Technology & Combat Characteristics
A mass production version of the prototype Astray units that are developed at Heliopolis, the M1 Astray is a general purpose mobile suit, suitable for use on Earth or in space. Its armament is virtually the same as the ones used by the prototype Astray units in their original state and includes two "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel CIWS, two Type 70 beam sabers, a Type 71 beam rifle and a shield. Optionally, the suit can also carry up to two anti-ship swords.
The suit is armored with Foam Metal like the prototype Astray units, but unlike them, the M1 Astray is not designed with a movable backpack or external connector on its back. Instead, it permanently mounts a flight pack on its back, which improves its mobility in space or on earth and allows it to fly for a short period. After the first war, the suit is granted atmospheric flight capability through the use of the "EF-24R Flight Rotor Shrike". When equipped with this equipment, the suit is known as M1 Astray Shrike.
- "Igelstellung" 75mm Multi-Barrel CIWS
- A pair of head-mounted Vulcan guns, they are small-caliber shell firing weapons designed to shoot down missiles and lightly armored vehicles, but are ineffective against the armor of a mobile suit.
- Type 70 Beam Saber
- The standard close combat beam weapon of Orb's mobile suits. The M1 Astray is equipped with two beam sabers on its flight pack.
- Type 71 Beam Rifle
- The M1 Astray's main weapon, the Type 71 beam rifle was based on technology obtained from the Earth Alliance. Like the rest of the mobile suit, it is a light weight design. Its performance is identical to the Strike Gundam's beam rifle.
- M1 Astray can can use a physical shield for defense, it is mounted on the left forearm and/or handheld. This is the same type of shield as used by Strike and Duel Gundams.
- Anti-ship Sword
- A 9.1m long physical sword, the M1 Astray can be optionally equipped with up to two of this sword. Despite its name, the sword can be used for both anti-MS combat and anti-ship combat. Stored in special sheath mounted on the side armor, the sword is similar in appearance to the anti-ship swords of the MBF-02+P202QX Strike Rouge IWSP.
- Type 71-44 Improved Sniper Beam Rifle
- A handheld beam weapon used by the MBF-M1A M1A Astray, it was developed specifically for long distance shooting. Appears on a customized blue M1 Astray Gunpla in Gundam Build Fighters.
Special Equipment & Features
- Flight Pack
- To increase mobility, the M1 Astrays are fitted with a fixed "flight pack" derived from the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam's Aile Striker pack. The flight pack also allows it to fly for a short period.
- EF-24R Flight Rotor Shrike
- After the First Alliance-PLANT War, some M1 Astrays are fitted with the "EF-24R Flight Rotor Shrike", which is mounted on the existing flight pack for improved aerial capabilities. When equipped with the flight rotor shrike, the M1 Astray is known as M1 Astray Shrike and is capable of independent flight in the Earth's atmosphere.
First Alliance-PLANT War
The Astray series of mobile suits are build by Morgenroete Inc. for the Orb Union during the First Alliance-PLANT War to protect their neutrality. Benefiting from the Earth Alliance's G Project research, the Astrays copied most of the major features of the Gundam mobile suits except for the Phase Shift armor, as Morgenroete failed to obtain its data. The model number of the Astrays is "MBF" (for Main Battle Figure), with the prototype models having the model number, "MBF-P". There are five prototype models - the MBF-P01 Gundam Astray Gold Frame, MBF-P02 Gundam Astray Red Frame, MBF-P03 Gundam Astray Blue Frame, and the unassembled MBF-P04 Gundam Astray Green Frame and MBF-P05 Gundam Astray Unit 5 (which later become the MBF-P05LM Gundam Astray Mirage Frame).
The production model of the Astray is the MBF-M1 M1 Astray, and it was developed simultaneously alongside the prototype models, but on earth. The M1 Astrays were test-piloted by Asagi Caldwell, Juri Wu Nien, and Mayura Labatt, but little progress was made until GAT-X105 Strike Gundam pilot, Kira Yamato, assisted in creating a Natural-use operating system. Even before this OS was completed, Orb put the M1 Astray into mass production. However, this proved insufficient when the Earth Alliance invaded Orb, as even though they proved individually superior to the GAT-01 Strike Daggers, Orb's forces were eventually overwhelmed by the large quantity of the Strike Daggers. All the surviving M1 Astrays were loaded onto the battleship Kusanagi and escape into space, where they provided the bulk of the Three Ships Alliance's mobile suit compliment. The M1 Astrays proved to be equal to the ZAFT's ZGMF-600 GuAIZ individually. However, many units were still destroyed protecting the ships of the Alliance, among them the three test pilots'. Asagi and Juri were blown up by two Strike Daggers' beam rifle shots, while Mayura was killed when a GuAIZ stabbed her cockpit as she sliced across its cockpit.
When he joined the Three Ship Alliance, Jean Carry piloted an M1 Astray with a custom white paint scheme. The M1 Astray has a space optimized variant, the MBF-M1A M1A Astray and a former Morgenroete technician Yoon Sefan created the MWF-JG71 Raysta, a civilian mobile suit based upon the M1 Astray. This civilian MS is eventually mass-produced and sold by the Junk Guild.
Second Alliance-PLANT War
In CE 73, Orb fielded the MVF-M11C Murasame, the successor to the M1 Astray. Despite this, the M1 Astray continued to serve in the Orb military, with some units being outfitted with the new Flight Rotor Shrike, allowing them to fly within the atmosphere.
Several M1 Astray Shrikes were stationed on the massive sea carrier Takemikazuchi during the battles at Dardanelles and at Crete. Later, when ZAFT invaded Orb, numerous M1 Astrays and M1 Astray Shrikes were deployed to defend the nation. Subsequently, a number of M1 Astrays were deployed as part of the Three Ships Alliance fleet during the attack on Requiem and the Battle of Messiah.
Notes & Trivia
- In the GBA game Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Tomo to Kimi to koko de, it's possible for the Archangel crew to obtain an M1 Astray, though for only one stage. This is done by having Kira ignore Birdy flying off while in Orb.
- The HG 1/144 scale model kit instruction manual specifies the unit numbers of the three test pilots: Asagi's designated unit is 211, Mayura's is 212, and Juri's is 213. Bundled number decals allow the option of displaying these unit numbers or a custom one.
- The model kit also has a slot on its flight pack for mounting something, suggesting that the Flight Rotor Shrike might have been planned for the model.
- In Battle Assault 3 featuring Gundam SEED, their M1 Astrays are given different colors to further distinguish them from one another as well as fighting styles:
- Asagi's unit has the standard color and prefers the use of a beam saber
- Juri's unit has a purple tint and focuses on ranged combat with the beam rifle
- Mayura's unit has a pink tint and focuses on hand-to-hand combat.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Battle Destiny, the SP Special Attack of the regular M1 Astray is releasing 2 afterimages and then proceeding to shoot rapid, concentrated beam rifle fire at the primary target. The Jean Carry custom color version, on the other hand, has a "Super Taunt" skill that is almost similar to the basic taunt function of the LaGOWE and Kerberos BuCUE Hound (as well as Jean's prior custom units), only it affects all enemies within a specific distance. The latter is useful for missions where defending certain MS or battleships, but is also a risky move, since all affected enemies will be targeting the user instead.
- When under Yuna Roma Seiran's command, the M1 Astray Shrikes use the Stormtrooper sound used by the Earth Alliance for beam rifle shots and reuses frames from GAT-04 Windam. This is in contrast to its original appearance where it used standard beam rifle sound effects instead.