Last Update: 07/25/2005
Disruptor and phaser weapons have historically only been useful as long as the vessel carrying them are operating in a sublight environment. By their nature, these energy-based weapons cannot function at faster-than-light velocities under normal operating conditions. As time passes, there are increasing numbers of hostile forces being encountered in our galaxy and we must have the means of being able to combat and defeat them before they are able to threaten the security of the Empire. Part of this situation has created the need for weapons that able to be utilized while the vessel operating them is traveling at faster-than-light velocities.
In the earliest days of the Empire, the first weapons used aboard Imperial warships were nuclear fission-based devices. At the time these were the most powerful devices known to Imperial science. As time passed these weapons were replaced by nuclear fusion-based systems and were used for many years.
Approximately 100 years ago began the utilization of the photon torpedo we know today. The current device replaces the few pellets of matter and antimatter utilized in the first form of the torpedo device with thousands of smaller packets. This allows more interactions between the matter and antimatter, creating a more effective weapon by allowing a faster rate of destruction. (In effect, more is happening at any particular moment of the reaction process). The matter and antimatter supplies are stored in magnetic containment fields until detonation, when the fields collapse and the supplies are allowed to interact. There is a delay in the field collapse process due to problems in its testing phase when devices were known to detonate while still in the torpedo launch tube. Today the weapon possesses a range of 7.5 to 1,750,000 kellicams. When launched from a vessel moving at warp velocity, the maximum range is increased to 2,000,000 kellicams when the device is given a warp field "handoff" from the launching vessel's own warp field. The rate of matter/antimatter reaction is relatively slow, but the resulting energy release per unit of time is greater than from an antimatter pod containment failure. Normal output yield is approximately 22.2 isotons.
The photon torpedo casing is an elongated tube of duranium with a terminium skin layer. The torpedo casing measures 1.05 x .38 x .225 cams with a mass of 123.75 kellivams. Once completed, the casing is split with phased energy cutters and the internal equipment is installed. This equipment consists of matter/antimatter fuel storage tanks (and their intermix equipment), targeting systems, guidance equipment, detonation systems, and the warpfield sustainer system. Additional cuts are made into the casing to install data interfaces and allow for the injection of the matter and antimatter reactants. Recent improvements in miniaturizing the device's internal components have permitted a minor increase in deuterium/antideuterium capacity, allowing for a small increase in range and/or explosive yield.
The warpfield sustainer system is not actually a warp propulsion system due to its small power supply. This field absorbs a portion of the subspace bubble surrounding the vessel firing the device. The sustainer system is able to maintain this bubble and add a very small portion of energy to it, allowing the torpedo to accelerate away from the firing vessel. If the vessel firing the torpedo is at a sublight velocity, this system can accelerate the torpedo to a greater velocity, though not to faster-than-light speed. This system can extend the torpedo's range by utilizing the matter/antimatter supplies of the warhead. This does have the effect of reducing the warhead's explosive yield.
The firing process occurs within the launch tube. They are located on Deck 23 for the forward launcher and on Deck 11 for the aft tube. Adjacent to the loading section of the tube is the device preparation area. It is here that the matter/antimatter supply is loaded into the torpedo. This is done at the time of loading to prevent accidental detonation of the warhead reactants while in storage. It should be noted that torpedoes could be kept in the launch tube when it is felt they may be needed on a moment's notice. A simple matter/antimatter injection system is maintained in the launch tube assembly so that those devices loaded in the tube do not have to be kept fueled. On the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant, the forward launch tube has been reconfigured with an eight-degree depression orientation relative to the vessel's centerline as a method of insuring the device is able to clear the forward weapon module when utilized against targets "above" the vessel. The torpedo storage capacity of the forward launcher is 400 casings. The aft tube is fed from a supply of up to 70 devices.
When ready to be fired, the torpedo tube is prepared for usage. The tube consists of machined tritanium and sarium farnide. It is equipped with sequential field induction coils and launch assist gases to aid the torpedo in being fired. Once the device has been fired, the tube is cleared of all gases and the coil's charge is neutralized. The tube is then ready to accept a new device. Up to eight devices can be loaded in the forward launcher at any one time; while up to five at one time may be loaded into the aft launcher. In such a situation, the devices will remain in close proximity to each other for a distance of about 75 cams (depending on any input received from the Weapons Officer). At this point they will diverge and engage their targeting systems.
Utilizing a torpedo is not much of a consideration due their semi-autonomous operating nature. Torpedoes are generally utilized against targets located within approximately 15 degrees of the torpedo tube's orientation. Torpedoes are capable of rapid course changes to engage targets not in their direct path or those that are engaged in evasive maneuvering. They can also analyze maneuvering patterns and compare them to known patterns. The device can then attempt to "anticipate" the next move of the target and adjust course as needed to maintain a targeting lock.
In cases where a torpedo device has been fired at a target at minimum ranges, the targeting system transmits instructions to the deflector shielding management computers of the launching ship/station to intensify the shielding closest to the target. This is done to reduce the effects to the "host" of the impact on the target.
Control input for torpedo devices is generally received from the Weapons Officer, who in turn receives instructions from the Commanding Officer. The Weapons Officer is presented with input from the computer offering possible courses of action to improve the effectiveness of the device against the target based on torpedo operating capability and data on known combat tactics of the target.
Torpedo Type Seven
IKV ghop qeylIs was equipped during its construction with a modified Dorsal Sensor Module. A large portion of this module's interior is occupied with a new photon torpedo system being developed by the Empire. It is fed from a storage area with a capacity of 50 torpedo casings. The Dorsal Sensor Module launcher is loaded with a new experimental torpedo, the Type Seven. IKV DaH'HoS acted as a testing platform for new torpedo designs during its shakedown cruise and found many of them acceptable.
The Type Seven torpedoes have had the standard torpedo guidance systems and warheads replaced by a delivery bus containing three independent warheads. When the main body of the torpedo has reached a predetermined point, the nose section separates, exposing the warheads. They are then propelled away from the main body on a preprogrammed dispersal pattern toward the target. The dispersal pattern can be changed at any point until five seconds before the time that the submunitions are fired from the main torpedo body. The internal guidance system for each warhead had to be simplified to reduce its size, so they are forced to operate in one of three ways:
A straight path from the launching platform.
