3 Tactical Systems
Phasers are the primary weapons system carried aboard federation star ships, and is used in a variety of functions. Phaser is an acronym for PHASed Energy Rectification, a term which referred to the original process by which stored or supplied energy was converted to another form for release toward the target without any need for an intermediate energy transformation. Although this term is something of a holdover, it remains true in modern phaser systems. Phaser energy is released by the rapid nadion effect. Rapid nadions are short lived subatomic particles which can liberate and transfer strong nuclear forces within a class of crystals called fushigi-no-umi.
Ship board Phasers can be used to make relatively precise strikes intended to destroy specific systems rather than entire vessels. In addition the intensity of the Phaser beam can be varied in response to the threats presented.
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3.1.1 Type-XIV Arrays
The Type XIV Phaser array represents a dramatic increase in capacity from previous generations. The support assemblies for the Type XIV features a complex discharge regulation system, which allows for the array to recharge faster than any previous comparable Phaser system. The Type XIV was designed with combat against the Borg in mind, and as such the Arrays automatically modulate after two sustained bursts making it harder for the Borg to adapt to the incoming fire. The Intimidator Refit class is the first vessel to feature such an armament on a ship based platform, however there are plans to make the XIV array the standard on all Heavy vessels.
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3.1.2 Type-XV Dynamic Fire Arrays
Dynamic Fire Arrays are capable of targeting multiple enemy crafts at once using an advanced independent targeting computer system. The number of targets which can be engaged by any individual array is limited to a maximum of ten target locks per discharge, however the targeting computers could be tied directly into the primary targeting sensors, allowing each array to actively engage every enemy target within range. The Tactical officer can specify a list of targets in priority order for the Dynamic Arrays to engage, and then allow the arrays to simply operate independently.
Type-XV dynamic fire array is capable of functioning as a point defense system. The ships tactical officer can order the arrays targeting computer to act in a defensive manor. Each array will then target inbound projectiles, neutralizing the ordinance before any damage can be done. The Array fires a short low intensity discharge towards a designated hostile munition, prematurely detonating the war head before any damage can be done. When set in defensive fire the Type-XV array has an effective kill rate of 84%.
The Dynamic Array was developed in tandem with the Intimidator class, and was installed on the second generation of Intimidators produced during the start of the Borg War in slightly smaller numbers then on the Intimidator Refit. The Key drawback of the dynamic fire function is that as more targets are engaged the total energy directed at each target decreases proportionally, with more than ten targets being engaged resulting in negligible damage. The Dynamic Phaser system consumes extremely large amounts of power a relatively limited discharge time, and rapidly drains ship board Phaser cells. The Dynamic Fire array can be used as a conventional Phaser array if the targeting computer is destroyed or other ships board Phasers are rendered inoperable with an output roughly equivalent to a type XII array, however the Dynamic Arrays still draw more power than normal arrays even in conventional fire mode.
Because the of the necessity of an independent targeting computer, and the increased power drain the Dynamic array places on a vessels power network they are only equipped on Fixed instillations and heavy explorers. The Dynamic array system does not allow for automatic computer modulation, so each array must be retuned manually.
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3.1.3 Type-XXV Phaser Cannon
The Type-XXV Phaser Cannon represents a tremendous step forwards from the previous type XX cannon. The Entire Support system of the Type XXV can be fit into a relatively small area compared to previous cannons which required extremely large bulky assemblies to generate the level of discharge obtained within the Type-XXV. The support systems of Type XXV Cannon can be completely contained within the primary hull of the Intimidator refit, which makes it harder to disable then the XXV model.
The Type-XXV was developed in tandem with the Intimidator refit class as part of Star Fleets effort to more effectively combat the Borg. The Array has been designed to automatically re-modulate after every fire to combat adaptive shielding developed by the Borg. The Type-XXV does however still have a highly constrained firing ark; meaning the entire vessel must be lined up for the Cannon to be used.
