Weapons of Star Trek

Weapons of Star Trek

The Star Trek fictional universe contains a very large number of weapons.

Energy weapons


Disruptors are employed by the Romulan Star Empire, Klingon Empire, Breen, Cardassian Union, and Orions in their personal and military small arms as well as being mounted as cannon, emitters, turrets, and banks. Only the first three are known to have type-3 disruptors, the most advanced developed so far, by the 24th century.

Varon-T disruptors

Varon-T disruptors are a rare type of disruptor made illegal in the Federation because of their slow, excruciating method of killing. The weapons tear the body apart from the inside. Kivas Fajo, a Zibalian trader in the episode "The Most Toys", owned four of the five Varon-T disruptors ever manufactured before his collection of rare items was confiscated subsequent to his capture and arrest for kidnapping and theft (among other crimes). [cite episode
title = The Most Toys
episodelink = The Most Toys
series = TNG
serieslink = Star Trek: The Next Generation
airdate = 1990-05-05
season = 3
number = 70


Lasers are a sidearm in the original "Star Trek" pilot "The Cage", and laser pistols appear in several "Original Series" episodes, although later episodes in "The Next Generation" seemed to indicate that the laser's use as a weapon was outdated. In one instance, the ship-mounted lasers of two spacecraft were incapable of overcoming the navigational shields of the USS "Enterprise"-D,cite episode| episodelink=The Outrageous Okona (TNG episode)| title=The Outrageous Okona| series=] though on at least two other occasions it was threatened with destruction by laser-armed spacecraft.cite episode| episodelink=Loud_as_a_Whisper (TNG episode)| title=Loud as a Whisper| series=] cite episode| episodelink=Suddenly_Human (TNG episode)| title=Suddenly Human| series=] The Borg have been known to use cutting lasers to dissect disabled vessels.cite episode| episodelink=Q_Who%3F (TNG episode)| title=Q Who?| series=]

Phase pistols

Phase pistols are the 22nd century precursor to phaser technology. However, unlike phasers, they do not have the vaporize setting—only stun and kill.

Phase cannons

Phase cannons are 22nd century weapons, several of which first appear mounted to the "Enterprise" in the "Star Trek: Enterprise" episode "Silent Enemy". Phase cannons have a variable yield, with the cannons on the "Enterprise" being rated for a maximum output of 500 gigajoules.cite episode| episodelink=Silent Enemy (Enterprise episode)| title=Silent Enemy| series=] Phase cannons are generally more powerful than spatial torpedoes.cite episode| episodelink=Fallen Hero (Enterprise episode)| title=Fallen Hero| series=]

Phased polaron cannon

Phased polaron cannons are the primary armament of the Dominion, the main antagonist faction in the later seasons of "". The cannon emits a beam of polaron particles, the antimatter counterpart of the muon. When first introduced, Dominion polaron cannons easily penetrate the shielding systems of most Alpha Quadrant races' shields. The Alpha Quadrant races eventually learn to modify their shields to resist polaron weaponry, evoking surprise from the Vorta advisor Weyoun ("Call to Arms").


Phasers are common directed-energy weapons first seen in the and later seen or referenced in almost all subsequent films and TV spin-offs, except in the prequel series "Enterprise".

Phasers come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from hand-held versions to starship-mounted ones. Personal phasers can be made small enough to fit in the user's palm and still be deadly. Larger and more powerful phaser rifles are commonly issued to security personnel. Phaser beams can be adjusted in both width and output. A typical hand phaser can merely stun a target or completely vaporize it, and the beam can be adjusted to strike multiple targets at once or evenly destroy large portions of material.cite episode| episodelink=Cathexis (Star Trek: Voyager)| title=Cathexis| series=] They can be used as welding torches or cutting tools, and can create heat sources by firing at a large, solid object (like a rock). Phasers can be set to overload, whereby they build up a force-chamber explosion by continuously generating energy without releasing it; the resulting blast can destroy most natural objects within a 50-yard radius. This process is marked by a distinctive sound that increases in volume and intensity until it is deactivated or it detonates. Ship-mounted phasers have a similar range of functions on a larger scale: The phasers on the USS "Enterprise" could stun entire city blocks full of people [Original Series, Season Two, "A Piece of the Action"] and even vaporize entire asteroids.

