How does looting work?

I really love the Athena Sniper.

When playing with Anu and NJ I`d like to have that rifle too.

How does looting work, when playing against a faction?
If I do missions against Synedrion, will they “drop” all weapons? Rather not, I suppose.
If not, what is dropped what not?

I would guess mostly ammo, item’s like medi kits, grenades or pieces of armour. can get the odd weapon now and again but only equal to the fraction’s current tech level.

I cant say for sure as I have never done a mission from the diplomacy tab, never needed to, just defend any haven no matter the attacker and destroy pandoran base’s.

But what can I do to loot an Athena?

When Synedrion will research Athena steal reseach couple of times. You need Synedrion havens with research centers for that.

But what about looting samples of the weapon itself?

Weapons are rarely dropped. I would guess it is easier to obtain them from The Pure, as I have seen them also have this sniper rifle, but still I wouldn’t count on it too much.