The cannon consists of a large device mounted on a turret which concentrates and stores a significant amount of energy in a spherical shell, which it can launch at long distances. It detonates upon impact with a ground unit or land and releases a wave of energy that spreads out linearly from the impact site, creating a circle of moving charge that floods the systems of every vehicle in its path. Most vehicles are reasonably shielded against such effects, and thus no permanent damage is normally done, but the charge still succeeds in disabling them temporarily. The list of affected ordnance includes vehicles, structures, and cyborgs in its area of effect, including the cyborg commando.
After the Firestorm Crisis, the reliability and effectiveness of the EMP have prompted GDI to establish EMP Control Centers in major Yellow Zone cities to allow a trained local militia to buy some time to evacuate, or for GDI reinforcements to arrive.
The EMP has also been implemented into a variety of weapons: GDI utilizes Shockwave artillery (EMP shells fired from a space platform) and EMP grenades, while Nod Marked of Kane Awakened and Enlightened cyborgs were outfitted with EMP cannons. The normal Nod Raider buggy could also be refitted to contain EMP coils, which could charge and release an EMP blast.
The Scrin invaders had found an effective counter to EMP by using the Energy field, which absorbs the pulse but disables the energy shield. The Scrin Annihilator Tripod could also release an EMP blast when close to enemy vehicles and buildings.
EMP cannon acts as a countermeasure to commanders wanting to use rushing tactics early on. The cannon has a range long enough to disable artillery units besieging a base, allowing the defenders to close in and destroy the siege units without coming under fire themselves.
Mobile units affected by EMP attack will be surrounded by electric arcs. Defensive structures such as SAMs will also be disabled, but without visible effects.
- Can disable vehicles, buildings and cyborgs in a large radius
- Great range, enough to disable Nod Artilleries
- Covering range can be extended by building more
- Extension sets can use previous charge
- Cannot be captured
- Useless against infantry
- Defenseless against air units
- Deals no direct damage
- High power consumption
- Relatively long recharge time