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Old January 5 2013, 12:23 AM   #35
Re: Purposing Federation Ships During the Dominion War

The torpedoes are said to have guidance systems, but I do not believe we have seen then deviate much out of the direction of the launcher on any ship.
Apart from the corkscrewing homing torpedo of ST6:TUC, the new torpedoes of the Galaxy class did impressive zigzags in "Genesis". Granted, they weren't supposed to, but while the guidance system was faulty, the ability to maneuver was inherent in the torpedo and should thus be available in fighting situations as well.

Also, whenever the E-D fired spreads of torpedoes in TNG (fairly rarely, mainly in "Arsenal of Freedom" and "Yesterday's Enterprise"), the torpedoes executed remarkably sharp turns.

However, another fact we learned about Galaxy class torpedoes, in several episodes including "Q Who?" and "New Ground", was that they could not be used at short distances without being destructive to the firing ship as well. This would completely rule out their use in "Jem'Hadar" where the enemy swarmed the ship at point blank ranges. A homing torpedo could quite possibly track the enemy and score a kill, but at the cost of severe damage to the Odyssey as well, not to mention to the runabouts. (Runabouts supposedly were armed with torps in this battle as well, and if those were of a smaller and lesser type, they might have been used to effect. But it might well be that a target that cannot be hurt by the perfectly scoring main phaser beam of a Galaxy isn't going to pay much attention to the torpedo of a runabout-sized craft - a weapon doing fairly little damage in episodes like "The Maquis".)

In ST:GEN, torpedoes eventually were used at the ranges utilized previously in the fight. And the aft launcher was used, proving its continuing functionality. However, for all we know, the aft launcher was repeatedly used in the fight, of which we only saw a small fraction: sounds of weapons firing were heard on the bridge even when the camera didn't give us external views of torpedoes leaving the ship.

It's just that the BoP had shields that withstood far more than they were supposed to, taking even the Klingon sisters by elated surprise. Apparently, Soran had worked some of his techno-magic on them, just like he effortlessly whipped up eavesdropping devices and starkiller weapons going beyond UFP technological knowhow.

Timo Saloniemi
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