Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Magella Attack used a powerful 175mm cannon for their main purposes of combatting the Earth Federation's M61 Main Battle Tanks and later mobile suit forces. A 3-barrelled 35mm machine gun, for attacks against infantry, rounded out the armaments. The Magella Attack's most distinguishing feature is a very large canopy-style cockpit very similar to fighter aircraft, which is very unusual for a tank but gives the men inside a more open view of the battlefield - in fact this cockpit, called the Magella Top, is designed to be detachable along with the entire main gun system so that the pilot could continue fighting in case the tank's hull was destroyed. In reality, the Magella Top was little more than a poorly qualified escape vessel with a gun, lacking the fuel to stay afloat for more than a few minutes.
Even when compared to the M61, the Magella Attack has several significant drawbacks. The detachable top design of the Magella Attack severely limits its main gun's range of traverse to the point that Magella Attacks almost exclusively relied on maneuvering its hull for targeting, more like a casemate assault gun than a true main battle tank, and is unlikely to be afforded the same decree of protection as the fully-traversing turret of the M61. Then the advent of RGM-79 GM rendered Magella Attack tanks, as other weapons that preceded mobile suits were, mostly ineffective. But just as is the case with every other pre-MS mobile warfare weapon, the Magella actually scored victories against mobile suits after some rethinking of tactics by the virtue of its 175mm main gun being capable of destroying enemy mobile suits with a well-placed shot, and even luna titanium alloy armors can be penetrated or seriously compromised from a direct hit.
Finally, Zeon engineers, motivated by the increasing shortage of all weapons during the late stage of the One Year War, were able to come up with some interesting contraptions. Magella Attack main guns were known to be jerry-rigged into hand-held weapons for MS-05 Zaku Is and MS-06 Zaku IIs as a stand-in for the standard 280mm Zaku Bazookas, and the hull assembly can be fused with the torso of a Zaku into the Zaku Tank, which came as a blessing to many Zeon forces that found themselves left with little more than spare parts or salvaged components. Abandoned Magella hulls, as part of a Zaku Tank or otherwise, proved to be a particularly versatile platform capable of being outfitted with items ranging from weapons such as missile launchers to engineering equipments such as dozer blades.
- 175mm Cannon
- As the main weapon of Magella Attack, the 175mm Cannon fires an armor-piercing shot that could inflict serious damage to Federation's Type-61 MBTs, light armored vehicles and infrastructures, but had little effect against Luna Titanium-armored MS unless in close range. The stability provided by the tank's tracked chassis allows the cannon to be fired even when the tank was on the move without much adverse effect on its accuracy, but its strong recoil could pose a safety risk for the gunner/pilot when it was fired when the Magella Top was in flight. The 175mm Cannon would later form the basis of the ZIM/M·T-K175C recoilless rifle, a hand-held weapon developed for the MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type.
- 3-barrel 35mm Machine Gun
- The 3-barrel 35mm Machine Gun was mounted on the frontal glacis of the Magella Base (it's unclear if the mounting is fixed or capable of limited-traverse). It was used against enemy infantry and light armored vehicles and targets.
Notes and Trivia
- The Magella Attack's size varies wildly in different media, being almost as big as a Zaku in the original series and roughly the same size as a regular tank in Igloo 2.
|MS IGLOO 2 Mechanics|
RGM-79［G］ GM Ground Type | RTX-440 Ground Assault Type Guntank
6×6 Cargo Truck | M353A4 Bloodhound | M72 Lakota | Type 61 Tank
Big Tray-class | Heavy Fork-class
|Aircraft / Spacecraft|
Dragonfly | FF-X7 Core Fighter
|Principality of Zeon|
MS-05B Zaku I | MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type | MS-07B-3 Gouf Custom | MS-09B Dom
B.M.C. Z78/2 | HT-01B Magella Attack | Magella Eins | PVN.3/2 Sauropelta | PVN.44/1 Weasel | Russel 1/12 Zebu
DFA-03 Dopp | PVN.4/3 Wappa
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
H.L.V. | Komusai | Papua-class
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Gaw | Musai-class