The Obsidian Order Project

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Missiles & Torpedoes
Effects on Shielded Objects
5.0 "     A battle station like the Golan sported very powerful shields and individually fired proton torpedoes would have been unable to pierce it.  Eight torpedoes coming in at the same time, aiming for the same point, would overstress the shields, draining them of energy.  this would create a critical time window in which the shields would be weakened or would totally fail, and have to be regenerated.
      Whistler sounded another long, strong tone.  "Three Flight, second salvo.  On my mark.  Three, two, one, mark."
      Eight more proton torpedoes streaked out from the incoming fighters before the first set had hit.  The first eight torpedoes detonated against the station's top-port shield.  The shield itself went opaque, taking on a milky-white hue as it attempted to dissipate the torpedoes' energy.  But sparks shot from the shield projectors rimming the station's middle and a roiling ball of plasma bounced across the hull, scorching gray paint as it went."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.6-7 ]

This shows that 8 fighter class proton hitting at the same time is enough to take out a shield of a Golan battle station.
5.1 "The first missile blast took down the aft shield, while the second missile flew straight into one of the two ion engines."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.226 ]

One concussion missile is enough to take out the shields of a TIE Defender.
5.2 "The Victory-class Star Destroyer, Emperor's Wisdom, had eighty concussion missile launch tubes on it.  Any single salvo could bring down the Mon Cal cruiser's shields, leaving it open for raking fire from the ship's energy weapons."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.286 ]

5.3 "     Mako watched the Y-wing on his sensors.  The little ship made its run, slamming four proton torpedoes into the designated target before sheering off.  'Okay, Mako,' the gunner said, circling back to join the yacht, 'shields are either down or barely holding.  Your turn!'"   [ "The Hutt Gambit" p.312 ]

"With their first blast, Mako knew the bulk cruiser's shields were already down."   [ "The Hutt Gambit" p.312 ]

It takes just four fighter-class proton torpedoes to take down the shields of an Imperial bulk cruiser.
5.4 "     As she neared firing range, she spoke to her gunnery crew.  'Prepare to launch torpedo one and two.  Target her stern.  I'd love to get a reactor overload going!'"   [ "The Hutt Gambit" p.313 ]

"     Her ship lurched slightly, once, twice, as the proton torpedoes went streaking out in a blaze of blue fire.
      The first torpedo took out the cruiser's shields.  The second bored into the hull and caused damage."   [ "The Hutt Gambit" p.313 ]

Renthal's Fist fired two capital class proton torpedoes at the bulk cruiser.  First of all it is obvious that one capital class proton torpedo is equivalent to four fighter class proton torpedoes (see entry above).  Second, even after the ship's shields were down, the second torpedo did not penetrate deep enough into the ship to cause significant damage - the reactor did not explode until quite a few seconds and turbolaser hits later.
5.5 "     Mako found himself doing some mental figuring as the Y-wings strafed the Imperial Dreadnought.  Two salvos of two torpedoes each, from five Y-wings . . . that equals twenty torpedo hits!
      It sounded like a lot, but Mako had trained aboard an Imperial Dreadnought, and knew how tough the old ships were.
      There goes the first salvo . . . ten torpedoes . . . ten hits . . .
      Mako did some rough calculations, figured that the Peacekeeper's stern shields ought to be in real trouble by now.
      As the Y-wings swooped by on their second pass, blackened holes began appearing in the Dreadnought's starboard flank, where its massive engines were."   [ "The Hutt Gambit" p.314-315 ]

It takes between ten and twenty proton torpedoes to take out the shields of a Dreadnought.
5.6 "Conversely, aside from repeated proton torpedo salvos, there was no way snubfighters could cripple or destroy a Star Destroyer.  If the whole squadron fired a salvo of torpedoes at the same time, they could certainly bring the Star Destroyer's shields down, but any captain worth his rank cylinders would roll the ship to present undamaged shields and keep shooting."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 187 ]

