A variable acceleration Linear Accellerator that has a variety of ordinance that can be used on it. The Gauss cannon has a maximum acceleration of over 11 million G's or about 35% of the speed of light, heavy Gauss Cannons have a maximum accelleration of over 22 million G's, or about 70% the speed of light. At these high velocities, the Gauss cannon is unsuitable for orbital bombardment, because the ordinance would disintegrate upon impact with the planet's atmosphere. Also, due to the warheads' "Dumb" nature, they are unaffected by Electronic Countermeasures that other vessels may use and as such are commonly used as anti-capital ship weapons.
The two most common types of warheads in use are kinetic warheads, which are made of Zortium, an incredibly dense material used in some early armors, and weighing about 1 Kiloton apiece (2 kilotons for Heavy shells). There are also Antimatter shells, which boast a 10 KG matter/antimatter warhead (30 KG for Heavies) in a Zortium Armor-piercing shell, with a Krellium inner shell to increase the yield to 3250 (7,000) isotons. The armor piercing shell allows the antimatter charge to penetrate deeper, increasing the amount of damage done.
Up to 3 shells can be loaded into each cannon, with no particular regards to what goes where. A common loadout is 1 or 2 kinetic shells first, and then following up with an antimatter shell. This increases the penetration of the antimatter shell, and allows more damage to be done.