A Lance Torpedo is a heavy missile used in combat between starships. Launched either from a reloadable tube or from a one-shot box launcher. Either launch system uses a series of electromagnets to rapidly accelerate the torpedo, which then fires a sustainer rocket motor to further increase its speed and provide maneuvering capability as it homes in on its target.
With a range of several million killometers, Lance Torpedoes are the longest-ranged weapons available to warships. However, ships with an operating gravity drive shield are essentially immune to all but the longest-range proximity hits from these weapons.
Torpedoes can mount a variety of warheads, including:
- Standard: Lidar-guided 1-megaton (Mt) fusion warhead set for proximity detonation. A direct hit is a one-shot kill on anything up to and including a Star Control Ship.
- Kinetic-Impact: Designed to impact the target at speeds of well over a hundred thousand miles per hour. The kinetic energy is released by the impact often creates a bigger explosion than a nuclear warhead.
- Proximity: A 10-kiloton (kt) fusion warhead wrapped in 1-kg tungsten projectiles. Basically, a thermonuclear hand grenade with a radar-proximity fuse designed to shred enemy warships with kinetic impact.
- Fusion Mine: 100-Mt fusion warheads set for delayed magnetic proximity detonation. Can be fired to take up station as static minefields in likely enemy orbit levels.
- MIRV: These warheads break into 4 independently-targeting 10-kt fusion missiles. Can be used to either saturate enemy point defense or as long-range anti-fighter fire.
- Booster: A single 10-kt MIRV warhead fitted with a second stage to greatly extend range.
- Laser Head: A 1-Mt warhead that pumps a powerful X-Ray Laser system. The graphite rods surrounding the warhead are vaporized by the detonation, and the vapor naturally lases to create powerful beams of X-rays aligned with the long axis of the rods. The Laser Head gives Lance Torpedoes the ability to cause damage from beyond point defense range, although targeting is much more difficult.
- Drones: Instead of a warhead, these carry either sensor jammers to blind enemy warhips, or decoys designed to emulate the electronic emissions signature of another warship, used to fool the enemy into firing at or chasing a non-existent target.
- See also Graviton Torpedo
Behind the ScenesEdit
Apparently the term comes from the French translation for torpedo launcher, "Lance-Torpilles", as seen on the boxes for many starship toys and model kits.