24 fighter class proton torpedoes hitting a Victory-class Star Destroyer's shield at the same time will bring it down.
5.7 "The squadron, firing double shots, could pump out twenty-two proton torpedoes.  If they hit - and missing a nearly kilometer-long ship was tough - they could blow through the shields and do some damage."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 196 ]

And again we hear that a Victory II-class Star Destroyer's shield can be taken out by just 22 fighter proton torpedoes.
5.8 "     A brilliant incandescence blossomed above him.  The proton torpedoes slammed into the Corrupter's shields all along the ship's length.  The shields acted like a huge, invisible parasols to ward off the fierce energy unleashed by the proton torpedoes' detonations.  Roiling plasma curved up and around, following the arc of the Corrupter's port shields as if some energy creature were trying to take a bite out of the ship.  Then several torpedoes arrived late and pierced the shield at its heart, causing it to collapse."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 197 ]

This clearly shows once again that less than 22 proton torpedoes are needed to take down a shield of a VSD "all along the ship's length".  At absolute top this is only 20 fighter-class proton torpedoes.
5.9 "The red light on Wedge's console went out as the ship's commander shunted power from the gravity well projectors to his shields.  That's the move to make, but did he do it in time?
      Most of the proton torpedoes, beginning with the two Tycho launched, slammed into the port shield.  They exploded into a silvery firestorm that billowed up and out, then pressed in on the shield.  Unlike the Corrupter's shield, however, the Aggregator's did not collapse all at once.  Gaps appeared at a couple of points, allowing a handful of torpedoes to skip through and blast into the ship's hull."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 200 ]

Even after shunting the power from its gravity well generators, an Interdictor Cruiser's shield could not stand up to less than 20 proton torpedoes and 2 concussion missiles.
5.10 "     'Sir, we have multiple proton torpedo and concussion missile sensors locked onto us.'
      'How many?'
      'Many, sir, over three hundred.'  Waroen looked up.  'We're dead, sir.'
      Drysso turned back to the viewport and imagined the rippling fire of three hundred proton torpedoes and concussion missiles smashing into his forward shield.  Under that onslaught it would collapse and the missiles would begin nibbling away on his ship.  And that's only the first volley.  The subsequent volleys would consume the Lusankya utterly and completely."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 290-291 ]

Less than 300 proton torpedoes are needed to take out the shields of an Executor-class SSD.
5.11 "Drysso stared down at his aide.  'How many incoming torpedo tracks, lieutenant Waroen?'
      'Twenty, sir.'
      Two per X-wing.  Survivable.  'You see, only twenty.'
      'Wait, sir.  I have twenty-four.'
      'No matter.'
      'Now I have forty, no, eighty.  Eight zero.'
      Drysso's jaw dropped as he saw a nova flare blossom up over the horizon of his starboard bow.  The shields held for a second or two, then collapsed.  Warning sirens started shrieking on the bridge as multiple torpedo and missile hits exploded six kilometers away on the ship's bow.  The brilliant fire gnawed at the clean lines of his ship, shattering armor plates and triggering dozens of secondary and tertiary explosions."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 306 ]

"     Waroen's voice rose above the din.  'Captain, we have full bow shield collapse.'"   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 306 ]

It is clear that far fewer than 80 missiles are needed to take down an entire shield of an SSD.  I suspect no more than 60-70 - or less.
5.12 "     From the very beginning of their operations, Wedge and Tycho had agreed that the only way they could defeat the Lusankya was to overwhelm it with proton torpedoes and concussion missiles.  The problem they had was that to do the job correctly they would require twelve or more X-wing squadrons - squadrons they didn't have."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 309 ]

