A giant laser shaped like a mortar cannon emerges from a tunnel.
TEXT:“Automated Model 12 Self-Propelled Mortar”
PapalMercenary: Gainax has used tokusatsu references before and since Eva, so it makes me wonder if this scene here with the self-propelled mortar was inspired by a similar scene from the second film in the Gamera series, Giant Monster Duel: Gamera vs. Barugon (1966). In the film, the monster Barugon attacks Osaka with a freezing mist it sprays from its tongue. The JSDF can't get close enough to attack Barugon, since they'll just get frozen by his mist, so they prepare to fire a bunch of missiles at him from the opposite side of a lake. Unfortunately for them, Barugon also has a long-distance rainbow beam that shoots out of his back, which he uses to completely destroy the missiles before they even fire.
UrsusArctos: What kind of real-life applications would such a thing have in the 21st century? Rail-mounted siege weapons have been built before, but they've never really been worth the trouble because of their limitations. Furthermore, this is a laser, so it can't arc its shots. The only logical explanation is that this was a rejected Evangelion weapon of some sort, rebuilt into an automated laser for situations like this.
The Flying Fortress: These little details that show how NERV works to try to defeat the angels make episodes like this some of my favorite episodes of Eva. You can see more of this sort of thing in episodes 10-13. These are the episodes where you can see more traditional weaponry (that is, other than Evangelions) being used, which I like.