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"The best diplomat I know is a fully-activated phaser bank."
– Montgomery Scott, 2267 ("A Taste of Armageddon")

Phaser banks referred to the phaser weapons mounted aboard Federation starships. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Star Trek: The Animated Series) They were utilized by Starfleet as early as 2233. (Star Trek)

Technical journal diagram of a Constitution-class primary phaser

Each bank contained one or more phaser emitters from which the beam energy was actually released but which shared common power sources and targeting systems.

Mid-2260s Starfleet phaser banks consisted of one emitter each, and drew power from rechargeable sources separate from a ship's main power systems. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

In the 2260s, Constitution-class starships were equipped with at least twelve phaser banks, though they tended to be fired in pairs.

The main banks were located on the lower half of the starship's saucer section, forward of the sensor dome. Additional banks were located on the ship's stern, above the shuttlebay. Port and starboard banks covered the ship's flanks. (TOS: "Arena"; TNG: "Datalore"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

The forward phaser bank, depicted in Constitution-class schematics

In the 2270s, a new system was developed, tying the phasers directly into the main reactor. While increasing phaser power, it had the disadvantage of cutting off most of or all phaser power if the warp core suffers an antimatter imbalance or if the reactor was damaged. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

By the 24th century, the number of emitters in each bank had been increased to the point where they were laid out in long strips called phaser arrays. (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

On a schematic of the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise-D, the location of the phaser banks was labeled. The dorsal of the primary hull featured an upper phaser bank. The dorsal secondary hull had two phaser banks located on either side of the aft torpedo launcher. The ventral secondary hull had a lower engineering phaser bank and, aft of this bank, more phaser banks. (TNG: "New Ground")

This schematic was seen at Commander William T. Riker's station on the Enterprise-D bridge.

However, the term "phaser bank" was still used, particularly in reference to units with smaller numbers of emitters. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I")

A small Federation phaser bank could be powered by a 4.2 gigawatt power generator. (TNG: "Who Watches The Watchers")

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