The Fragment Cannon is a weapon module that fires bursts containing 12 projectiles, similar to a shotgun. While each individual projectile has low damage, it can fire three bursts of 12 quickly in a row. Fragment Cannons are capable of devastating close range targets, but very quickly drop in effectiveness with range as many of these projectiles will simply miss.
Fragment Cannons can deliver a significant amount of damage in a single hit.The unpredictable jitter and wide spread of the weapon make it inconsistent, and this together with the relatively slow projectile speed mean that outside of 200 meters the majority of this damage will not hit an intended target. The closer the target, the greater chance of more projectiles landing. It is therefore recommended to use Fragment Cannons on a fast and maneuverable ship that can maintain close combat range.
Fragment Cannons are available as fixed, gimballed and turreted types.
Unlike other kinetic weapons they have poor armour piercing ratings; although this is offset by higher raw damage.
As with the Cannon, Frags are best employed against larger enemies where more shots will hit and one can keep on target given the enemies’ slower turn speed. If one does employ a fragment cannon then its best employed in a larger slot as the smaller hardpoint sizes have a very limited clip. With that said, on single-target assassination missions or when you are escorting trade vehicles (or flying an armed one) and know you’ll be interdicted by enemy (NPC) Anacondas, they will do very good damage at short range. Don’t be dissuaded from trying out Frag Cannons; as with all weaponry engineering improves them exponentially and combinations such Rapid Fire/Screening Shell or Overcharged/Incendiary can be nothing short of lethal. The Pacifier variant has no damage drop-off and can be read about in the Specialist section.