An antiquated weapon design with high per-shot damage for its size. The kinetic shells are especially effective versus enemy shields.
Heavier patrol craft at the time of the Collapse were mostly fitted with the Arbalest Mk I weapons platform; this likely explains why the Arbalest is claimed to be among the most scavenged ship weapon systems in the Sector. The primitive cooling system and a lack of an autoejector hamper rate of fire and reliability.
The only redeeming feature is the ubiquity of blueprints for the arbalest round, which is effective at bringing down enemy shields. The effectiveness of the shells is poorly understood, and is suspected to lie in the unintended electromagnetic properties of the shell jackets.
The Arbalest Autocannon is a cheap, common medium ballistic weapon. It has less DPS, flux efficiency and range than its peers the Heavy Autocannon and Heavy Needler, but has a lower OP cost and is more effective versus armor.