A preprogrammed course to the target.
On guidance telemetry from the launching platform (which can be a problem in an environment with high levels of subspace jamming or multiple overlapping transmissions, thereby limiting their usefulness).
Since the Type Seven casing is 42% larger than the standard torpedo, they require a special launching system to be used, which is installed on Deck Two. It is identical to the standard system except for modifications made to handle larger devices. A series of probes for use in this launcher system is being developed to make use of the greater space available in this new casing. The dorsal sensor module launcher can be loaded with two torpedoes at a time. Minimum/maximum effective ranges for this system are the same as the standard torpedo. These torpedoes are operated in much the same way as the standard device. The reactant injection system will feed a device in the torpedo, which will distribute the matter/antimatter supply into each warhead. Normal yields for each warhead are approximately 11.4 isotons.
This vessel is also capable of operating the newer quantum torpedo designs being produced by the Empire. While some of the development work on this new weapon was done in the Empire, additional work was done in joint ventures with Federation scientists as the Borg threat became better recognized and understood. The admission of the Cardassian Union into the Dominion has increased further the threat faced by the Klingon Empire and other forces in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants of this galaxy.
Believing that the newest generations of photon torpedoes had evolved to the point where the explosive yield of current matter/antimatter-based reactants had achieved maximum throughput, renewed effort was directed into finding new technologies and methodologies for creating an improved weapon with an ability to generate a greater destructive force. This research finally reached the point where answers were sought outside of the limitations of normal space. Studies of various subspace domains for applications into propulsion, communications, etc. have been performed for decades. Reviewing findings made from this research, it was discovered that one area of subspace was found to possess tremendous energy levels. It was found that this area of space-time, known as the "null realm void", could be utilized to generate an explosive field of great intensity.
Creating null-realm energy actually begins with a shortage of energy. Electroplasma over that actually required for the process is introduced into the process at high temperatures. The structure containing the creation takes for the formation of a space-time membrane existing in 11 dimensions. A new molecule is formed in this process, which creates a large amount of energy in the process. Studies of this process demonstrated that a small amount of these molecules could produce a vast amount of destructive energy. It is believed that a similar process, greatly larger in scale, was involved in the formation of the universe itself. Some concern was voiced that this procedure would bridge the barrier between our space and a domain of energy created by the creation of the universe that could not be controlled. Further study indicated that there would not be any danger of our own domain being consumed by the energy domain.
Device testing began approximately 10 years after the initial research had commenced. A variety of devices for initiating the reaction were evaluated and several prepared for experimental usage. Security around the project area was raised to levels that had not been seen since the development of the "Blood Seed" biological weapon generations ago. Pre-testing simulations had developed yields ranging from those of a microtorpedo upward to levels high enough to destroy the testing facility and surrounding area up to 20 kellicams distant. Further checking and rechecking of theoretical data confined the yield to a range of approximately 500 kellicams. After testing various configurations, the results were studied and the best combinations were isolated for continued development.
The device is constructed from a combination of tritanium and duranium foam of similar dimensions to those of standard photon torpedoes. Generally octagonal in shape, it has a streamlined leading edge for atmospheric usage. A thin layer of plasma-bonded terminium ceramic serves as armor covering bonded with a thinner layer of silicon-copper-yttrium rigid polymer for radiation shielding. Cuts into the casing were kept as few as possible to minimize its energy emissions and sensor reflectivity. Sensor emissions from inside the device are directed through depressions made into the interior surface to minimize the amount of material that emissions must pass through.
Central to the operation of the device is the null realm reaction chamber. This is a elliptical-shaped container made of a single crystal of directionally reinforced rodinium-diltellenite measuring .38 cams in diameter by .68 cams in length and a thickness of 1.1 cams. A single cut is made into the chamber at one end made in a field of inert gases. At this incision is mounted the null realm generator, constructed from an electromagnetic rectifier, waveguide bundle, subspace field amplifier and space-time convolutor emitter.
The null realm generator receives its power by detonating a high-yield photon torpedo warhead rated at 21.8 isotons. The reaction of the matter and antimatter reactions has been achieved by increasing the rate of interaction of the reactants and introducing fluronetic vapor into the reaction chamber. The energy of the reaction is immediately channeled into the generator and powers the convolutor emitter. The emitter puts a tension force onto the void membrane, causing it to expand in 10-4 seconds and creating an energy field of 50 isotons. Once the energy has accumulated, the reaction chamber walls collapse and release the contained energy.
Propulsion for the torpedo comes from microthruster units in addition to the normal warp sustainer engines fitted to photon torpedoes. Power, navigation and targeting systems are all directly taken from photon torpedo devices due to their long record of successful operation.
Because the device contains a number of components that cannot be replicated, construction of quantum torpedoes has been very slow. In the first meeting of the High Council in the year 2374, an edict was issued authorizing the refitting of the most outdated photon torpedo manufacturing facilities to construct the newer quantum torpedoes. The first of these facilities is expected to begin production 90 standard days after modifications begin. Because of the limited availability of these devices, allocation of torpedoes has been a difficult process for Imperial Thought Masters. All vessels produced since the beginning of the Dominion incursion into the Alpha Quadrant have been fitted with handling equipment for quantum torpedoes, though many of these ships have yet to be equipped with them. Operating orders were issued in late 2373 instructing vessel commanders to use quantum torpedoes against only enemy capitol ships and major installations if other weapons effective against smaller and less-defended targets are available.
Some special handling requirements exist for quantum torpedo devices due to the nature of the warhead structure. These include antigravity transports, remotely controlled maintenance equipment usage and maintenance of protective electromagnetic buffering fields around devices put into storage.
Launching of photon or quantum torpedo devices may be performed at any sublight or warp velocity. Should a target fired upon decelerate to sublight speed, the torpedo will not decelerate to sublight velocity but instead detonate either on impact or activate its detonation procedure at the closest point of approach on its current trajectory. Should the attacking and target vessels be moving at sublight velocity and the target attempts to jump to warp, the torpedo will attempt to accelerate and detonate by direct impact or a proximity explosion before the target can reach warp speed. If the target should evade the torpedo by maneuver or jamming, the device is programmed to attempt to acquire a new target if one is present along its flight path. If none is found it will detonate after traveling out of the range of any non-enemy forces.