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3.2 Torpedo Launchers
The Torpedo is the standard heavy weapon system carried aboard Federation star ships. The Intimidator refit caries a standard stock of 200 Photon Torpedoes, 800 Quantum Torpedoes, 80 Hellfire Torpedoes, 50 Transphasic Warheads, 50 Heavy Plasma Torpedoes, 20 Tricobalt Devices, and rated to carry the Poseidon Expansion Wave Torpedoes which are stored though out the Vessel in various storage centers.
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3.2.1 Rapid Fire Turret
The Rapid fire turret was first introduced on the Sovereign class vessel. The Turret system allows torpedoes to be fired directly at a target, rather than having to maneuver toward it after launch - a measure which cuts down the torpedo flight time against targets at short range. The Rapid Fire Turret is capable of firing four torpedoes per second, a rate of fire higher than any other model of torpedo tube in service. The Rapid fire turret has changed very little since its initial introduction on the sovereign class, because of the support equipment required to operate the unit the turret can only fire quantum torpedoes, however Starfleet is continuing to look into ways to resolve this limitation.
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3.2.2 Type 4 Burst Fire Tubes
The Type 4 is the most powerful photon torpedo tube currently in service with the Federation. It can fire a burst of twelve torpedoes every five seconds. The Type 4 tube was initially developed for the Sovereign class; however it has slowly been incorporated into the majority of the majority of the federation forces currently active. The type four has been modified to be able to fire the majority of Federation torpedo designs, as well as function as a probe launcher. The Type 4 launcher was equipped with a dynamic reload system at the start of the Borg war, allowing it to function in a manner similar to the pulse fire tube. When in pulse fire mode roughly two torpedoes can be fired every second while the tube is simultaneously reloaded, allowing for nearly continues fire.
The Type 4 burst fire tube equipped on the Intimidator refit class is nearly 25% larger than the standard type 4 burst fire tube. This increase in volume was required to accommodate the Modified blast fire setting as well as an enhanced cooling system which allows the tube to remain in use for nearly four times as long as the standard type 4 model.
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3.3 Energy Cannons
The energy cannon was developed during the Borg war as a replacement for the torpedo aboard Federation vessels and instillations. The clear advantage of the Energy cannon over the Torpedo and phaser systems is the lack of any form of expendable ammunition reserve aside from the ships own fuel reserves. While the initial goal of replacing the torpedo system never came to fruition the energy cannon is successfully being integrated into the Federation fleet as an addition to existing armaments. Like with phaser arrays, the type of disruptor cannon is representative of the maximum power discharge the Cannon is capable of producing.
The Energy Cannon uses a directed energy matrix similar to the phaser system; however the energy cannon is capable of discharging three different types of fire at varying intensities. The Energy canon can fire an extremely precise directed energy beam similar to a phaser, a series of pulses similar to a disruptor, and a large high single pulse designed to emulate the effects of a torpedo. Each fire mode has individual advantages and draw backs.
When the Energy cannon is in beam fire mode a massive amount of energy is delivered to a target in a concentrated beam. The Beam produced by an energy cannon is far narrower than a conventional Phaser allowing for skilled tactical officers to perform more exact strikes. The Energy cannon is also effective at greater ranges then the conventional phaser system. The beam mode is less effective against a shielded target then a conventional Phaser of a roughly equivalent rating, and Energy Cannons cannot be used in arrays, instead they discharge from a turret apparatus which deploys from within the hull. In this way more energy canons are required to cover the same area as a single phaser strip. Another unique property of the Beam setting is the ability to create a wide angle beam, allowing the energy cannon to sweep over vast areas in planetary bombardment actions.
Disruptor mode is comparable to a pulse phaser system in the way energy is delivered to an enemy. When in disruptor mode the energy cannon is extremely effective against even the most powerful defensive system. Based off the Borg shield disruption technology first encountered by the Enterprise D, and later captured by the USS Crane, the Disruptor fire sequence can rapidly deplete a shield system. When used against an unshielded target the pulse fire system is effective against light to moderate armor, but is chiefly designed to combat shield systems.
