Transporter bomb

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A transporter bomb is a combat tactic commonly proposed by inexperienced Trekkies involved in versus debates. A similar tactic is actually used several times by the Tau'ri in the Stargate universe to transport nukes onto enemy ships.

Principle

The proposed attack involves moving a starship into transporter range of an enemy ship and then beaming an explosive device, such as a photon torpedo, into a vital area of the target, typically the engine room. The internal explosion would theoretically cripple or destroy the target.

Flaws

  • Such an attack would typically require the attacking ship to lower its shields, leaving it vulnerable to enemy fire for several seconds while attempting to carry out the attack. Given the destructiveness of typical Imperial and Federation starship weapons, such a window of opportunity would probably result in the attacker being crippled or destroyed before the attack succeeded. In fact, in Star Trek, it is not at all uncommon for an unshielded vessel to be destroyed by a single shot.
  • Such an attack would typically require the target to be unshielded. Against an unshielded target, the attacker's weapons would likely be sufficient to cripple or destroy the target without resorting to transporter-based attacks. See above for the typical result of attacking an unshielded vessel in Star Trek.
  • Numerous phenomena -- including electromagnetic fields, dense materials, and particle radiation -- interfere with the operation of transporters. Even unshielded targets of such an attack would likely possess armor or jamming technology capable of interfering with transporter function.
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