Type-52 plasma cannon
The Type-52 Directed Energy Support Weapon (T52 DESW), commonly shortened to the plasma cannon, is a manned automatic Class-1 plasma weapon used by the Covenant. In use as early as 2544, though rarely encountered until 2552, the T52 DESW is a universal replacement for the older Type-42 plasma cannon. All post-2549 Type-26 Wraiths possess a Type-52 DESW ring mount.
The Type-52 Directed Energy Support Weapon is a stationary plasma emplacement and a type of Class-1 directed energy cannon. The Type-52 plasma cannon has three protective energy shields mounted on its top, with the outer ones being angled to the respective side, providing protection from the hot plasma being shot. In addition, the cannon itself is mounted on a miniature gravity lift rather than the V-legged design of the older Type-42 plasma cannon, presumably making turning easier. Heat and excess plasma appears to be vented by four apertures on the weapon's sides during rapid fire; this presumably assists the cooling process. The cannon cannot overheat, which is due to two modular, copper-colored cooling units located on the side. These cooling units are the cannon's primary maintenance need, though they are easily repaired and replaced by their Unggoy operators.
Used as a heavy support weapon in ground based combat, it provides a rapid-fire stream of powerful plasma rounds to suppress enemy movements and offensive actions. The cannon was designed to allow the ease of transport, which results in little protection. Operators usually include Unggoy Heavies and Sangheili Generals, although it is also sometimes used by Jiralhanae War Chieftains. The gunner is completely exposed to enemy fire, so a well-covered emplacement position is desirable for prolonged use, especially if under fire. This separates it from the Shade ASGs, which offer some measure of protection for their operator but are not man-portable.
It is carried and operated in a similar fashion to the UNSC's M247 machine gun, with the obvious difference that while the M247's rounds hit almost instantly, the plasma cannon, as with all plasma weapons, has a slower moving plasma bolt. It has an approximate sixty-five degree turn radius and fifty degree pitch. It fires plasma bolts similar to those of the Covenant Type-25 plasma rifle, and fires around three-hundred rounds per minute. A battery or plasma core is built into the tripod which allows the gun to fire indefinitely. When removed from the tripod's power supply, the gun can only use the two hundred units of power (equal to two hundred shots) that the gun itself contains. Once the power supply has been depleted to 70 shots or lower, the ammunition counter in any compatible HUD of the operator starts to flash as a warning signal.
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