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The Breen energy dampening weapon in action on the USS Defiant

"I can't get anything back online. Somehow, they're draining all our power."

The energy dissipator (also referred to as the energy-dampening weapon) was an advanced energy weapon used by the Tholians and Breen.

In the mid 22nd century, Tholian ships were equipped with an energy-dampening weapon. In 2152, they disabled the Earth starship Enterprise with such weapons, rendering it completely powerless. (ENT: "Future Tense")

The weapon was encountered by Federation forces when the Breen entered the Dominion War as allies of the Dominion in 2375, at the Second Battle of Chin'toka. Since allied ships had never encountered the weapon before, it was especially effective against them. The weapon worked by draining the energy of targeted ships, disabling their engines, weapons, and shields, thus making them easy targets for conventional weapons. Among the vessels lost to the weapon was the USS Defiant. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil") The Dominion had been in the process of retrofitting all Jem'Hadar vessels with the weapon. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind")

Klingon ships could easily be made immune to the weapon by modifying their tritium intermix. This was discovered by accident after the engineer of a Bird-of-Prey, the IKS Ki'tang, performed the procedure to correct a containment problem in the ship's warp core.

Unfortunately, Federation and Romulan ships could not be as easily modified. However, this problem was solved when Kira Nerys captured a Jem'Hadar fighter with the weapon installed, allowing Allied engineers to study the dampening weapon in detail. (DS9: "When It Rains...", "Tacking Into the Wind") By the war's end, the Federation Alliance succeeded in developing a countermeasure to the Breen weapon, forcing the Dominion to discontinue its use. (DS9: "Extreme Measures", "The Dogs of War")

The Breen energy dissipator was a result of the DS9 writing staff wanting to demonstrate that the Breen were formidable warriors. "We came up with the idea of this special weapon," René Echevarria noted. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 693))
According to the games Star Trek: Armada and Star Trek: Armada II, the Breen energy dissipator was also later adapted for use by Starfleet as the shield disruptor. The Starfleet version was designed only to disable the shields of enemy starships. Some Nebula-class starships were armed with the device.

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