With the advent of the Starburst drive, transit times were drastically shortened over conventional space/warp drives. However, it was also evident that a faster solution was required. The idea of skirting dimensions was useful, however, the transit times involved meant that they were less useful for military movements. In addition, the inaccuracies, made it difficult to direct troops reliable.


Derived from the Holtzman equations used in Holtzman shields and suspensor systems, the Holtzman drive uses specially designed Holtzman fields to guide the ship more accurately into alternate dimensions, while bending the space within those dimensions and guiding the ship to come out in another place with pinpoint accuracy. The amount of energy for the initial jump is reduced over that of starburst, because of its fine tuned approach. Rather than bludgeoning its way through starburst, and requiring the ship to be moving. The systems locate small rifts in space time (there are a great many), and delicately manipulating them so that the ship can slip through with great ease, or even manipulating the rift around the vessel, so that the ship does not have to be moving at all.


Like Starburst, the initial three dimensional vector movement is translated into one dimensional scalar movement, making the tracking of the vessel incredibly difficult, if not impossible. However, in addition to the thrust aspect of the ship's main engines, there is also a space-warp effect on the space around it, effectively shortening the distance between the two points even further, in some cases, even bringing the two points of space together through a quantum tunnel effect. This ends up shortening a trip from hours to days to a matter of minutes, or less depending upon the drive unit, and the desired speed.

Because of its accuracy, Holtzman Effect FTL drive can also be used for pinpoint jumps within the battlefield. These, however, require a massive amount of power over the normal engines, and while the ZPRs are capable of supplying the raw power, the Holtzman drives cannot make more than 5 micro jumps within a 10 minute period, or the ship risks overheating and damage to the drive system. Once the limit has been exceeded, the system must cool down over a 5-15 minute period, and then the jumps can commence again. In addition to the limitations of the number of jumps, these types of microjumps require a trilarian navigator or a pilot to make the calculations for the jumps. Certain types of advanced computers can do the work as well, however, Trilarians and Pilots have a knack for these types of calculations, which allows them to do them faster and more efficiently, making them more useful on the battlefield.

Also, since the Holtzman Drive does not release a massive burst of energy (the ship just slips from one dimension to another) it is not only much more stealthy, (Reducing the energy release by over 80%) but it also means that the ship can operate its holtzman drives within confined areas without risk of damage to the hull. (Something that Starburst Drives do not allow) Allowing for, among other things, massive changes in the way starships are designed and built, and even tactics for using these starships.