The FX-550 Skygrasper is an atmospheric support fighter in the Cosmic Era timeline, seen in the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED series. It was originally designed to support the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam by being compatible with Striker Packs for aided combat and/or a mid-battle armament delivery system.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Designed as a support craft, the main role of the Skygrasper was to deliver Striker Packs to the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam in battle, removing the need to return to the hanger for re-equipping. In addition, since the Skygrasper is compatible with the Striker Packs itself, it can utilize many of the Packs' weapons and equipment during combat, such as the Aile Striker's thrusters for additional speed and agility, the Sword Striker's anti-ship sword and rocket anchor for close range attacks, and the Launcher Striker's beam cannon for enhanced long-range firepower. On its own, the Skygrasper is armed with a turret-mounted beam cannon, two medium caliber cannons, four machine guns, and can launch anti-ship missiles from the two weapons bay, making it a very capable air superiority fighter in its own right. Like its predecessor, the Skygrasper is also capable of VTOL.
- 20mm Machine Gun
- The Skygrasper features four 20mm machine guns mounted behind the nose. They typically do not have the power to damage the armor of a mobile suit, but can be used to restrict enemy mobile suit's movements, intercept missiles and the likes.
- Medium Caliber Cannon
- One mounted on each wing, their firepower is in between the machine guns and the beam cannon.
- Beam Cannon
- The most powerful weapon on the Skygrasper is a beam cannon it carries on its back. The cannon is part of a turret that can swivel to fire in different directions.
- Anti-ship Missile
- Stored and launched from the two weapon bays.
System Equipment & Features
- The Skygrasper is designed with 3 Hardpoints to mount any of the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam's Striker Packs and its armaments. In doing so, it allows the Skygrasper to use these armaments to increase its overall firepower and combat potential, while still fulfilling its role as both a support fighter and a Striker Pack delivery system for the Strike.
- Weapon Bay
- Used for storing and launching anti-ship missiles and other projectiles.
In CE 71, the Earth Alliance successfully created five mobile suits of their own as part of the G Project. One such unit was the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam, which had the ability to mount Striker Packs to adapt to different combat situations. Additionally, the Skygrasper was developed, which is an atmospheric support fighter designed for using the same Striker Packs.
After fleeing the destruction of Heliopolis, the assault ship Archangel was assigned two Skygraspers when it rendezvoused with the 8th Fleet. After the Archangel descended to Earth, mobile armor ace Mu La Flaga began piloting Skygrasper Unit 1, as his TS-MA2mod.00 Moebius Zero was incapable of atmospheric flight. Mu favored mounting the Launcher Striker on his Skygrasper, for its superior firepower. Skygrasper Unit 2 was initially piloted by Cagalli Yula Athha, and later by Tolle Koenig. As the Launcher Striker was usually taken by Skygrasper Unit 1 and the Aile Striker by the Strike, Unit 2 was typically equipped with the Sword Striker by default. Perhaps because of this, Unit 2 earned a reputation as an unlucky craft; it was shot down or forced into an emergency landing every time it was deployed but once. While Cagalli came out of these crashes unharmed, Tolle was killed when GAT-X303 Aegis pilot Athrun Zala threw his shield into Unit 2's cockpit.
EA later puts the unit into production, but it is unknown how many were built. However, at least one is owned and operated by professional MS pilot, Kaite Madigan. The EA also developed the FXet-565 Cosmograsper, which is a space-use variant of the Skygrasper. During the Second Alliance-PLANT War, the Archangel has at least a single Skygrasper unit, which Neo Roanoke used to defend the Archangel at the Second Battle of Orb.
Notes and Trivia
- Skygrapser's role is analogous to the G-Fighter and FF-X7-Bst Core Booster in Mobile Suit Gundam.
- It is unknown how the Archangel has a Skygrasper for Neo Roanoke to use. It is possible that the unit is actually Archangel's Skygrasper Unit 1, meaning that it was not decommissioned after Mu switched over to Strike Gundam in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
- The Skygrasper is capable of mounting the IWSP Striker in Super Robot Wars J and W.
- Skygrasper on MAHQ
- Aile Grasper on MAHQ
- Sword Grasper on MAHQ
- Launcher Grasper on MAHQ
- Skygrasper G-Flight on MAHQ