Pulse Cannons

When the laser had reached its upper limits of power, a new weapon was invented at Jupiter Station for the newly designed NX-class. This new weapon could fire much greater energies at longer range but the draw back was that continuous fire would cause damage to the emitter. To solve this problem, starfleet scientists devised a way to fire the weapon in a constant burst stream to help regulate the temperatures of the emitters in a state of constant fire. The pulse cannon is a rather simple particle beam weapon. It was replaced by the Phase Cannon.Originally (from the production notes to TOS), the Phaser was a PHoton mASER, or PHASER, since at the time of writing the Laser was a relative unknown, and powers were not expected to be very great. Masers, on the other hand, were already very powerful machines which produce very destructive radiation pulses. The term "phaser" has since been revised as a backronym for PHASed Energy Rectification, though from a physics standpoint even this is of equal semantic content—ordinary incoherent light is not "rectified", or synchronous, whereas Lasing and Masing emissions are rectified, or synchronous. Phasers make a beam of a fictional type of subatomic particles called "rapid ". The ' indicates that the superconducting crystals used in phasers are called "fushigi no umi". This was an homage to the 1990 anime series "Fushigi no Umi no Nadia", known in North America as '.

Biological weapons

Thalaron Radiation

Thalaron radiation was first used in "Star Trek Nemesis" by main antagonist Shinzon to assassinate the Romulan senate. Later in the movie, Shinzon attempts to kill the crew of the USS "Enterprise"-E using a ship-mounted version. Thalaron radiation, even in small amounts, petrifies living tissue almost instantly. Its properties also allow its range and area of affect to be precisely controlled, limiting its use to a single room or encompassing an entire planet. Its massive destructive potential leads the Federation to consider it a biogenic weapon.cite episode|title=Star Trek Nemesis]

Metreon cascade

The metreon cascade was designed by Dr. Ma'Bor Jetrel of the Haakonian Order. Unstable metreon isotopes were used to create a devastating explosion, with radiation effects similar to those of the 20th-century atomic bomb. Those not killed or vaporized in the initial blast suffered terrible radiation poisoning and death in the aftermath. It was used only once, on the Talaxian moon Rinax in 2355.cite episode| episodelink=Jetrel| title=Jetrel| series=]

Trilithium resin

Trilithium resin is a substance lethal to humans, but harmless to Cardassians. A team of terrorists attempted to steal Trilithium resin from the warp core of the "Enterprise-D" when it was docked at Arkaria station to receive a baryon sweep.cite episode| episodelink=Starship Mine| title=Starship Mine| series=] Captain Benjamin Sisko would later use a Trilithium resin torpedo to render a Maquis planet uninhabitable to all human life for fifty years by detonating it in the atmosphere.cite episode| episodelink=For the Uniform| title=For the Uniform| series=]

Cobalt diselenide

Cobalt diselenide is a biogenic weapon that affects the nervous system. It is the counterpart to trilithium resin, being lethal to Cardassians but harmless to most other humanoids.

Melee weapons

KaBar Combat Knife

The KaBar Combat Knife is standard-issue combat and survival knife in the Federation. Its design is more or less similar to that of its original namesake, which is used by the United States Marine Corps. It is 32.5 cm (12.8 in) and is standard equipment in survival gear and in emergency weapons caches aboard starships. Captain Kathryn Janeway uses one in the "Star Trek: Voyager" episode "Macrocosm".


