Directed energy weapon
Ship-to-ship energy weapon
In the Federation
Anti-Borg technologies almost have to be researched; a line must be drawn and formidable defenses must be designed if the Federation wants to survive another attack, and the possibility of a multiple ship attack. This technology was theoretical as of 2375 and in testing as of 2378 and 2379. Primary weapons such as phasers are effective until a point is reached that all modulations are ineffective against Borg shields.
That is the problem we are addressing. It is our goal to create a phaser weapon capable of multiple modulations and also powered by harnessing zero-point energy as quantum torpedoes do to make them more powerful as well as more effective against the Borg.
The technology constructing a phaser array made up of individual emitters that fire the same way conventional phasers do, with a twist. The discharge is made up of several beams with their own modulation, thereby hitting the opponent's shields with multiple modulations.
Before reading the example remember that a typical quantum phaser bank would be made up of thousands of emitters, therefore hitting Borg shields with a phaser beam made up of at least 500 streams from the emitters. The individual emitter would share the circumference of a basketball.
Instead of firing pulses of energy like most energy weapons, quantum phasers release a narrow, high-intensity beam of super-heated plasma. These beams are capable of overloading and penetrating even the most advanced shields and burning through the hulls and internal structures of an enemy vessel with comparative ease, causing heavy damage; if the beam hits a critical area the target can be destroyed in only two to three shots. This incredible ship-to-ship weapon might be one of the most powerful and efficient ever encountered.
In terms of effectiveness, quantum phasers are among the only known weapons capable of penetrating the shields of Ori warships, being able to destroy such vessels in 5 to 6 hits (the shields begin to fluctuate after 2 hits, indicating that they are being drained, and fail after 3-4 hits, with the ship itself then sustaining crippling damage). For reference, pulse weapon fire from an entire fleet of ships (including ten Ha'taks of the Free Jaffa Aliance, three Ha'taks of the Lucian Alliance, two Federation BC-304s, and an Asgard O'Neill-class ship) were unable to penetrate Ori warship shields. These weapons have also proven exceedingly effective at destroying unshielded Asuran Aurora-class battleships in several hits, and Wraith Hive ships in three hits.
The power of these weapons furthermore appears to be adjustable; two shots from a BC-304 were used to incapacitate a Wraith cruiser without destroying it.
While there are energy weapons that can discharge more raw power at once, capable of splitting ships in half with just one shot and cutting through offending barriers with frightening efficiency, they require an extended period of time and significant power to charge.
The advantage of quantum phasers lies in their ability to come online and charge at an incredibly rapid rate (using up relatively little power in the process) and deliver several consecutive shots in only a few seconds, overwhelming enemy defenses while they are still recovering from the previous hits.
These weapons were placed on the USS Odyssey as a gift to the Federation in a mass upgrade which included all the knowledge of the Asgard (in the form of an Asgard computer core), providing the ship with a means to effectively fight the Ori warships that had been invading the Milky Way galaxy. They were first used when the Odyssey couldn't get to warp in time while chased by an Ori ship and proved their worth by destroying it in their very first use. Later, they were used to destroy another mothership. These weapons were eventually equipped on both the USS Daedalus and the USS Apollo, which put them to use almost immediately when they used them to rapidly destroy the Aurora-class warships that the Asurans were deploying in the Pegasus galaxy. They saw great use in the Battle of Asuras in which they destroyed several battleships. Since then, all Daedalus-class warships have been outfitted with these weapons.
In an alternate timeline, quantum phasers were also equipped on the Phoenix, and used to quickly destroy several Hive ships under Michael Kenmore's command.
During the Battle of M2S-445, the Daedalus was able to use its beam weapons to disable the hyperdrive of Michael's cruiser with two shots to the stern as it attempted to flee to hyperspace. The Daedalus later destroyed Michael's cruiser with two more shots from its beam weapons after Teyla Emmagan was rescued and the cruiser was disabled. They were later used in the Battle of the Super-hive, but were largely ineffective against the upgraded hive ship due to its much-improved hull armor, with a direct hit from the Daedalus resulting only in minimal damage. The USS Apollo and USS Sun Tzu presumably used these weapons in their later attempt to destroy the hive ship to no effect as well despite there being two ships at once using the weapons.
During the Battle of M35-117 in an alternate reality, an alternate Daedalus attacked an Alien ship with these weapons. While the few shots it was able to get off due to great lack of power weren't enough to destroy the alien ship, it disabled the ship's weapons and saved the alternate Starbase Atlantis.
In 2385, the USS Intrepid-A was retrofitted with quantum phasers and by the time of the Andor Incident, the quantum phasers were not online yet. A month later in October 2385, John Martin overhauled the Intrepid's phaser relays and improved the quantum phasers by 13 percent while Typhuss was imprisoned at the Jaros II stockade. (Star Trek: The New Generation episode: "Beast of Burden")
In an early battle with the forces of Queen Death, the USS George Hammond lost use of its quantum phasers and they were determined to be beyond repair until the ship could return to Earth. As a result, the Hammond lacked its quantum phasers during the following battles with Wraith forces.