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The Conqueror Cannon is primary weapon of the Leman Russ Conqueror, an uncommon variant of the standard Leman Russ Tank. This lightweight alternative weapon is a smaller and less powerful version of the Battle Cannon used on the baseline Leman Russ, but the reduced size, smaller ammunition, lighter recoil and firepower allow the tank to move while firing and maintain a higher rate of fire.
Imperial records show that the Leman Russ Conqueror is currently only being produced in significant numbers on the Forge World of Gryphonne IV, where the original pattern STC blue-prints were rediscovered sometime in the 38th Millennium. Original fears that the smaller Conqueror Cannon would produce an excessive loss in firepower and result in poor battlefield performance were allayed when field testing showed the reduced recoil from the gun's torsion bar counter-balance gave the tank better accuracy for firing on the move. This allows the Conqueror greater mobility and the smaller shell size allows loaders to keep up a high rate of fire. The tunnel space saved by smaller shells also allow for greater ammunition storage, meaning the Conqueror is less reliant on re-supplying during offensive operations.
Sometime in the 39th Millennium, an attempt was made by Gryphonne IV's munition-adepts to increase the tanks firepower with the use of advanced "Augur" shells in an attempt to up-gun the lighter Conqueror Cannon when faced by heavy enemy armour or fortifications. It is another variation of the common high explosive round. The warhead consists of a soft explosive in a thin shell that is designed to open on impact, spreading the explosive over the target's surface for a short microsecond delay before the base-mounted fuse detonates it. This causes cratering and cracking on the outer armour. On the inside of the tank, however, the blast often causes some of the interior layers of armour to break off and ricochet around inside the vehicle (spalling). This will either kill or severely wound any occupants, and can also disable controls and instruments, making the vehicle inoperable. It was not regarded as a success and as a result, few shells are currently produced. Production of this shell is no longer permitted.
- Chapter Approved 2004, pg. 31
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Navy. pp. 53, 59, 208