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Directed energy weapon

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A directed energy weapon is a device which, in the form of a gun or other type of weapon, fires a beam, pulse or projectile made of, or charged with, high-energy particles or other energies. Most spacefaring species have the technology to fire directed energy, as it is preferable to firing projectile weapons in pressurized environments, and more effective against shielded components or personnel.

There are a wide array of methods available for dispensing such a discharge, from plasma weapons, lasers and phase weapons to modern Starfleet's phaser weapon, which fires particles called nadions. Another common energy discharge weapon is the disruptor, used by Klingons and Romulans. Compressed tetryon beam weapons are used by other Alpha Quadrant civilizations. (TOS; TNG; DS9; ENT)

Subspace weapons of directed energy, including isolytic bursts, are generally forbidden by treaties, such as the Khitomer Accords. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

Advanced weapons exist, in the forms of the planet-destroying antiproton beam mounted on the so-called "planet killer." Federation technology had very little to match when faced with one in 2267. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine") The Xindi superweapon was another planet-killer utilizing a directed-energy beam, but it was destroyed before the Sphere Builders, manipulating the Xindi, had an opportunity to complete their plan by using the device on Earth. (ENT: "The Expanse"; ENT Season 3)

The Ennis, a Gamma Quadrant species, stopped using directed energy centuries before 2369, as it was, in Golin Shel-la's words, "not damaging enough". (DS9: "Battle Lines")

Directed energy weapons





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