An ion-powered starship from Sigma Draconis VI

For the sub-light drive, please see ion drive.

Ion propulsion was a highly-advanced form of interstellar drive considered by Starfleet to be only theoretical as of 2268.

In that year, the starship USS Enterprise encountered a vessel from Sigma Draconis VI which utilized ion propulsion. The crew eventually discovered that the technology had been developed in the distant past, and that its users could only operate it for short periods of time while under the influence of the Teacher. (TOS: "Spock's Brain")

Some Akritirian starships used ion-based propulsion, fueled by paralithium. (VOY: "The Chute")

According to the Star Trek: Starship Spotter, the Jem'Hadar attack ships featured ion propulsion units as warp nacelles. The attack ships could achieve a maximum speed of warp 9.6.

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