The bat'leth is the Klingon longsword, designed by martial arts enthusiast and "" effects producer Dan Curry.cite book|title=The Star Trek Encyclopedia|author=Okuda, Mike and Denise Okuda, with Debbie Mirek|publisher=Pocket Books|id=ISBN 0-671-53609-5|year=1999] A replica bat'leth was amongst the blades surrendered to British police as part of the 2006 knife amnesty. [cite web | title = Lethal Star Trek blade seized in knives amnesty | publisher = The Daily Mail | url = http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-387680/Lethal-Star-Trek-blade-seized-knives-amnesty.html | accessdate = 2008-07-31]

Klingon oral history holds that the first bat'leth was forged around 625 A.D. by Kahless, who dropped a lock of his hair into the lava from the Kri'stak Volcano, then plunged the fiery lock into the lake of Lursor and twisted it to form a blade. After forging the weapon, he used it to defeat the tyrant Molor, and in doing so united the Klingon Homeworld. This first bat'leth was known as "The Sword of Kahless" and was stolen by the invading Hur'q; an episode of "Deep Space Nine" revolves around an effort to recover The Sword of Kahless. The name bat'leth itself means "Sword of Honor" in Klingon.

D'k tahg

A d'k tahg is a Klingon dagger. The knife has three blades: a main blade with a cutout in the center, and two smaller blades on either side. In some models, these side blades are spring loaded and can pop out into position and close up for storage. In other models, the blades are fixed. It also features a pommel studded with blunt spikes. The D'k tahg first appeared in "", and appeared occasionally throughout the following films and TV series.


Similar to the d'k tahg, the kutluch is "the ceremonial weapon of an assassin." A kutluch is designed to do considerable damage to internal organs, by klingon standards thus making it a very lethal weapon. The only mention of the kutluch is in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Sins of the Father," when Worf's brother, Kurn, is stabbed.


A mek'leth is the Klingon short sword that appears in several episodes of ' and in the film '. Designed by Dan Curry, it consists of a short, thick, curved blade with a metal guard extending back parallel with the grip to protect the hand. Worf is the most commonly seen user of the mek'leth, owning one and using it several times, including in melee combat against Borg drones in "First Contact".


A lirpa is a Vulcan weapon consisting of a wooden staff a little over a meter in length, with a semicircular blade at one end and a metal bludgeon on the other. It is similar to the monk's spade. Captain James T. Kirk and Spock used lirpas when they fought for possession of T'Pring during Spock's Pon farr ritual in "Amok Time". Soldiers sent after Jonathan Archer and T'Pol fought with lirpas because Vulcan's "Forge" region makes conventional energy weapons useless.


An ahn'woon is a Vulcan catch-strangle weapon, similar in principle to the Earth Roman gladiator's weighted net. The multi-strapped weapon (approximately 1.1 meters long) uses weights on the ends of the straps to entangle, stun, or cut the target, and the application of tying action and wrapping can engulf the breathing of the target, asphyxiating the victim.

Projectile weapons

TR-116 Projectile Rifle

The TR-116 Projectile Rifle is a prototype weapon developed by the Federation for situations where conventional energy weapons might be rendered useless by dampening fields or other countermeasures. The rifle is essentially a paramagnetic gauss rifle, using a duritanium slug accelerated to a good fraction of sublight speeds (difficult to achieve in atmosphere, without precise forcefield focus and acceleration, due to the air resistance). It is introduced in the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Field of Fire", where it is used in conjunction with a micro-transporter and a visual scanner headpiece to create a very potent sniper rifle. With the scanner, the shooter can precisely target people hundreds of meters away and through solid matter with no difficulty. Using the transporter attached to the barrel, the slug can then be transported at full velocity, materializing at point-blank range so the victim cannot dodge.

Chroniton torpedoes

Chroniton torpedoes phase in and out of normal time and have been twice seen used by the Krenim. Their temporal nature makes them extremely dangerous and potent.cite episode| episodelink=Year of Hell (Voyager episode)| title=Year of Hell| series=] Their reliability is not absolute, as Seven of Nine and Tuvok find an undetonated chroniton torpedo lodged in "Voyager"'s hull.

