ZenithTech "Xerxes" Hybrid Weapon System

Officially called the eXperimental Energy/Rail-Kinetic System (XERKS) upon its creation, later being referred to simply as "Xerxes" by the designers, it is a weapon that is a first to combine both a kinetic energy round as well as an electrical impulse. Entering service as of 3192 TSC, it is one of the newest weapons based off of rather traditional technology and it is still a closely guarded and controlled design. As one would expect with something still listed as experimental, the Xerxes is only issued based on the recommendation of an enlisted officer, though restrictions have begun to lighten as more of the weapons enter active service.

The Xerxes is a railgun in almost every way shape and form given one exception in that it uses a unique type of ammunition for its secondary feature as an electromagnetic pulse rifle. The idea came when researchers at ZenithTech were attempting to develop different coatings to reduce friction and improve velocity of the slugs. During one of the tests, the equipment used to measure the impact force of a slug went completely offline. It was discovered later on that as the metals on the surface of the slug were vaporized they created a floating wire of sorts that allowed for a powerful spark to travel down and essentially EMP the entire electronics assembly.

ZenithTech was quick to understand the importance of this discovery and it wasn't long before an improved model was created to take full advantage of the technology. The addition of a secondary charging unit to the Xerxes specifically for the sake of sending a pulse down the slug trail improved the EMP effect nearly 2000% from what the initial test produced. Refinements to the alloy used to coat the slugs increased the range that the EMP could be used at as well. The only problem to the Xerxes was the incredible amount of power it consumed as it was more or less operating two weapon systems at the same time. It also meant that charging time for a single shot was significantly increased to the point that the Xerxes would be delegated as a weapon used by a squad designated marksman rather than standard infantry.

Class: Squad Designated Marksman or Sniper
Caliber: 1.5 x 32mm Zenith rail slug
Energy Source: CE-10, 30 round magazine
Capacity: 30
Rate of Fire: 20 RPM
Max Range: 17000m (round burnout), 2500m for EMP
Effective Range: 4000m (visually limited by optics)
Armor Penetration: Very High
Shield Penetration: Very High
Damage per round: Medium (Extreme vs all electronics)
Velocity: 23,000 m/s

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