The EMP Torpedo is a mighty weapon designed by The Federation. It is essentially a large, slow nuclear missile with firepower equivalent to a gigaton or more of TNT. The torpedo has only two real uses: shield destruction and ionization. Few shield barriers can stand up to more than two hits from an EMP torpedo, and with an impressive splash radius and damage one hit can damage multiple ships. Fortunately for those targeted, it is slow, turns sluggishly and does very little armor damage. It is also quite often fooled by asteriods. It is not difficult for an alert pilot in a nimble ship to evade an EMP torpedo, but the fact that they are often used along with other, more immediately threatening weapons in a pitched battle makes them more dangerous.
The EMP torpedo has been banned by all space treaties and is mostly used by Pirates, although Federation naval vessels have been caught deploying these weapons on occasion. Despite (or perhaps because of) this contradiction, Federation patrol craft that detect an EMP torpedo tube on your vessel will usually attack you immediately. Also each torpedo weighs 4 tons which can quickly eat up valuable mass. The easiest way to dodge EMP torpedoes if you are in a slower ship, is to move toward some asteroids, as they are decoyed quite easily. A pair of point-defense turrets, such as the Storm Chaingun or Quad Light Blaster Turret, can also destroy these missiles quite easily.