Starship Armor Types

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Technology Data
Name Starship Armor Types
Type Armor
Introduced 2405
Affiliation Federation
TechStatus UCIP Canon
Contributor Czarr Rom


Armor is a physical method for a starship to survive both energy impacts and physical blows. Progressing from the 20th century plate steel and titanium alloys to 22nd century carbon-carbon force dispersal armor and micromirror coatings, these were all rendered obsolete in 2268.

While perfectly adequate, and even good, against nuclear torpedos and lasers, the invention of the phaser and its associated NDF effect rendered them obsolete. In James Kirk`s day, the only known armor was called quatrobirilium, and it was more of a effect-dispersal armor; it spread out the NDF effect by partially conducting the nadion stream away from the strike zone. Improvements in phasers eventually made even this obsolete.

So armor was pretty much unknown in the Federation until the Borg showed up; they then threw into development of ablative armor; it both shields the ship and blocks the effectiveness of the attacking beam by vaporizing instead of disassociating. Force hull armor, invented in late 2386, is a material version of the vector-vector cancelling effect of the inertial dampeners. In 2399 impact-shielding materials were developed to reduce the power requirements of a navigational deflector dish.


Type 1 Ablative Armor: Widely available

double layered ablation materials for impact dissipation

Minimal energy cost

Approximately 1 meter

Type 2 Ablative Armor: Widely available

Triple layered ablation materials for enhanced control

Standard subsystem energy cost

Approximately 1 meter

Type 3 Ablative Armor: Widely available

Quad layered ablation materials for dissipation, control, and survivability

Standard subsystem system energy cost

Approximately 1 meter

Type 4 Ablative Armor: Limited

This armor is a improvement upon the type 3 ablative armor. There is an improved secondary-transition effect, the primary method by which phasers and disruptors... in fact, all nadion-based weaponry due their damage.

This is achieved by using precisely constructed layers of a strong nanocarbon web, and imbedded in a boron-nitride crystalline matrix. This give the armor both strength and a 10 fold magnification in its nadion-charge channeling ability; the light atomic mass of the component materials improves the secondary-transition effect. This effect increases as the target material`s atomic mass decreases. Boron, nitrogen and Carbon are all low atomic-mass elements. The superstructure of the armor is full of a dense, binary gas composed of nitrogen and xenon(yes, its capable to produce certain forced compounds of some noble gases).

The gas both absorbs the beam energy by spliting into xenon and nitrogen, dilutes the energy by escaping, and both further enhance the secondary-transition effect. All in all, this armor is 60% more effective than the current type-3 ablative armor.

Full system energy cost

Approximately .5 meter

Type 1 Force Hull Armor: Moderately available

Single layered blade of carbotanium and tungsten ytterbium

Minimal energy cost

Approximately 1.5 meters

Type 2 Force Hull Armor: Limited Double layered blade of monotanium filaments and carbotanium

Minimal energy cost

Approximately 1 meter

Additional Information

Energy Costs: The primary reason armor has any energy costs at all associated with it is two-fold; one, as with all hull materials it also has the SIF running through it. The more advanced armors take this into account and utilize it to enhance their effectiveness. The second reason is for self-repair; a limited set of nanomachines and replicator-based systems perform minor repair of the armor, usually from light battle damage, ablation due to the shields not running properly, and other myriad of such reasons. This would in theory allow for complete repair of armor even after a battle, but the speed(approximately 11 months for a galaxy-class starship) and the energy costs mean that its far more effective to simply go out and replace it manually, either at starbase or in deep space.

Minimal energy cost - Almost nothing to support; akin to computer consoles, turbolifts, and other marginal-drain devices.

Standard subsystem cost - similar energy requirements as replicators, holodecks, life support and such.

Full system energy cost - requires its own dedicated set of EPS taps just as weapons and shields do. Can be thought of as another shield layer; it is one reason type-4 ablative armor is limited, as not all ships have the kind of power generation capacity to support it.