As mentioned in this question: How do the USS Kelvin and USS Enterprise compare? the Kelvin has more torpedo launchers while the Enterprise seems to be able to fire them at a faster rate. The Kelvin on the other hand has small turret-like launchers (like modern missile launchers) while the Enterprise has a large and unmovable launch bay.

Is there any known reason why this design was chosen instead of the turret-like launchers (where more could have been propped with way more flexibility in terms of which direction to launch the torpedoes)?

  • 2
    Err, because the Enterprise is a more modern vessel, and hence has more modern weaponry, largely modeled on the Kelvin's scans of the Narada?
    – Valorum
    Jul 9, 2016 at 0:02
  • the question though is why drop more flexible turrets then vs. an unflexible forward launcher?
    – Thomas
    Jul 9, 2016 at 0:55
  • Torpedo tubes offer much more flexibility than missile pods. One million rounds per second don't do you any good if you miss and can't reload it.
    – Mazura
    Jul 9, 2016 at 3:38

1 Answer 1


The Abrams reboot left the Enterprise series alone (in theory anyways) so let's compare the original. Here's how the NX-01 looked like in combat

Note that the ship had generally poor weapons (torpedo launch rates were horrible). The Kelvin benefited from roughly 50 years of advances from this (2160ish to about 2213) but the Federation wasn't preparing for war either. You need to compare sizes of the various ships at this point (not embedding due to size). You'll note JJ Abrams giant sized his ship (more than twice the size of the original). Bigger... everything.

The eighth as I said is the new, larger re-imagined Constitution-class Enterprise from the JJ Abrams alternate universe "Star Trek" and "Into Darkness" (the increased size is due to encountering Nero's huge ship I believe).

This would make sense since the Narada was somewhere in the neighborhood of 8000m long. If you know there's a ship that big out there that's openly hostile towards you, you're going to build your ships bigger and badder. This is more or less confirmed in Into Darkness, where they're building them even bigger and badder than the Enterprise.

Torpedo launchers don't need to aim, per se. You're shooting guided missiles, essentially. My bet is that the Enterprise had faster torpedos. The NX-01 torpedos almost moved in slow motion. So, assuming that torpedo technology hasn't advanced all that much, you'd probably want to be able to aim them to give them less exposure to being blown up.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.