Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RGM-79 GM is a mass-produced mobile suit based on the RX-78-2 Gundam. Its basic frame is easily adaptable to modifications into mission specific GM models, and has a fairly high level of mobility, for the time, both on Earth and in space. It has a maximum acceleration of 0.94 Gs in space, which is better than the Gundam's and roughly twice of the Zaku's. On Earth's surface, the GM is also faster than the Zaku II. The armor of the GM uses titanium alloy, a sturdy metal that could be refined more quickly and easily than the Gundam's Luna Titanium Alloy. Although titanium is less durable than luna titanium, it is also slightly lighter which reduces the GM's overall mass compared to the Gundam's and is still superior to the Zaku II's super-high tensile steel armor.
The GM was primarily armed with a beam spray gun, a less powerful version of the Gundam's beam rifle but could still destroy MS in one shot. Early in production, the beam spray gun had yet to be mass-produced so most GMs were equipped with various machine guns. These machine guns continued to be used by the GMs later, and the machine could also use the Gundam's beam rifle when required. It could also use a mass production version of the Gundam's Hyper Bazooka for heavier firepower. For close combat, the GM has a beam saber, and a shield similar to the one used by the Gundam. Commander units sometimes featured a second beam saber. Lastly, the GM has a pair of head-mounted 60mm vulcan guns for intercepting missiles, small vehicles or to stop enemy MS from closing in. From the GM started the RGM series that remained the mainstay of the Federation's mass production mobile suits until the end of the Federation itself.
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- A basic armament of many Federation mobile suits. Similar to the Gundam, the GM has two head-mounted vulcan guns. While essentially ineffective against mobile suit armor, they are useful in intercepting incoming missiles/rockets, destroying mobile suit sensors, and engaging lightly-armored vehicles.
- THI BSjG01 Beam Saber
- Stored on the left side of the backpack, it is a small device held in the mobile suit's hands when operated and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. The beam saber emits a blade of plasma contained by an I-Field and can cut through any armor not treated with anti-beam coating. The commander version is outfitted with two beam sabers instead of one. There is also a javelin type as an option, but the supply is limited. Output 0.3 MW.
- BR-M-79C-1 Beam Spray Gun
- A handheld mega-particle gun with a lower focusing rate than a beam rifle and short range. The beam spray gun featured three fire modes: a basic single shot mode, an area suppression burst shot with a widened beam focus, and a range shot with the ability to cause damage over a wide area. Output 1.4 MW.
- BOWA-XBR-M-79-07G Beam Rifle
- The same type of beam rifle as the one used by the RX-78-2 Gundam, its firepower was equivalent to the beam cannon of a contemporary battleship. However, due to its low productivity, only a small number of GMs were equipped with this weapon.
- YHI YF-MG100 100mm Machine Gun
- The standard armament for Federation's mobile suit ground forces during the One Year War that was developed by Yashima Heavy Industries. It has an alternate model number: "NF·GMG-Type.37/100mm". Equipped with a box magazine and folding stock, it has excellent rate of fire and is easy to wield. It utilized a smoothbore type barrel that lacked rifling and has to be replaced after firing 3000 rounds. The weapon could utilize three different types of ammunitions: HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank), APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot), and HESH (High Explosive Squash Head), allowing combat units to select the appropriate type to meet operational needs.
- BLASH HB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka
- A general purpose fire support rocket launcher platform for mobile suits. With considerable destructive power owing to the high explosive yield in each warhead, the weapon was primarily used to destroy less maneuverable targets such as warships, satellites, land battleships, bunkers, and buildings. The weapon was ultimately used with four main types of rounds: a space-use dual stage booster-equipped HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round, an APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot), a HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) as well as a shotgun-type round.
- YHI 6ML-79MM Missile Launcher
- A launcher system consisting of multiple missile containers fitted on a base unit. Two to four missiles can be stored within each container depending on the type of warhead selected to meet the needs of the operation.
- HWF GMG·MG79-90mm Bullpup Machine Gun
- The bullpup machine gun was a system weapon developed as a Space/Ground dual use projectile weapon. Though compact, it has sufficient anti-MS firepower while maintaining accuracy. Its muzzle velocity is increased due to the use of new gunpowder and this enables it to easily penetrate the armor of Zeon's mobile suit. A box-like sensor system incorporating a video camera and laser sensor is installed at the top, and when this system is used alongside the GM's targeting system, target acquisition capability is enhanced.
