A box launcher system for anti-fighter missiles being installed on a commandeered freighter as part of Operation PEGBOARD

A Box Launcher is a one-shot system for firing a Lance Torpedo or other missile-style weapon.  It often quite literally means a simple shipping container that doubles as a launch platform, but on starships it can mean a compact railgun for launching a single missle. While Fusion Cannons have magazines with hundreds or thousands of rounds, and a typical Lance Torpedo tube system has dozens or even hundreds of rounds in its magazine, a Box Launcher system has only one missile per launch tube.  This means that all carried missiles can be fired at once, for maximum salvo weight to overwhelm an enemy's point defense systems.  But it also means there is no second salvo forthcoming, and the shorter and less complex launching mechanism means a lower muzzle velocity, so the individual torpedoes or missiles are slower when they reach their targets and thus easier for point defense to intercept and destroy.

A box launcher for an anti-aircraft missile for fitting on ground vehicles

Many smaller warships, and most non-combatant starships commandeered and refitted as makeshift warships in times of crisis, are fitted with Box Launchers.  This is for two reasons.  First, those ships may not have the interior volume available for large magazines or complex launch tubes and feed-queue machinery.  Secondly, such ships have a very short expected life span in a major engagement, so they need to make their first salvo count, as they may not live to fire a second one anyways.

Ground and sea-based fighting vehicles may also have box launchers for quick firing of multiple missiles as well, whether for anti-aircraft, anti-ship, anti-vehicle, or anti-starship purposes.

In addition to Lance Torpedoes, Box Launchers also exist for the following missiles types, and many others:

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