This was a very complex and cumbersome weapons system with many disadvantages - venting the main plasma system of the starship causes an almost total loss of power while firing, which means that the ship must both decloak and drop to sublight speeds while firing. The guidance system is extremely limited by the difficulties inherent in operating any sensor system through a high energy plasma field, and any degree of manoeuvring causes a significant drop in eventual yield. Because of these difficulties the plasma torpedo has therefore not been very successful when used against mobile targets such as Starships.
Fixed installations, on the other hand, are a different matter. The plasma torpedo essentially focuses the entire energy output of a starship into one colossal discharge; 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 kilometres of solid rock. This level of destructiveness was not available with any other weapons system of the time.
Today the plasma torpedo is still in service with the Romulan Warbird
as a heavy weapon for use against fixed installations.
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All of the above classes of weapons and all of the
named ships are copyright Paramount 1996/97.