Particle Projector Cannon
|Type||Energy (Direct Fire)|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere (IS)|
|Year Availability||2460 TH|
|Year Introduced||2460 TH|
|Technology Rating||(Choose One A - F)|
|Availability Rating||(Choose One A - F, X)|
|Availability Ratings||(Choose One A - F, X)/(Choose One A - F, X)/(Choose One A - F, X)|
|Legality Rating||(Choose One A - F)|
|Ammo Per Ton||N/A|
|Ammo Cost (per ton)||N/A|
The Particle Projector Cannon (or PPC) is an energy weapon, firing a concentrated stream of protons or ions at a target, with damage resulting from both thermal and kinetic energy. Despite being an energy weapon, it produces recoil. The lethality of the weapon rivals that of higher-caliber autocannons; just three shots from a PPC will vaporize nearly two tons of standard military-grade armor. Targets hit by multiple, simultaneous PPCs can also suffer electrical side-effects, such as overloaded computer systems or targeting sensors. The ion beam also extends to much farther ranges than autocannon fire, though PPCs generate large amounts of waste heat.
PPCs are equipped with a Field Inhibitor to prevent feedback which could damage the firing unit's electronic systems. This inhibitor degrades the performance of the weapon at close ranges of less than 90 meters. Particularly daring warriors have been known to disengage the inhibitor and risk damage to their own machine when a target is at close range.
The PPC is manufactured on the following planets:
- The Mackie used an older prototype for the Particle Projector Cannon, seeing as it was equipped with one before the weapon is even introduced. According to the rules in Interstellar Operations regarding prototype energy weapons, the primary difference between the prototype and the mass production models would more than likely be increased heat output (around 50% higher, or that of an (ER-PPC]]), but if there are any differences beyond that, there's no official source indicating what they might be.
- Improved PPC
- Developed by the Clans shortly after the Exodus, the only differences between this and a normal PPC would be that the mass is only 6000 kilograms, and that the weapon only occupies 2 Critical Slots. All other performance characteristics remain same, and it would still go on to become obsolete when the Clans perfected the ER-PPC (especially due to their propensity to using Double Heat Sinks as the answer to all their heat problems). This weapon does not have its own page yet, but was also described in Interstellar Operations.
- Light and Heavy PPCs
- These officially came around at some point during the Jihad, the Light model significantly cutting down on the size and weight of the weapon at the expense of damage output, and the Heavy model increasing the damage output at the expense of increased heat and mass. The Clans have yet to make their own version of the Light PPC, but they would not have any need to construct their own version of a Heavy PPC due to already having a superior substitute at the time of its introduction.
- Snub-Nose PPC
- By modifying the PPC to have a much shorter barrel and plasma focus, the Snub-Nose PPC sacrifices its maximum effective range (especially since damage starts to drop significantly as distance increases), but makes up for it by lacking a minimum range and being much better suited for close-quarters engagements. Additionally, it is actually easier for some mechs to carry these things when a regular PPC wouldn't fit.
- The original Extended Range Particle Projector Cannon has a much further maximum range than its ancestor, along with the additional benefit of not having a minimum range. The downside to this, however, is the increased heat output. Though the weapon became Lostech for use in the Inner Sphere, the Clans never lost the technology, and managed to make improvements.
- Other Variants
- Though everything listed here are just the ones that are known to exist in canonical sources at the time of this writing, there might be more variants of the PPC in future releases.
- The PPC Capacitor
- This piece of equipment can be added to PPCs in order to increase the damage output, but on top of being slow to charge, this capacitor is prone to causing explosions. Some mechs that are desperate to saving weight will drop their full-sized PPC for a Light PPC and an added Capacitor.
- BSPFD (Blue Shield Particle Field Dampener)
- A system that was developed in order to reduce the damage output from incoming PPCs, the BSPFD isn't useful for much else and can occupy vital space in a mech.
- TechManual p. 289
- TechManual, p. 317, "Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table"
- TechManual, p. 233, "Particle Projector Cannon (PPC)"
- TechManual p. 234
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised, Burke combat vehicle
- TechManual p. 233