Vertically launched missiles are not a new idea. By the late 20th Century, many navies on Earth developed verticle launchers for missiles, and occasionally cannon shells, due to the flexibility of vertical launching. A Vertically launched missile can attack targets on any trajectory, allowing a single launcher to effectively cover a broad area of space. A 50-cell Vertical Launch System can also discharge all of its missiles, each independantly targetted, in less than one minute. Little, if any, change in the ship's spacial orientation is required to bring the weapons to bear.
The Primary disadvantage of the VLS is that the weapons are grouped closely together, making the launcher a vulnerable target. While armor and sheilding will offset this somewhat, a penetrating hit to the launcher can be catastrophic. Also, the weapons are difficult (Though not impossible) to reload in space, and often requires a tender to assist the ship in reloading. Larger warships may carry replacement missiles, but transporter replenishment is hazardous, and using workbees or shuttles takes time.
The Launchers also take up a great deal of space, with each launch tube extending 8 to 10 meters into the ship. Smaller vessels, such as a Defiant Class, may not have the available space. Larger warships, such as Georgia and Shiloh class, and Soveriegn and Galaxy class starships, are best suited to carry VLS sections.
SIMILAR SYSTEMS Edit
Currently, the Valderans, Tyderians, and Klingons all employ Vertical Launching Systems in one form or another. The Valderans and Tyderians both equip large Cruisers with VLS mounts to increase the warship's inherent firepower. Klingon VLS packages are installed as plantary defense systems to launch Surface to Orbit missiles.