King Daniel wrote:
Maybe the difference in shape is because Starfleet has reverse-engineered or based designs on Nero's weapons? It does look a little like one of the Narada's cluster missiles.
The writers did say that scans of the Narada have been influencing Starfleet since the Kelvin was attacked.
I'm looking at the thing and thinking "Multitool": Swap the misson packages around and you've got a multi-use case for anything from a photon to a spy-drone.