Current operating procedures dictate that all effort be made to destroy any malfunctioning devices that fail to detonate to prevent their capture and study by enemy forces. If conditions permit, attempts should be made to disarm and retrieve the device for refurbishment and reuse.
As an alternate to photon torpedoes, the standard torpedo launchers (main and aft) can also be used to place cloaked mines into space for use against enemy forces. Because they are the same size as standard photon torpedoes (torpedo casings are often used as mines), the same storage capacities for these devices exist. These mines can be recovered by broadcasting a coded signal to them. This code disarms the warhead and activates a transponder for use by the transporter system for recovery, refurbishment, and reuse.
When wide-scale warfare broke out between the newly-restored Klingon/Federation alliance and Dominion/Cardassian forces, maintaining control of the Deep Space Nine space station became impossible against enemy forces. Until such time that allied forces could be reallocated to its defense it became necessary in late 2373 to evacuate Klingon and Federation personnel from the station. To prevent reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant from passing through the nearby Bajoran wormhole it was decided to mine the Alpha Quadrant side of the wormhole conduit.
Since allied vessels would be unable to replace exploded mines, it was necessary to find an alternate method for maintaining the minefield. A technician from the station's engineering staff developed a system of fitting the mines with microreplicator devices that would allow the minefield to maintain its own integrity. Each device stored within it a small fraction of the amount of matter needed to construct one mine. When a mine had to be replaced, additional matter would be transferred between mines to those nearest where a replacement was needed. Additional matter could be collected from any debris from exploded mines and damaged vessels as well as accessing the "null realm void" utilized by quantum torpedo warheads. This feature is beginning to be integrated into standard Klingon mine designs but, due to the system's complexity and energy requirements, is expected to only be utilized in cases where Klingon vessels are not expected to be able to install replacement mines when required. The mines ultimately proved vulnerable to antigraviton beams projected at the minefield from the station's deflector shield emitters. Fortunately for allied forces, control of the Deep Space Nine station had been retaken from the Cardassian/Dominion occupation force the same day and no Gamma Quadrant-based Jem'Hadar reinforcements were able to be deployed through the wormhole.
A cloaked mine device made to fit the enlarged launcher in the dorsal sensor module may be developed at a later date if felt desirable by the High Council. This is projected to contain submunitions that would be launched at passing vessels as an alternative to a single large warhead, permitting either fewer devices to be used in a given area than is presently required to be effective or allowing for a larger minefield to be established. Alternately, the self-replication system could be implemented with a larger capacity of replicator source material kept on board.
The standard Vor'Cha forward module is normally fitted with a disruptor weapon instead of a plasma torpedo launcher as in past decades with vessels of the time. The plasma torpedo fell out of favor in past years due to their limited range as well as improvements in photon torpedo technology. The Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS Mark II is equipped with both systems as part of the "increased flexibility" philosophy.
On the inward side of the "spikes" surrounding the phaser cannon are armored multilayered magnetic field matrix generator. When activated, a small quantity of plasma energy is taken from the forward phaser array system and projected into a ball, which is then contained and concentrated by magnetic fields created by the matrix generators. When the weapon is ready to be fired, the plasma charge is projected away from the ship by additional magnetic fields of an opposite charge from the plasma containment field.
Due to the limited range of this system caused by the gradual decay of the magnetic containment field, as well as being limited to a straight-line flight path, it is best utilized in conjunction with proper use of cloaked battle tactics and multi-plane maneuvering to close to a sufficient distance to prevent the opponent from being able to react to it. On those ships using plasma torpedo systems in addition to more modern weapons, a common tactic is to use the other weapons to weaken an opponent's defenses before utilizing the plasma torpedo to finish off the target. A way of "guiding" the torpedo is possible through the use of low-power tractor beams mounted at the tips of the forward spikes. There is a problem with this because the tractor beam will accelerate the rate of decay of the containment field. The normal effective range of a plasma torpedo is between 1000 and 5000 kellicams. Usage of tractor beams for guidance decreases the effective range to between 500 and 2500 kellicams.
Even though the plasma torpedo is not the first choice of weapons by many ship commanders in modern times (except perhaps as an opening volley while decloaking at close range or against a damaged target that has little ability to resist attack), most tacticians will agree that they can still be a powerful asset to have in battle when conditions permit their use.
System Accommodation & Related Systems
Radiation shielding for the phaser weapon service passageways has been improved to eliminate radiation emission leakage from the power conduits. Integration of phaser weapons continues to be viewed as desirable by the High Council. While disruptors can be more destructive than phasers can, disruptors have a shorter effective range than phasers do. Also, phasers have the ability to be reconfigured to a much larger degree than disruptors, allowing for more flexibility in output settings as the situation requires (generally when more precision in targeting is required and only damage is intended rather than complete destruction of a target). Automatic lockout subroutines have been built into the targeting and firing software to disable any weapon aimed at a target where the line of fire would intersect with the hull. Each emitter units is rated for approximately 5.3MW power output. Effective range of this weapon is 175,000 kellicams.
Installation of conventional phaser array strips (based on the Federation Type X weapon system utilized on a number of starship designs in recent years) has been performed in the following locations:
BATTERY ONE. On the outer leading edges of the "spikes" surrounding the phaser cannon emitter. This will give large forward and lateral firing arcs, as well as above and below the ship (up to 90 degrees.)
BATTERIES TWO/THREE. On the warp nacelle pylons, facing inward and outward. The outward arrays (battery two) provide lateral coverage, while the inward arrays (battery three) provide ventral coverage (each array is optimized for providing coverage of the opposite side.) The fore and aft edges of both array pairs are designed to allow firing straight forward and aft.
BATTERY FOUR. The trailing edge of both wings, providing an aft firing arc (incorporating large upward, downward, and lateral firing angles).