- Franz EF-KAR98K 75mm Sniper Rifle
- A mobile suit-sized sniper rifle with a 5 round magazine, it is developed near the end of the One Year War and only a few are made and put into operational use. Unlike beam weapons, this shell-firing rifle is unaffected by magnetic forces or solar winds. As it is a bolt-action rifle, its rate of fire is poor, making it unsuitable for anti-MS combat. It is best utilized for ultra-long range, first strike attacks.
- YHI FH-X180 180mm Cannon
- A cannon developed by Yashima Heavy Industries as a long range weapon for use in 1G environment. It has an alternate model number: "NFHI·GMCa-type.09/". Its design is thought to have referenced the Zimmad Corporation’s ZIM/M-T-K175C Magella Top Cannon. It uses a six-rounds box magazine that is inserted into the top.
- YHI ERRL-TYPE.Doc-04/380mm Rocket Launcher
- A portable large rocket launcher meant for MS, it is independently developed by Yashima Heavy Industries for use specifically in 1G environment. Also known as Hyper Bazooka (Ground Type), it has a very versatile design with features that include targeting sensors, etc. It uses a banana-shaped magazine and has a short barrel to facilitate its use in jungle/forested areas. This weapon can utilize a number of different munitions including warheads that deploy stabilizing fins after launch, and this shows that its design took many references from human-sized ground weaponry used in older eras.
- Prototype Beam Rifle
- An experimental beam weapon used exclusively by the White Dingo Team. It has higher output than a beam spray gun and also longer firing range.
- FADEGEL RGM-M-Sh-003 Shield
- A basic defense armament for many Federation mobile suits, it is composed of a triple honeycomb structure made of Luna Titanium. With the appearance of beam weaponry equipped Zeon mobile suits late in the One Year War, later model of this shield is treated with the recently developed beam coating. The shield can also serve as a weapon container as its back has specialized weapon latches for mounting various weaponry, allowing spare beam sabers and beam spray guns to be carried. This shield model, marked with the Federation insignia, though expensive, possessed sufficient durability to be partnered with the RGM-79 series for over 10 years.
- RGM*S-Sh-WF/S-00109 Shield
- Mounted on the forearm, this small, light shield is commonly used by the Gundam Ground Type and GM Ground Type. Constructed of Luna Titanium alloy, it is designed to primarily protect the cockpit and other critical areas, and as such has a different form than the RGM-M-Sh-003 model. Additionally, it can be used as a close range striking weapon in mobile suit combat. Furthermore, through lodging the spikes at the tip into the ground, the shield can serve as a free standing frontal defense. This also allows the mobile suit to use both hands to hold large caliber weaponry and maintain a stable firing position.
Special Equipment & Features
- Mount Rack
- An optional weapon mount installed on the right side of the backpack for storing the BLASH HB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka when it is not in use.
- Parachute Pack
- An optional backpack equipment for paradrop missions from the Medea Transport Plane. It contains three parachutes and four thrusters to help in making a safe descent to the ground, once touchdown had been accomplished the backpack would be ejected so as to not hinder the Mobile Suit in combat.
At the onset of the One Year War, the Earth Federation did not take the mobile suit threat seriously- this was until the Principality of Zeon military completely outmaneuvered and decimated the Earth Federation Space Force with their MS-06 Zaku II. As Zeon forces laid siege on Earth, the Federation developed several prototype mobile suits, the most notable being the RX-78-2 Gundam, and from the Gundam came the Earth Federation's first mass production mobile suit: the RGM-79 GM, which was more agile and faster than the Zeon's Zaku II in space and on earth. The GM would serve as the Federation's primary mobile suit throughout the war, supported by the RB-79 Ball mobile pod, and later serve as the basis of the Earth Federation's mobile suits for over fifteen years.
To compensate for Zeon's initially being more experienced in mobile suit warfare, the Federation started with the 'quantity over quality' approach. By the time of the GM's true introduction at the Battle of Jaburo, the Zeon forces had already started production of the MS-09B Dom, a mobile suit that performed slightly better than the GM but not appreciably more-survivable or deadlier against the GM's weaponry. When the war went back into space, the GM actually outperformed the MS-09R Rick Doms in most ways and were outperformed later by the MS-14 Gelgoogs; unfortunately for Zeon, the Rick Doms and Gelgoogs would be held up by the bickering Zabi family politics and the equally-serious ineptitude of high-level Zeon commanders preoccupied with bringing down the White Base and the Gundam. In the end, the Rick Dom was produced in too few numbers and the Gelgoog wouldn't be deployed until the last two weeks of the war.
