Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Type M was designed as a minelayer and therefore has a pair of larger mine scatter pods as its primary armament. Its low-recoil cannon was replaced by a mine control unit. The mine scatter pods can release 48 impact and/or proximity mines around a designated area, but once the mines are released the Ball Type M is unarmed and defenseless. The mine scatter pods can be folded to the back of the Ball unit when not in use. Because of its shape, it is nicknamed "locker" and "lunch box" among maintenance soldiers.
- MMB-05E Mine Scatter Pod
- Mine scattering systems are not a new concept, but they have existed before the change of the calendar from A.D to U.C. They are used to rapidly place mines over a wide area, a task which if done manually is both time-consuming and dangerous. The Ball Type M mounts two 12-tube mine scatter pods, and each of the 12 cylinder carries four mines.
- The mines used by the Ball Type M works in the same principle as the older naval mines: They are self-contained explosive device placed in space to damage or destroy spaceships passing through. These mines are shown to be effective against Zeon's ship, and a cluster of them can destroy a Zanzibar-class.
The RB-79M Ball Type M first appeared in the One Year War. The majority of the Ball Type M were stationed at Luna II and transported long distances by Columbus-class supply ship alongside many RB-79 Ball that acted as escorts. The Ball Type M was fielded in the early part of the One Year War before the Earth Federation completed their Project V and began fielding their own mobile suits to counter Zeon's machines. The Ball Type M was used to mine known Zeon patrol routes on fixed orbits around the Earth. This tactic was used to great effect, destroying many Zeon warships and hampering the movements of their fleets.
On the 8th of October, while a Federation team was laying out its mines the Ball Type Ms and Ball units were ambushed by Zaku IIs lead by Johnny Ridden piloting his MS-06R-2 Zaku II High Mobility Type. All of the Ball units were destroyed except for one piloted by Broglie Ligera. He was inspired by Johnny Ridden's symbol the unicorn emblazoned on the Zaku's elbow that it became his teams symbol in UC 0090.
As the One Year War entered its last month, the Earth Federation needed every available combat unit for its assaults on the Principality of Zeon's primary bases. To meet their need they converted every RB-79M Ball Type M, which could only be used for defensive operations centered around laying mines, back into the standard RB-79 Ball model to take part in the offensive operations.