13 X-wing squadrons would make 156 fighters, which would be able to pump out around 312 torpedoes per volley.  Overall they would have no more than 936 proton torpedoes - because their magazines can't hold more than that.  Therefore it is clear that an Executor-class SSD can be taken out by around 900 fighter-class proton torpedoes, or less.
5.13 "Captain Drysso laughed victoriously.  As nearly as he could determine his Lusankya had been hit by over a hundred and fifty proton torpedoes and concussion missiles, but it had lost scarcely thirty-five percent of its combat ability.  Maneuvering was hampered and shield power was falling sharply, but the Lusankya still outgunned its opposition."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 318 ]

Lets say that this was 300 proton torpedoes to account for the ISD firing a volley or two.  Still, it is a very interesting number, don't you think?  300 proton torpedoes for 35% of combat ability...
Effects on Unshielded Objects
6.0 "     The next eight missiles hit in a ragged sequence and exploded brilliantly along the station's middle.  Flames vomited into space as a blast opened a hole three decks deep and vented atmosphere.  Armor plates whirled into space, half-melted and twisted.  Turbolaser batteries split apart, leaving blackened holes and warped metal where they had once been grafted to the station."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.7 ]

This shows the effect of 8 proton torpedoes on an unshielded Golan-class battle station.
6.1 "The pilot's efforts proved partially successful:  The Torpedo did not hit it, but overshot and exploded when proximity sensors reported it had missed.
      The force of the missile blast crumpled the Interceptor's port wing and tore most of it away from the stubby stanchion that connected the wing to the ship's ball cockpit.  Shrapnel from the missile itself blew through the transparisteel viewport."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.59 ]

This clearly shows that the proton torpedoes are non-nuclear in firepower.  Nuclear explosions do not leave shrapnel from the weapon casing.
6.2 "     Inyri likewise shot a proton torpedo at one of the Interceptors.  Her missile hit dead on target, lancing up through the bottom of the ball cockpit and out through the starboard side before exploding.  The torpedo's impact did enough structural damage to the ship that the twin ion engines ripped free and blasted out through the front of the ship, then arced down to smash into the ground.  The missile's detonation shredded the rest of the Interceptor, sparking a hot metal rain that started a constellation of small fires burning across the landscape."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.60 ]

Another sub-nuclear explosion from the proton torpedoes.
6.3 "The proton torpedo shot out and slammed into the squint at point-blank range.  It pierced the ball cockpit, then exploded, blasting the Interceptor into a microfine hail of metal, flesh, and fabric."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.184 ]

Again a sub-nuclear explosion.
6.4 "The pilot twisted away at the last second, but the proximity fuse made the torpedo detonate.
      As fast as the squint was, it wasn't faster than the torpedo's shrapnel."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.185 ]

And yet another small explosion from a proton torpedo.
6.5 "The Defenders launched a concussion missile each.  The projectiles streaked through the sky and hit their targets hard.  Three small explosions twinkled brightly and flaming debris fell from the comets that were the burning remains of three TIEs."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.305 ]

Tiny explosions.
6.6 "The second missile slammed into the prison's top floor at the southeast corner.  The resulting explosion ripped a hole in the building that extended down two floors and shot debris hundreds of meters into the air."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.311 ]

Effect of a concussion missile on a building.
6.7 "     A second later a blue proton torpedo slammed into the port wing on the second TIE.  The black solar panel closed around the torpedo like cloth around a thrown stone.  The torpedo itself punched through the panel and penetrated the fighter's hull before detonating.  The blast ripped the back half off the cockpit pod, freeing the engines to soar further in-system while the shattered husk of a fighter tumbled on through the void."   [ "X-Wing: The Krytos Trap" p.52 ]

Yet another sub-nuclear explosion.
6.8 "     The proton torpedo caught the rightmost AT-ST in the outside leg, just below the upper joint.  The torpedo sheered the leg off, and the impact spun the scout walker around.  It crashed into the walker next to it, then rebounded and bounced to the ground.  Ten meters behind it the proton torpedo exploded, detonating the walker's concussion grenade magazine.
      The second walker, which had awkwardly skipped forward after being bumped, ended up being slightly off balance when the grenades went off.  The standing walker staggered as the pilot tried to widen its stance and remain upright."   [ "X-Wing: The Krytos Trap" p.307 ]