The Torpedo emulator is designed to approximate the yield of a standard photon torpedo without the need for a stock of casings. Torpedo emulation is achieved through cycling the energy matrix of the cannon to over 50 times the standard unit operation for beam fire. The charge is then generated within the cannon, and discharged. While this is an effective way of delivering massive amounts of energy to an enemy target, the technology needed to replicate the effects of the more powerful quantum and hellfire torpedoes has not yet been achieved. The energy cannon also lacks some of the functions of the heavy plasma and Transphasic war heads making it unlikely that the energy cannon will ever completely replace the torpedo system completely.
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3.4 Deflector Shields
The shield system provides the modern Starship with its principle protection against both violent natural phenomena and enemy weapons fire. Most shield systems are composed of highly focused spatial distortions which contain an energetic graviton field. The shield itself is projected by a set of transmission networks located on the hull of the ship; when matter or energy strikes the shield, field energy is concentrated at that point to create an intense localized spatial distortion.
The shape of the field can be varied at the discretion of the tactical officer - the most common configuration is a set of curved fields which interlock to form a large bubble over vessel, although some users prefer to make the shields closely match the shipís hull. In the former case shield burn-throughs are more likely, as the shield must enclose a somewhat greater volume. However, in the latter case those burn-throughs which do occur are much more damaging as they are directly adjacent to the hull. Most of the information on this subject is highly classified, but since even individual vessels are known to utilize both configurations, it appears that bubble shields are preferred under certain tactical situations, conformal shields under others.
Shields are carefully tuned to create windows which allow matter and energy to pass through under certain specific circumstances - for example, visible light is allowed to pass through unhindered. This allows the crew of a vessel to see out whilst the shields are up - or more importantly, to use visible light sensor systems. This window renders the shields invisible to the naked eye under normal circumstances. Other windows exist to allow sensors and weapons to operate through the shields.
Impacts on the shield cause Cerenkov radiation to be released, often perceived as a flash of colour which "lights up" the shield, rendering it briefly visible. To an observer it appears that the intruding object bounces off the shields - in fact the spatial distortion becomes so great that the path of the object is radically altered, and to an zero dimensional observer on the incoming object it appears that it is the starship which has suddenly changed location while his/her course is unchanged.
For over a century after the invention of the shield it was impossible to use transporters to beam to or from a shielded location, but to an extent this limitation has now been circumvented. In general sensor and weapon windows are insufficient to allow beaming; whilst technically there is nothing to prevent a ship opening a window in its own shields of sufficient size to allow transport, in practice such windows are almost always large enough to be detected and exploited by enemy vessels and it is far simpler just to drop the shields briefly altogether. The more modern Starfleet shield designs have now reached a point at which transporters can be operated via a large wide frequency window which is briefly opened over the hull emitters. This gives greater flexibility in using the transporter during high threat situations, but it remains a somewhat risky proposition - should an enemy score even a near miss on such a window the effects on the ship would be considerable.
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3.4.1 Multi Layered Shielding System
The MLSS (Multi-Layered Shielding System) was developed by Starfleet's Research and Development department near the end of the Dominion War. It is a shielding system that comprises of three layers. These Layers function in tandem allowing one layer to regenerate while the other two take the brunt of the attack from incoming fire. This system was based off the regenerative shield technology being developed for use in the sovereign class at the time.
The design of the MLSS was modified just prior to its entering service, in 2374, in order to increase effectiveness against both high energy tractor beams and phased polaron particles, measures clearly aimed at the Borg and Dominion respectively. Under normal operation the shield modulation frequencies are under the control of the ships computer system, which continually evaluates incoming weapons fire and automatically re-modulates the shields to give the most effective possible defense. During the Borg war the Collective successfully adapted to the Federations Shielding system leading to massive losses and a near complete redesign of the shielding system. The MLSS shield system now employs three separate generators, one for each layer, allowing each layer to modulate individually. Unlike Conventional shielding systems the MLSS shield system can only be projected as a bubble around the ship, and as such is limited in its overall efficiency.
