|Cruising Speed:||Warp 9.99; Transwarp capable|
|Crew Compliment:||up to ~130,000|
Beam and projectile weaponry, cutting beam, magnetometric guided charges, missiles, tractor beams
Deflector shields, subspace field, electromagnetic field, regeneration, force field
|[ Source ]|
The Borg cube was the primary vessel of the Borg Collective. Borg cubes are designed as a combined weapons platform and factory. Their main purpose was for destroying the military capacity of a species and assimilate the survivors into the Collective. Starfleet designated these ships as dreadnoughts. In the first few years after the first were encountered by the Federation, they were also known simply as a "Borg vessel".
It is not known how many Cubes the Collective has at its disposal following the devastation caused by Voyager's destruction of the transwarp hub in the Delta Quadrant.
The first officially publicised Federation contact with a Borg cube took place in 2365, when the USS Enterprise-D encountered a single cube in System J-25. However, civilian researchers on board the USS Raven had previously tracked a Borg cube a decade earlier in 2353. The Raven's research and records of their encounters with the Borg were not recovered from the ship's databanks until the discovery of the wreck by the USS Voyager in 2374.
Every Starfleet encounter with a single cube resulted in heavy losses. Thirty-nine out of forty ships were lost at the Battle of Wolf 359 in 2366, and dozens more in the incursion of 2373. Normally a single Borg cube was capable of eliminating all the elements of a civilization from an entire planet's surface.
Thousands of cubes were estimated to exist in Borg space in the Delta Quadrant; the largest grouping of cubes directly observed by Starfleet was fifteen, by the crew of the USS Voyager in late 2373. When describing the assimilation of his world, the alien Arturis said that hundreds of cubes surrounded his homeworld before its destruction. Seven of Nine stated to Captain Janeway that the nebula concealing the transwarp hub Voyager used to return home contained at least 47 Borg vessels.
The majority of Borg cubes encountered, including those at System J-25 and Wolf 359 were extremely large in size, measuring 28 cubic kilometers in volume, with each side measuring more than three kilometres. Starfleet has observed a small number of cubes of smaller sizes, and it is assumed that these smaller vessels perform a more specialised function than the much larger vessels, as they cannot carry as many drones or weapon systems.
Borg cubes were capable of both warp and transwarp velocities, in part thanks to their network of transwarp corridors and hubs. When a Borg cube enters a transwarp conduit it projects a structural integrity field ahead of the Cube to compensate for the extreme gravimetric shear. To compensate for the extreme temporal stress while travelling through these corridors, and remain in temporal sync, a chroniton field was also projected through specially designed conduits.
Borg vessels appeared to require the presence of the pre-established transwarp corridors in order to make use of transwarp velocities, which were more prevalent within the Delta Quadrant; though they did extend to all four quadrants of the galaxy. Due to the non-universal nature of the transwarp network, Borg cubes are capable of high warp speeds, reaching up to warp 9.99 - though the more typically observed cruising speed of Borg cubes at warp is warp 8.
Due to the nature of the distribution of warp and transwarp coils throughout the ship, a Borg cube can enter warp or transwarp in any direction.
The main tactic employed by cubes when engaging another vessel was to seize it with a tractor beam and render its defences useless by draining its shields. Then the cube could perform any type of action, ranging from destruction to assimilation, on the defenceless ship.
Following the failure of enemy shields, the cube usually engaged a high-energy laser cutting beam to slice sections of the ship for sampling and assimilation. Depending on the relative quality of the biological and technological specimens in this sample, the Cube would either proceed with assimilating the entire ship, or let it go and simply ignore it. In a combat situation the Borg sometimes further used the tractor beam itself to destroy the target vessel.
The cutting beam could also be used as a weapon to destroy vessels showing resistance. During the Battle of Wolf 359, the Excelsior-class USS Melbourne and the Miranda-class USS Saratoga were annihilated by cutting beams, after their shields had been drained by the tractor beam.
Another tactic used to disable vessels fleeing a cube was to fire a type of missile weapon. Three missiles were capable of disabling a Galaxy-class's shields. A hit from the weapon at an unshielded target could disable its warp drive, preventing the vessel from escaping. The cubes could also use dispersal fields to disrupt the sensor and transporter function of enemy vessels.
The full scope of the tactical abilities of a cube are near impossible to determine, due to the adaptive nature of the Borg and their vessels. Often, when confronted with a new type of defence or weapon, a Borg cube will adapt its technology and weapons on the fly to overcome the new technology, before assimilating it themselves. The Borg's constant Collective communication allowed these adaptations and assimilated technologies to be almost instantly disseminated amongst the entire Collective.
Ships up to the size of a Borg sphere were able to be docked inside a Borg cube for assimilation, supplies or escape purposes.
At least one Borg cube, and possibly others of its class, contained a Borg Sphere. The only known recorded purpose of a sphere disengaged from a Borg cube was for escape. The sphere is the only documented support vehicle a Borg cube possessed.
Borg cubes were typically manned by thousands of drones, and could vary in capacity anywhere from 5,000 to 64,000 to 129,000 drones.
Borg cubes were highly decentralised in structure with no specific bridge, living quarters or engineering sections. All vital systems were spread and duplicated throughout the ship, which, along with the presence of a regenerative hull, made it highly resistant to damage and system failures.
Information and Collective communication were routed through power waveguide conduits and distribution nodes. Its exterior design consisted of perpendicular and diagonal grids, struts, and weaponry, allowing a characteristic green light to emanate from within.
Almost every corridor within a Borg cube was lined with regeneration chambers. Some vessels are equipped with maturation chambers, which were used to rapidly grow an assimilated infant into maturity.
The internal pressure aboard a Borg cube was two kilopascals above what would be normal on a Federation starship. The humidity was on average 92%, and the temperature was at 39.1°C. The atmosphere contained traces of tetryon particles. The infrastructure was made of tritanium, an alloy known for its extreme hardness.
The Delta Flyer in the hangar bay of a Borg cube