The Vanquisher Cannon is a more complex variant of the Battle cannon mounted on the Leman Russ Vanquisher. Vanquisher cannons have superior accuracy, range and first-hit kill ratios compared to other cannons and are designed to fire specialised anti-tank rounds.[1a] Such is the power of the cannon and its ammunition they can even penetrate the thick armour found on Titans,[1a] such as puncturing the neck of a Reaver Battle Titan.
While it was originally produced on the Forge World Tigrus, the loss of that planet forced the Adeptus Mechanicus to try and recreate this cannon. Both Gryphonne IV and Stygies VIII succeeded in creating their own versions of the weapon, albeit using different methods. Stygies VIII cannons achieve superior shell velocity, and consequently accuracy, through the use of a smaller-calibre shell without rifling. However despite the use of secret knowledge to improve the gun's stabilisation and recoil dampening, reports from tank crews in the field indicate the increased barrel movement counteracts this accuracy with follow-on shots. Gryphonne IV guns meanwhile generate their shell velocity through the immense length of their barrels.[1a]
Unlike the battle cannon a Vanquisher cannon can only fire two types of rounds, a high explosive and a special munition called a Vanquisher Shell. Also known as a subcalibre munition or high velocity anti-tank shell, it consists of a solid dart of super density metal surrounded by a lightweight exterior case. A power charge of high energy propellent causes the round to travel at a tremendous velocity down the Vanquisher's long barrel where upon exiting the case falls away, leaving just the dart speeding towards it's target. Typically the dart is only a third of the calibre of the actual shell, but the combination of it's extreme velocity and high density produces tremendous kinetic energy upon impact.[1b]
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy
- 2: Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), Pg. 49
- 3: Titanicus (Novel) by Dan Abnett, 11, Pg. 72