Why do the Asgard beam weapons seem to burn out very quickly when used by the BC-304 class ships?

The human crew only got one shot off on the Wraith super-hive for example, and we've never seen them shoot more than five times in battle.

Is this a problem with the BC-304 and the power source it uses? Or is there a usage limit mentioned in any canon source?

  • 7
    With the Asgard beam weapons, usually a couple of shots are more than enough to take out even Ori ships...
    – Hans Olo
    Apr 21 '19 at 22:36
  • 3
    iirc the main problem ended up being that any enemy that needed more than 5 shots typically had shields that would take basically infinite shots (read: Ori).
    – Benjamin
    Apr 22 '19 at 15:00
  • 1
    Probably because the Asgard weapons were an integrated system. While they could be removed and added to another platform, they weren't designed for it. It would be analogous to putting a 16" gun from a battleship on to a riverboat.
    – Xantec
    Apr 22 '19 at 18:54


  • Too long for comment...
  • I believe the key issue was the shields, or more directly the power source.
  • The weapons were all likely tied into the primary (ship wide) power supply putting even more strain on it.

This started as a comment but it was getting to big... I would have to go back and re-watch those last episodes to get more examples than what I can pull from memory and see all instances of the weapon being used but...

The Asgard retrofit was toward the end of the series when the Asgard decided to "end it on their own terms" rather than waiting for the inevitable. The retrofit upgraded the ship with everything from weapons to shields to the computer core that had their entire database.

Once that computer core was tied into the ships main systems and activated the Ori were uniquely able to track the ship wherever it went. Using the hyper drive the ship was safe, but without the drive active the Ori jumped with multiple ships to their exact location and started an aggressive assault on their shields.

As mentioned here the shield strength was directly proportional to the power supply it was attached to. The shields could only withstand a few shots from the Ori ships before they needed to recharge. With multiple Ori ships chasing the ship from location to location it meant each ship only needed one or two shots before the shields would be overwhelmed and the ship would be destroyed. To me this was the biggest challenge the ship needed to overcome. One on one or even two on one the Ori ships were no match for the upgrades but three and four at a time is where the worry began, because the power source was not enough to keep up.

Assuming the primary beam weapon was charged by the main power supply as well then you also have to consider everything from the shields, navigation, hyper drive, and communication were all running from the same source. In addition to the shields draining power from each blast repelled attacking would decrease their power even more, though the ship's leadership would be firing as rapidly as possible for effective strikes against their targets... There was no reason for them to have been holding back at all...

However, without more power to keep the shields up it never mattered how quickly the beam weapon could fire. Had they been lucky enough to have been powered by a ZPM those battles would have looked a lot different...

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