Many times Federation personnel beamed on board Borg Cubes, so if they were unable to destroy the Borg Cube by their torpedoes and other weapons why not simply plant a high energy destruction bomb from the inside and destroy it.

Secondly, if they were able to beam on board, where are the Borg shields?

  • Can you reference some specific episodes?
    – CamelBlues
    Dec 26, 2012 at 18:24
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    Didn't Voyager try something like this in "Dark Frontier"? My memory of that episode is kinda foggy, but I remember them cooking up a plan to send an away team over to a Borg ship, plant a bunch of explosive charges, and get out. Dec 28, 2012 at 16:19
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    @MattPeterson Yes, Voyager beams a photon torpedo inside of a Borg Probe (and destroys it) in Dark Frontier. Jun 10, 2013 at 7:51
  • @MattPeterson I only vaguely remember, but I believe they were trying to cripple the Borg Probe, instead of destroying it
    – Petersaber
    Jul 22, 2015 at 7:28

3 Answers 3


Physically Impossible

There are no explosive weapons aboard the Enterprise that can be transported

Assuming you temporarily disable the transporter's biofilter to allow weapons through, the only physical bomb-like weapons on the Enterprise (NC-1701 D) are antimatter mines and photon torpedoes. Both of these are technically anti-matter, and cannot be transported by NC-1701 D's transporter.

Tactically a bad idea

The Federation ship would have to lower its shields to successfully transport, thus opening itself to counter-attack/boarding

Federation transporters typically cannot penetrate deflector shields. In order to transport between vessels, both the host ship and target ship have to lower their shields. (Borg transporters do not have the limitation, FYI).

In Q-Who, the TNG episode that introduces the Borg, the Federation is able to beam aboard because the Borg are busy making repairs to their ship. Typically, Federation crews would be unable to beam aboard Borg ships as if they were close enough to a cube to be within transporter range, as they would be in combat and subject to the limitations above.

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    It's worth pointing out that Borg weapons were initially able to slice through shields without much trouble.
    – Jeff
    Dec 28, 2012 at 20:26
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    FYI - Voyager transported a torpedo and did exactly this to a Borg probe in "Dark Frontier - part 1".
    – Derek
    Oct 27, 2014 at 6:48
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    no explosive weapons aboard You're talking about a ship that has replicators that can make pretty much anything they want. Jan 6, 2016 at 5:54
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    An overloaded phaser is most certainly an explosive weapon, and I recall the Enterprise seems to carry at least a couple of those ;P Mar 24, 2017 at 4:11
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    This is actually very wrong. They transported an explosive tribbles, and Nomad, and the smart bomb
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 18, 2019 at 8:34

Short answer: They do, at least on one occasion


First question: Story telling! Also, the main issue usually isn't just applying damage to a cube. The issue is knowing where to apply it. Also, beaming isn't that easy due to the usual "shields block beaming" issue. There are also explosives and other chemicals shown as being too instable to be beamed, so this might be another reason. As seen in First Contact, the Borg just wiped Starfleet's blockade with obviously minimal or not too serious damages. Once the Enterprise arrives, all they essentially do is coordinating attacks on specific points of the cube (they obviously tried this before, but probably never hit the right spot). Although, to be honest, I'm not sure why this strategically important information wasn't shared/passed along earlier (or it's been ignored? Maybe just more story telling involved...).

Different approach to this question: Why don't they just use beam technology for attacks, like beaming away essential parts of the warp core compartment or anything like that? I.e. you don't have to destroy important things by exploding them, just remove them by beaming?

Second Question: Their shields block beaming just as usual and known throughout the series. However, Borg usually won't waste power on shields unless entering a fight or being engaged. Most often beaming on board a cube happened before fighting, after fighting or while the cube has been damaged. As far as I remember, the only difference is that Borg are able to enter other ships with drones while the shields are still (partially?) intact.

  • 1
    The impression I got from First Contact was that (potentially) each Cube had stuff in slightly different locations (or something), and Picard was finding the weakspot for that cube (or where attacks would do the most damage, at least), on-the-fly. There may not have been 'standard' information to give out. Dec 26, 2012 at 17:28
  • @Mario, I think the reason you can't destroy stuff by beaming it is 1) it will prob. be shielded, and you'll have to lower your own shields to activate your transporter 2) I suspect that something high-energy enough, like a warp core, would cause a massive amount of feedback in the transporter beam and blow up your own transporter room/ship.
    – CamelBlues
    Dec 26, 2012 at 17:51

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