RA3 Gameicon
Athena SatNet, how may I assist you?
- Athena Cannon rolling out of the Armor facility
RA3 Athena Cannon Icons

Named after Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, the Athena cannon was the main Allied artillery unit during the Third World War.


Athena beam hq

The Athena cannon calls down a proton beam

Created by the Stockholm-based Angstrom Defense[1], the Athena Cannon is an integral part of the Allied Orbital Defense Network designed by Lydia Winters[2]. The name "Athena Cannon" refers to both a network of orbital beam weapons and their eponymous target-designating vehicles.[3] Unlike traditional artillery units, the Athena vehicle does not attack its targets directly. Rather, it merely designates targets for an Athena satellite in orbit using a target painter, which then fires a powerful proton beam at the target.[4]

Alternatively, an Athena Cannon can order a satellite to fire at its mounted collector dish, allowing it to absorb the energy of the beam and project an "Aegis" energy shield, which protects it and any surrounding units from enemy fire. The shield does hinder movement, however and the Athena must remain immobile while the shield is up.

Despite initial controversies regarding its exorbitant development costs, the Athena SatNet proved instrumental in cracking the defenses of the Soviet Union and the Empire of the Rising Sun during the war. However, the limited satellite coverage prevented its wide usage, prompting the FutureTech Corporation to develop an alternative field artillery unit: the Pacifier FAV.[3]


RA3 Aegis Shield Icons
Aegis Shield By changing its weapon configuration, the Athena Cannon can engage an Aegis shield which will protect all friendly units within. When the shield integrity falls, so does the size of the shield. A low integrity shield means it is too small to protect units around it.



  • Very powerful beam (two Athenas can destroy an Apocalypse Tank in one sequence)
  • Aegis Shield can protect the Athena and all friendly units within from all sorts of attacks
  • Pinpoint accuracy
  • Splash damage
  • Cheaper than Wave-force artillery
  • Can beat both the Wave-Force artillery and V4 Rocket Launcher in a one-on-one fight


  • Available at tier 3 only
  • When the shield integrity falls, so does the size of the shield.
  • Can't use shields and space cannon simultaneously
  • Enemy units can still go thorough the shield
  • Has hard time targeting moving units since laser beam focuses on one target only
  • Costlier that V4 Rocket launcher

Game unit

Orbital defense network
- Athena Cannon

First use of the Athena Cannon was granted to the Allied Commander after his base was decimated by the Imperial Psionic Decimator in Tokyo, during the attempt to take the Empire out of the war for good. Two were chrono-teleported in after the Allied commander successfully executed a flanking maneuver by chronoshifting his MCV and setting up a base to the rear of the Imperial forces. The Athena Cannon was used in all subsequent missions thereafter.

Notes from the Field

Athena Shield Barrier

An Athena activating the Aegis during battle to protect itself.

The Athena Cannon is a versatile artillery-type vehicle that utilizes Allied satellites to bombard its target. They have the Aegis Shield ability which protects nearby friendly units for up to 2,000 damage. The longer the shield is active, the smaller the area of protection gets. The shield is useful for defense from air attacks, but the unit cannot fire during the time the shield is active. Athena Cannons can target through walls, making them a ruthless weapon for destroying power plants, or other base defenses protected behind walls.

Depending on the distance between the Athena and the target, it only takes mere seconds to lock on the target and destroy it. The Athena will also do its best to hit moving targets, but will only do small amounts of damage to moving the beam is stationary as it fires. One trick is to make the Athena fire on a spot on the ground that an expected group of enemy units will be occupying when the satellite beam fires. This takes good timing, but the beam causes "splash" damage and can take valuable health off of groups of units that would otherwise be harmful for your units or base defenses.

In groups of 5+, Athena Cannons can destroy any building, super weapon, or powerful unit in one strike before the opposition has a chance to react. Very useful tactic when attempting to make a quick run at an enemy Construction Yard, or superweapons.


Upon exiting an Armor facility

  • Athena SatNet, how may I assist you?


  • Athena cannon!
  • Full satellite access!
  • Orbital defense network!
  • How can I help?
  • Standing by!
  • Sat link initialized!
  • We're connected!
  • GPS signal clear!
  • Can I be of assistance?
  • Your call is important to us!
  • Space cannons on line two, sir!
  • Orbitals on line two, sir!
  • Orbits on line two, sir!


  • Confirmed!
  • Understood, please stand by!
  • Updating position!
  • Certainly!
  • Thank you, please hold!
  • Scanning for reception!
  • My pleasure!
  • Anything else I can do for you?
  • One moment sir!

Trying to move when shield is active

  • Shields are still engaged sir!
  • Can't move while the shield's are up sir!
  • Negative sir, not while the shield is up!


  • Begin sequence!
  • Patching it through sir!
  • Focusing reticles
  • Powering up!
  • Call for fire!
  • Recursive firing!

Active shield

  • Defense systems on!
  • Shields are enabled sir!
  • All powers into shields!
  • Nothing can get through the Aegis!
  • Shields are enabled!

Move to attack

  • Moving to targeting range!
  • Get ready orbital!
  • Stand by for coordinates!
  • Yes sir, approaching!
  • Ready the fire sequence!
  • Set up the target array!
  • Target acquired!

In combat

  • Locking coordinates!
  • Reloading, please wait!
  • Link established!
  • Sat link check!
  • We're live!


  • Confirming retreat codes!
  • Code Olympus!
  • Falling back for repairs!
  • This call will not be recorded!

Under fire

  • Our position is compromised!
  • System are damaged!
  • We're losing signal strength!
  • We can use some help here sir!
  • Can anybody hear us?


  • The Athena Cannon's appearance may be based on the Swedish BV-206.
  • The Athena's quotes are based on phrases said by telephone operators.
  • The Zone Captain from Tiberian Twilight is also based on the idea of a unit that designates targets for a space-based energy weapon.
  • The said structure's first name was a reference to Athena Massey, the actress behind the voiceover and role of the Allied EVA in Red Alert 2 and its expansion pack Yuri's Revenge. 


See also


  1. Apollo Fighter profile. COMMAND & CONQUER RED ALERT 3. 2008-07-02.
  2. Uprising loading screen
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pacifier FAV profile. Red Alert Universe. 2009-02-22.
  4. Red Alert 3 unit profile video
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