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3.4.2 Redundant Triple Ark Shielding
The Redundant Triple Ark Shielding was designed in the last years of the Borg war to compliment the aging MLSS unfortunately the destruction of the federationís ship building facilities kept it out of service until 2406. While the MLSS was an effective defensive measure, its inability to project a hull conformal layer is a significant draw back. The Tri Ark shielding is designed to project a powerful secondary hull conformal shield within the MLSS bubble. While Tri Ark shields are not as sophisticated as MLSS they are extremely effective because of the reduced volume they need to cover.
Tri Ark Shield operates not from a single shield generator but a series of three generators distributed throughout the Vessel. This makes it significantly harder to the shield system to be disabled by a single hit. If the MLSS is disabled for any reason power can be boasted to the Tri ark shields, buying Damage control teams more time to bring primary shields back online.
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3.5 Ablative Armor
Ablative armor was originally developed for the USS Defiant; the Borg had proven their ability to penetrate Federation shields with ease during their encounter with the Enterprise at system J-25, and the Defiant designers wanted the ship to have a degree of protection even if the shields should be overcome in the expected future encounters.
The value of the armor was proven when the Defiant came up against Dominion forces. Like the Borg, the Dominion were able to penetrate Federation shielding systems relatively easily in the first years of hostility between the two powers, and the Defiant's ablative armor allowed the ship to withstand attacks that would have otherwise caused significant damage.
Recently there has been a massive revolution in this technology with the appearance of the ablative armor generator. This device was given to the crew of the USS Voyager by a future version of Admiral Janeway, who travelled back in time to the ship in order to assist them in returning home from the Delta Quadrant. The generator involves a series of devices placed onto the hull of a vessel; when activated these replicate a layer of armor over the surface of the ship. The effectiveness of armor is considerable. The system Voyager employed was able to withstand a simultaneous attack by several Borg cubes. One of the most useful features of this system is that as it can be materialized and dematerialized as needed; even weapons systems can be covered over when they are not actually in use. This gives a much greater degree of coverage than any standard armor protection which must leave permanent apertures to operate such systems through.
The Federation investigated the Ablative armor generator thoroughly, and discovered that though the system did effectively protect the Vessel, it had several significant draw backs. With ablative armor the conventional phaser system would become completely obsolete. Fearing that the Borg would eventually adapt to a strategy based entirely off the Transphasic Warhead, the Federation instead used the advanced ablative armor to develop two new armor matrix systems, which when combined were not as effective as the ablative armor generators, but was far more successful then the type 1 matrix.
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3.6 Cloaking Technology
The cloaking device generates a space distortion which causes light and sensor rays to travel around the ship, so nothing is reflected from its surface. Cloaking the ship consumes large amounts of power; therefore the simultaneous activation of the warp drive may not have been possible with the early cloaking devices in the 23rd century. Furthermore, the use of weapons is usually not possible while the cloaking device is activated. The space distortion necessary to bend light rays is equivalent to an enormous mass concentration and would certainly crush the ship and crew, so additional measures must be taken to compensate the effect inside the distortion.
In the period after the dominion war the Federation was allowed to acquire a number of Klingon cloaking devices for limited use though out the fleet. These devices were out dated Mark IV models, and frequently malfunctioned, leading the Federation to drop the cloak exchange program. This all changed when the Romulans joined the Federation late 2385. The Federation was granted access to the latest series of Romulan cloaking devices.
Throughout the Borg war Federation and Romulan scientists worked on developing a cloaking system for use against the Borg, with the end result being the Mark X Federation Romulan Cloak. This device created a stable dilation field which was on par with the Reman cloaking device, with only half the power draw. This allowed it to be fitted to relatively small vessels to use the cloak with only minor modifications to their power core.
The Cloak employed by the Intimidator refit is a variant of the Mark X design, which has been retooled to allow slip stream drive while cloaked. This requires the ship to power down a large number of systems; however it has proven to be extremely reliable, and can function in tandem with the drive generator through the main computer.
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