The Multi-Axial Warp System is a recent development in the Valderan Empire. It functions much the same as a standard warp system, except that fine tuned control of the warp field allows the ship to quickly slew in a direction other than where it's bow is pointed.
How It Works Edit
The system works by adjusting the warp field lobes, allowing the ship to travel at warp speeds independant of the ship's ACTUAL orientation, meaning that the ship can actually travel at warp speeds sideways, in reverse, or at oblique angles.
The warp field can only be manipulated slightly at warp speeds, as dramatic shifts in the field at superluminol speeds would overload the ship's inertial compensation systems, injuring or killing the crew and potentially destroying the ship. From sublight, however, a Starship can literally "back" into warp drive, providing for a quick escape.
in the 2370s, Tests were run on the feasability of a "run and turn" meneuver, allowing the ship to accelerate to warp in reverse, then after a time, make a 180 degree turn. However, these tests proved unsuccessful. The required manipulations to make the turn without damaging the ship or it's crew sent the vessels far off course. It was found to be much easier, and faster, to slow to impulse, re-orient the ship and the warp field, and re-engage warp drive.
Federation Starships may in the future be modified with this system.