The Plasma Lance Cannon was built in YE 30 by NAM, and like the many other plasma weapons that have been the mainstay of Nepleslian heavy weapons, works by exciting ionized materials and accelerating them to relativistic speeds through the use of magnetic fields. However, unlike wide burst or flamethrower-type plasma weapons, the Plasma Lance Cannon projects a concentrated coherent beam of accelerated plasma for up to 20 seconds, or the titular 'lance', which is actually a short duration, heavy plasma beam. The plasma fired quickly melts and shears through thinner armor, and when against heavier plates, penetrates and 'mushrooms' within the target. Plasma Lance Cannons are a flexible mainstay in the Nepleslian arsenal, capable of being fitted as a hard mounted hull weapon or put into a turret. To provide a level of redundancy, each Plasma Lance Cannon has its own fusion reactor, independent of a ship's main reactor. This helps to eliminate the risk of excessive power draw and ensuing brownouts in ships.
Though self replenishing, the Plasma Lance Cannon only has a limited amount of plasma on hand at any one time. A single cannon has enough plasma stored for 15-30 minutes of continuous fire, depending on mode used; the beam consumes more plasma than the lance mode. The weapon itself can fully refill itself from empty within four hours of inactivity.
See Damage Rating (Version 3) for an explanation of the damage system.