V-150 anti-orbital ion cannon

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v-150 Planet Defender anti-orbital ion cannon
Production information

Kuat Drive Yards[1]


v-150 Planet Defender anti-orbital ion cannon[1]


Heavy Ion Surface-To-Space Cannon[1]


Various worlds


AurebeshSans-Serif credit1,5 million (1 million used)[2]

Physical and technical specifications

4,000 kilometers(optimum), 180,000 kilometers(maximum)[3]

Usage and history
"The ion cannon will fire several shots to make sure that any enemy ships will be out of your flight path."
Leia Organa, briefing Rogue Group prior to the Battle of Hoth[src]

The v-150 Planet Defender anti-orbital ion cannon was a heavy ion cannon of the Clone Wars era, built by Kuat Drive Yards.

During the Galactic Civil War, the Alliance to Restore the Republic came in possession of several v-150s, placing them at the most important of bases. The secret Echo Base on the ice world of Hoth was defended by a v-150 and, during the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY, was instrumental in helping many of the base's GR-75 medium transports to escape through the Imperial blockade of the planet.


Ion Cannon (Hoth)
Cross-section of the Echo Base v-150 Planet Defender

The v-150 was able to be employed by planetary installations as an effective defense against enemy targets in orbital and superorbital space. When used in tandem with planetary deflector shields, the v-150 was successful in deterring orbital siege activities,[4] with a maximum firing range of 180,000 kilometers.[3] The weapon was a stationary emplacement only, typically installed on a rotating base and covered by a semi-circular reinforced permacite shell. Powered by a subterranean reactor core typically placed some forty meters below the surface,[5] the v-150 was modular and able to be erected in a matter of hours.[4]

The ion cannon operated with a crew of twenty-seven, or a skeleton crew of twelve. It was equipped with an unlimited amount of ammunition, with its power output supplied by a power generator and/or reactor.[1] The v-150 also held three months of supplies.[5] It could fire a volley every six seconds.[6][7][3] They were often synchronized with planetary shields, firing when the shields were dropped briefly to inflict maximum damage. Because of its limited firing vector, a single v-150 could only protect a few hundred square kilometers of space.[7]

By the time of the Galactic Civil War, Kuat Drive Yards typically marketed the v-150 at 1,500,000 credits, though it could be obtained used at a discounted rate of 1,000,000 credits.[1]


"Stand by, Ion Control...Fire."
Toryn Farr, directing the firing mechanism of Echo Base's v-150 ion cannon during the Battle of Hoth[src]

The v-150 was originally designed by Can Lar, a Gathi who was employed by CoMar Weapons. When they rejected the design as "militarily useless and an engineering impossibility" he quit and took the design to Kuat Drive Yards.[5]

Several v-150 cannons were eventually acquired by the Alliance to Restore the Republic for use during the Galactic Civil War.[1]

Rebel Alliance v-150 Planet DefendersEdit

The v-150 Planetary Defender was the most powerful, and consequently the most expensive, ground-based weapon in the Alliance arsenal. The Rebellion obtained several v-150s, assigning them to the most important bases. Two were stationed on the safe world of Bulwark and at the Alliance High Command's Echo Base on the planet Hoth.[1]

Planet Defender
The v-150 anti-orbital ion cannon that provided covering fire for escaping Rebel transports.

The Hoth v-150 proved to be an invaluable addition to the base's defensive armament. It was stolen during a daring super transport hijacking in the Kuat system.[1] Its power generator was remotely connected to the base's main reactors, which were scavenged from a Praetor-class Star Battlecruiser. While v-150s were usually powered by reactors located forty meters below ground, the Echo Base generator was buried a full kilometer below the icy surface, with its main reactors located at the main base, further away.[source?] The entire crew of twenty-seven that maintained the ion cannon hailed from the planet Alderaan[8][3] and were among the last to evacuate the planet during the Battle of Hoth.[7]. During the battle, the crew put up a fierce fight against invading Imperial snowtroopers trying to seize the cannon,[1] though they eventually set the cannon's power generator to self-destruct as they evacuated to mask the sensor reading of their escape.[7] Blizzard Force, the Imperial walker unit sent to attack Echo Base, was assigned by Darth Vader to destroy the ion cannon.[9]

Before its abandonment, the cannon was successful in providing valuable cover fire for the escaping transports of Echo Base as they attempted to run the blockading line of Death Squadron's Imperial-class Star Destroyers orbiting Hoth. From the base's command center, head controller Toryn Farr directed the ion cannon to fire upon the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Tyrant, disabling it as the GR-75 medium transport Quantum Storm, the first transport to evacuate Hoth, slipped past the Imperial warship and entered hyperspace. The protecting fire from the ion cannon served as the opening shots of the engagement.[1][10]

However, the cannon itself was structurally intact and operational when Jaden Korr arrived in 14 ABY searching for the Disciples of Ragnos.[11] Two v-150 cannons were also present during Kyle Katarn's mission to Artus Prime.

The New Republic used v-150s to defend poor but strategically important worlds. They proved almost useless against the Yuuzhan Vong's biotechnology.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

The V-150 anti-orbital ion cannon first appeared with the release of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and its tie-ins. The ion cannon at Echo Base subsequently appeared in many sources. One source says the ion cannon was destroyed to cover the Rebels escape, although two other sources contradict that. In Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, a 2001 video game, the player is assigned to destroy the ion cannon and must do so before proceeding to the next objective. In Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, a 2003 video game, shows the ion cannon at Hoth intact. This article incorporates information from all three sources.

The ion cannon appears in the background of the Hoth map skirmish mission in the video game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike. It fires throughout the match.


Concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.


Notes and referencesEdit

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