Polaron torpedoes

Polaron torpedoes, like the Dominion weapon, are capable of penetrating normal shielding with ease. They appear in various "Star Trek" games. In "Starfleet Command III", it is one of the Klingon's three heavy weapon options, the others being the photon torpedo and the ion cannon. It also appears in "Star Trek Armada" and "Star Trek Armada II" as a researchable weapon for the Klingon Empire which takes out one of the targeted ship's systems at random, exclusive to the "Vor'cha"-class cruiser.

Gravimetric torpedoes

Gravimetric torpedoes are torpedoes used by the Borg. The weapon emits a complex phase variance of gravitons to create a gravimetric distortion capable of tearing starships apart.

Photon torpedoes

Photon torpedoes are a standard ship-based weapon armed with an antimatter warhead. They are present in every version of the "Star Trek" series and are a standard weapon on almost every Federation ship, though in "" the titular ship uses less powerful spatial torpedoes until receiving the more powerful "photonic" (as the characters describe them) variant. Photon torpedoes first appear on a Starfleet ship in the original series' episode "Arena" as part of the USS "Enterprise"'s armament — in the "Star Trek: Enterprise" episode "The Expanse", the NX-01 Enterprise first receives photon torpedoes. Smaller Starfleet craft such as shuttlecraft and Runabouts can be armed with "micro-torpedoes", a scaled-down version of photon torpedoes designed for use on craft too small to accommodate the full-sized weapon.

When fired, photon torpedoes usually appear as a spiky ball of energy of varying colors, such as red,cite episode|title=] orange,cite episode|title=] yellow, blue, or green.cite episode|title=] The energy output of a photon torpedo, according to the Technical Manuals is a maximum theoretical yield of 25 Isotons and a maximum rated yield of 18.5 Isotons. According to the TNG Technical Manual, photon torpedoes use 1.5kg of matter and 1.5kg of antimatter. The resulting energy output would be 2.7x1017Joules of energy (by the well-known formula E=mc2). This amount of energy release would be equivalent to about a 64.44 megaton nuclear explosion.

Torpedoes are often depicted as being easy to modify to suit specific situations. Despite the stated maximum yield, torpedoes can apparently be made far more destructive with relatively little effort. In "Star Trek: Voyager", Tuvok and Kim modify a normal photon torpedo with a gravimetric charge, similar to that of Borg technology, and increase its destructive yield to 54 isotons. Kim comments that 50 isotons would have been sufficient to destroy a small planet. Moments later, Janeway instructs them to increase its yield even further, to 80 isotons. It is not specified exactly how they modified the warhead, but it only requires a few hours to complete the work and uses materials readily available on "Voyager". In "", Spock and Dr. McCoy modify a photon torpedo to track the plasma emissions (a futuristic version of the heat-seeking missile) from a cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey as it attacks the "Enterprise" and the "Excelsior".

Plasma torpedo

Plasma torpedoes are used by the Romulans, Cardassians, and (according to "Star Fleet Battles" and "Star Fleet Command") the Gorn. The damage of a plasma torpedo spreads out over several ship systems at once, but the torpedo loses its effectiveness after only a few minutes of travel. Romulan plasma torpedoes use trilithium isotopes in their warheads.

Quantum torpedoes

Quantum torpedoes first appear in the "Deep Space Nine" episode "Defiant" as a weapon aboard the USS "Defiant". Additionally, the USS "Enterprise"-E fires quantum torpedoes in ' and "Star Trek Nemesis". The ' states that quantum torpedoes derive their destructive power from zero-point energy. [cite book|title=
last=Zimmerman|first=Herman|coauthors=Rick Sternbach and Doug Drexler

Four of the USS "Enterprise"-E's quantum torpedoes destroyed an unshielded Borg sphere . Quantum torpedoes are not entirely effective against solid neutronium.cite episode| episodelink=To the Death (DS9 episode)| title=To the Death| series=] Quantum torpedoes are normally shown in a shade of blue.

