered to British police as part of the 2006 knife amnesty.[27] A "Valdris" blade was used in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in two 7-Eleven armed-robberies in 2009, but it was misidentified by everybody involved as a bat'leth.[28] This sword is sometimes reported by the media to be a double-pointed Klingon crescent-shaped sword.[28]

D'k tahg

A d'k tahg
A d'k tahg is a Klingon dagger. The knife has three blades: a main blade with a cutout in the center, and two smaller blades on either side. In some models, these side blades are spring-loaded and can pop out into position and close up for storage. In other models, the blades are fixed. It also features a pommel studded with blunt spikes. The d'k tahg first appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and appeared occasionally throughout the following films and TV series. The knife was designed by Gil Hibben.[29] Although the d'k tahg appeared in Star Trek III, it was not referred to by its name until Star Trek: The Next Generation.


Similar to the d'k tahg, the qutluch is "the ceremonial weapon of an assassin." A qutluch is designed to do considerable damage to internal organs, by Klingon standards thus making it an extremely lethal weapon. The qutluch is featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Sins of the Father", when Worf's brother, Kurn, is stabbed; and in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Real Life", where the Doctor's simulated "son" prepares for the Qutluch ceremony. It is known in the real world as the "Phoenix" type knife.


A mek'leth is the Klingon Borg drones in First Contact.



A Romulan polearm, similar to a trident with retractable blades. It appears in the 2009 Star Trek film and is used by the renegade miner Nero. In the Countdown comic, Nero's weapon is revealed to be the "Debrune teral'n", an ancient Romulan artifact that symbolized the empire's power; it is traditionally held by the presiding Praetor.

A similar weapon, resembling an axe was also used by a member of Nero's crew. While widely considered to also be a Teral'n, the weapon has yet to be confirmed as one by an official source.



A lirpa is a


An ahn'woon is a Vulcan catch-strangle weapon, similar in principle to the Earth Roman gladiator's cast net. The multi-strapped weapon (approximately 1.1 meters long) uses weights on the ends of the straps, like bolas, to entangle, stun, or cut the target, and the application of tying action and wrapping can restrict the breathing of the target, asphyxiating the victim.



In the Enterprise episode "United", Andorian commander Thy'lek Shran and the NX-01's captain Jonathan Archer, as a second for a Tellarite officer who kills Tallas, Shran's chief tactical officer and lover, engage in an Andorian "ushaan" duel. The weapon used is the ushaan-tor, an Andorian ice mining blade. The handheld blade of the ushaan-tor is about 20 cm from end-to end, and resembles an Inupiat Ulu blade from Alaska, but in a one-piece all-metal design instead of having a separate wooden handle.

Mortaes and Thongs

In the TOS episode "The Cloud Minders", mortaes and thongs are mining tools used as martial weapons by the troglodyte miners, and apparently the ruling class is also trained with these weapons as well, Plasus challenges Kirk to hand-to-hand combat, asking "Are you as brave with mortae as with a phaser?"


In the TNG episode "Code of Honor", the Ligonians have deep traditions of fighting with a poison-tipped hand weapon called a Glavin, It is a large glove with a recurved claw at the end, and covered with dozens of spines, strongly resembling (and most likely based on, in the real world) a scorpion's tail sting. In several episodes Worf is seen displaying one in his quarters, most likely the same one used by Lt. Yar.

Subspace weapons

Subspace weapons are a class of directed energy weapons that directly affect subspace. The weapons can produce actual tears in subspace, and are extremely unpredictable. These weapons were banned under the second Khitomer Accord. The Son'a equipped their vessels with these types of weapons.

Isolytic burst

Son'a vessels carried and used isolytic burst weapons, a type of subspace weapon. They were seen using this weapon against the Enterprise-E in Star Trek: Insurrection. The Enterprise was only able to escape the weapon's effect by ejecting its warp core and detonating it to seal a subspace rift.

Tricobalt devices

The tricobalt warhead is a subspace weapon whose high-yield detonations can tear holes in subspace. Tricobalt devices are not a standard armament of Federation vessels and yields are calculated in Tera-Cochranes, indicating that its mechanism is somewhat similar to the general reaction in a warp field.

USS Voyager uses a pair of tricobalt devices to destroy the Caretaker array in the Star Trek: Voyager pilot episode, "Caretaker", and such a device was used against Voyager in the episode "Blink of an Eye". A tricobalt warhead was also used by the Tholians in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly". They detonated a tricobalt warhead inside the gravity well of a dead star. The explosion created an interphasic rift, which they used to lure the Federation starship USS Defiant from another universe. In TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon", the Eminian Union classified the USS Enterprise as 'destroyed' when it was hit by virtual tricobalt satellites. In DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations", Arne Darvin plants a tricobalt explosive in a dead Tribble in an attempt to kill Kirk.

