Ion cannons were a form of armament that fired ionized particles capable of disrupting electronic systems. Larger types could even disable a large capital ship, such as those that were mounted on the side of the Malevolence, or the v-150 planetary ion cannon used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
Y-wing starfighters were also equipped with ion cannons, most notably those used by the Alliance's Gold Squadron. Though their field of fire was somewhat limited, the ion cannons were quite powerful, with three blasts being sufficient to disable an Arquitens-class command cruiser and only one to completely disable a TIE/D Defender starfighter. This was demonstrated during a skirmish in the Archeon Nebula.
Early in the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems equipped the massive Subjugator-class heavy cruiser, the Malevolence, with immense ion cannons. With General Grievous in command, the Malevolence attacked dozens of Republic warships and ensured the ion cannons' secrecy from the Republic. Following the battle of Abregado, the Republic learned of the ion cannons.
The Malevolence's ion cannons were then disable by the Republic's Shadow Squadron during the battle near the Kaliida Nebula. The Malevolence was later destroyed when Jedi General Anakin Skywalker sabotaged the ship and caused it to crash into the Dead Moon of Antar.
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