|For other uses of the technology, see Ion.|
|“|| The boys at R&D have completed preliminary testing on the ion cannon, the next generation of strategic defense armaments. Its geosynchronous orbit gives it a target diversions factor of 8-to-1. It's an awesome weapon, the most powerful in our arsenal.|
- General Mark Jamison Sheppard near the end of the First Tiberium War.
Each ion cannon (part of the Orbital Defence Matrix) circles Earth on a geosynchronous orbit. It has become the signature weapon of the Global Defense Initiative ever since its introduction during the First Tiberium War. It is capable of obliterating any location on the world with a precise, calculated strike of unforgivingly destructive power.
First Tiberium War Edit
Approved by the UN in 1996 , the development of the ion cannon was led by the talented Doctor Wong Hu Chan. The weapon's potential was deemed a sufficient threat to the Brotherhood of Nod that Kane ordered the doctor's assassination. This was duly carried out by a sniper. Despite the loss development continued and the weapon system entered service by the end of the First Tiberium War. The advent of the ion cannon corresponded with a promise by GDI never to use nuclear weapons.
An advanced communications center at field bases provided operational commanders with a secure control uplink to the ion cannon. A queuing system was introduced to manage the demand for the deployed systems, and this practice continues.
The GS-2 beacon was developed for troops to request strikes in the field. One was used to penetrate the Temple of Nod in Cairo. The resulting Ion Strike cracked the Temple's reinforced defenses, allowing GDI ground forces to penetrate the Temple's perimeter.
The most notable use of the ion cannon during the First Tiberium War was when GDI assaulted the Sarajevo Temple of Nod, where Kane was barricaded inside. GDI obliterated the Temple, and Kane, in one strike.
|The following is based on the Nod campaign of Tiberian Dawn and some details might contradict canon.|
Nod discovered the ion cannon development project in Africa. On Kane's orders a commando assassinated Doctor Wong Hu Chan, the project's leader, to impede development. Despite the doctor's death GDI carried on and eventually began field testing. Nod struck Johannesburg and captured the ion cannon security codes from an advanced communications center. Using these codes, Netwarriors operating from a South African Temple of Nod infiltrated GDI's orbital defense matrix and gained access to the ion cannon. The weapon was used to destroy a notable Western landmark. The 1st generation Ion Cannon has the appearance of a large in width beam of light with no color.
Second Tiberium War Edit
|The following is based on the Nod campaign for Tiberian Sun and some details might contradict canon.|
For security purposes the ion cannon control codes were divided into three parts and stored at three separate Upgrade Centers at a facility near Hammerfest. These measures were considered "paranoid" by the Nod AI CABAL.
Third Tiberium War Edit
|Ion Cannon (Tiberium Wars)|
Ion Cannon Control Center
Can be fired anywhere on the battlefield even if it's covered by the fog of war
The type of system deployed had at least two firing modes. The first was commonly used against ground targets. Initially eight secondary beams arranged in a circle gradually spun inwards until they joined at the center, damaging targets inside the circle and ionizing the air they passed through and rendering it combustible. After that the primary beam fired and detonated the ionized air in the target area, causing a massive blast both inside and outside of buildings and vehicles. This was the first version of the Ion Cannon with a sufficient area of effect to level entire bases in a single strike. The second mode dispensed with the secondary beams altogether, designed as a more accurate tactical weapon, capable of hitting small, fast-moving targets. This was used to detonate the Liquid Tiberium Bomb at Temple Prime, to fragment Scrin ships into Drone Ships in Earth orbit, and was capable of destroying missiles aimed at GDI spacecraft.
The satellites were integrated into GDI's A-SAT system. In the lead up to the Third Tiberium War the Brotherhood of Nod surmised GDI's dependence on the ion cannon networks was a critical weakness. The Nod AI LEGION raided the Johannesburg research facility and stole the plans for the ion cannon network. From those Nod identified a single-point of failure in GDI Space Command's control over all of the orbital weapon systems, including the ion cannons: the entire network was directed from a single ground side location at Goddard Space Center. A Nod attack on Goddard disabled the A-SAT system and the ion cannons, leading to the destruction of the GDSS Philadelphia.
Nod also developed Ion Cannon Disruption Technology, rendering locations immune to ion cannon attack. This technology was deployed at Temple Prime; disabling this part of Temple Prime's defenses was a key objective during GDI's assault.
Fourth Tiberium War Edit
The ion cannons in service during the Fourth Tiberium War introduced increased flexibility. The power of the ion cannon's blast was determined by the time it had to charge between discharges. There were six discharge levels, with each succeeding level producing larger blasts and EMP effects.
Doctrinal changes stemming from the Incursion War delegated battlefield ion cannon deployment to the defense branch. Also, it appears that some, if not all Ion strikes actually originated on the surface, being fired from a ground-based generator bunker at an orbital mirror, that would reflect them at the target.
Furthermore, smaller, more maneuverable ion cannon satellites of reduced power were introduced for use by Zone Captains.
Game Effect Edit
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn Edit
The cannon fires a single beam sufficient to destroy an Obelisk of Light.
It's area of effect is a 2x2 square, along the grid used to place structures.
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun Edit
Each cannon strike causes 751 damage, dealing full damage to all armor types, and has a 100% chance of deforming the terrain. The strike deals splash damage; the damage inflicted is halved for each 40 pixels the target is from the target point.
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Edit
While a single-beam mode is shown in the cinematics, only the multi-beam mode is used in the game. The third generation Ion Cannon was the most powerful, capable of obliterating entire bases except for the Construction Yards and Superweapon buildings, which still took significant damage. It had a splash radius almost the size of the screen, and dealt equal damage over its whole radius. Unlike its older models, airborne units can be damaged by the blast.
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Edit
The ion cannon has six nodes that charge sequentially. It takes three minutes to charge all six. The number of charged nodes determines the weapon's power. More nodes also adds EMP effects. The maximum charge "decimates" small and most medium-sized units in the blast and causes and cripples survivors with EMP for a significant time. Achievements can be earned if the player launched a fully charged Ion cannon and if they destroy 20 units with it.
- ↑ Selinske, Joe. Command & Conquer Bible: A Definitive Guide To The Command & Conquer Universe. Las Vegas, Nevada: Westwood Studios, 1999.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Developer Q&A #7