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Old December 8 2013, 08:48 PM   #1
pontypool
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weapon technology

In the episode "defiant" we first come across new weapon technology "quantum torpedos" I thought this was a little surprising, as you might expect the enterprise to have been equipped with quantum torpedos first, as it was the flagship.
In a later episode "the way of the warrior" We first see "ablative armor" I find this even more unusual, as not only is it a brand new technology never seen before, but in the later episode "paradise lost" we learn that starfleet wasn't even aware that the defiant had been equipped with such technology.
After googling ablative armor I came up with this site in memory alpha http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Ablative_armor
it seems that the borg also have ablative armor. Given the time when the borg attempted to assimilate the federation and a sufficient period of time being elapsed between then and the defiants first usage, coupled with the fact the defiant was built to counter the borg threat, I theorise that ablative armor was a technology taken from the destroyed borg cube and later intergrated into the defiant, the very prototype ship built to counter the borg. However this fact doesn't explain why star fleet wasn't aware of the defiant being equipped with it ? surely a starfleet ship would know about that?
And where did quantum torpedos come from? memory alpha just states when it was first used and when it was later equipped in more classes of ships.

On an interesting side note while looking into ablative armor, it seems it cannot be used simultaneously with multiphasic shielding . Multiphasic shielding protects against radiationa was invented in 2369 by a ferengi scientist and was first used by the enterprise to evade a rebel borg ship by flying into the sun, however memory alpha claims this technology was invented in 2371 ? a discrepancy ?
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Old December 9 2013, 02:29 AM   #2
Jono
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Re: weapon technology

Given the USS Enterprise is the "flagship" you would expect it not to field new technology first as other vessels would be given the role to introduce and test new weapon systems to be introduced more widely. As for where it came from, probably some sort of weapons research project or something.

Starfleet not knowing about the ablative armour is a bit odd. We actually hear about it in mid-season 3 in "Past Tense" and given its role in the time travel you'd think that Starfleet would have a report that mentioned that the ship's ablative armour, the cloaking device and transporters in certain situations can result in unsuspected time travel. Even if it was classified Leyton was the Chief of Starfleet Operations and you'd think he should have access to that information and be able to make it available to the captain of the Lakota.

On the multiphasic shield, the Enterprise-D used metaphasic shields in "Descent" so the dates aren't a discrepancy if they are different things.
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Old December 9 2013, 02:46 AM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: weapon technology

Defiant was a test-bed of new weapons technology. When they first got it, it needed a lot of work to get everything running smoothly. Flagships aren't sent off with untested stuff. Note that the Enterprise-E had quantum torpedoes.

As for some of the Defiant's technology being a secret, I recall that she's officially classed as an "escort vessel", not the warship she really is. I guess Starfleet didn't want to upset her neighbours by commissioning a ship with a less-than-peaceful purpose and kept a lot of her abilities of the books.

Also, Memory Alpha is run by fans - anyone can add to it. And so it's far from discrepancy-free.
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Old December 9 2013, 02:49 AM   #4
pontypool
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Re: weapon technology

Crais-mas wrote: View Post
Given the USS Enterprise is the "flagship" you would expect it not to field new technology first as other vessels would be given the role to introduce and test new weapon systems to be introduced more widely. As for where it came from, probably some sort of weapons research project or something.

Starfleet not knowing about the ablative armour is a bit odd. We actually hear about it in mid-season 3 in "Past Tense" and given its role in the time travel you'd think that Starfleet would have a report that mentioned that the ship's ablative armour, the cloaking device and transporters in certain situations can result in unsuspected time travel. Even if it was classified Leyton was the Chief of Starfleet Operations and you'd think he should have access to that information and be able to make it available to the captain of the Lakota.

