|Build cost:||575 RU|
|Build time:||53 sec|
|Maximum speed:||105 m/s|
|Turning rate:||27.0 deg/s|
|Squadron firepower:||157.69 HP/s|
|weapon type||count||RPM||damage||individual firepower||total firepower|
Introduced a few decades after the last days of the wars of aggression against the Frerrn, the ion cannon frigate quickly established itself as a symbol of imperial might that has endured ever since. The initial ion cannons were massive weapons suitable only for mounting on battleship scale vessels, but miniaturization and a desire for more flexible application of the firepower it provided led to its mounting on the frigate chassis. For a time the ion cannon helped define the scale of warships across the galaxy; a frigate was a ship big enough to mount a useful ion cannon, a carrier a ship big enough to produce an ion cannon frigate.
The incandescent beam has notable psychological effect on it's targets. Such was it's impact that after first sighting it in combat, the intelligence division of Mothership dubbed it 'Sajuuk Cor', roughly meaning 'God's Wrath'. While experts on military morale have called the wisdom of that naming into question, it aptly conveyed the effect the ship's spinal beam weapon had on targets of the day.
The ion cannon frigate became one of the fleet's poster children for propaganda, and historians believe that by the end of the empire this had become so pervasive that it negatively affected the decisions of the emperor himself. The elite guard units charged with protecting Higaara were ludicrously overburdened with ion cannon frigates rather than being outfitted with proper combined arms.
The Sajuuk Cor was the 8th major revision of the imperial ion cannon frigates, and like it's seven predecessors it is now obsolete. Imperial successor states have either moved to significant upgrades of the design, or invested in entirely new alternatives, with superior range and firepower. There are even scattered reports of Turanic clans beginning to field Ion Array platforms that outclass the venerable design.
However, a ship does not survive eight design cycles over 300 years and then vanish overnight. It may be outclassed in range and have reduced performance against modern armor types, but an old ion cannon frigate is far more dangerous than no ion cannon frigate, and in the hands of raiders or pirates it still serves perfectly well to terrorize and intimidate. If encountered, commanders are advised to destroy them at range with modern ion cannons, or to overwhelm them with strike craft. Even the most daring pirate engineers would have trouble fitting useful levels of point defense on a chassis with so little spare volume.