ZenithTech PLC-44 Heavy Laser Cannon

While laser weapons have been commonplace throughout Terran space for their reliability, power, and accuracy, they have always had one major drawback. While the time a typical laser is active remains under a second it still transmits its power over a long enough time for the aim of the weapon or the motion of a target to cause most of the damage to miss.

ZenithTech's response was to compress what was usually a 1500 to 2000 millisecond beam into something under a single millisecond in length. Testing of the idea began around 2300 TSC and the Pulse Laser Cannon was officially conceived and put into production in 2320. The diameter of the optical element is much larger than other weapons due to the increased stress from firing such a short duration.

The designation of referring to this as a laser cannon rather than a rifle came as a result of the way the weapon does most of its damage. Rather than melting a hole through a target as most lasers do, the PLC-44 vaporizes a large surface area with such speed that the expanding gases are more or less an explosion of similar force to a high explosive round. A secondary advantage is that the beam doesn't suffer from interference of the material it just destroyed as standard laser weapons have the occasion of dealing with. This all combines to make it one of the few optical weapons capable of dealing with shields and heavy armor.

This all comes at a price as the PLC-44 has one of the slowest firing rates of any weapon in the Terran arsenal and heat buildup is a major concern as well. This is outweighed by the fact that as with all laser weapons, the range of the PLC-44 is nearly unlimited given clear conditions.

Class: Heavy Weapons
Caliber: 44mm optical
Energy Source: CE-200
Capacity: 10
Beam Duration: 0.05ms
Recharge Time: 6000ms
Effective Range: 2000m
Armor Penetration: Extreme
Shield Penetration: High
Damage per round: Extreme

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