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The phaser spinal lance was a fixed-position phaser weapon fitted aboard Galaxy X and Yamato-class Federation starships in the late 24th and early 25th centuries, below the vessel's saucer section. (TNG episode, novelization & comic adaptation: All Good Things...; ST video games: Star Trek Online, Delta Rising)
Though powerful, the phaser spinal lance required a 3-minute recharge time between firings, was fairly inaccurate, and heavily drained the ship's weapons energy reserves. Separating the saucer enabled an alternate firing mode that had a much shorter range but a wider spread, granting improved accuracy. (ST video game: Star Trek Online)
A version of the USS Enterprise-D from an alternate year 2395, encountered by the prime universe version during the anti-time event in 2370, featured a phaser spinal lance that was both faster-firing and more accurate, capable of destroying a Klingon Negh'Var-class battlecruiser with several shots. (TNG episode, novelization & comic adaptation: All Good Things...)