A proton torpedo detonation inside a warehouse not only failed to significantly damage the building or the X-wing in it, but it also did not do any significant damage to an AT-ST walker which was just a dozen meters away from it.
6.9 "Wedge hit enough left rudder to track the airspeeder, then fired a proton torpedo.  The projectile hit the ferrocrete decking and skipped off, rising quickly.  Instead of passing between the AT-ST's legs, it slammed full into the cockpit.  The explosion filled the end of the warehouse with a firestorm.  A black cloud billowed up with red-gold flame-claws slashing their way clear of it, while pieces of debris and shrapnel ricocheted and bounced throughout the warehouse."   [ "X-Wing: The Krytos Trap" p.307 ]

Yet again a proton torpedo showed itself to be barely more powerful than most modern missiles.
6.10 "     The proton torpedo rode a jet of blue flame as it streaked out after the TIE.  It actually overshot its target when the TIE pilot rolled the fighter and pulled the starboard solar panel out of the torpedo's range.  The proximity sensors on the proton torpedo caused it to detonate, filling the area around it with a rapidly expanding cloud of shrapnel.  Before the TIE pilot could react, tiny bits of metal pierced the transparisteel cockpit canopy, shattering it into a million razor-edged fragments, that proceeded to reduce everything in the cockpit to debris."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 79 ]

This clearly demonstrates the low firepower of proton torpedoes, as well as the fragility of TIE fighters.  The low firepower is evident from the fact that there is shrapnel (sub nuclear explosion), and by the fact that the cloud of shrapnel was visible - which means that it wasn't expanding that quickly.
6.11 "     The first torpedo lanced up from the snowy landscape and smashed full into the Interceptor's cockpit.  The subsequent explosion shredded the Quandanium solar panels, sowing chaff and debris in the path of the other two TIEs.  The second torpedo blasted into the left wing of its target, snapping it off, then exploded right behind the cockpit.  The Interceptor just disintegrated, its scattered pieces clipping the last Interceptor."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 156 ]

Again sub nuclear explosions.  This also clearly shows that the Quandanium armor sucks - at the very least against KE impacts.
6.12 "     Two proton torpedoes shot out on tongues of blue flame and streaked away at the building.  They hit barely nanoseconds apart and detonated just after punching through the ferrocrete wall.  Their subsequent explosions vomited argent fire out through their entry holes, then through the roof and out the windows on the upper three floors.  The roof collapsed on itself, leaving the fire on the building's interior lighting up the night like magma in a volcano's heart."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 171-172 ]

And yet ANOTHER example of very low power explosions!
6.13 "A pair of missiles from his port sizzled through the dawning sky and impaled distant specks of black.  Twin stars twinkled for a moment before the sound of the explosion collided with his fighter, then Wedge was on the TIEs and firing."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 174 ]

At a distance of just a few kilometers two torpedo explosions looked like stars twinkling.  No shockwave, no sound, just teeny flashes of light.
6.14 "Wedge could fly in close to target the ship for the first volley, then have Tycho follow up for a second, hopefully catching the Corrupter without shields in place.  If the second spread hits the Star Destroyer in an unshielded area, it could rip it apart.  We'll get damage on the first spread, but it will be the second that knocks it out."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 196-197 ]

One or two volleys (depending on your interpretation of Wedge's thoughts) with 22 proton torpedoes in each can "rip apart" an unshielded VSDII. Whatever it is armored with, it is not enought to protect it from a few dozen proton torpedoes - not even close.
6.15 "The tardy torpedoes and two concussion missiles pounded the destroyer's hull, blasting apart armor plates and crushing turbolaser batteries."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 197 ]