patial torpedoes

Spatial torpedoes are 22nd century weapons used by the "Enterprise". Spatial torpedoes are the ship's most powerful and primary ship-to-ship weapon prior to the installation of phase cannons. Spatial torpedoes are themselves superseded by more powerful photonic torpedoes.cite episode| episodelink=The Expanse (Enterprise episode)| title=The Expanse| series=] Unlike photonic torpedoes or any of the warhead's successors, spatial torpedoes are launched at sub-light velocity and can be used much in the manner of a missile, having the warhead on a fly-by-wire.cite episode| episodelink=Fight or Flight (Enterprise episode)| title=Fight or Flight| series=]

Transphasic torpedoes

Transphasic torpedoes appear only once, in the "Voyager" series finale, "Endgame". They are high-yield torpedoes that are designed specifically to fight the Borg. The future Admiral Janeway brought them back in time in a Federation shuttle-craft and had them installed onboard "Voyager" in 2377. They are among the most powerful weapons used in the "Star Trek" universe; just one is capable of obliterating an entire Borg cube, a feat normally requiring an almost impossible amount of punishment using standard Federation weapons.

Phased plasma torpedoes

Phased plasma torpedoes are an advanced variation of the quantum torpedo that can phase out of normal space-time to bypass shields, then phase back in to detonate on a ship's hull, thus making shields worthless against them. They only appeared in the PC game "". Shortly after the recovery of the Pegasus device, the phasing properties used in the design were seen as a delivery system for torpedoes. Since Borg ships are almost impossible to destroy by Starfleet's current technology, it made sense to their engineers, if a torpedo could phase itself and enter the body of a Borg cube, it could then materialize and detonate, causing devastating damage. However, reducing the phasing coils used to accomplish an intangible state to torpedo size proved difficult. Also, the antimatter within the warhead had a destabilizing effect on the phasing coil. A new kind of explosive material was needed, and it was found using the principles behind the first observed Romulan plasma weapons. The installation of high-energy plasma infuser would allow a torpedo casing to be filled with a warhead tube charged with high-energy plasma from the ship's warp nacelles. Warp plasma is considered highly unstable and can be easily detonated. Until recently, it was considered an undeliverable medium that could not be controlled. However, filling the detonation tube with warp plasma, and using a nanite controlled trigger for reactant release, now allows vessels to deliver a high-energy plasma warhead payload within a Mark IV torpedo casing.

Positron torpedoes

The Kessok are a highly intelligent race that allied themselves with the Cardassians, albeit through deceit, in the video game "". They utilize positron torpedoes: powerful, slow-moving projectiles able to inflict nearly twice as much damage as quantum torpedoes.

ubspace weapons

Subspace weapons are a class of directed energy weapons that directly affect subspace. The weapons can produce actual tears in subspace, and are extremely unpredictable. These weapons were banned under the second Khitomer Accord.

Isolytic burst

Son'a vessels carried and used isolytic burst weapons, a type of subspace weapon. They were seen using this weapon against the "Enterprise-E" in "Star Trek: Insurrection". The "Enterprise" was only able to escape the weapon's effect by ejecting its warp core and detonating it.

Tricobalt devices

USS "Voyager" uses a pair of tricobalt devices to destroy the Caretaker array in the "" pilot episode, "Caretaker" and was also used against Voyager in the episode "Blink of an Eye." Tricobalt devices are not a standard armament of Federation vessels and yields are calculated in Tera-Cochranes. The tricobalt warhead is a subspace weapon whose high-yield detonations can tear holes in subspace. The games "Star Trek Armada" and "Star Trek Armada II" have ships armed with Tricobalt devices for artillery support. The Federation Steamrunner class, the Klingon Chuq'Beh-class Bird of Prey, the Romulan Raptor class Warbird, and the Borg Harbinger are all capable of using them. The workings of the weapon is unknown but theorised is the use of Cobalt-60.cite episode| episodelink=The Voyager Conspiracy| title=The Voyager Conspiracy| series=] cite episode| episodelink=In a Mirror, Darkly| title=In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 1| series=]

Other weapons

Magnetometric Guided Charges

Around Stardate 43995, the Borg used this weapon to drive the USS "Enterprise", NCC-1701-D, from the Paulson Nebula. This shortly leads to the abduction of Captain Jean Luc Picard.