During efforts conducted by munitions and military experts at improving phaser weapon performance, ideas were explored into ways to make phasers useable at faster-than-light velocities. In mid-2373 at a laboratory operated in the Mempa Sector by tuq Reshtarc, while receiving a shipment of replacement parts by transporter, a failure of the Annular Confinement Beam emitter of the transporter caused the loss of the parts shipment. This inspired the researchers to consider the idea of shrouding the phaser discharge in an Annular Confinement Beam such as that used by a transporter device. Since its purpose is to prevent the matter stream of a transport operation from scattering randomly outward, it was though that the same could be done to the energy of a phaser beam. After several experiments, a 25,000 kellicam increase in range was realized. This discovery was forwarded to the Klingon High Council for review. It was quickly approved for implementation and distributed throughout the Empire. All ship and station-mounted phaser-type weapons within the Empire are in the progress of being retrofitted with this innovation. IKV ghop qeylIs upgraded its weapons with this feature late in 2373. Due to the higher levels of energy involved in the operation of the pulse phasers and phaser cannon, this development is limited to the phaser arrays only. Work continues in adapting this for the other phaser weapons but there is little expectation of improving the technology sufficiently for the output of those weapons in the near future.
There are two twin-barrel pulse phaser turrets on a retractable mounting assembly on the wing leading edge (between the wing root and the warp nacelle pylon.) When retracted, a shutter-door system covers the weapon inside its wing housing to protect it from damage. In the event of the doors jamming in a closed position, the pulse phasers may be put on a lower power setting and blast through the shutters.
This mounting is an improvement to the pulse phaser introduced on the Federation starship USS Defiant. (Their mounting consists of two pulse phasers on each side of the fuselage fixed in a firing position facing forward). Targeting and firing of each turret may be done individually if desired in a multi-vector threat situation, though they are anticipated to be used together against a common target under most conditions to maximize fire against the target.
These mountings replace the two inner pairs of hydrogen particle intakes on the original Vor'Cha design (judged for the purposes of this variant to be excessive - those on the leading edge of the warp nacelles have been improved to the point of being the only intakes necessary. Vessels intended for extended duration missions far away from support facilities retain these intakes to extend their fuel supplies). The Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant also replaces the outer pair of hydrogen collectors with navigational deflector arrays dedicated to clearing the path of movement of the vessel.
For increased reliability of operation each turret will have an independent plasma energy supply conduit available to it, though shared power systems will be used normally. This will give a large forward firing arc; lateral coverage to the limits of the hull surfaces, and dorsal and ventral firing arcs up to 70 degrees from the horizontal plane. Each emitter has a rated output of 500MW. Effective range of this weapon is 180,000 kellicams.
The single largest change to the basic Vor'Cha design involves the forward disruptor module. The standard disruptor emitter Type J-68 has been relocated to the "bulge" found just below the original disruptor emitter (some Vor'Cha subtypes have this as the location of a navigational deflector emitter.) The old disruptor area received a newly designed weapon system capable of dramatically higher energy throughput. This is a newly developed phaser cannon; a new weapon system designated "Type J-75". The extra energy throughput is made possible by the installation of a large plasma conduit running directly from the warp engine core, through the fuselage, and into the new emitter. The power throughput of this weapon is 1200MW.
The primary motivation for the development of this weapon has been combat experience of the Empire and Federation against the Borg threat. One vessel of this variant by itself is not expected to have more than two or three successful volleys against a Borg vessel before they are able to adapt their defenses against it. It is anticipated that a fleet of warships armed with such a weapon would be used against a Borg vessel, the idea being to overwhelm their adaptive ability with the application of brute force and phasers set to multiple modulating frequencies.
The time required to reroute warp power from propulsion to the emitter is four seconds (erecting the containment fields in the plasma conduit, rerouting plasma flow into the conduit, and emitter charging.) Routing power back to propulsion will take three seconds to perform. If the containment field is maintained in the plasma conduit, time for rerouting warp power from propulsion to the emitter will be reduced by almost two seconds. Though the main computers are capable of performing the various tasks involved in these procedures, dedicated systems have been installed to relieve the main systems of this task.
A dedicated primary and backup power generation system has been installed for the plasma conduit containment field, or power may also be drawn from the vessel power distribution system to assist the dedicated generators or replace them if they are at reduced functional capability or entirely nonfunctional. Empire scientists are still working on improving the quality of the emitter system. At the present time, the emitter is only able to sustain a four-second burst at full power before it risks a system failure, most likely resulting from the melting of components at the high temperatures this system creates. A cooling time of five seconds is required before the emitter may be used again. Liquid nitrogen is used in the cooling system of this weapon. This weapon is expected to be a high-maintenance system until more reliable components can be developed.
The range of this weapon is approximately 250,000 kellicams. Since the phaser cannon emitter cannot be aimed beyond two degrees beyond the centerline in any direction, the ship itself must generally be pointed at the desired target for the cannon to be usable. While it is possible for the Weapons and Helm officers to coordinate their activities, there is also the provision of switching over Helm control to the Weapons station so that the gunner can position the ship himself. The Helm controls would be relatively simple (for example, no warp drive controls are included since phasers are normally sublight velocity weapons.) In cases where Helm control remains with the Helm officer, the Weapons officer can designate a spot for the Helm officer to aim the ship so that the cannon can be used.
It is important to note that the phaser cannon module is intended for operation only with the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant, as other variants are not equipped to operate the J-75 phaser cannon. While other modules designed for the Vor'Cha-class can be fitted to the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS (ECM, fighter, etc.), the phaser cannon system will not be usable. This eliminates the single-most powerful weapon on this vessel in such an event. In an emergency, the standard J-68 disruptor module can be fitted to the vessel and operated. The plasma flow for the weapon will come from the plasma conduits for the conventional phaser arrays. These modules are connected to the main part of the vessel using magnetic and mechanical clamp systems identical to those used for the Bridge Module. The J-75 module is identical in size to the J-68 module and similar in basic construction, simplifying its construction*.
If power from the warp drive is not available to power the phaser cannon, power can be drawn from the ship's power distribution system (or a combination if the warp drive is running at partial strength). The phaser emitter is able to receive power from the auxiliary generator system and store it until a preset power level is reached. Since the emitter has to contain the energy for an extended period of time compared to receiving it from the warp drive and immediately projecting it to the target, this method does not allow the emitter to accommodate the same amount of power as in standard operation. In normal operation, the emitter starts firing the accumulated energy while more is being received, so not all the incoming energy is stored in the emitter at one time. It is still operating in an "overloaded" condition but for a much shorter period of time (about two seconds). The strongest phaser volley than can be fired against an opponent in this reduced-power mode would be approximately 72% of that possible when operating from the warp drive. This level of strength requires approximately 50 seconds to accumulate in the emitter, accelerating its rate of molecular decay. Allowing power to build up in the emitter for any longer amount of time can result in the destruction of the emitter due to prolonged overload. This method of operation is not recommended for use at this time due to the quality of the emitters currently available and their resulting inability to store energy for extended periods of time. The very limited rates of fire available operating in this mode also severely limits the tactical advantages of this weapon.
