For example, do emergency inner hull force-field generators protect against such attacks when main shields are failing?

  • I'm pretty sure I remember at least one episode where an explosive device was beamed on board the Enterprise (or possibly DS9) after shields were taken down. The memory is vague though - I'm not even sure what series it was, let alone what ship/station.
    – Steve-O
    Nov 6, 2017 at 0:49
  • Does it include emergency force fields? Nov 6, 2017 at 0:52
  • 2
    Heck, if you're going to use a transporter beam at a ship, you don't even need a bomb. You could beam OUT parts of, say, the warp core. Nov 12, 2018 at 16:18
  • Well thats cruel for captain. Nov 12, 2018 at 17:32
  • It was used in Stargate: Atlantis. But the Wraith have developed counter-measures really quick. Nov 12, 2018 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


While bridges make tempting targets, destroying a bridge wouldn't help you all that much. Maybe you kill a senior officer or two, but you still have a largely functional starship that's going to be wanting to return the favor.

The TNG episode "The High Ground" features a more realistic scenario, but they weren't using transporters. Instead, it uses some sort of dangerous dimensional shift (the people who are using it are terrorists and very sick because of it). Shields are useless against the technology. At one point in the story, the terrorists shift aboard and plant a bomb on the warp core. It's a far more effective use of a transported bomb, because you can easily disable or destroy the ship there.

Another problem would be that you need to ensure the transporter beam is successful. We routinely see the transport process detected in the act. So if you picked it up, all you need to do is interfere with the process so you don't get a functional bomb at the end.

Finally, you're going to have a harder time beaming bombs as opposed to firing them. Even with ships from TOS, you could fire multiple torpedoes in the time it would take to beam them over.

As to bridge protection, the only time we see anything specific to protecting just the bridge is in Star Trek II, when they energize a defense field. Since we have no other canon uses, it's presumably just for TOS-era ships (in theory it should prevent transporter use). TNG-era ships had their bridges invaded by the Borg and the Dominion, but in those cases, their transporters could penetrate the shields. I think it's safe to assume they relied on the ship's general defenses as opposed to having something to just protect the bridge.

  • Agreed about destroying the bridge not being the best solution; it might be possible for surviving officers to tell the computer to fire, set a course, etc. and provide an authorization code without requiring access to the physical devices on the now-destroyed bridge.
    – person27
    Nov 6, 2017 at 8:01
  • Besides, you'd presumably need to be able to remote detonate the bomb from outside, so perhaps it's easier to block the signal than it is to block the transportation. You could just use a short timer, but that's very risky - set the timer too short and, if you can't get a signal lock (or if the enemy knock out your transporter right before you transport the bomb), the bomb might not beam out in time. Set the timer too long and they'll just beam it back off the ship.
    – delinear
    Nov 6, 2017 at 13:00
  • So a preprogrammed counter-counter-counter beaming wins :D Nov 6, 2017 at 13:24
  • @person27 Most Federation ships could execute a saucer separation, which meant you had an auxiliary bridge somewhere on the star drive section. We also see, in TNG, where you could transfer some controls from the bridge to engineering.
    – Machavity
    Nov 6, 2017 at 13:52
  • 3
    There are references in the TNG tech manual to the effect that the ship can be operated walking down the hallway with a PADD. It's not very effective, due to the small screen size and the limited selection of simultaneous controls (again, small screen), but it's possible.
    – T.J.L.
    Nov 6, 2017 at 15:22

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