The quantum torpedo is the first Starfleet follow up weapon to replace the standard photon torpedo first developed in 2268. During upgrade testing of the Mark IX warhead it was determined that the theoretical maximum explosive yield of 25 isotones had finally been reached for a matter/antimatter reaction. Existing and future threat force conflicts drove the development of a new defensive stand off weapon that could be deployed on specially equipped starships, starbases and planetary-surface fortifications. Advances in rapid energy extraction from the space time domain known as the zero-point vacuum eventually led the Starfleet R&D facility on Groombridge 273-2A to test a prototype continuum twist device with a calculated potential of 52.3 isotones.
The testing of the prototype zero-point warhead occurred on Groombridge 273-2A, an uninhabited gas giant moon, in 2355, following six years of theoretical research and experimental hardware development. Various types of EM emitters were successful at producing energy bursts, and one was chosen for a detonation test 285 kilometers beneath the surface. Security measures had already been heightened for the entire program when tensions spiked dramatically one hour before the test. One researcher produced a computer simulation that indicated a possible rapid and total annihilation of the moon at the moment of detonation. Unfortunately, one calculation dealing with hypothetical runaway vacuum pinching had not been deleted, and another last-minute simulation predicted a detonation confined to a nine-hundred-meter diameter sphere. The test was successful, the Groombridge site was abandoned and restored to its original state, and Starfleet defensive weapons facilities continued with fabrication.
- Quantum Torpedo at Memory Alpha
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