Canon Facts  Backstage Info  Speculation
The tri-cobalt warhead was developed in the late 21st Century as a weapon to arm the interstellar ships being launched from Earth at this time. Several incidents had occurred in which vessels were lost to mercenary raider forces, and it was deemed that the simple fission warheads of the time were insufficient to deal with this threat. The tri-cobalt warhead was a three stage fission-fusion-fission warhead in which both fission stages were doped with cobalt-60 in order to increase the overall yield. The tri-stage cobalt doped device quickly became known simply as the tri-cobalt warhead.

The principles behind the tri-cobalt warhead are simple enough, and many species have deployed this technology at some time. One notable example is the planets Eminiar VII and Vendikar, who used computer simulations of tri-cobalt devices as part of their simulated war. The USS Enterprise was declared a casualty of one of these devices when it failed to raise its shields during a simulated attack by Vendikar, a situation which brought a rather determined response from the commanding officer.

Although effective enough in its time, the tri-cobalt warhead was quickly outpaced by more advanced nuclear munitions and then by the advent of photon torpedoes and their matter / antimatter warheads. By modern standards the tri-cobalt warhead is not a serious weapons system, but Starfleet vessels sometimes carry a small number of such devices for use in demolition work or other applications where expending a photon torpedo would be wasteful. The modern Starfleet tri-cobalt device is a simple warhead with a yield variable between 1 and 500 kilotons, housed in a metal container of the same cross section but one third of the length of a photon torpedo. This allows large numbers to be carried if required, while ensuring compatibility with photon torpedo launchers. The device flies a purely ballistic trajectory, with no guidance of any kind - though there is a detonate abort and self destruct option installed.

Last updated : 17th February 1999.
This page is Copyright Graham Kennedy 1998.

Star Trek et al is Copyright Paramount Pictures 1996/97.
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All  of the above classes of weapons and all of the
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