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The self-destruction of the USS Enterprise

Self destruct is last resort tactic which completely destroys a starship or facility. Self destruct (or Auto destruct or Destruct Sequence) systems can be found on most if not all Federation Starfleet ships and those of many other species and governments.

Auto-destruct is usually done as a last resort, to prevent the capture of technology by foreign forces, or in the case of Federation ships, to prevent the technology from falling into the hands of those protected by the Prime Directive. In the space forces of the Federation and many galactic powers, it is an accepted fact of life that this sacrifice may need to be made for these reasons.

Contents

Uasage

In 2285 James T. Kirk used the auto destruct on the USS Enterprise to prevent the vessel being taken by forces of the Klingon Empire. (TOS movie: The Search for Spock)

The unknown assailant self destructs

In 2370 the USS Enterprise-D was attacked by an unidentified remote controlled vessel the Enterprise successfully blocked out the vessels controlling transmissions using an inter-receptive network, at which point the vessel self destructed. (TNG comic: Strategy)

Methods

Constitution class

In the original configuration of the Constitution class starship, when the commanding officer of a ship decided to engage the auto-destruct system, he or she would have the communications officer activate the main computer tie-in to the bridge. The three senior officers - usually the Captain, First Officer, and Chief Engineer would enter a series of voice commands to set and activate the sequenece.

The Captain would give the first destruct sequence, which was "Code 11A." The first officer would then give the second part, which was "Code 11A2B." Then the chief engineer would give the third sequence, which was "Code 1B2B3." The computer would then announce that the sequence was complete, and would request the final sequence to activate the self-destruct sequence. The Captain would give the final sequenece, which was the words "Zero-Zero-Zero Destruct Zero." Once the final code was given, the auto-destruct would begin, counting down from 30 seconds. The sequence could be aborted at any time before T-5 seconds. If the sequence was to be given, the Captain would give the code "Abort destruct sequence, code 1-2-3-continuity". (TOS episode: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield)

In the refit Constitution class ships, the means of activating the sequence was basically the same, but the time length was increased to 60 seconds. In refit vessels two destruct methods were built into the ship. The first method was to cause all the magnetic fields around the anti-matter bottles to collapse, engulfing the ship and any nearby objects in a sun-like antimatter fireball. The said-matter/antimatter detonation would encompass a mass and surface area equivallent to the Hawaiian island Maui, (V'Ger's central core) if necessary. (TOS movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, TOS novel: Ex Machina) This method was used if the final sequence given was "Zero-Zero-Zero Destruct One." If the ship was near something to be preserved - such as another ship or planet a second system was used. In this system the anti-matter was ejected from the ship. Powerful charges detonated throughout the ship, and all electrical systems were overloaded. The result was a lifeless hulk which would be useless to enemy vessels. This method was used if the final sequence given was "Zero-Zero-Zero Destruct Zero" (TOS reference: Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise). It was this second method that was used to destroy the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) in 2285. The charges first destroyed the bridge dome, then sheared off more than half the saucer section in a massive explosion. The remaining hulk was pulled into the gravity well of the Genesis Planet and burned up in the atmosphere. (TOS movie: The Search for Spock).

Galaxy class

Galaxy class starships were also equipped with auto-destruct systems. There were two systems used for auto-destruct on such vessels. The first, and primary method involved the shutting down of anti-matter containment, plus an overload of the warp core. The resulting explosion was estimated to be equivalent to the detonation of 1,500 photon torpedoes. The secondary method involved the setting off of charges spread throughout the ship, which was estimated to be equivalent to the detonation of 1,000 photon torpedoes. This secondary method was used on the saucer section during separated flight operations or throughout the ship when the primary auto-destruct system was offline. (TNG reference: Technical Manual)

To activate the auto destruct, the two senior officers - ususally the Captain and First Officer - would touch a computer panel and identify themselves to the main computer. The Captain would instruct the computer to set the auto-destruct. The First Officer would then be asked if he or she agreed with the decision. Once that agreement was given, the computer would begin the auto-destruct sequence. The auto-destruct could be canceled at any point prior to T minus 0. The computer would check to see who was on board, and could accept auto-destruct commands down to the level of operations manager. Originally, the computer was set to give a five minute countdown, but a later modification was made allowing the countdown to be modified. (TNG reference: Technical Manual; episodes 11001001; Where Silence Has Lease)

Connections


This article uses material from the "Self destruct" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010
(Redirected to Auto-destruct article)

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See Memory-Alpha.org for the canon Star Trek wiki.

USS Enterprise self destructing

The auto-destruct system (also called self-destruct or destruct sequence) is a starship system to purposefully destroy the vessel. It is usually a tactic of last resort to prevent the ship and its contents from falling into enemy hands.

In 2373, Captain Alexander Whiting destroyed the USS Fury after it was crippled and evacuated during a battle with Klingon forces. Whiting, the sole crew member left on the ship activated the system from main engineering. (Star Trek: Swiftfire: "Vengeance")

Captain Roger Osmont detonated the USS Carpathia's self-destruct when he rammed a Jem'Hadar carrier. The resulting explosion destroyed both ships and several other vessels nearby. (LUG RPG: The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon)

In 2381, Captain Jonathan Hunt armed the USS Beliskner's auto-destruct sequence, with the intent to ram the USS Excalibur. In this instance, he chose to set the warp core to detonate on impact with the enemy vessel. fortunately, with the timely arrival of the USS Seahawk, this action proved unnecessary. (Star Trek: New Order: Deus Ex Machina)

External links


This article uses material from the "Auto-destruct" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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