*NOTE: As partial payment for consultation work performed by ReCAL for development work on this vessel, ReCAL was contracted to build the framework for the J-75 module used on ghop qeylIs as well as three replacement modules.
Even in the earliest days of space travel by our ancestors, it was clear that a method would have to be developed to be able to clear dust and microscopic particles from the path of a space-going vessel. A vessel moving at the speeds necessary for practical space travel (and even more so at faster-than-light velocities) would be severely damaged or destroyed by encounters with any type of object, no matter its size. Once deep-space travel began, methods were developed to perform this task that were extremely effective with small energy expenditures. These systems would vaporize the material in front of the vessel, allowing it to pass without damage to the vessel. It was quickly realized that these systems could be developed into an effective weapon system for the spacecraft.
For over a century, the weapon of choice for warships of the Empire has been the disruptor. It replaces the pure EM (electromagnetic) devices such as lasers and particle beam accelerators of past generations. The literal meaning of the first-generation disruptor devices is "shake-it-until-it-falls-apart-tool". Disruptors use stored energy and converts it into another form for release upon the target without the need for converting it into an intermediate energy form.
Disruptor energy is emitted through a Harmonic Neutralization Induction (HNI) application. This is a process where the directed pulse affects the target's subatomic properties. The interactions of the target's particles increase significantly. Severe instability is created in the target before the bonds between particles break down completely.
The J-68 disruptor emitter is the primary disruptor weapon of the Vor'Cha design. On the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant, it is mounted on the ventral bulge of the forward weapon module that is in a fixed forward-facing installation. This replaces a navigational deflector emitter fitted on standard Vor'Cha cruisers. This weapon is comprised of 10 emitter segments, each having a capacity of 6.3MW. Effective range of this weapon is 160,000 kellicams. The segments are grouped together to control their firing order, thermal effects, field halos and target impact. On the vessel hull, they take on the appearance of short yellow strips. The majority of the emitter is contained within the hull structure, out of view.
NOTE: In comparison, handheld disruptors are designated Type F-1 and F-2. These are limited to approximately .01MW. Some of the newest planetary disruptors, designated J-68+, have a power output level that is classified by Imperial Security edict.
The base of the array is installed in a mesh platform of duranium 235 and operates with a liquid nitrogen cooling system. The channel the emitters are installed in is thermally insulated from the rest of the hull by multiple struts.
Arrays elements begin with an electroplasma assemblage (EPA) submaster flow regulator. This is the main method for controlling disruptor strength levels for firing. This device leads to the plasma division manifold (PDM), which divides into separate conduits for each emitter segment. The emitter crystal is the final part of the disruptor system.
When a fire command is given, the EPA submaster routes plasma energy through a series of irises and magnetic switching gates. Iris response is approximately .01 seconds. The iris manages gross adjustments of plasma distribution. The magnetic gates have a reaction time of .0003 seconds. These are designed for fine-tuning of the energy stream with array sections. Control of these systems is usually handled by the disruptor command processor and coordinated with the Enemy Assessment/Tracking/Targeting System (EA/T/TS). Flow regulators are constructed from combined crystal sonodanite and rabium tritonide. They are lined with a .6gc layer of paranygen animide for structural surface protection.
Energy is transmitted from the flow regulator to the PDM valving device on each prefire chamber. The manifold is a solid of double crystal boronite machined by a phased energy cutting device. The prefire chamber is a sphere of LiCu 518, reinforced with wound hafnium tritonide that is gamma-welded. Inside this chamber plasma energy is routed and experiences EM spectrum shift linked with HNI. The energy in the chamber is confined to between .05 and 1.3 nanoseconds with a collapsible charge barrier before moving on to the LiCu 518 emitter. The pulse for HNI is formed by the raising and collapsing of the charge barrier. The power level will be set by the control system (or Weapons Officer if the weapons are under manual operation) which will determine the proportion of harmonic neutralization and pulse frequency in the end emitter.
Each segment of the final emitter crystal is formed from LiCu 518. It measures 1.625 x 1.225 x .625 cams. The crystal lattice formula used in the forced-matrix process is: Li<Cu:Si::Fe::O. The prefire chambers activated will determine which facet(s) the energy beam will pass from. Firing order, controlled by the disruptor command processor, will determine the beam vector. Rapid firing orders create a narrow weapon beam. Wider beams suffer from reduced power levels.
Other Disruptor Weapon Installations
It was decided during the design process to install a variety of disruptor-type weapons to give flexibility in the vessel's offensive operations. While the J-68 system had been in operation for a few years at the time initial design efforts on what would become the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant began, many desired to see the installation of some older, more proven systems. The J-68, while effective at its task, was still considered a fairly complex system and had a few reliability problems in its early days. In addition, it was felt that the vessel would be more effective in engagements by having the ability to employ a variety of disruptor-type weapons. As stated elsewhere in this document, phasers possess much more flexibility in their configuration qualities than disruptor weapons. To make up for this, it was necessary to install complete emitter systems of various types to accomplish the same flexibility goal possessed by phasers due to the nature of how they operate. This fits into the "flexible response" philosophy embodied by the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant.
GLC-20 disruptors are installed on the wing where the nacelle pylon joins the wing structure in a fixed mounting facing forward. These are identical to the installation used on the Qapla'-class Strike Cruiser wings, which in turn are based on the wingtip emitters of the standard B'rel Scout. These weapons operate at an output of 4.9 megawatts. Effective range of this weapon is 145,000 kellicams.
J-50 turrets are installed at various locations giving 360-degree coverage. These have a power output of 4.5 megawatts. Effective range of this weapon is 130,000 kellicams. Mounting of these weapons include:
BATTERY ONE. One pair on the dorsal surface of the Forward Weapon Module, one on each side of the Module bridge.
BATTERY TWO. One pair on the ventral surface of the Forward Weapon Module, one on each side of the J-68 disruptor emitter.
BATTERY THREE. One pair adjacent to the belly hatch of the Marine staging area, one forward and one aft of the opening.