On the multiphasic shield, the Enterprise-D used metaphasic shields in "Descent" so the dates aren't a discrepancy if they are different things.
In paradise lost, they only stated that they wasn't aware of the defiant being equipped with ablative armor, not that the technology existed at all.
Seems like the defiant was equipped unofficially or the starfleet records had been tampered with, either way it's unusual.
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Old December 9 2013, 02:55 AM   #5
pontypool
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Re: weapon technology

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Defiant was a test-bed of new weapons technology. When they first got it, it needed a lot of work to get everything running smoothly. Flagships aren't sent off with untested stuff. Note that the Enterprise-E had quantum torpedoes.

As for some of the Defiant's technology being a secret, I recall that she's officially classed as an "escort vessel", not the warship she really is. I guess Starfleet didn't want to upset her neighbours by commissioning a ship with a less-than-peaceful purpose and kept a lot of her abilities of the books.

Also, Memory Alpha is run by fans - anyone can add to it. And so it's far from discrepancy-free.
Didn't voyager experiment first with bio gel packs to increase computer response time? and also the enterprise D equipped multi phasic shields to evade a bog cube, Jordi la forge had began working on the modifications after the ferengi inventor died.
Not to mention that the original Enterprise (before captain kirk) was fitted with transporters, which were brand new.
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Old December 9 2013, 08:18 AM   #6
T'Girl
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Re: weapon technology

pontypool wrote: View Post
In the episode "defiant" we first come across new weapon technology "quantum torpedos"
I figure that "Photon" torpedoes, or "Quantum" torpedoes are similar to the names of modern weapons like "Sidewinder" missiles. A multi-generational family of weapons systems which get incremental improvements over the course of years and decades.

It's not clear exactly what make the quantum torpedoes different from the photons. It's been conjectured that production of quantums was limited at first and Starfleet was selective in their deployment. They weren't distributed fleet wide.

The need of a ship like the Defiant to have them was seen as greater than the Enterprise's.


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Old December 10 2013, 11:03 AM   #7
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: weapon technology

The Defiant was an experimental warship, so it makes sense to me that Starfleet threw everything they had at it to test whether it worked or not--which is why they got quantum torpedoes and ablative armour before anyone else.
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Old December 10 2013, 01:57 PM   #8
pontypool
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Re: weapon technology

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
The Defiant was an experimental warship, so it makes sense to me that Starfleet threw everything they had at it to test whether it worked or not--which is why they got quantum torpedoes and ablative armour before anyone else.
Yes, but I should imagine that our militaries, as a rule of thumb, do not generally discover that their warships have been equipped with experimental weaponry, unofficially.
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Old December 10 2013, 03:02 PM   #9
starburst
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Re: weapon technology

Its likely that Quantum Torpedoes were a new development and Defiant was one of the first ships to have them (I think I read somewhere once the backstory is they were also developed to fight the Borg).

While the Enterpise D didnt have them the Enterprise E did, this may have been that they were slated to be supplied to the D if she hadnt been destroyed or her mission profile at the time didnt make them necessary where as the E seemed to be designed with both Quantum and Photon Torpedoes in mind.

The fact that a ship reporting directly to the Head of Starfleet not knowing about Ablative Armour on the Defiant is a conundrum however as the materials had to come from somewhere even if the work was carried out at DS9.
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Old December 10 2013, 05:05 PM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: weapon technology

pontypool wrote: View Post
Yes, but I should imagine that our militaries, as a rule of thumb, do not generally discover that their warships have been equipped with experimental weaponry, unofficially.
Warships jave been in the past equiped with weapons that were previously "untried in combat." Half baked ideas that either worked under combat conditions, or didn't. All branches of the services have done this from time to time.

During the first gulf war, the US military was having trouble penetrating some Iraqi heavy bunkers, someone came up with the silly idea of taking a the barrel of a Army cannon, packing it with high explosives, putting a Air Force targeting sensor on one end and some steerable tail fins on the other. Drop it from high enough to pick up a lot of speed.

It actually worked, who knew?

Originally the Defiant was "cranky," the engines were wrong for the design, it took time to get it right.