The games Cobalt-60.[30][31]

Other weapons

Magnetometric guided charges

Around Stardate 43995, the Borg used this weapon to drive the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D, from the Paulson Nebula. This shortly leads to the abduction of Captain Jean Luc Picard.

Multikinetic neutronic mines

During Season 4, Episode 1 of Species 8472. Janeway calls Seven of Nine's "multikinetic neutronic mine" a "weapon of mass destruction," following up on a statement from Tuvok that it would affect an entire starsystem, destroying innocent worlds. The mine's five-million isoton yield can disperse Borg nanoprobes across a five-light year range.


Dreadnought was a Cardassian self-guided missile, containing one thousand kilograms of matter, and another thousand of antimatter. Tuvok describes this as enough to destroy a small moon. Although described as a self-guided missile, in practice Dreadnought functions much like an autonomous starship, and it even had life support capability on board. It possesses shields, phasers, a complement of quantum torpedoes, a Thoron shock emitter, a plasma wave weapon, engines capable of reaching at least Warp 9, and a sophisticated computer AI. It appears in the Voyager episode of the same name. It had been captured by the Maquis due to a failed detonator and reprogrammed to attack its original creators. It was dragged into the Delta Quadrant in much the same manner as Voyager, and when unable to resolve the unforeseen situation it locked on to a planet that was similar to the one it was programmed to target, but which was inhabited by innocents. Dreadnought was equipped with an exceptionally sophisticated artificial intelligence, capable of "paranoia" to a certain degree, as when re-programmer B'Elanna Torres attempted to prevent it from destroying the innocent planet, it came to the conclusion that she had been captured by her Cardassian enemies and forced to make up a story to prevent the attack; it then pretended to follow her commands and shut down, only to re-activate and continue its mission once she was no longer aboard.

Series 5 long range tactical armor unit

Similar in purpose to the Cardassian Dreadnought, the Tactical Armor Units are self-guided missiles with sophisticated artificial intelligence. They are much smaller than Dreadnought, being only a few feet in length, and while nowhere near as powerful, they are nonetheless classified as weapons of mass destruction, capable of destroying everything in a 200-kilometer radius with a highly focused antimatter explosion. Their coordination and control is done through a "Strategic Command Matrix", analogous to a nuclear control network of the type used by the United States. Each one possesses shielding, warp drive of indeterminate speed, and a sentient, genius-level artificial intelligence programmed to do whatever is necessary to reach their targets and detonate. They can detect and prevent tampering, are intelligent enough to find a way past almost any obstacle, and can win engagements even when outnumbered. They were created by a Delta Quadrant race called the Druoda, and the devices were greatly feared for their endurance and tenacity.[32]

Q firearms

Q firearms were used in the Q Civil War by the Voyager crew to compensate against the infinite power of the Q in "The Q and the Grey". They are depicted as front-loading muskets, to fit with the American Civil War-theme used by the Q Continuum as a concession to the human characters' limited perceptions. Presumably, their actual form would be as incomprehensible to non-Q as the Continuum itself. The use of the weapons caused supernovae as a side effect in normal reality. They are arguably the most powerful weapons ever wielded by any humanoid species, as indicated by their ability to injure the otherwise-invulnerable Q.

Red matter

In the 2009 Star Trek film, red matter was developed on Vulcan before 2387. When even a droplet is ignited an unstable singularity is formed, as a result it had to be stored in a protective chamber. The red matter was originally to be used to save the Romulan homeworld from a volatile supernova, but the design was finished too late to prevent Romulus' destruction. Upon capture in the "past" (2258) by the Romulan Nero, it was used as a planet-destroying doomsday weapon; used in conjunction with a plasma drill which bored a hole almost to the core of a planet, a small amount of red matter would be activated at the bottom of the drilling site, creating a black hole in the heart of the planet that would tear it apart from within. Red matter was thus used to destroy an alternate Vulcan ("alternate" due to temporal disruption, from Nero's haphazard method of time travel), then ultimately destroyed Nero's ship, the Narada, along with all remaining technology from his ship, and all of the remaining red matter.


  1. ^ "The Outrageous Okona". Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  2. ^ "Loud as a Whisper". Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  3. ^ "Suddenly Human". Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  4. ^ a b "Silent Enemy". Star Trek: Enterprise.
  5. ^ "Fallen Hero". Star Trek: Enterprise.
  6. ^ "Cathexis". Star Trek: Voyager.
  7. ^ "A Piece of the Action". Star Trek: The Original Series.
  8. ^ "Mirror, Mirror". Star Trek: The Original Series.
  9. ^ "The Cage". Star Trek: The Original Series.
  10. ^ MacManus, Christopher (April 8, 2013). Star Trek' phaser rifle sells for $231k"'".  
  11. ^ "The Most Toys". TNG. Season 3. Episode 70. May 5, 1990.
  12. ^ "The Expanse". Star Trek: Enterprise.
  13. ^ "Fight or Flight". Star Trek:Enterprise.
  14. ^ "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country".
  15. ^ "Star Trek: First Contact".
  16. ^ "Star Trek: The Motion Picture".
  17. ^ Zimmerman, Herman; Rick Sternbach and Doug Drexler.  
  18. ^ "Paradise Lost". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  19. ^ a b "Year of Hell". Star Trek: Voyager.
  20. ^ "Star Trek Nemesis".
  21. ^ Peter David. "Homecoming" Star Trek Mirror Universe - Shards and Shadows 2009; Pocket Books; Pages 271–310.
  22. ^ "Jetrel". Star Trek: Voyager.
  23. ^ "Starship Mine". Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  24. ^ a b "For the Uniform". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  25. ^ "Booby Trap". Star Trek: The Next Generation. October 30, 1989.
  26. ^ a b c d  
  27. ^ "Lethal Star Trek blade seized in knives amnesty". London: The Daily Mail. May 25, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2008. 
  28. ^ a b "Masked Man Robs Convenience Stores With Klingon Sword". ABC News, Denver. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  29. ^ Hartink, A.E. (September 30, 2005). Complete Encyclopedia of Knives. Lisse, The Netherlands: Chartwell Books. pp. 168–169.  
  30. ^ "The Voyager Conspiracy". Star Trek: Voyager.
  31. ^ "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 1". Star Trek: Enterprise.
  32. ^ "Warhead". Star Trek: Voyager.

External links

Phased plasma torpedoes can phase out of normal space-time to bypass shields, then phase back in to detonate on a ship's hull, thus making shields worthless against them. They only appeared in the PC game

Phased Plasma Torpedo

The TR-116 Projectile Rifle is a prototype weapon developed by the Federation for situations where conventional energy weapons might be rendered useless by damping fields or other countermeasures. It is essentially a conventional rifle, but with a rather futuristic visual style. It is introduced in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Field of Fire", where it is used in conjunction with a micro-transporter and a visual scanner headpiece to create an extremely potent sniper rifle. With the scanner, the shooter can precisely target people hundreds of meters away and through solid matter with no difficulty. Using the transporter attached to the barrel, the slug can then be transported at full velocity, materializing at point-blank range.

TR-116 Projectile Rifle

The Isokinetic Cannon was seen in only one episode of Star Trek: Voyager, "Retrospect". Voyager met with a weapons trader and designer known as Kovin. It destroyed a target buoy composed of 10 m thick solid monotanium with a chromoelectric forcefield in one shot, coring it cleanly through. However, Kovin was killed before the installation of the weapon. Though the weapon was never known to have been removed from Voyager, it was never seen in use nor referred to again.

Isokinetic Cannon

Transphasic torpedoes appear only once, in the Voyager series finale, "Endgame". They are high-yield torpedoes that are designed specifically to fight the Borg. The future Admiral Janeway brought them back in time in a Federation shuttlecraft and had them installed onboard Voyager in 2378. They are among the most powerful weapons used in the Star Trek universe; just one is capable of obliterating an entire Borg cube, a feat normally requiring an almost impossible amount of punishment using standard Federation weapons. They work by phasing out of normal space, traveling "through" a target and then re-phasing back into normal space. Although they did not appear in the film Nemesis, according to the non-canon Destiny book trilogy these were in fact kept by Starfleet as the weapon of last resort to be deployed to starships only when all else had failed against the Borg. They were the one and only thing Starfleet knew the Borg had not yet adapted to and for that reason wanted to keep this ace in the hole for as long as possible. Eventually the situation became dire enough that the specifications were released to Federation and Klingon ships; the Borg eventually learned to adapt to them.

Transphasic Torpedo

Polaron torpedoes, like the Dominion weapon, are capable of penetrating normal shielding with ease. They appear in various Star Trek games. In Starfleet Command III, it is one of the Klingon's three heavy weapon options, the others being the photon torpedo and the ion cannon. It also appears in Star Trek Armada, and Star Trek Armada II, as a researchable weapon for the Klingon Empire exclusive to the Vor'cha-class cruiser which takes out one of the targeted ship's systems at random.

