|TechStatus||Star Trek Canon|
The Plasma Torpedo is a plasma based pseudo-projectile weapon that is heavily employed by the Romulan Star Empire's fleet. It is a powerful weapon but rather limited by the fact that it is not composed of a solid shell but rather a ball of plasma that can be effected and changed as it travels towards its target.
Plasma Torpedoes are comprised of a cohesive mass of high-energy plasma drawn directly from the warp plasma reserves of the ship. Due to this only a limited amount of torpedoes are at a ship's disposal as the loss of too much plasma can have a negative impact on its warp capabilities.
Plasma torpedoes require an enormous amount of energy to fire and require the attacking ship to both deactivate any cloaking device in operation and drop to sub light speeds. Specialized torpedo launch systems need to be installed on a ship that intends to fire the torpedo.
As the torpedo travels it gradually becomes more diffuse as its energy dissipates. The torpedo's guidance system is extremely limited once fired due to the composition of the torpedo. This can be compensated by the great speed that a plasma torpedo travels at.
However, due to the dissipation effect it is possible to negate the capability of plasma torpedoes if a target vessel moves at high speed away from its attacker. Whilst few ships are capable of outrunning the weapon, if enough distance is covered by the time the torpedo reaches its target it has dissipated to such a degree that it is no longer effective.
Because of these difficulties the plasma torpedo has not been very successful when used against mobile targets such as star ships.
Fixed installations, on the other hand, are a different matter. When used against a Federation asteroid based outpost a single plasma torpedo collapsed the shields and caused near total destruction of the installation even through several kilometers of solid rock. This level of destructiveness was unmatched by any other weapons system at the time.
The use of this technology is limited to the Romulan Star Empire.
- Photon Torpedo (Federation equivilent technology)