BATTERY FOUR. One pair adjacent to the Hanger Deck doors, one on each side.
BATTERY FIVE. One pair on the dorsal sensor module near the trailing edge located at the aft corners.
In normal operations, disruptors would be used in multiple volleys to either disable or destroy a target. Computer control, combined with input from the Weapons Officer, will determine the exact nature of the disruptor burst (strength and emission pattern). Targeting information is generated by long and short-range sensor scans and fed into the EA/T/TS system. That will establish the best firing pattern to use against the target. In the case of multiple targets, they will be prioritized and targeted accordingly. Maximum effective range is approximately 150,000 kellicams.
A measure used by opposing forces to counter incoming weapon fire is the utilization of deflector shields and/or energy-absorbing hull material. It is possible for energy-based weapons to overcome these defensive measures, but will usually require more power usage in the weapons. Disruptors and phasers can be fired through the Vor'Cha's own shields due to EM polarization with a minimal reduction in strength upon shield contact. Enemy shields will generally attempt to spread the incoming energy over the area of the shield and/or reflect it back into space. This can be overcome by channeling more weapon power into the emitted burst in an attempt to overload the enemy's shielding. More advanced adversaries possess very strong shield generator systems. It has been found that a rapid-firing pattern can be effective at shield disruption.
In any event, the most effective method of target destruction is to maximize weapon strikes on the target's hull or shielding. It is also desirable to strike the same location(s) as often as possible to create a weakness in the enemy's defenses. In the case of the Vor'Cha, it should be attempted to present a minimal target to the opponent. Aggressive maneuvering should prevent the enemy from being able to target weak areas in the defenses of the vessel by presenting the enemy with the ship's strongest shielding field.
This, along with the armor plating of the hull, represents the primary means of defending the vessel from attacks and other externally-based means of damage. This method of defense has been in use for several generations of warships and has proven an effective means of defense in most of that time.
The deflector shielding system is a variation of the standard forcefield generation system. A spatial distortion is created in the path of incoming weapon fire, preventing (or at least minimizing) the damage that would be sustained from the weapon striking the vessel. The distortion field often resembles the shape of the vessel itself. The shielding can withstand impacts from small matter at high velocities (even material as small as space dust is a concern) up to larger objects at lower velocities (such as torpedoes). When something strikes the shielding field, energy is concentrated at that area to reinforce the shielding effect.
Deflector Shield Generation
The shielding system makes use of graviton polarity sources whose output is phase-shifted through subspace field distortion amplifiers. The primary field generators are located on Deck 17 with three backup generators on Deck 13. Finally, there are two additional units in the wing structure near the warp nacelle pylon mounting. These auxiliary generators are only 75% as effective as the primary units. The primary units are capable of providing shielding for the nacelle areas if the wing units are not functional. The power generators of the wing pylon HRF/ISF can also supply power for the wing units if conditions permit.
Each generator is a cluster of fourteen 44.95MW graviton polarity sources feeding two 531.24 dellikelrik subspace field distortion amplifiers. Under Patrol Mode, there are normally three generators in operation at any one time with one in reserve in the event one operational unit should fail. In a combat situation all units are brought up to standby status.
In Patrol Mode, normal power output of the deflector system is 1670.4MW-graviton load. Peak conditions for a single generator will approach 685,850MW for up to 170 delliseconds. In a combat situation, as many as eight generators can be linked together for a continuous output of 3897.6MW and a maximum energy dissipation rate over 10.585 x 105 kW.
Each generator is equipped with three groups of liquid helium coolant systems. They have a continuous-duty rating of 825,000MJ. Five backup systems are located on Deck 12 capable of giving up to 24 hours of service at 75% capacity. Normal operating periods are 12 hours in duration with 12 more time for servicing. Graviton polarity sources are rated for 1250 operating hours between major maintenance periods.
Deflector Shield Operations
Attempting to maintain shielding against all known weapons would prove far too energy consuming for any circumstances other than Alert Status One. In addition, the amount of radiation that would be present outside the vessel would severely reduce sensor effectiveness, in particular their ability to gather tactical and scientific information. Under normal operations, the deflector shielding system works at about 5% capacity. The shields are normally configured for protection against harmful levels of radiation from outside the vessel (nuclear, EM, etc.)
Under Alert Status One conditions, the deflector shielding system is energized to 95% capacity. Computer monitoring systems for the deflector shields analyze the nature of incoming fire and modulate shield frequencies to maximize their ability to resist damage. At the same time, shield frequencies will be modulated in a random manner to attempt to prevent enemy sensors from establishing a frequency for the Vor'Cha's shielding and adjusting to them for weapon firing.
By utilizing three layers of shielding in the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant, it is expected to help minimize damage sustained by the vessel in combat operations, which will also help extend the service life of the ship. To permit vessel operations in extremely close proximity to solar bodies, metaphasic shielding technology is incorporated into the middle layer of the deflector shielding system. Such actions have many scientific and military applications that continue to be explored and developed.
Engaging deflector shields will also impact other aspect of vessel operations. Active sensor scans will be adjusted to accommodate "windows" (null areas) of the shielding field to remain functional through the shield barrier. The shield modulation algorithms will also take the needs of scanning devices into account when selecting operating frequencies. There will be some reduction in sensor effectiveness by the shielding layer(s) that cannot be avoided. In most cases where shielding is activated, hostile forces will often be present. In many of these cases the vessel will be operating in Stealth Mode and active sensors will not be in operation. Raised shields will also effect passive scans (limited to receiving external inputs).
Because the shielding system makes the transmission of energy through the shield barrier almost impossible, this makes normal transporter operations impossible. Transporter systems require an EM and subspace bandwidth far too wide to work through the shield layer. In addition, the spatial distortion field of the shields will cause a disruption of the transporter beam's pattern integrity. The Phase Transporter system, unique to IKV ghop qeylIs during its time of development, is able to bypass this problem because the matter stream does not exist in normal space.
Additionally, the shielding system must be able to accommodate the differing environment of faster-than-light movement of the vessel at warp velocities. The shields have noticeable effects on the forming of the subspace bubble required to initiate warp travel. The warp drive control software has several algorithms that are invoked when shields are active that will reconfigure the subspace field. Without these programs, a 30% reduction in force coupling energy transfer would occur. Shield generators must upshift their output by 154.35 kilohertz.
