I have looked at a ton of Star Trek episodes ever since Yesterday's Enterprise, but I have not found any information at all on the shielding capabilities of an Ambassador-class starship. I'm looking to know how many photon torpedoes it can withstand.

  • Not sure if this is the kind of site for what you are looking for. Have you looked at Memory Alpha: Ambassador Class Starship? Oct 26, 2013 at 2:45
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    Photon torpedoes have a configurable yield IIRC, and shield strength depends on a few factors, so such an answer is unlikely to be consistent or useful...
    – Izkata
    Oct 26, 2013 at 4:07
  • IIRC Tasha Yar mentions some sort of comparison of the shield strength between Enterprise C and D. That might be a starting point.
    – Xantec
    Oct 26, 2013 at 10:47
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    It can withstand an infinite number of photons if they're spread out over a long enough period of time. Shields in star trek are force fields, not physical armor. Therefore, they only need to be recharged to return to full strength. This is also why weapons that sap energy can take down a ship's shields without firing on the ship. Oct 27, 2013 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


The shields in Star Trek have always been more of a pain in the a$$ for the writers, because they said that they never know what to do with them, which is one reason the Enterpise' shields always seem to rather "suck". They said that they often want to get the shields down fast so that they can "Get on with the story" as they view it and not have an extended firefight.

In some episodes they are obliterated in just a few phaser or photon hits.. in others they can take a tremendous pounding, such as one of the original Star Trek episodes with the NOMAD probe, where Spock said that "Our shields absorbed energy equivalent to 90 of our photon torpedoes". Yet as mentioned, at other times they will go down with just a few hits.

What the writers never seemed to "get" is that people like the shields and WANT to see the Enterpise being tougher and stronger than all the other enemy ships it encounters, save for a few like the Borg. But they want to get the shields down so fast which is often annoying, confusing and inconsistent because the Enterprise is one of the most powerful of all ships, yet it seems to get it's butt kicked too often by almost everyone else, lol.

So as far as I know, there really is no consistent rating for the shields. I guess the writers figure that sometimes they're stronger because the Enterpise' crew is always making upgrades, but then they might encounter an enemy with more powerful weapons and so they bring the shields down quickly, etc.

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