1. The FERENGI MARAUDER was roughly nine million kilometers from the STARGAZER. Light traveling at around 300,000 km/sec. took approximately 30 seconds to traverse the distance between the two starships. Once the STARGAZER accelerated to warp speeds, its true position could not be detected by the opposing starship for 30 seconds.   2. The Ferengi's light-speed sensors were unable to detect any movements traveling faster than light. The STARGAZER engaged warp drive and accelerated faster than light - but because of the light speed lag, the MARAUDER did not see this move for 30 seconds. To the crew of the MARAUDER, the Federation starship appeared to remain in the same place, and would do so for another 30 seconds.
3. After 15 seconds, the U.S.S. STARGAZER had dropped out of warp and fired at the Ferengi vessel from point blank range. As the STARGAZER was now much closer to the MARAUDER, light from its current position reached the Ferengi ship at the same time as the light from its original position, making it appear to the Ferengi that there were two Starfleet ships. Had the Ferengi survived a little longer they would have seen the STARGAZER begin to move.   4. U.S.S. STARGAZER opened fire on the unprepared MARAUDER.




The Picard Maneuver is named after Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who devised it while he was in command of the U.S.S. Stargazer NCC-2893.

It was while crossing the Zeta Maxia star system in 2355 that the Stargazer was attacked without warning by a Ferengi Marauder vessel. In this combat situation Picard was present with a number of options; he could have launched a frontal attack, but this was risky since his ship was already badly damaged by his adversary's powerful plasma weapons. The alternative was to retreat, but Picard realized that the increased maneuverability afforded Constellation-class ships by their additional warp nacelles gave him a tactical advantage. The Stargazer's sensor scans also revealed a chink in the enemy's armor; the Ferengi Marauder appeared no to have the ability to detect objects moving at faster-than-light speeds.

Multiplying ships

The Stargazer was positioned about nine million kilometers from the attacking vessel, and since light travels at roughly 300,000 kilometers per second, Picard calculated that it would take at least 30 seconds for the light generated by his ship to traverse the distance between them; the image seen aboard the Ferengi vessel was therefore always 30 seconds old. The Stargazer engaged its warp drive and accelerated faster than light, but because of the enemy's sensor deficiency they would not be able to see the Federation ship's moving for another 30 seconds. After 15 seconds the Stargazer had moved within firing range, and because of its proximity to the Ferengi Marauder the light from its current position reached the enemy while the light from its old position was still en route, and so to the Ferengi, it appeared to be in two places at once. In effect, the enemy vessel saw a second Stargazer appear, while the first seemed to remain in its original position.

The Ferengi Marauder never witnessed the warp jump of the Stargazer vessel as, less than 20 seconds into the maneuver, it was destroyed from point blank range by the Federation vessel. This tactic was so effective that it became required reading for students at Starfleet Academy.