Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Ahead is the latest in ESF MS development as of AD 2312. It was made specifically for the elite pilots within A-Laws; therefore even ESF-Army MS forces have no Ahead MS. Although it's the successor of the GNX-603T GN-X series, the Ahead series is actually a different MS than its predecessor, and is actually made to be a next generation Tieren. ESF engineers that were formally part of the HRL were contracted to create the Ahead series. They took inspiration from the previous GN-X series as well as the MSJ-06II-SP Tieren Taozi for its design.
The Ahead was created with the goal of having a new high performance class of pseudo solar furnace machines. This is to the point where its performance was said to surpass the 3rd Generation Gundams that were used by Celestial Being. As a result of its increased performance however, the Ahead's overall structure is more closer to that of a Gundam than a GN-X. Underneath its armor, the Ahead's chest actually appears close to a 3rd generation Gundam due to it using a similar solar furnace configuration setup. Due to the negative public perception of the Gundams at the time, a decision was made to cover up most of the Ahead's Gundam-like features, with the GN Drive cone being the only remaining visible symbol.
Slightly larger than the GNX-609T GN-XIII, the Ahead boasts a pair of GN Thrusters mounted on either side of its GN Drive Tau, giving the Ahead greater maneuverability and speed than previous ESF units. It is typically equipped with a GN Beam Rifle, a pair of shoulder-mounted GN Beam Sabers, GN Shield and a pair of GN Vulcans. For long ranged missions requiring extended travel, a GN Tail Booster can be added to provide additional thrust and particles for the journey. An Automatons container can be attached to the rear skirt armor in lieu of the rear GN Thrusters, these automatons are used as remote anti-personnel/infiltration units and can be remotely deployed by the Ahead's pilot in the middle of MS combat for search and destroy missions. While the Ahead was created as a general purpose machine that excels in all areas, a few specialized variants were also being developed and tested. Only the most elite of pilots are granted the special privilege of having their Aheads customized with these special equipment. At least two customized Aheads exist, piloted by Mr. Bushido and Soma Peries respectively.
The Ahead series ultimately became discontinued due to it ironically becoming a symbol of military oppression. As such, the new ESF administration barred the Aheads; however its technology and weaponry was used to help develop the GNX-803T GN-XIV series.
- GN Beam Rifle
- Main weapon of the Ahead. The cylinders seen on either side of the rifle are actually GN Condensers. These are equiped due to the fact that the Ahead is a pseudo solar furnace machine that may suffer from energy shortages. Both its range and destructive power are superior to the GN-X's beam rifle. It is capable of destroying older model mobile suits like the AEU-09OP AEU Enact Orbit Package in a single shot. Two shots were capable of destroying a Katharon transport.
- GN Beam Saber
- The Ahead is equipped with two beam sabers for melee combat which are stored within compartments in its shoulder. Their performance is said to be equal to the ones used by the Gundams. The two sabers can be converged together to create a more powerful effect, which is strong enough to break Exia's (disrepaired) GN Sword.
- GN Shield
- A physical shield that is as capable as the ones used by the Gundams. It is made of high strength E-Carbon that is further enchanced by a GN Field to achieve high defensive properties.
- GN Vulcan
- The Ahead is equipped with a pair of 30mm GN Vulcan guns in its head and they are used to intercept and destroy incoming missiles.
- NGN Bazooka
- A special bazooka that can fire either non-GN missiles or GN missiles. The launcher was designed to fire against targets under conditions where particle beam weaponry is ineffective. They're best used underwater, against slow moving targets, and within anti-particle fields. The "NGN" stands for Non-GN or Non Gundam Nucleus.
- GN Missile Launcher
- There are two types, small with two shots and large with four shots. The small one is carried in one hand, and the large one is towed by two machines.
Special Equipment & Features
- GN Tail-Booster
- Developed from data derived from the Ahead Forcing Scout Type, the tail-booster is special equipment that gives the Ahead an increased operating time allowing it to travel much greater distances and allows for overall greater independence. When equipped, it appears to be a tail-like appendage on the Ahead. The thick pole likely contains a large battery, like the Ahead Force Scouting Type, to supply energy needed to recharge the GN Drive. It is unknown whether the cone-like projection at the end is a second GN Drive or simply a GN Vernier.
- Automaton Container
- Optional equipment for the Ahead. It is a container for the A-Laws Automatons, and is attached to the Ahead's rear skirt for transport, replacing the rear GN Thruster. The pilot of the Ahead is capable of monitoring the status of each individual Automaton from the MS's computer.
The Ahead came into service in AD 2312, 5 years after Celestial Being began its armed interventions in AD 2307, shortly before the organization's reappearance. This mobile suit was used exclusively by the A-Laws forces and put onto teams of three in which the team leader would pilot an Ahead and lead two other pilots piloting the GNX-609T GN-XIII. The Ahead was usually reserved for commanders, team leaders, officers of at least First Lieutenant, and several elite pilots like Mr. Bushido.
Because the Ahead was used solely by the A-Laws, its missions would mostly consist of seeking out and destroying anti-Federation dissidents whether they had military forces or not. The Ahead would be used heavily to combat Katharon's older mobile suits on the Earth and in space. It was always Ahead mobile suits that led attacks against Celestial Being and the Gundams, in the absence of the licensed officers and their more advanced mobile suits.
The series was discontinued by the Earth Sphere Federation government after the disbanding of A-Laws due to the great symbolic association of the machine with the organization being its sole user. By AD 2314, the Ahead series was gone and completely replaced by the GNX-803T GN-XIV series as the new superior mass production mobile suit for the ESF.
Notes & Trivia
- There are contradictions in the source materials in regards to the Ahead's performance relative to 3rd Generation Gundams. Both the High Grade 1/144 Ahead manual and DX Mechanics have noted that the Ahead surpasses the 3rd Generation Gundams (the latter mentioned that if the 3rd Generation power can be valued 100 points, then the Ahead and 3.5 Generation's power rating would be 140 and 150 points respectively) while the 2nd Mechanics book noted that the Ahead's performance is only equal to the 3rd Generation Gundams.
- Like the GN-003 Gundam Kyrios and GN-007 Arios Gundam, the Ahead is a MS that is slightly taller compared to the other units of its faction.
- High Grade 1/144 GNX-704T Ahead model kit manual
- Gundam 00V Weapons Development Chart
- Gundam 00 2nd Mechanics sourcebook
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 Episode 1
- High Grade 1/144 GNY-001F Gundam Astraea Type F manual