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A warp jump was the instantaneous change a starship takes from being at a stationary position, or at traveling at sublight speeds, to engaging at warp speed.

Aboard the ECS Horizon, it was not uncommon for the helmsman to announce the ship was about to go to warp. It some cases it was thereby expected of the crew to brace themselves as the warp drive was engaged due to the ship's sudden lurch to warp. During Travis Mayweather's visit aboard the Horizon in 2153, he experienced a less than graceful take off, and noted that "Charlie must be at the helm" because "[h]is warp jumps were always a little rough." (ENT: "Horizon")

Emergency escapes Edit

When the USS Enterprise-D became entangled in a graviton field caused by two-dimensional lifeform that was dragging the ship into a cosmic string in 2367, Geordi La Forge considered the best option for the ship to escape was by way of a warp jump, which was also described as a "controlled overload jump." La Forge's idea was "to try a controlled overload of the warp drive," and "[j]ump directly to warp six." This attempt was to be accomplished by setting a course at an "optimal shearing angle", engaging impulse engines, then engaging warp six. Though such a maneuver was supposed to work according the laws three-dimensional universe, it proved to be ineffective in the two-dimensional universe. (TNG: "The Loss")

Tactical maneuvers Edit

Though often a part of normal operations, the warp jump could also be utilized as a tactic in a conflict situation.

USS Stargazer, Picard Maneuver 2

The Stargazer makes a warp jump

The Picard Maneuver employed a warp jump in its implementation, or as the improviser Jean-Luc Picard explained, "I dropped into high warp, stopped right off the enemy vessel's bow..." William T. Riker clarified the scenario, by adding that by "blowing into maximum warp speed, you appeared for an instant to be in two places at once." (TNG: "The Battle")

A warp jump was also an improvised battle tactic devised by La Forge and Wesley Crusher aboard the USS Hathaway during the preparation of the Operation Lovely Angel battle simulation in 2365. In theory, the Hathaway, a ship that was otherwise rendered warp inactive, with some modifications, would have the ability to travel at warp one for just under two seconds. Though not enough time to allow an escape, it was enough to give their ship a strategic advantage. However, if the theory failed, and the warp jump did not work, the ship would stall, and would be unable to evade the Enterprise. (TNG: "Peak Performance")

However, during their simulation, a Ferengi Marauder engaged the Enterprise, rendering it mostly incapacitated, and further threatened the Hathaway, Riker revealed to Picard the Hathaway's warp jump capability. The tactic was used to give the illusion that Hathaway was to be destroyed by the Enterprise, after the Enterprise fired four photon torpedoes towards the Hathaway, and one millisecond after the torpedoes' detonation, the computer would trigger the Hathaway to engage the warp jump. After the feat was successfully implemented, Picard inquired whether the experience was a "smooth ride", Riker described that "it certainly was different." (TNG: "Peak Performance")

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