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Old December 10 2013, 05:12 PM   #11
The Badger
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Re: weapon technology

Frankincense + Myrrh wrote: View Post
It's not clear exactly what make the quantum torpedoes different from the photons. It's been conjectured that production of quantums was limited at first and Starfleet was selective in their deployment. They weren't distributed fleet wide.
According to the (non-cannon) DS9 Technical Manual quantum torpedoes tap into zero point energy (a naturally occurring energy field present throughout the universe) to release an explosive yield approximately twice that of the most powerful photon torpedo.

pontypool wrote: View Post
Yes, but I should imagine that our militaries, as a rule of thumb, do not generally discover that their warships have been equipped with experimental weaponry, unofficially.
Most military experimental weaponry tends to be kept secret to everyone without a very real need to know. Look at the history of the USAF's stealth aircraft.

starburst wrote: View Post
The fact that a ship reporting directly to the Head of Starfleet not knowing about Ablative Armour on the Defiant is a conundrum however as the materials had to come from somewhere even if the work was carried out at DS9.
I'd always speculated that ablative armour had been constructed for the Defiant, but the project was cancelled before it could be fitted. Later Sisko arranged to have the armour shipped to DS9 and fitted, all in absolute secrecy. After all, there was a war looming, and the Changelings could look like anyone. Why risk giving secrets away by letting more than the absolute minimum number of people know?
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Old December 10 2013, 05:50 PM   #12
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: weapon technology

Here is the difference between photon and quantum torpedoes. And it's 100% canon!
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Old December 10 2013, 09:04 PM   #13
Richard Baker
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Re: weapon technology

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Here is the difference between photon and quantum torpedoes. And it's 100% canon!
The first time we saw the Refit fire a photorp in TMP those were different from all movies hence, sort of matching the TOS effects...
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Old December 16 2013, 10:43 AM   #14
pontypool
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Re: weapon technology

The Badger wrote: View Post
Frankincense + Myrrh wrote: View Post
It's not clear exactly what make the quantum torpedoes different from the photons. It's been conjectured that production of quantums was limited at first and Starfleet was selective in their deployment. They weren't distributed fleet wide.
According to the (non-cannon) DS9 Technical Manual quantum torpedoes tap into zero point energy (a naturally occurring energy field present throughout the universe) to release an explosive yield approximately twice that of the most powerful photon torpedo.

pontypool wrote: View Post
Yes, but I should imagine that our militaries, as a rule of thumb, do not generally discover that their warships have been equipped with experimental weaponry, unofficially.
Most military experimental weaponry tends to be kept secret to everyone without a very real need to know. Look at the history of the USAF's stealth aircraft.

starburst wrote: View Post
The fact that a ship reporting directly to the Head of Starfleet not knowing about Ablative Armour on the Defiant is a conundrum however as the materials had to come from somewhere even if the work was carried out at DS9.
I'd always speculated that ablative armour had been constructed for the Defiant, but the project was cancelled before it could be fitted. Later Sisko arranged to have the armour shipped to DS9 and fitted, all in absolute secrecy. After all, there was a war looming, and the Changelings could look like anyone. Why risk giving secrets away by letting more than the absolute minimum number of people know?
I can't accept that explanation.
Cisco wouldn't act without authorisation of starfleet and then continue with yet more breaching of the chain of command by failing to inform star fleet for the months leading up to this episode in question.
The fact there are changelings is irrelevant. They have secure communications, and even if that isn't 100% safe, it's not up to cisco to decide not to inform his superiors of his actions, especially when those actions were performed without authorisation.
Can you imagine the anarchy if the military on earth performed in the same way? and those officers underneath you acted under their own discretion and were not even reprimanded upon discovery? I should certainly hope that such a thing would be rare and definitely be considered a court martial offence, whether there was risk of a security breach by a third party or not, there is still the chain of command.
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Old December 16 2013, 11:57 AM   #15
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: weapon technology

Just chalk it up to the bureaucracy of Starfleet. The admiral either forgot to inform them or thought Lakota's upgrades were enough that it wouldn't matter, and of course such classified details wouldn't be in the official file in Lakota's memory banks.
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