Technology & Combat Characteristics
Developed by Anaheim Electronics, the RMS-099 (MSA-099, MSA-009) Rick Dias (codename: "γ Gundam" (Gamma Gundam) became one of the first mass-produced mobile suits of the AEUG's Zeta Project for their fight against the corrupt Titans. Because many engineers who worked on the Rick Dias were former Principality of Zeon members, the Rick Dias featured many similarities to Zeon mobile suits such as a mono-eye sensor. The Rick Dias ("Dias" is derived from Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer who first rounded the Cape of Good Hope) was originally to be called Gundam γ as it is built out of the new Gundarium γ. This material was developed by Axis and has strength similar to standard Gundarium yet is structurally lighter, making the suit lighter and thus allowing it to accommodate a greater fuel capacity.
The Rick Dias is one of the earlier mobile suits to use the 360-degree panoramic cockpit, and the first original design to be constructed by the AEUG. One notable feature is that unlike other mobile suits at the time, the cockpit of the Rick Dias is built into the head and not the chest. Built into its hands are specialized launchers that can be used to launch fire-suppressing gas or a binding adhesive. For combat, the Rick Dias is equipped with a large variety of weapons, making it a versatile mobile suit. Among its built-in weapons include 55mm vulcan phalanx in its head and a beam saber stored on the underside of a backpack-mounted rack. For ranged combat, the Rick Dias is equipped with a pair of beam pistols stored in the backpack-mounted rack. It can also be optionally equipped with a clay bazooka and a beam rifle.
- 55mm Vulcan Phalanx
- Mounted in the top of the Rick Dias' head, and covered by a hinged hood when not in use, this double-barreled gun is equivalent to the vulcan guns commonly used by other mobile suits. This shell firing weapon has a high-rate of fire, but little power and are mainly used for intercepting enemy missiles/units, as warning shots, and to destroy lightly armored targets.
- AE/ZIM.C-BAZ-531 300mm Clay Bazooka
- An innovative projectile-firing weapon, the Clay Bazooka was originally designed to fire adhesive rounds which immobilize enemy machines rather than destroying them outright. However, it could also be loaded with other types of ammunition, including conventional explosive round as well as pellet shot round. The Clay Bazooka has 1 round in its chamber with 7 more rounds in a reloadable magazine. A retractable hook is present on top of the bazooka's barrel for mounting onto Rick Dias's backpack when not in use.
- BP-L-86 Beam Pistol
- A pair of Beam Pistols designed specifically for the Rick Dias. Despite its compact size, it is powerful enough to destroy an enemy mobile suit with a single shot. The Beam Pistols are stored on the backpack-mounted ride laser rack when not in use, and while stowed, they could fire directly with a limited firing arc.
- Beam Rifle
- A standard hand carried ranged beam weapon is the beam rifle. Capable of firing concentrated mega particles, attacks from a beam rifle can damage any ordinary armor that has not been specially treated to resist it. It is the same one used by the RMS-117 Galbaldy β.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small device held in the mobile suit's hands when operated and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. It emits a blade of plasma contained by an I-Field and can cut through any armor not treated with anti-beam coating. The Rick Dias stores a single beam saber on the underside of the backpack-mounted ride laser rack. Power rated at 0.4 MW, the model of beam saber used by Rick Dias is also used by other mobile suits such as Hyaku Shiki and Nemo.
Special Equipment & Features
- Booster Binder
- Mounted on the Rick Dias' backpack, the pair of Booster Binders are a combination of vernier thrusters with propellant tanks and are capable of Active Mass Balance Auto-Control (AMBAC) like the suit's limbs. Thanks to these binders, the suit has excellent mobility. They could be ejected when not required.
- Sealant Launchers
- This device sprays a sticky sealant, similar to the wall film used to mend breaches in warship hulls. This substance can be used to seal ruptures in spacecraft and space colony exteriors. By the time of the Gryps Conflict most mobile suits have sealant launchers built into the fingers of their manipulators, as well as utility devices like signal flares, dummy dispensers, and fire extinguishers.
- Ballute System
- An atmospheric entry device designed to be used by a multitude of different mobile suit models. As the mobile suit enters the atmosphere, a bowl-shaped ballute (balloon parachute) deploys to protect it from the friction heat of atmospheric entry. The balloon then detaches, leaving the mobile suit with chest and leg hover units which ease its descent to the ground. If the mobile suit reaches the ground without expending all the fuel in the leg units, these devices can also be used for hovering and high-speed strike missions.
The Rick Dias was AEUG's first original and most powerful mass-production mobile suit, making its first known major use during the mission to infiltrate Gryps and steal the new RX-178 Gundam Mk-II. Three Rick Dias were used to infiltrate the colony, led by AEUG ace pilot Quattro Bajeena in his custom painted red Rick Dias. The mission was successful and proved the value of the Rick Dias.
For all following missions, Rick Dias were assigned to the AEUG's top pilots who did not possess their own custom unit such as the Gundam Mk-II or the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki. Initially, the standard color scheme for the Rick Dias was black and dark gray. However at some point, while the AEUG was on Earth, the standard color scheme was switched over to the same red coloring scheme used on Quattro Bajeena's unit and later piloted by Emma Sheen.
Despite being technologically advanced and state of the art at the start of the Gryps Conflict (to the point that the Titans tried to steal some of the Argama's compliment), the Rick Dias was soon overshadowed by the increasingly more advanced designs in the AEUG and the Titans. By the start of the First Neo Zeon War, there were only a few operational units left, but they would see little use, as what remained of the AEUG and Karaba would use the newer RGM-86R GM III.
Notes and Trivia
- In the Zeta Gundam novelization, the Rick Dias is named after Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer who lived in 1450-1500 and discovered the Cape of Good Hope.
- The Vulcan Phalanx borrows its name from the close-in weapons systems used by modern-day naval vessels, which are in turn named after the massed phalanx formations of ancient Greek infantry soldiers.
- The design of the Rick Dias' beam pistols resembles the Borchardt C-93 semi-automatic pistol.
- In the U.C Arms Gallery Volume 3, the Rick Dias' BP-L-86 Beam Pistol and Hyaku Shiki's BR-M-87 Beam Rifle have interchangeable parts. It is unknown if this is true in-universe, or just done for the gallery.