Fuel rod cannon
The fuel rod cannon is a Covenant vehicle-mounted projectile weapon. It is a larger and more powerful version of the Type-33 fuel rod gun, with anti-vehicle and anti-air applications. It is employed by a variety of vehicles, including Type-26 Banshees, Anti-Air Wraiths and a variant of the Type-26 Shade.
The weapon fires fuel rods, caseless projectiles which contain radioactive, highly explosive material encased in a transparent shell. The colloquialism "fuel rod", commonly used by the UNSC to refer to the weapon's ammunition, is technically incorrect; it originates from the projectiles' resemblance to how nuclear fuel rods are commonly depicted in popular culture.
This weapon functions in a similar fashion to the man-portable Type-33 fuel rod gun, but the fuel rods fired by the cannon are larger and more damaging. Most fuel rod weapons, including the T-33, fire ammunition designated as Class-2, which is effective against armor and infantry on short ranges. For anti-air combat, however, the Covenant employ a more effective type of fuel rod, designated as Class-3. Although visually identical to the Class-2 rounds, Class-3 fuel rods are more powerful, have a greater range, and are capable of tracking the heat signatures of vehicles.
Banshees are equipped with a single fuel rod cannon for attacking hardened ground targets, while Anti-Air Wraiths are fitted with two pods of three. Fuel rod Shades are equipped with a single fuel rod cannon. All of these variants fire Class-2 rounds, with Banshees also being capable of firing Class-3 projectiles.
Banshees often use the weapon to wipe out groups of infantry, or to soften heavily armored targets before finishing them with its medium plasma cannons. The projectiles are especially lethal to light vehicles, such as a Type-32 Ghost or M274 Mongoose, which will be sent flying by the explosion.
The automated turrets used to defend Covenant bases are sometimes equipped with fuel rod cannons, in order to better defend the base against vehicular assault.
List of appearances