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Lieutenant Worf firing a phaser
Phasers are the primary energy based defensive and offensive weapons deployed by Starfleet. Phaser units range in size from the small hand held type one phaser to the larger type eleven phasers designed as planetary defense weapons.

The term phaser is a hold over acronym. PHASed Energy Rectification, referring to the old original process of converting stored energy into another form before being released toward a target. Current phaser design utilize the Rapid Nadion Effect (RNE). Rapid nadions are short lived subatomic particles possessing special properties related to high-speed interactions within atomic nuclei. These reactions allow the liberation and transfer of strong nuclear forces within a particular class of superconducting crystals known as Fushigi-no-umi. The name for these crystals come from the researchers at Star Fleet Tokyo Research and Development facility where the crystals where first developed.

Type 1 through type 3 phasers are often referred to Hand Phasers due to their use as side arms by Starfleet personal going into hostile situations.

Type 4 through 8 are referred to as Phaser Banks. Phaser banks are designed as either a single large ship mounted emitter or a pair of such emitters that utilize shared power and targeting systems.

Type 9 though 11 are referred to as a Phaser Array due to their design incorporating multiple emitters arranged linear arrays identifiable as raised ridges running across the outer hull of a ship or stations outer hull.

Phaser Types

Hand Phasers

For additional information, please review Hand Phasers.

Type I:

The smallest of the phasers in the Starfleet arsenal this hand held phaser is often used by Starfleet personnel in situations were being conspicuously armed is not desirable. The type one phaser could be set to one of eight power levels ranging from Stun to disruption.

In the late 2260’s the type one phaser in use by Star Fleet was designed to fit into the larger type two phaser pistol. In later versions, such as those introduced in the 2360’s was smaller and more easily concealed that the previous designs without sacrificing functionality of the weapon.

Type II:

A Type-2 Phaser circa 2367
The primary phaser side arm used by Starfleet personnel. The type two has a total of sixteen power level from a light stun at level one to explosive/disruption effects level sixteen.

Older versions of the type two phasers such as the ones used in the late 2260’s operated as power amplifiers. By the 2280’s a version of the type two that was one contained unit was introduced into the Star Fleet inventory and was used alongside the older model type twos.

By the 2360’s the type two phasers had moved away from the pistol like design of the 2360’s. The newer type twos had a handle that connects to the back end of a muzzle cowling and emitter assembly. This design has seen several design changes including a more ergonomically design hand grip.

Type III:

Often referred to as phaser rifles the type three phaser rifles have access to the same sixteen settings but due to the size of the power cells used they have access to greater power reserves. Allowing for greater usage time before required a recharge or swap out of the depleted cells. In the 2370's a new Type 3 rifle entered into service that was known as a compression rifle or type 3a. The compression rifle is easily distinguished from other type 3 rifles in the inventory due to being wider than the other type 3 along with a split emitter resonator for tuning and focusing the phaser beam. The design of the compression rifle allows the rifle to remain functioning in dampening field. The type 3a was also equipped with twin power cells.

The 2370’s also saw the type 3b phaser rifle introduced into service. The 3b a field replaceable deuterium plasma generator and advance seeker/tracker mounted on the dorsal surface of the rifle barrel. The seeker/tracker was equipped with both passive and active EM and subspace detectors.

By 2373 a variant of the type 3b had entered into service that had been modified for EVA use. The forward had grip was changed to a second vertical grip and had the ability to be magnetically attached the outer surface of a ship’s hull or other such surface.

Phaser Banks

For additional information, please review Phaser Banks.

Type IV:

Type four phasers are generally used as vehicle mounted phaser arrays and most often used on Shuttle pods and the Type 6 shuttle and other such auxiliary craft such as the ARGO buggy where the type four is mounted as a rear facing light phaser cannon.

Type V

Type Five phasers are used on larger shuttle craft such as the type 7 shuttle and higher numbered shuttles.

Type VII

Type seven phasers are used most offten on fighters or other shuch attack craft.

Type VIII:

Ship mounted phasers used on ship classes such as the Excelsior class and the Peregrine class attack fighter. The type eight phasers are most often mounted in banks of dual emitters.

Phaser Arrays

For additional information, please review Phaser Array.

Type IX:

Ship mounted weapons used on ship classes such as the Ambassador class. The type nine are arranged in liner arrays.

Type X:

Ship mounted weapons used on ship classes such as the Galaxy class. The type ten are arranged in liner arrays similar to the type nine.

Type XI:

The type eleven phaser arrays are designed primarily for planetary defense. The type eleven are arranged in liner arrays similar to the type nine and ten. The energizing sequence of the type elevens was altered to minimize atmospheric blooming.

Some type eleven arrays have been mounted to Stations such as Deep Space Nine were they were housed in the runabout bays and raised into firing position during tactical situations.