These weak proton torpedoes and concussion missiles are nevertheless powerful enough to do significant damage to a Star Destroyer.  Great armor, huh?
6.16 "Gaps appeared at a couple of points, allowing a handful of torpedoes to skip through and blast into the ship's hull.  Armor plates peeled away like dead, dry skin and secondary explosions ripped gaping holes in the Interdictor's hull."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 200 ]

Hmm...  More large effects on an armored ship - this SW armor appears to suck more and more!
6.17 "     Before Corran could jam the throttle full forward, two blue darts streaked past either side of his cockpit.  The first exploded against the shuttle's aft shield and collapsed it.  The second drilled through the engine housing, skewing the ship to port.  The proton torpedo detonated inside the shuttle's fuselage.  Corran saw the angular ship puff up and out before fire lanced out the cockpit viewports, then a golden fireball ripped the ship apart from the inside out."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 330 ]

Since the Rogue Squadron was intending to kill an SSD that day, this must have been one of those "enhanced" proton torpedoes - a bit larger on the firepower side.  Not too powerful, however - obviously. Also please note complete lack of a focused plasma fountain or anything like that.  From the description it appears that the torpedo detonated in a fireball, and did not show any visible (or invisible) focused energy emissions that would damage the hull.
6.18 "The TIE fighter tried to veer away, but the sensor on the tip of the concussion missile homed in on the flat panel and detonated, sending Imperial wreckage tumbling out of the sky.   [ "Darksaber", p. 327 ]

Sigh.  And yet again we see the puny firepower of the concussion missiles - no nuclear detonation.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.
6.19 "     Runt and Donos were the first on his half squad to fire, the blue streaks of proton torpedoes drawing an instantaneous line from the X-wings to the flanks of the cruiser.  Face watched their explosions baloon against the cruiser's side.  He ignored the pure tone of his own target lock, twitched his pilot's yoke over so his targeting brackets fell within the center of one of the torpedo detonation clouds, and fired his own remaining torpedoes."   [ "X-Wing: Solo Command", p. 31 ]

"'Starboard impacts damaged the hull but did not, repeat, did not penetrate.'"   [ "X-Wing: Solo Command", p. 32 ]

It takes only 8 proton torpedoes to penetrate the shields of a Carrack cruiser.
6.20 "     The TIE Raptor fired again.  This was no laser - a concussion missile detonated just below Lara's X-wing.  Wedge saw her stern leap up, and then the X-wing was tumbling, unaerodynamic, slinging components in all directions as it dropped."   [ "X-Wing: Solo Command", p. 321 ]

A concussion missile warhead must REALLY suck, if the detonation right under an X-wing does so little to it.
Miscellaneous Information
7.0 "     Corran glanced at his sensors, then up at the gas giant.  Black specs rose up through the clouds, looking for a moment like insects trapped between two panes of transparisteel.  Though kilometers distant, he knew what they were: TIE fighters, Interceptors, and Bombers."
"     Because of the vast distances in space, the Rogues and their counterparts could see each other long before they could engage each other. Minutes would pass before they would close to effective fighting ranges.  Having time to think about what was coming seldom did a warrior any good - and training was meant to take over when thought wasn't possible.  You're leading Three Flight, Corran.  Prep them for what's coming."   [ "X-Wing: Isard's Revenge" p.182-3 ]

X-wing effective fighting range is positively pathetic.
7.1 "     A proton torpedo has thirty seconds of flight time.  I can't outrun it, but I can out-maneuver it.  Corran smiled.  Or deal with it more directly."   [ "X-Wing: The Krytos Trap" p.45 ]

A proton torpedo can be outmaneuvered by a TIE Interceptor, and has fuel for only 30 seconds of flight time.
7.2 "His last two proton torpedoes streaked out at her and she immediately began maneuvering to avoid them.
      I have thirty seconds to kill her."   [ "X-Wing: The Bacta War", p. 325 ]

Again we hear that proton torpedoes have the flight time of 30 seconds.