Polaron Torpedo

Four of the USS Enterprise-E's quantum torpedoes destroyed an unshielded Dreadnought were the only ships known to be equipped with quantum torpedoes.

In the DS9 Episode "Paradise Lost" the USS Lakota was also stated to be carrying quantum torpedoes, although they were never used.[18]

Quantum torpedoes first appear in the Deep Space Nine episode "Defiant" as a weapon aboard the USS Defiant. Additionally, the USS Enterprise-E is equipped with quantum torpedoes in Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek Nemesis. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual states that quantum torpedoes derive their destructive power from zero-point energy.[17]

Quantum Torpedo

Gravimetric torpedoes are torpedoes used by the Borg. The weapon emits a complex phase variance of gravitons to create a gravimetric distortion capable of tearing starships apart.

Gravimetric Torpedoes

Plasma torpedoes are used by the Romulans, Cardassians, and (according to Star Fleet Battles, Klingon Academy and Star Fleet Command) the Gorn. The damage of a plasma torpedo spreads out over several ship systems at once, but the torpedo loses its effectiveness after only a few minutes of travel. Romulan plasma torpedoes use trilithium isotopes in their warheads.

Plasma torpedo

Photon torpedo launchers aboard ships are shown to be versatile enough to fire probes, which in-universe are designed with this functionality in mind. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, a torpedo casing is used as a makeshift coffin for burial in space and as scientific probes as in the Next Generation episode "In Theory" and Star Trek Generations. Also in the Next Generation episode The Emissary a photon torpedo casing was used to convey Klingon ambassador K'Ehleyr to the U.S.S. Enterprise when no other long range transport was available.

Torpedoes are often depicted as being easy to modify to suit specific situations. Despite the stated maximum yield, torpedoes can apparently be made far more destructive with relatively little effort. In Star Trek: Voyager, Tuvok and Kim modify a normal photon torpedo with a gravimetric charge, a Borg technology, to increase its destructive yield to 54 isotons. Kim comments that 50 isotons would have been sufficient to destroy a small planet. Janeway later instructs them to increase its yield even further, to 80 isotons. It is not specified exactly how they modified the warhead, but they only required a few hours to complete the work using materials readily available on Voyager. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Spock and Dr. McCoy modify a photon torpedo to track the plasma emissions from a cloaked Klingon bird of prey as it attacks the Enterprise-A and the Excelsior, similar to the principal function of the heat-seeking missile.

When fired, photon torpedoes usually appear as a spiky orb of energy of varying colours, such as red,[14] orange,[15] yellow, blue, or green.[16] According to the original notes to TOS and The Making of Star Trek, Photon torpedoes are energy shielded to allow armor-penetration. Several episodes seem to suggest this (reference: TNG "Suspicions"). The energy output of a photon torpedo, according to the Technical Manuals is a maximum theoretical yield of 25 Isotons and a maximum rated yield of 18.5 Isotons. According to the TNG Technical Manual, photon torpedoes use 1.5 kg of matter and 1.5 kg of antimatter. However, these amounts would only produce an explosive yield of 64.4 megatons, so a secondary effect must occur to achieve the incredible yields seen on screen. In the TOS episode, "Balance of Terror", Photon Torpedoes apparently replaced nuclear warheads as the primary wartime weapons on Federation Starships. The photon torpedo was seen to explode with great force. Later, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the explosive effects of the photon torpedo were significantly reduced.

Photon torpedoes are a standard ship-based weapon armed with an antimatter warhead. They are present in every version of the Star Trek series and are a standard weapon on almost every Federation ship, though in Star Trek: Enterprise the titular ship uses less powerful spatial torpedoes (guided, rocket propelled missiles) until receiving the more powerful "photonic" (as the characters describe them) variant, though this does not square with established canon because it took place before the "Romulan Wars" in which, to quote Spock in "Balance of Terror", "This conflict was fought by our standards today with primitive atomic weapons". Photon torpedoes first appear on a Starfleet ship in the original series' episode "Arena" as part of the USS Enterprise '​s armament—in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Expanse", the Enterprise (NX-01) first receives photonic torpedoes. Smaller Starfleet craft such as shuttlecraft and runabouts can be armed with "micro-torpedoes", a scaled-down version of photon torpedoes designed for use on craft too small to accommodate the full-sized weapon.

An Akira-class starship fires photon torpedoes.

