Challenger Ablative Armor Systems

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The ablative armor system was developed by Starfleet R&D, Tokyo, and the various factors that delayed the deployment onto frontline vessels has been solved. This armor is the second generation of deployed by Starfleet. The armor is still 2cm thick, providing a honeycomb strata of destructible material that reacts violently when exposed to high-end, directed phased energy beams such as phasers, disrupters or polaron beams. The armor melts away in a endothermic reaction, creating a cloud of diffuse molten metal that scatters the coherence of the incoming beam, further enhanced over the Generation I material by the inclusion of gamma-developed Thorium, known for its phased energy reflection properties.

The Akira-Class starship has the Ablative Armor placed around the bridge, nacelle mounts, and aft-sail torpedo mount.

The armor works in two stages; in the event of a shield disruption, phaser or energy EM is first dissipated over the hull armor surface, when the classified threshold is achieved, the molecular matrix bakes off, causing it to boil at a controlled rate. The boiling off carries away a large fraction of the energy directed at the vessel, with the rest deflected by the resulting cloud of armor shards. In most cases, the boil-off cloud continues to disperse the incoming beam, negating the higher damage harmonics