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An Ion Accelerator is an experimental Tau Ion Weapon developed during the Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion. An Ion Accelerator is a huge weapon, and is capable of engaging enemies at extremely long ranges with high energy ion streams; vaporising flesh and metal with equal ease. These high-energy particles are accelerated by an electromagnetic field and react explosively with the target as a result of direct transfer of energy at an atomic level.
The Ion Accelerator is based on Ion Weapon technology acquired as part of a fruitful alliance between the Syrr'Tok Brotherhood of the Demiurg and the Water Caste of the Dal'yth Sept, and is a prototype weapon designed for use as a primary weapons system for the experimental XV104 Riptide Battlesuit.
For their size, Ion Accelerators have a relatively high rate of fire; and their strength allows them to engage both heavy infantry and vehicles effectively. Indeed, Riptide Battlesuits have used their Ion Accelerators to devastating effect on even Leman Russ Battle Tanks and reinforced Imperial bunkers.
As with all Tau Ion Weapons, an Ion Accelerator's design allows for the weapon to be overcharged by exposing the reactive Mor'tonium power source to the environment, though this also exposes the user to the dangerous ionising radiation emitted by the Mor'tonium, and to the risks of overloading the primary power cells to hazardous energy levels. Overcharging an Ion Accelerator allows it to generate a wide explosive blast with increased damage compared to its normal fire mode. An Ion Accelerator can also be nova-charged by the Riptide's Dark Matter Nova Reactor to produce an even more devastatingly potent and far-reaching blast that can destroy virtually anything but the most heavily armoured of vehicles and bunkers.
- Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pp. 44-45, 66
- Rogue Trader: Tau Character Guide (RPG), pg. 37
- Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 19, pg. 9