Multikinetic Neutronic Mines

During Season 4, Episode 1 of "", Captain Janeway consults with Borg representative Seven of Nine on how to destroy Species 8472. Janeway calls Seven of Nine's "multikinetic neutronic mine" a "weapon of mass destruction," following up on a statement from Tuvok that it would affect the entire solar system, destroying innocent worlds. A five-million isoton yield can disperse Borg nanoprobes across a five-light year range.


Dreadnought was a Cardassian self-guided missile, containing one thousand kilograms of matter, and another thousand of antimatter. Tuvok describes this as enough to destroy a small moon. Although described as a self-guided missile, in practice Dreadnought functions much like an autonomous starship. It possesses shields, phasers, a complement of quantum torpedoes, a Thoron shock emitter, a plasma wave weapon, engines capable of reaching at least Warp 9, and a sophisticated computer AI. It appears in the "Voyager" . It had been captured by the Maquis it had been originally sent to destroy and reprogrammed to attack its original creators, although unforeseen events led it to target innocents in the Delta Quadrant.

eries 5 Long Range Tactical Armor Unit

Similar in purpose to the Cardassian Dreadnought, the Tactical Armor Units are self-guided missiles with sophisticated artificial intelligence. They are much smaller than Dreadnought, being only a few feet in length, and while nowhere near as powerful, they are nonetheless classified as weapons of mass destruction, capable of destroying everything in a 200-kilometer radius with a highly focused antimatter explosion. Their coordination and control is done through a "Strategic Command Matrix", analogous to a nuclear control network of the type used by the United States. Each one possesses shielding, warp drive of indeterminate speed, and a sentient, genius-level artificial intelligence programmed to do whatever is necessary to reach their targets and detonate. They can detect and prevent tampering, are intelligent enough to find a way past almost any obstacle, and can win engagements even when outnumbered. They were created by a Delta Quadrant race called the Druoda, and the devices were greatly feared for their endurance and tenacity.cite episode| episodelink=Warhead (Voyager episode)| title=Warhead| series=]

Omega molecules

Omega molecules were first revealed in the "Voyager" episode "The Omega Directive". Omega molecules were first discovered (as far as the Federation knows) when a scientist named Ketteract managed to artificially create them. How many he made exactly is not specified. They destabilized and created an explosion which destroyed the entire facility and subspace itself for several light years around, making warp travel impossible through that region. For this reason, Starfleet gives destroy on sight orders to its captains in regard to the molecule: improper handling of it would render interstellar travel impossible.

A single Omega molecule has as much power as a warp core. They can be synthesized from boronite ore, as the Borg did. Omega molecules have almost religious significance to the Borg, as they regard the molecule's complexity and harmony as perfection. They have never succeeded in creating stable Omega molecules, and killed billions of drones when they tried. The only instance of stable Omega molecules is seen near the end of the episode, just prior to their destruction.

Q Firearms

Q firearms were used in the Q civil war by the "Voyager" crew to compensate against the infinite power of the Q in "The Q and the Grey". They are depicted as Civil War-era rifles, to fit with the Civil War theme used by the Q Continuum as a concession to the human characters' limited perceptions. Presumably, their actual form would be as incomprehensible to non-Q as the Continuum itself. The use of the weapons caused supernovas in normal reality. They are arguably the most powerful weapons ever wielded by any humanoid species, as indicated by their ability to injure the otherwise omnipotent Q.

Quantum phaser

Quantum phasers are slightly more powerful than regular phasers, and known to be as powerful as a photon torpedo. These weapons first appear in the "Enterprise" series, used by the Xindi.


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