I just completed the Eric Walch's Ionics mission viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5978&start=30&hilit=ionics
'good fun. I'd agree with other posters that the final stage is a bit of a drag, however a few hours of dogfighting has improved my skills no end. A prize would have been nice, but the it took my kill count up significantly.
Sometimes I had good fun waiting near the station for a Weapons Platform to emerge. It would start attacking me, then the cops and everyone else would attack it, if I finished it off the cops even thanked me!
Occasionally I took potshots at the cops before noticing that the magenta target is a cop not a government ship, but a trip to the link base cleaned up my status.
The plasma cannons on the Weapons Platforms are killers, I always had to stand-off a ways and rotate through the front, side and rear lasers.
I dedicated myself to the mission rather than carrying on with jumps and trading, so my reputation is still good. I'm going to take another jaunt around the galaxy to earn some money and then jump to the next galaxy to trigger the next built-in Thargoid mission.