Plasma torpedo

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A '''plasma torpedo''' is a short-ranged, high-yield weapon used by the [[Romulan Star Empire]] in the 23rd century.  First seen in the [[TOS]] episode "Balance of Terror", these weapons were extremely effective against [[Federation]] [[starbase]]s along the [[Romulan Neutral Zone|Neutral Zone]].
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==Nature==
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During a briefing following the initial attacks on Neutral Zone outposts, Spock described what was known about the Romulan weapon.  According to [[Starfleet]] researchers, the weapon was an "enveloping plasma" that caused its targets to implode.  One shot plasma torpedo was sufficient to destroy the shields and weapons of a Federation outpost, and a second torpedo shattered the asteroid on which the outpost was built.  One torpedo also heavily damaged the fully-shielded [[Enterprise]], even though much of the torpedo's energy had dissipated due to range.
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Even though it is capable of overtaking a [[Constitution-class]] starship in full retreat, a plasma torpedo has a relatively limited range.  Only [[cloaking device|cloaking]] technology enabled the Romulan ship to get into effective range of its targets.  As noted above, a plasma torpedo lost so much energy pursuing the fleeing Enterprise that when it finally struck, it no longer had enough energy to destroy the ship.
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Lieutenant Sulu theorized that a single phaser shot would be sufficient to detonate a plasma torpedo prematurely.  He did not actually get to test his theory, however, since his ship's phasers were off line at the time.
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==Obsolescence==
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The Romulans stopped using plasma torpedoes after a technology exchange with the Klingons.  In the 24th century, Romulan ships carry [[disruptor]]s and [[photon torpedo|photon torpedoes]].  The range limitations and high energy consumption of plasma torpedoes may have lead to their being replaced.
  
 
[[Category: Star Trek]]
 
[[Category: Star Trek]]
 
[[Category: ST Starship Offense]]
 
[[Category: ST Starship Offense]]
 
[[Category: ST Technology]]
 
[[Category: ST Technology]]

Revision as of 20:10, 31 December 2007

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