By the time the Gelgoogs entered service, they were piloted mostly by novice pilots and fresh recruits against a superior number of battle-hardened Federation counterparts, a situation that also plagued the surviving Zaku IIs and even the MS-05B Zaku I that were forced to soldier on due to the scarcity of new mobile suits. It is then when Federation victory became all but guaranteed.
The GM line was first established through the RGM-79［E］ GM Early Type, a prototype version that would set the basics for the GM. The basic GM frame would later be updated and upgraded into the RMS-179 GM II during the mid-UC 0080s and would become one of the most heavily modified mobile suits, spawning many variants until finally being superseded by the RGM-89 Jegan in the UC 0090s.
- RGM-79DR GM Underground Type
- RGM-79 GM (Thunderbolt Ver.)
- RGM-79D GM Cold Districts Type
- RGM-79F Land Combat Type GM
- RGM-79L GM Light Armor
- RGM-79SC GM Sniper Custom
- RGM-79U GM Sloep
- RGM-79V GM Night Seeker
- Gefangener GM
Notes & Trivia
- It has never been explicitly stated in any official material what "GM" is an abbreviation of, though "Gundam Mass-produced" and "General Model" are popular guesses. Another possible term in Japanese would be "Gundam Modoki (ガンダムもどき?)" or "Gundam-lookalike"
- The Master Grade GM 2.0 manual suggested that "GM" stood for either "General Mobile-suit" or "Gundam Model".
- Also, the pronunciation of the GM's designation as "jim" and not "jee-em" is possibly a parallel of sorts to the Zaku's alleged derivative Japanese term "zako (雑魚?)". In the GM's case, the term might be "jimi (地味?)" meaning plain/simple, presumably referring to the overall design that is simple (and cheap) compared to the RX-78-2 Gundam.
- The GM destroyed by Char's MSM-07S Z'Gok Commander Type was shown holding a beam rifle while charging at it, but was shown holding a beam spray gun instead when it was impaled by the Z'Gok's claw. This animation error was not fixed even in the compilation movie.
- RGM-79 "GM" [Later Type], the Hajime Katoki-redesigned RGM-79 GM featured in Model Graphix's "Sentinel 0079" mecha design series, would later be served as the basis for RGM-79C GM Type C featured in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory OVA.
- The GM's creation and exploits serves as another element of the first Gundam series that parallels World War II history: it is the equivalent of the American M-4 Sherman tank, and the Soviet T-34 tank. Both the Sherman and T-34 were mass produced in the tens of thousands, easily overwhelming their enemy counterparts. Both of them are also technologically superior to their immediate mass produced enemy counterparts (i.e. Panzer III and IV for real life/World War II, and the MS-05 Zaku I and MS-06 Zaku II for Mobile Suit Gundam). However, the M-4 Sherman and T-34 lacked the firepower to kill their more advanced adversaries (Tiger I, Panther, Tiger II) with one shot whereas the GM's beam spray gun could destroy a Gelgoog or Dom in one shot. These Zeon MS could destroy the GM in one or two shots.
- In SD Gundam series, GM is usually depicted as the most numerous mobile suit, filling the role of both civilians and foot soldiers of protagonist's side.
- Several alternate universe Gundam series would feature tributes to the GM, such as the DT-6800A Daughtress in After War Gundam X, GAT-01 Strike Dagger in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, the RGE-B790 Genoace in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, and the JMS71 Nobusshi in Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
|Crossbone Gundam: Skull Heart Mechanics|
EMS-06 Batalla | EMS-10 Pez Batalla | XM-10 Flint | XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Kai | XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1 Kai Kai "Skull Heart"
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Little Grey | Mother Vanguard
Amakusa | EMS-06 Batalla | EMS-06-P Arana Batalla | EMS-10 Pez Batara | EMS-12 Arana
|Earth Federation Forces|
F91 Gundam F91 | RGM-79 GM | RGM-122 Javelin | RX-78-2 Gundam
B Gundam | RB-79 Ball
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
|Principality of Zeon|
MS-06F Zaku II | MS-06MS Barbus | MS-09R Rick Dom
|Jupiter Energy Fleet|