The ion beam generation in a high current diode with anode plasma slab was studied. The ions were extracted from the anode plasma by the strong electric field of a deep potential well (virtual cathode), arising after the propagation of relativistic electrons through the anode plasma slab. The movement of this potential well with the front part of the ion beam leads to collective ion acceleration up to the 10 MeV energy range. (author). 7 figs., 5 refs.