Quantum torpedo

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The Enterprise fires quantum torpedoes.

Quantum torpedoes (often abbreviated as QT in fandom) are guided missile weapons used by the Federation Starfleet. Introduced around 2371[1], they have yet to see widespread adoption in the fleet.


After launch, QTs are visually similar to photon torpedoes, albeit brighter and glowing white/blue as opposed to photons' red/gold colour[2]. Quantum torpedoes are not compatible with standard photon torpedo launchers, but they can be made compatible through field modifications[3]. Two different QT launcher systems have so far been shown; the type mounted on the Defiant-class starship fires up to three torpedoes with ~0.5 second intervals[4], while the "turret" seen on the Sovereign-class launches a five-torpedo burst in rapid succession[5].

Quantum torpedo casings have never been shown on-screen, but since Torres expected Voyager to be able to use Cardassian quantum torpedoes with just field modifications, they can't be much different from photon torpedoes.


Little, if anything, is known of the quantum torpedo's operating principles or characteristics. They have not shown significantly greater yield, maneuverability or tracking ability compared to photon torpedoes; their scarcity suggests that their production is more difficult and/or resource-intensive than that of photon torpedoes. Despite this, Starfleet considers them to be tactically superior to photon torpedoes, deploying them only to new or recently-refitted vessels[6] and limiting their use in battle to when a hit can be guaranteed[7]. The Cardassian Union has successfully reverse-engineered quantum torpedoes, but has decided against fleet wide adoption[8].


  1. DS9 "Defiant"
  2. Star Trek: First Contact
  3. VOY "Dreadnought"
  4. DS9 "Valiant"
  5. Star Trek: First Contact
  6. DS9 "Paradise Lost"
  7. Star Trek: Nemesis
  8. VOY "Dreadnought"