The Borg cube was the primary vessel of the Borg Collective.
The first officially publicized Federation contact with a Borg cube took place in 2365, when the USS Enterprise-D encountered a single cube in System J-25. However, civilian researchers on board the USS Raven had previously tracked a Borg cube twelve years earlier in 2353. (TNG: "Q Who"; VOY: "The Raven", "Dark Frontier")
Every Starfleet encounter with a single cube resulted in heavy losses. At the Battle of Wolf 359 in 2366, an armada of forty Starfleet ships was assembled to stop a cube; thirty nine ships were lost. Dozens more were destroyed stopping another cube in the incursion of 2373. (TNG: "The Drumhead"; Star Trek: First Contact) Normally a single Borg cube was capable of assimilating all elements of civilization from an entire planet.
Millions of cubes were estimated to exist in Borg space in the Delta Quadrant; the largest single grouping of cubes directly observed by Starfleet was fifteen, by the crew of the USS Voyager in late 2373. (VOY: "Scorpion") When describing the assimilation of his world, Arturis said that hundreds of cubes surrounded his homeworld before its destruction. (VOY: "Hope and Fear") Seven of Nine stated to Captain Janeway that the nebula concealing the transwarp hub contained at least 47 Borg vessels. (VOY: "Endgame")
Technical data Edit
Borg cubes were massive in size, measuring over three kilometers across and possessing an internal volume of 27 cubic kilometers. (VOY: "Dark Frontier") In 2366, Commander Shelby estimated that a cube could remain functional even if 78% were rendered inoperable. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")
Borg cubes were capable of both warp and transwarp velocities, thanks in part to the Borg Collective's network of transwarp corridors and hubs. When a Borg cube enters a transwarp conduit, it projects a structural integrity field ahead of itself to compensate for the extreme gravimetric shear. (VOY: "Inside Man") To compensate for the extreme temporal stress while traveling through these corridors, and remain in temporal sync, a chroniton field was also projected through specially designed conduits. (VOY: "Shattered")
The main tactic employed by cubes when engaging another vessel was to seize it with a tractor beam that would also drain its shields. The tractor beam of a cube could hold a Galaxy-class starship immobile against the force of its warp drive. (TNG: "Q Who") Once the target ship was defenseless, the cube could perform any action ranging from destruction to assimilation. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds"; DS9: "Emissary")
Following the failure of enemy shields, the cube could engage a high-energy laser cutting beam to slice sections of the ship for assimilation. (TNG: "Q Who") In a combat situation the Borg sometimes further used the tractor beam itself to destroy the target vessel. (Star Trek: First Contact)
The cutting beam could also be used as a weapon to destroy vessels showing resistance. During the Battle of Wolf 359, the Excelsior-class USS Melbourne and the Miranda-class USS Saratoga were annihilated by cutting beams, after their shields had been drained by the tractor beam. (DS9: "Emissary")
Another tactic used to disable vessels fleeing a cube was to fire a type of missile weapon. Three missiles were capable of disabling a Galaxy-class's shields. A hit from the weapon at an unshielded target could disable its warp drive. (TNG: "Q Who")
In addition, a Borg cube's weaponry also included other destructive beam and projectile weapons. During the 2366-2367 incursion, a cube obliterated three ships of the Mars Defense Perimeter with projectiles. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II") Similar projectiles were used to destroy a Steamrunner-class and a Saber-class starship during the Battle of Sector 001. (Star Trek: First Contact) The concentrated fire of three beam weapons was able to reduce USS Voyager's ablative generator-deployed armor hull integrity, a highly advanced future Starfleet defense technology, to 40%. (VOY: "Endgame")
Borg vessels did not appear to utilize traditional energy shields. Instead, they seemed to employ a subspace electromagnetic field that could be altered to adapt to enemy weaponry. This made destroying Borg vessels extremely difficult, as most weapons employed against them tended to become completely useless after a few shots. (TNG: "Q Who") This problem could be overcome to a degree by varying the frequency and modulation of the energy of the weapons in question, but even this tended to fail after a short time. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds") Explosives, such as photon torpedoes, could also be adapted to with ease. The only quasi-reliable way of destroying a Borg cube was to use weapons so powerful that just one or two shots would destroy it. Such weapons included the modified deflector weapon of a Galaxy-class starship, transphasic torpedoes, and the energy beam weapons of Species 8472. (VOY: "Endgame") However, even weapons such as these could be adapted to.
The success of fleet engagements against Borg vessels seemed to have mixed results. In some cases, such as at Wolf 359, prior knowledge of the weapon systems and tactics used by the Federation fleet saw 39 out of 40 ships destroyed with virtually negligible damage to the Borg vessel. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II") However, a similar engagement a few years later saw a similarly large Federation fleet perform considerably better against another Borg cube. Though suffering heavy casualties, the fleet managed to inflict heavy damage to the cube's outer hull and cause the vessel's power grid to begin fluctuating. The vessel was eventually destroyed in part due to intervention by Captain Picard, whose residual telepathic link to the Collective furbished him with knowledge of a (presumably) battle-induced weak spot on the Borg vessel, which was subsequently targeted by the entire fleet. (Star Trek: First Contact)
Support vehicles Edit
Ships up to the size of a Borg sphere were able to be docked inside a Borg cube for assimilation, supplies or escape purposes.
At least one Borg cube, and possibly others of its class, contained a Borg sphere. The only known recorded purpose of a sphere disengaged from a Borg cube was for escape. The sphere is the only documented support vehicle a Borg cube possessed. (Star Trek: First Contact)
Interior design Edit
Borg cubes were highly decentralized in structure with no specific bridge, living quarters or engineering sections. All vital systems were spread throughout the ship, which, along with the presence of a regenerative hull, made it highly resistant to damage and system failures. (TNG: "Q Who")
Information and Collective communication were routed through power waveguide conduits and distribution nodes. Its exterior design consisted of perpendicular and diagonal grids, struts, and weaponry, allowing a characteristic green light to emanate from within. (TNG: "Q Who", "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")
The internal pressure aboard a Borg cube was two kilopascals above what would be normal on a Federation starship. The humidity was on average 92%, and the temperature was at 39.1 °C. (Star Trek: First Contact) The atmosphere contained traces of tetryon particles. (VOY: "Infinite Regress") The infrastructure was made of tritanium, an alloy known for its extreme hardness. (VOY: "Endgame")
Ships of the class Edit
- Star Trek: First Contact
- DS9: "Emissary"
- "Scorpion, Part II"
- "Hope and Fear"
- "Drone" (on astrometrics screen)
- "Dark Frontier"
- "The Voyager Conspiracy" (on astrometrics screen)
- "Child's Play" (on astrometrics screen)
- "Unimatrix Zero"
- "Unimatrix Zero, Part II"
- "Inside Man" (on astrometrics screen)
Background information Edit
Although no Borg cubes appear in ENT: "Regeneration", the cube design of Borg vessel was referred to in the final draft script of that episode, which commented that a corridor aboard the transport Arctic One was to be "almost indistinguishable from one on a Borg cube."
Studio models Edit
- See Borg cube model.
Borg cubes make appearances in the Star Trek: Armada and Star Trek: Armada II games. In the second game, a "fusion cube" and "tactical fusion cube" are seen, and used by those playing as the Borg. The first consists of eight regular cubes connected to each other and is the size of a planetoid, such as Pluto. The second is composed of 8 tactical cubes connected to each other and is the size of a planet, such as Mars. Both are designated battleships and hold the assimilator beam device and three "captured" special weapons taken from an enemy race.