SUBSPACE JAMMING SYSTEMS
This Vor'Cha variant is equipped with a number of advanced subspace jamming systems to reduce the combat ability of enemy forces. This suite of enhanced systems was originally developed with a specific enemy in mind: the Borg. With their dependence on continual subspace communication between members of the Borg collective, it is hoped that these jammers will decrease their fighting ability. Additionally, it hoped to reduce or completely eliminate their ability to transport assault forces off their vessels since their ability to communicate would be eliminated. It may even diminish the ability of individuals aboard their vessels not physically connected to their computer systems to be able to function. This system was designed to be able to be as adaptable as possible as the nature of the Borg is better understood. Against other forces, all subspace-based technologies (communications, transporters, weapons, etc.) should experience reduced effectiveness as well.
The original cloaking device known to Klingon science was initially developed by the Romulan Star Empire a century ago. It was first put to the test in combat by a single vessel making raids into Federation space. While it was a primitive device and had significant limitations and flaws able to be exploited by their opponent, it did prove to have great potential for use in combat once it was improved. As these improvements were made, trade agreements were being formed between the Klingon and Romulan Empires. One of these agreements resulted in the transfer of an early-model cloaking device to the Klingon Empire for operation aboard vessel of Klingon design. During the time that these agreements were made, and after relations between the governments had deteriorated and subsequently collapsed, development and improvement work by Empire scientists and engineers continued to make the device and technology behind it better. As enemy forces improved their abilities to detect cloaked vessels, the cloaking devices were improved to overcome the advances of enemy science. This process of move-countermove continues to this day and is expected to for many years to come.
In short, the cloaking device utilizes the deflector shield emitter system to propagate a field that bent light, EM waves, radiation and other energies at all frequencies. The vessel would then become virtually "invisible" to scanners and optical detection. Though useful, cloaking devices still have defects and limitations. They include:
Moving vessels under cloak can present a faint "flickering" image detectable by sufficiently sensitive scanners.
Exhaust gases from the cloak vessel cannot be masked. Efforts are made to disperse these gases, making them difficult to detect by opposing forces.
Power must be transferred between the cloaking device and the shielding system (they cannot operate at the same time due to the shared use of emitters). The time required to realign the emitters leaves the vessel briefly vulnerable to attack. This is a primary reason why armor plating is still an important part of vessel construction.
Cloaking Device Field Generators
A cloaking device utilizes one or more graviton polarity sources. Their output is interphase synchronized in a series of subspace field distortion amplifiers. The sync-tuned flux energy for the cloaking device is generated by three Cloaking Device Field Generators (CDFG) on Deck 21. Two of the CDFG units are the primary generators, the third being a backup for use if one primary unit fails or is down for maintenance. Each generator consists of a cluster of 35 112.375MW graviton polarity sources supplying three 1328.125 dellikelrik subspace field distortion amplifiers. Stealth Mode operating conditions dictate the two primary generators are within 75% of nominal operating condition. The third unit will be on standby status at such times.
Nominal system output in Stealth Mode is a 4176MW-graviton mode. Peak momentarily load for a single generator can reach 1,714,625MW for up to 425 delliseconds. In Stealth Mode, the two primary CDFG units are in parallel phase lock, providing a continuous power output of 2436MW. There is a maximum primary energy dissipation rate of over 26.4625 x 105KW.
Thermal cooling for each CDFG is provided by a series of three liquid helium cooling loops having a continuous duty rating of 2,062,500MJ. Five backup cooling generators are installed on Deck 19 giving up to 24 hours of operation at 75% nominal rated power.
Initial combat experience by the Federation's USS Defiant demonstrated the ability of the Jem'Hadar to detect cloaked vessels using anti-proton scans. The crew of USS Defiant was able to make adjustments to their Romulan-designed cloaking device to mask it from the Jem'Hadar sensors. These modifications are being incorporated into all Klingon cloak-capable vessels through hardware adjustments and control software modifications.
After revisiting the work that went into designing the Bird of Prey operated by General Chang against the Federation decades ago during the initial Khitomer peace negotiations, improvements have been made into the Vor'Cha design that allow a partial arming of vessel energy weapons while still maintaining the cloaking field by utilizing all three generators at one time. Currently, the cloaking equipment built into IKV ghop qeylIs allows for better masking of power emissions to allow firing torpedoes while cloaked since they require little power from the ship to operate. In addition, the disruptors may be used at up to 65% power and the phaser arrays up to 52% power before cloaking device effectiveness is reduced. Activation of the containment field for the phaser cannon power conduit may be performed while cloaked, but it is not possible at this time to completely mask the rerouting of warp power between the emitter and the warp nacelles. It is hoped that faster computers currently in development will be able to perform this complicated task.
Aboard ghop qeylIs, a unit has been installed among the three CDFGs. To the uninformed observer the outer housing would appear to bear resemblance to a large automated science probe. IKV ghop qeylIs carries a new development in cloaking technology: phasing cloak. The device installed aboard this vessel is similar to that built by high-level Starfleet Intelligence officers in the Federation several years ago in violation of its Treaty of Algeron with the Romulan Empire.
Prior to the collapse of the Khitomer Accords with the Federation at the time of the Klingon invasion of the Cardassian Empire, agents of Imperial Intelligence were able to secure a sufficient amount of data regarding the device to gain a basic understanding of how the Federation device worked. Empire scientists, after many months of work, were able to develop a primitive operating phasing-cloak device. Tests of the device on various spacecraft found it (and everything within the phased field the device created around the ship) able to pass through any type of matter regardless of its density.
The phasing aspect of the system is only considered safe to use for an absolute maximum of two minutes when passing through materials of high density before system failure is expected. Materials of a lower density will allow usage of the phasing system for up to four minutes before the risk of system failure becomes unacceptable. After normal usage, a 10 minute reset period is required before the phasing system can be used again. Empire scientists hope to have the reset period reduced to five minutes in the near future. Since much of the technology involved in the phasing system is still new, no guidelines for matter density vs. time of usage are available so great care and continuous system monitoring must be taken to prevent dephasing inside of solid matter. A computer database of system operation has been developed and continues to be updated as the system is used to generate a set of operating parameters for the device.
