Transporter bomb

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A transporter bomb is a combat tactic commonly proposed by inexperienced Trekkies involved in versus debates. The attack may have been first introduced as part of the Star Trek board game, Star Fleet Battles. In that game system, a mine called a "transporter mine" is beamed into the path of an enemy ship in order to do damage. The Trekkie version generally involves transporting a weapon directly into an enemy vessel.


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.


  • 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 could easily 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 common results of attacking an unshielded vessel in Star Trek. Nonetheless, it is common to see attackers use transporters to insert boarders onto a ship that has lost shield function, so a transporter bomb attack is plausible under these conditions.
  • 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. However, it is usually easier to beam something into an area with interference than to beam something out, so these conditions will often pose less of a problem for inserting troops or -- by extension -- deploying a weapon.
  • It is dangerous to transport unstable materials (ex: "hytritium") because the transporter can elevate their energy state enough to trigger chain reactions (TNG "The Most Toys"). Transporter bomb attacks may therefore may be hazardous enough to the ship attempting them to be worth avoiding in any but the most dire circumstances.


  • A transporter bomb attack would seem to be the ideal way for a cloaked vessel to destroy an unwary target with a surprise attack, since cloaked ships are known to be able to use their transporters without being detected, yet we never see this tactic even considered.
  • In ENT "Civilization", the crew of the Enterprise are able to transport an alien antimatter reactor from a planet into space in the path of a hostile starship. They then shoot the reactor, causing it to explode. The explosion causes enough damage to the alien ship to allow the Enterprise to defeat the technologically superior foe. Clearly this is not an example of the kind of transporter bomb attack proposed by Trekkies, although it is similar to the "transporter mine" from Star Fleet Battles.
  • There are claims that in VOY "Child's Play", Voyager was able to transport a bomb into a Borg sphere to destroy it, but that is not the case. They transported the bomb onto a small, unarmed vessel that was caught in the Borg tractor beam. The Borg drew the vessel into the sphere, where the Voyager crew were able to remotely detonate the bomb.
  • A variation occurs in Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk is ordered to use futuristic long-range transporter technology to deploy strategic weapons to a location on the Klingon homeworld. Presumably this could be attempted against an unwary starship.

Other Civilizations

  • The Tau'ri in the Stargate universe sometimes attempt to teleport nukes onto enemy ships using various types of teleportation technology, with mixed success.