The KDY v-150 Planet Defender Anti-Orbital Ion Cannon is one of the largest and most expensive weapons ever built. Originally proposed by an employee of CoMar Weapons, the idea was rejected as prohibitive in both manpower requirements and resources. Nevertheless, it was not long before Kuat Drive Yards picked up the design after a number of galactic organizations showed an interest in supplemental firepower options for planetary defense. After it entered production, the cannon became popular as a less expensive alternative to orbital defense platforms such as the Golan and Ataturk series of space station. Eventually, unable to meet demand, Kuat Drive Yards sold the blueprints to a number of government and military minded organizations.
Even when it is operated by a skeleton crew of twelve people, this energy weapon is extremely powerful. The cannon itself is placed on a platform that can rotate 360 degrees and make an arc of 180 degrees, giving the Ion Cannon a potentially large area to target in space. However, significant directional changes require movement of the cannon's spherical superstructure. Due to the massive size of the KDY v-150, this may require several hours.
The cannon fires a beam of ionic energy through the atmosphere and into space. It has an optimum range of 4,000 kilometers and a maximum range of up to 180,000 kilometers. Once the ion beam hits, its intent is to disable any electronic components. This can leave the target unshielded, immobile and unable to use its weapons for some time. However, each shot consumes huge amounts of energy. It is for this reason that KDY v-150s are powered by massive underground generators or deeply buried reactors.
As these huge structures are an easy target for enemy attacks, they are usually built in conjunction with shield generators. Although these shields must be lowered every time the cannon is fired, it does provide them with a retractable blast shield that protects the weapon facility from orbital and ground based bombardment.
The large size of this structure is an obstacle when the base needs to be moved quickly, preventing it from being disassembled during a sudden withdrawal. Usually they will be self-destructed in these situations, rather than abandoned into the hands of the enemy. Another weakness is its lack of an effective sensor array. The weapon depends mostly on orbiting satellites and allied spaceships with extensive sensor systems for targeting. It will then use this sensor network to triangulate the coordinates and vectors of an enemy vessel for each shot.