Photon torpedo

Also referred to as conventional torpedoes, spatial torpedoes are 22nd century weapons used by Enterprise. Spatial torpedoes are the ship's most powerful and primary ship-to-ship weapon before the installation of phase cannons.[4] Spatial torpedoes are themselves superseded by more powerful photonic torpedoes.[12] Unlike photonic torpedoes or any of the warhead's successors, spatial torpedoes are launched at sub-light velocity and can be used much in the manner of a missile, having the warhead on a fly-by-wire.[13]

Spatial torpedo

Projectile Weapons

The Ferengi energy whip, as seen in the TNG episode "The Last Outpost", looks and handles like a typical Earth bullwhip and discharges a powerful phaser-like energy pulse.

Ferengi Energy Whip

Varon-T disruptors were featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Most Toys", and were mentioned to be a rare type of disruptor made illegal in the Federation because of their slow, excruciating method of killing. The weapons tear the body apart from the inside. Kivas Fajo, a Zibalian trader in that episode, owned four of the five Varon-T disruptors ever manufactured (he slept with one under his pillow) and even used one on his own crew before his collection of rare items was confiscated after his capture and arrest for kidnapping and theft (among other crimes).[11]

Varon-T Disruptor

Tetryon cannons are the primary armament of the Hirogen and are similar in application to phasers and disruptors. Tetryon cannons are unique in that they are designed primarily to damage energy and force fields such as starship shields. Tetryon cannons do damage matter but not to the same extent as phasers or disruptors. This is in line with the Hirogen philosophy of the hunt. The Hirogen ship would therefore knock out its opponent's shields and beam over hunters to engage in face-to-face ranged or melee combat. This allows the Hirogen hunters to collect items that they would consider to be hunting trophies.

Tetryon Cannon

Phased polaron cannons are the primary armament of the Dominion, the main antagonist faction in the later seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The cannon emits a beam of polaron particles, the fictional in-universe antimatter counterpart of the muon (not to be confused with the actual polaron or the actual antimuon). When first introduced, Dominion polaron cannons easily penetrate the shielding systems of most Alpha Quadrant races. The Alpha Quadrant races eventually learn to modify their shields to resist polaron weaponry, evoking surprise from the Vorta advisor Weyoun ("Call to Arms").

Phased polaron cannon

Disruptors are employed by several alien species in this series, including Romulans, Klingons, Breen, Cardassians, Iridians and Orions in their personal and military small arms as well as being mounted as cannon, emitters, turrets, and banks. Only the first three are known to have type-3 disruptors, the most advanced developed so far, by the 24th century. Disruptors cause damage by exciting the molecular bonds of targets. According to Last Unicorn's Star Trek: The Next Generation Role-playing Game, disruptors are considered less "elegant" than phaser-based weapons; their effects there are described as thermal shock and blunt force, as opposed to the "rapid nadion effect". As a result, disruptors do more damage to matter than phasers, but less damage to shields.


A phaser rifle prop from "Where No Man Has Gone Before" sold at auction for $231,000.[10]

Originally (from the production notes to TOS), the phaser was a PHoton mASER, since at the time of writing the laser was a relative unknown, and powers were not expected to be great. Masers, on the other hand, were already powerful machines which produce destructive radiation pulses. The term "phaser" has since been revised as a backronym for PHASed Energy Rectification, though from a physics standpoint even this is of equal semantic content—ordinary incoherent light is not "rectified", or synchronous, whereas lasing and masing emissions are rectified, or synchronous. Phasers release a beam of fictional subatomic particles called "rapid nadions", which are then refracted ("rectified") through superconducting crystals. Given the nature of photons the first acronym seems more accurate. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual indicates that the superconducting crystals used in phasers are called fushigi no umi (Japanese for "sea of mystery", ふしぎの海). This was an homage to the 1990 anime series Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, known in North America as Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. The phasers that appeared in the 2009 reboot Star Trek appear similar to classic phasers, but fire "bolts" of energy instead of sustained beams, and seem to only have two settings, stun and kill. The barrel of the weapon is two-sided, and the user must literally rotate to a different output to use a different setting. It is not known whether or not that type of phaser has adjustable power output. A similar change was seen in the starship-mounted phaser banks, which also fire bolts instead of beams.

There are several types of phasers used by Starfleet and the United Federation of planets. [9] and even destroy entire asteroids up to a given size. The ship's phaser system was also said to be capable of destroying continents.[8] destroy cities,[7] could stun entire city blocks full of people,USS Enterprise Also witnessed in the TOS episode "For The World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". They can be used as welding torches or cutting tools, and can create heat sources by firing at a large, solid object (like a rock). Phasers can be set to overload, whereby they build up a force-chamber explosion by continuously generating energy without releasing it; the resulting blast can destroy most natural objects within a 50-meter radius. The overload process is marked by a distinctive sound that increases in volume and frequency until it is deactivated or it detonates. Ship-mounted phasers have a similar range of functions on a larger scale: The phasers on the [6]

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