It was also discovered during flight-testing that the device, in standard cloaking mode, was more vulnerable to anti-proton scans than standard cloaking devices. Modifications were quickly made that eliminated this problem. In planetary flight operations, the phasing-cloak device is used as long as possible during the atmospheric insertion phase of flight. Once it is shut down, the enhanced navigational deflectors and HRF field generators will sustain hull integrity, and standard cloak will remain available to mask the vessel from observation.
Situations may arise where control of the vessel has been lost and cannot be regained before the security of the vessel, and even the Empire itself, is compromised beyond acceptable levels. In a continuation of the "flexible response" philosophy that generated this version of the Vor'Cha-class cruiser, there are varying degrees to which the various protocols for destroying the vessel can be invoked. If aid is felt to be possible in the near future, certain sections of the vessel can be destroyed to render then unavailable to hostile forces. If aid is not available, then the vessel can be destroyed in its entirety. Several destruction methodologies exist within this vessel. Any one is capable to destroying the vessel itself, though it is expected that multiple protocols (if not all) would be initiated simultaneously to ensure maximum destruction. Orders to initiate partial or full autodestruct procedures can be issued by the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Operations Officer or Weapons Officer. Only the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer can issue cancellation orders, which must be done in unison.
A self-destruct system has been developed to destroy the warp core shortly after jettisoning to prevent the technology involved in their construction and operation from falling into the hands of enemy forces. The destruction system of the warp core can also be activated while the core is still in place in the event of hostile boarding to render the warp drive inoperative (and eliminate it as a power source for the ship or any systems, particularly the phaser cannon.) Multiple layers of containment fields can be erected around the core to protect the rest of the Engineering section (in whole or in part) if and as desired.
The mounting assembly of each warp nacelle is rigged with several explosive packages to facilitate jettisoning in case of catastrophic disaster or damage. Multiple redundant controls system ensure that the nacelles are deactivated simultaneously before jettisoning to prevent vessel destruction by linear disassociation due to portions of the vessel moving at differing warp factors (being torn apart because one side of the ship is trying to move faster than the other). Additional packages are contained within the nacelle structure (installed in shielded housings to protect them from energy discharges by the field coils that could cause them to detonate) that can be activated prior to jettisoning if their destruction is desired to prevent capture by enemy forces for study. A timer will help ensure their destruction will happen while clear of the rest of the vessel.
The vessel's computers will attempt to overload all weapon systems (including the interior security phasers) to destroy them and as much of the area around them as possible. Due to the thoroughness of the phaser emitter installation throughout the vessel, all spaces should be damaged significantly from the destruction of this system. In those compartments equipped with computer consoles or sensitive equipment installed in fixed locations, the emitter system can be programmed to automatically open fire on them at the highest available power settings before the system destroys itself. This should further ensure the destruction of assets valuable to hostile forces aboard the vessel.
If possible, some warp drive power will be rerouted into the phaser cannon plasma conduit. Once the plasma energy reaches the emitter the containment field around the conduit will be deactivated, allowing the plasma energy to consume the fuselage from the inside outward.
Perhaps the single-most effective method for complete destruction of ghop qeylIs is an uncontrolled release of the warp propulsion fuel components. The antimatter containment fields of the antimatter tanks will be disabled, allowing an uncontrolled matter/antimatter reaction to consume much of the vessel structure. The energy release of this method is approximately twice that of a complete load of photon torpedo devices being detonated simultaneously.
Any auxiliary spacecraft connected to the ship's data and power distribution grid will also have their autodestruct systems activated. All repair pods (those in the Hanger Deck and the Forward Weapon Module) are connected to the ship's power and data grid at all times they are not in use and would also be part of the autodestruct sequence.
Finally, there are a number of explosive packages installed throughout the structure of the vessel that can be detonated by computer command. Containing various types of explosives, they are intended to ensure the destruction of the vessel structure is as thorough as possible to prevent enemy forces from recovering wreckage for study. Should both computer cores be lost, this may be the last method available to perform a complete destruction of the vessel. Because of this, there is a redundant circuitry system to activate these packages with no tie-in to the computer cores or the vessel's data distribution network. Several packages have been installed in the area of the antimatter storage tanks to ensure the compromise of their magnetic containment fields.
All equipment, computer data and other classified materials and information are maintained under standard Imperial security protocols, all of which were initially reviewed and intensified at the beginning of the invasion of the Cardassian Union. These were reviewed again at the beginning of the war with the Dominion and its Cardassian servitors. Security levels are variable depending on the sensitivity of the specific item or data. All materials aboard the vessel have received security ratings in regard for their anticipated usability by saboteurs and infiltration forces that are able to board the ship.
Access to weapon equipment and the computer systems related to them are limited to those personnel that are assigned to their operation and maintenance. Periodic reviews are performed by security of conduct by personnel around these systems to look for possible violations of security regulations. All hand weapons beyond those normally carried by personnel are kept in armories scattered around the ship which are kept under guard by automated computer monitoring and security personnel at all times. Should a need arise to evacuate the ship, efforts will be made if possible to remove all hand weapons and other material from the ship to be relocated aboard any rescue vessels rending aid. Subspace transmitter/receiver units located in the items (if so equipped) that are normally used to monitor their usage will assist this. Transporters will be able to lock onto these transceivers to recover them.
Computer access is managed by numerous security access protocols. These have received periodic reviews and modifications since the beginning of the Cardassian invasion. Each computer terminal has been given a security rating, determined by the priority and importance of its location in the vessel. As internal security conditions are set higher, terminals assigned lower security levels will be disabled from usage. Restoration of operation will require authorization from a senior-ranking security staff officer possessing required passcodes and reinitialization protocols. Should it be determined that hostile forces have boarded the vessel, preparations will be made for the purging of computer data records and data storage media. Because techniques exist to scan erased storage media to determine the data that had been stored in it, efforts will be made to remove erased data storage media from computer systems and physically destroy them. Senior officers can generally only take this action. If none are available, two junior officers will be able to invoke this operation. Intermediate steps can render select areas of the ship cutoff from computer access. Normal procedure would leave the Main Bridge (or Auxiliary Bridge if activated) and Main Engineering as the last areas still able to operate the ship's computer system. At the last stage of computer operation isolation, access will be limited to terminals and PADDs located within the computer core compartments.