The QCX-76A Jormungand was a prototype Zeon fleet battle cannon that appeared in the Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War. The name of the Jormungand is derived from the name of a mythical serpent from Norse mythology.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
The QCX-76A Jormungand is a super-large fusion plasma gun the size of a small battleship, and is only a few meters shorter than a Musai-class light cruiser. The Jormungand had a firing range of several thousand kilometers but because of Minovsky particle interference, it only had an effective range of 300 kilometers, which was still well out of the range of any gun fielded by Earth Federation Forces forces.
The Jormungand was powered by miniaturized Minovsky-Ionesco type fusion reactors, which serve as its cartridges. By intentionally causing them to go critical, superheated plasma is generated and launched as a beam. Originally, it was powered by hydrogen bombs, but Minovsky fusion reactors were chosen because of the ease of control and the lesser strain placed on the barrel and the electromagnetic shield.
The Jormungand's design focused on energy generation for the gun and lacked anything like thrusters beyond what was needed to adjust the firing angle, so the weapon was transported in pieces by transport ships and then reassembled. The power of the Jormungand was immense and surpassed just about any other weapon used during the early part of the One Year War, with the exception of nuclear weapons and colonies, and its plasmoid projectiles could easily destroy a Magellan-class battleship in a single shot.
Because of the immense range the plasma gun was meant to be fired at, its gunner cannot effectively aim at targets without observational data from ship closer to the front that it communicates with via laser sights.
A "prototype decisive fleet battle cannon", the QCX-76A Jormungand was developed by the Principality of Zeon military prior to the outbreak of the One Year War. At the time of its development, space fleet battles were considered to be the future of warfare in the Universal Century. While mobile suits were expected to be able to turn the tides of battle, the Jormungand was developed as a precaution, to ensure Zeon's superiority in fleet battles in case the mobile suits fail.
Transported by the experimental support ship Jotunheim, the Jormungand was first assembled at the Battle of Loum in a position well behind the Zeon fleet with gunnery officer Aleksandro Hemme at the control. From its position, the Jormungand could fire at the Federation fleet with impunity. However despite maintaining constant communication with the fleet's command structure those in charge of the Jormungand were never given the observational data, and were in fact ignored throughout the early stages of the battler which was a slugging match between the two fleets.
In frustration of being ignored as ships were destroyed one by one, Aleksandro attempted to fire the Jormungand relying only on visual data. The shot missed through a hole in the Federation's formation, though the wake of the plasmoid projectile appeared to have caused electrical interference in one Salamis-class cruiser that may have disabled the ship.
The Jormungand's chief engineer, Oliver May, in a similar fit of frustration, launched in an observational craft that he was going to take to the front to get targeting data, however halfway there squadrons of mobile suits appeared. Char Aznable's personal MS-06S Zaku II Commander Type approached the craft and the Zeon Ace gave those in charge of Jormungand a message saying that they should retreat and leave everything to the mobile suits. It was at that time that the 603 Technical Evaluation Division and the crew of the Jotunheim realized that not only was the Jormungand being ignored but it was never a part of the battle plan to begin with.
At this point a slightly damaged Magellan cruiser broke off from the main Federation fleet and approached the Jormungand. The ship managed to damage the weapon, killing all of the crew with the exception of Aleksandro Hemme who was injured. The gunnery chief managed to fire one last shot, his third, which destroyed the Magellan, the plasmoid coring the ship before the superheated remains exploded. This last act of Aleksandor Hemme allowed the survivors and the Jotunheim to retreat.
After the battle when Oliver May was writing his report he stated that the Jormungand fired three shots, only one of which destroyed an enemy ship, and that the shadow of the serpent would never descend upon another battlefield.
In Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Rebellion, the Delaz Fleet somehow obtained the Jormungand Kai, a modified Jormungand, from the Republic of Zeon. It was hidden inside Island Ease and used to destroy the control ship of the Solar System II.
In 0084, the Republic of Zeon would deploy a massive beam cannon very similar to the Jormungand during Operation Silver Lance, a terrorist attack carried out by a group of Zeon remnants. The plan involved launching the Silver Lance, a modified interplanetary spacecraft loaded with a thermobaric bomb, into Zum City. Though it was able to destroy what was thought to be the Silver Lance, it turned out to be merely one of countless decoys launched at the same time.
- According to staff interview, the Jormungand is based on the Centipede Cannon.
- In Gundam Legacy an identical plasma beam cannon is used by Republic of Zeon to protect Side-3 in UC 0084. It's unknown if this is the Jormungand or similar cannon.
- Mobile Suit Gundam - MS Igloo - Mission Complete, p.19