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Ion Cannon control mode active. Ion Cannon controls online. Positioning over Eastern Seaboard. Fire when ready.
- EVA(src)

The Ion Cannon Control Center is GDI's superweapon structure in Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath.


Third ion cannon

A third generation ion cannon

During the years after the Second Tiberium War, GDI continued to work on its orbital assets. As a result, by the time of the Third Tiberium War, GDI's ion cannons were more lethal and accurate than ever.[1] The Ion Cannon network's contact systems was transferred from an upgrade module to an independent and more heavily armored structure, which presumably allowed for the incorporation of more advanced targeting equipment. The ion cannon control center interfaced with the ion cannon weapons platforms in orbit, and allowed GDI commanders to call down an ion cannon strike upon a target location, which could vaporize virtually everything within a massive radius.[2]

Unlike the nuclear weapons that GDI had vowed to never use,[3] ion cannons were far more precise, and did not cause environmental harm.[2] Still, their power was such that they were considered superweapons and were only used by those with the proper clearance or authorization to do so.

However, the network of ion cannons depended on a control building in the lightly defended Goddard Space Center. This key vulnerability was discovered and capitalized upon by the Brotherhood, who launched a surprise assault on the facility and destroyed the command structure preceding their opening attacks on GDI that sparked the Third Tiberium War. It was only when the GDI Commander prepared for the attack on Temple Prime that repairs were complete and the ion cannon network was brought back online.[4]

While these structures did not seem strictly necessary for the ion cannon to operate, as the network was still able to fire upon and destroy Scrin transport vessels during the preliminary stages of the Invasion of Earth, the surface-based control center presumably provided heightened accuracy to the orbital platforms they were linked to.

Deployment History[]

The Ion Cannon was GDI's ace-in-the-hole, and was used in several occasions when conflicts spiraled out of hand. The Ion Cannon was first used by the GDI Commander during a scouting operation in the North Carolina Badlands to eradicate a nearby Nod base, though the global ground control link to the Ion Cannon network was severed soon after, and the network remained unusable for most of GDI's counterattack throughout Africa and Europe.

The Ion Cannon's most notable usage was during the GDI assault on Nod's Sarajevo headquarters, after repairs to the system were complete. The Ion Cannon was fired upon Temple Prime at Director Boyle's behest, though the resulting blast (amplified by the presence of a volatile Liquid Tiberium explosive stored within the target) was of colossal proportions, and the explosion's Tiberium-based nature alerted the Scrin to begin their invasion of Earth.

The Ion Cannon was subsequently used in GDI's efforts to dislodge the Scrin from Earth, and the Ion Cannon Control Center in Sydney was especially of great tactical importance.


By the Fourth Tiberium War, these structures (and the ion cannon network itself, it seemed) had underwent an extensive redesign. The blast generated by the new design it was much smaller, though also released an EMP blast and was more flexible. Its three different charging states allowed for the premature, albeit underpowered, firing in desperate situations. Their deployment additionally instilled EMP-like effects upon targets struck by Zone Captains on-site, perhaps suggesting that they were linked to and supporting the suits of the aforementioned infantry in some way.

The highly mobilized nature of the Fourth Tiberium War meant that the usage of these structures was limited, however, and they were not deployed during the major events of the week-long conflict.

Game Structure[]

Costing a considerable $5000 and 20 units of power, the Ion Cannon Control Center served as GDI's superweapon structure. Like all superweapons, it required a seven minute charging period (presumably to align and charge the orbital cannon), but could be fired once with no expense after said cooldown was over. The structure itself is extremely durable, though curiously Nod and GDI's highly trained Commandos can still destroy these structures with a few tactically-placed explosive charges.

Once fired, the Ion Cannon will trace out the edge of the target radius and rotate whilst closing into the center of the target location. Once all the beams converge upon the dead center of the target radius, they will release a massive explosion that is fatal to nearly all assets within the game - only Construction Yards (and their Scrin counterparts, the Drone Platform), alien Mothership command centers, and fellow superweapons platforms can survive the blast, albeit with heavy damage. Unlike their predecessor, the blast called down by the Control Center also dealt massive damage to aircraft caught within its blast radius, and of all aerial units deployed in the war only the fearsome Mothership was capable of surviving a strike.

Curiously, the beams in the firing sequence are not purely cosmetic, and deal light damage to anything they come into contact with. However, the bulk of the superweapon's damage still comes from the blast.

Only one Ion Cannon Control Center from each arsenal can be constructed at a time. Note that, in Tiberium Wars, having multiple superweapon buildings (in this case, multiple Ion Cannon Control Centers) only affords one superweapon usage, even if the Control Centers were constructed from the GDI, Steel Talons, and ZOCOM arsenals. They will, however, keep the superweapon's charging countdown running even if one of the Control Centers is destroyed or powered off.


Global Conquest[]

In Global Conquest, the ion cannon control uplink is a strategic structure that allows access to the ion cannon.



  • Canonically, the Ion Cannon Control Center is the only superweapon structure to not actually contain its weapon (as it instead networks with an external platform to fire).

See Also[]


  1. Verdu, Michael. 2006-09-29. Technology in 2047. Mirror: Technology in 2047. C&C3 X360 Page. 2010-02-21.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars manual. Los Angeles, California: Electronic Arts Los Angeles, 2007.
  3. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI Archives, "GDI's Nuclear Weapons".
  4. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI mission 11: "Sarajevo".
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