Ion Cannon

An ion cannon was a weapon which fired highly ionized particles or highly ionized plasma. These particles seriously interfered with the operation of electronics and computer systems, shorting circuits and often disabling them outright. The actual physical damage would sometimes result in fused joints on machines, due to the heat produced.[1]

Large negative-ion pulses were charged in a turbine generator then channeled into a plasma charge or released as a large pulse towards a target. As a result, ion cannons were the weapon of choice for subduing, rather than destroying, enemy starships, vehicles, shields, or droids. There were many types of ion cannons, including ground-based like the N-K7, planet-based such as the one at Echo Base, and ship-mounted ion cannons such as the one on the Malevolence.

The ion cannon was not without its weaknesses, however. For instance, they "weren't known…for tight-beam accuracy," to the point that a ground-based ion cannon might hit the defender's own battle stations as well as its intended targets.[2] Moreover, on capital ships, there would be crewmen that could repair any damage done, which would allow the vessel to continue fighting.

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