The AER9 was actually not the top laser rifle in service at the time of the Great War. The model line went up to the state-of-the-art AER12, which saw service in a handful of specialty units. The reason that the AER9 is much more commonly found is that it was much sturdier and more reliable than the models that followed.
The AER9 features a titanium housed crystal array which proved to withstand long years of exposure to the elements much better than the gold alloy housing of the later models. As a result, the crystal arrays stayed focused within operating parameters, rather than falling completely out of focus like the newer models. Power is drawn from microfusion cells and processed through a wave/particle diverter manufactured by General Atomics International. The diverters are protected by a carbon-fiber housing, preventing frequent malfunction, but when a diverter fails the weapon becomes unusable.
As with all energy weapons, the AER9 can suffer from poor performance if not properly maintained. The crystal arrays and non-mechanical components are delicate and if not properly serviced can lead to a loss of beam intensity, overheating, and energy regulation failure.
A unique variant of the AER9 laser rifle received from the Van Graffs. It is received in max condition. Overall, it has less damage, less item HP and less critical damage but requires less Energy Weapons skill (0 as opposed to 25).
Given to the player character at the Silver Rush during the quest Birds of a Feather when given the choice between a plasma rifle or a laser rifle. Once the first part of quest is finished, the armor and gun are taken from you.
The only way to obtain this weapon is to let the Silver Rush explode during the quest Birds of a Feather. When the quest fails, you will be able to drop the rifle whenever you want to as it will not be marked as a quest item.
This item is marked as a quest item even after the quest involved with it is completed, and therefore if it is acquired through theft or the console, may only be removed from the Courier's inventory through console commands.
If the Courier chooses this weapon over its plasma counterpart, Simon will compliment him/her on your choice, explaining that he prefers laser weapons himself, but wields a plasma rifle because Gloria wants at least one guard with a plasma weapon at all times as a form of advertising.