|“||Athena SatNet, how may I assist you?||”|
One of the more interesting concepts to be fleshed out in the United States arsenal is the Athena Cannon. A large, but fragile vehicle that uses its communication devices to connect with the Mercury Satellite network and give it information about the enemy location so that the weapon can adjust to the new coordinates and perform a powerful orbital laser strike with one of its units.
In comparison to the Mercury Strike controlled through the primary Uplink structure, the more precise coordinates set thanks to the use of mobile units in the field make the attacks requested by the Athena Cannon more focused and allow the satellite to deal more damage to enemy structures. However, the radius of such attack is smaller than the one the Allied commanders can order with the main control building itself. Nevertheless, while the power of an Athena-controlled Mercury attack is great, it might be tricky to use against moving objects due to the activation lag.
The Athena Cannon's attack has a short pre-delay due to the need to recalibrate the satellite's location and angle. However, if a Mercury Strike has previously been used in the vicinity of Athena Cannons' current position, their attack power will further be increased for a short while. Moreover, due to the advanced communication technologies utilized in the unit and a unique method of activating the weapon, the Athena does not reveal itself to its enemies when firing and remains invisible on their radars.
Athena Cannon is one of the three Allied siege vehicles. Its price, hit points and attack range is the most average than the other two, but its speed is as slow as Hailstorm.
Another feature of Athena Cannon, unlike the other two siege vehicles, is the ability to get a fire bonus from the vicinity of Mercury Strike's target area. This buff lasts 16 seconds.
But the biggest drawback of Athena Cannon is that its weapon is only effective for the buildings so that it is difficult to survive even under the attack of basic infantry and light armored units, not to mention air units. Therefore, Athena Cannons is usually used in conjunction with other American Tier 3 units to improve its survival rate.
|“||Commander, we've found data on a prototype mobile Mercury controller codenamed Athena Cannon. With this experimental unit we can improve our control of the Mercury and use it against Scorpion Cell.||”|
|—Allied intel during Operation: Ghost Hunt|
|“||Scanning for reception. Sat link initialized. Space cannons online too, sir!||”|
|—Athena Cannon during Operation: Ghost Hunt|
In the campaign, non-Allied forces that own a Mercury Network Uplink will not get access to the Athena Cannon.
- 4 Athena Cannons first appear in Money Source. They are unarmed and will be evacuated later.
- Fully functional Athena Cannon first appears in Ghost Hunt, and is unlocked to the player once the Research Dome is captured from Scorpion Cell forces. If the Research Dome is lost, access to the unit will be lost, but only for the rest of the mission.
- In Freedom Challenge, all Athena Cannons are permanently buffed in firepower.
- The name and idea were based off the from .