Tokyo RRG IPC-12 Ion Weapons

AGL-12 Ion Carbine 7
AGL-12 Ion Carbine.


ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Tim Wing, Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Robert Morgenstern


  • IPC-12 reference file
  • IPC-12 gallery

Designation: Robotech Research Group Tokyo IPC-12 Ion Weapons

  • Year Introduced: 2021
  • Designer: RRG – Tokyo
  • Acquiring Military: Southern Cross
  • Capacity: 35 20kJ shots per energy magazine.
  • Rate of Fire: semi-automatic
  • Weight: 2.52kg (IPC-12, IPC-12S); 4.5 kg (AGL-12)
  • Length: 76cm (IPC-12S), 70cm (IPC-12, AGL-12)

The ungainly-looking IPC-12 ion beam carbines (more accurately electrolasers) were one of the more bizarre and innovative weapons to be designed for the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF). It was never a popular weapon, especially because of its highly questionable ergonomics, but it was still a ground-breaker among Terran energy weapons. Powerful and deadly, the IPC-12 paved the way for the more impressive rifles of half a decade later. Three different emitter cores were developed for this gun; and affected the penetration capabilities of the beam by changing the beam diameter. The AGL-12’s beam emitter had a 25mm diameter aperture, and sacrificed penetration for devastating trauma to an unarmored opponent. The IPC-12S’s employed three 2mm beams in a three-round burst – offering excellent penetration but more limited trauma to the target. The IPC-12’s aperture was 5.6mm in diameter and served as a compromise. (For full descriptions, see below.) Despite its importance in the development of beam weapons on Earth, the IPC-12s never saw wide service, though some examples were to be found in both the Alpha Tactical Armored Corps and the Tactical Armored Space Corps. It was already rare before the beginning of the Second Robotech War.

IPC-12 Ion Pulse Carbine 2
IPC-12 5.6mm Ion Carbine.

Series 12 Ion Carbine variants:

IPC-12 5.6mm Ion Carbine: The IPC-12 was the most common of the Series 12 ion carbines. It used a single aperture 5.6mm emitter core to channel a 20kJ electrolaser beam to an effective distance of 460 meters. This variant was focused on armor penetration. With 20kJ being transmitted down a 5.6mm beam, this meant that the target on the receiving end would experience an impressive 800 Joules per square millimeter. However, this is spread over a very small area of just 24.63 millimeters. Against unarmored targets, this made for a very small wound channel. Most of the destructive force transferred to a human size target was in the conduction of 20 kJ of electrons down the plasma channel created by the laser beam, which was guaranteed to be fatal.

IPC-12S Scattershot Ion Pulse Carbine 11
IPC-12S “Scattershot” Ion Carbine.

IPC-12S “Scattershot” Ion Carbine: The scattershot, as its nickname suggests, was designed more for suppressive fire than outright penetration. Its three 2mm wide emitters could be set to fire in parallel, hitting in a converging shot group at its maximum effective range, or set for maximum dispersion with a one meter shot group at 260 meters. This second setting was the most common when used for suppressive fire. When firing in beam convergence mode, the IPC-12S had armor penetration characteristics almost as good as that of the baseline IPC-12, but with better wound channel generation.

AGL-12 Ion Carbine: The AGL-12 was designed to inflict maximum damage on an unarmored target. Though still an electrolaser, this weapon was given the designation Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) in recognition of its role as the replacement for the conventional grenade launcher in an infantry squad. The AGL-12 had very poor armor piercing performance, imparting only 40 Joules of energy per square millimeter. But, with a beam width of 25mm it created a truly horrific wound channel, literally burning a hole through someone big enough to stick one’s hand through!

AGL-12 Ion Carbine CBR Mk. 2E Type 2 HEA-P (TASC) Male Officer


Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising, Tatsunoko Studio and Ammonite studio. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Kogawa Tomonori, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Miyo Sonoda, Hiroshi Ogawa, Hirotoshi Ohkura and Takashi Ono

Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication. 

Images from – My Anime (June 1984), This is Animation #10 The Southern Cross, Unspecified Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross OSM, Robotech Masters Saga Sourcebook (March 2009), The Robotech RPG Book Four: Southern Cross (September 1987)

Content by Tim Wing, Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Rob Morgenstern

Copyright © 1999, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing