Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RMS-117 Galbaldy β is an Earth Federation Forces upgrade of the MS-17 Galbaldy α. The upgrades were fairly simple, the most noticeable of which is the modification done to the armor of the mobile suits head, shoulders, legs and waist. The more significant upgrades include an increase in the mobile suit's performance specifications, such as thruster acceleration and power output. For weapons, the Galbaldy β is equipped with a standard beam rifle, a pair of beam sabers stored in the shoulders, a pair of signal launchers in the hands, and a new Federation-designed shield with a pair of single-use missile launchers to replace the Zulu-style shield of the original Galbaldy α. The head unit resembles the MS-14 Gelgoog, with a unique protrusion at the top of the head. A signal flare firing apparatus is included in the head, and its shutter opens to fire signal flares.
Overall, the performance of the Galbaldy β was slightly better than that of the old MS-14A Gelgoog, the mobile suit that the Principality of Zeon chose over the Galbaldy α. It is also comparable to the RMS-106 Hizack and RMS-179 GM II that were also in use by the Earth Federation Forces in the early days of Gryps War, though its arguable that its performance was superior to the Hizack that was typically outfitted with old machine guns as opposed to beam rifles due to its lower generator output.
Though a fairly good mobile suit, one of the Galbaldy β's weaknesses is that it had thin armor composed of a titanium alloy, again similar to the Hizack and GM II, but inadequate compared to newer mobile suits fielded by both the Earth Federation and the Anti Earth Union Group that had armor made of Gundarium γ alloy.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small device held in the mobile suit's hands when deployed and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. It emits high-energy Minovsky particles to form a blade-shaped I-field (via manipulation of electromagnetic fields), and then fills this I-field shell with superheated Minovsky particle plasma to produce an effective cutting blade. A beam saber is stored in each of Galbaldy β's shoulder armor.
- A basic arm-mounted defense armament for many mobile suits. The shield is a thick sheet of armor designed to take severe punishment that would normally destroy a mobile suit. Shields are also treated with an anti-beam coating to withstand several beam shots before the coating wears off. Typically physical shields can only take so much damage before they succumb to the pressure and break.
- Missile Launcher
- The Galbaldy β's shield, unlike the original Galbaldy α's shield, possesses minor offensive capabilities as it is built with a pair of missile launchers on the underside. Each missile launcher is loaded with a single small missile that can typically do significant damage to a mobile suit or another similarly armored target but is less effective against the heavy armor of a battleship.
- Beam Rifle
- A standard hand carried ranged beam weapon is the beam rifle, which is powered by a rechargeable energy cap. 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.
Special Equipment & Features
- Signal Flare Launcher
- The Galbaldy β mounts a signal flare launcher in its head. The flare launcher can launch flares of several different colors, allowing the Galbaldy β to send easily identifiable messages even when there is a high Minovsky particle density.
- Ballute System
- An atmospheric entry device designed to be used by a Mobile Suit. 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 equipment was designed and mass-produced between UC 0083 and 0087 and can be used by a multitude of mobile suits.
As the One Year War ended, the Earth Federation captured Zeon research facilities, such as the Pezun asteroid, giving them access to the many mobile suit designs and newly developed technology that Zeon did not have time to manufacture. The Earth Federation began producing several of these designs, such as the MS-11 Action Zaku, for use in their own military. Others were studied and refined before being put into production as new mobile suits. Amongst those studied were the designs for the MS-17 Galbaldy α which were used to develop the RMS-117 Galbaldy β.
Before the Gryps Conflict in the year UC 0087, the RMS-117 Galbaldy β was one of the more heavily produced mobile suit employed by the Earth Federation Forces, coming in third to the RMS-179 GM II and RMS-106 Hizack. The majority of the Gabaldy βs produced were stationed at Luna II or aboard ships that operated out of Luna II.
Several of these units would be aboard the Salamis-class cruiser Bosnia, a ship that would be assigned to reinforce a Titans patrol force led by Bask Om in search of the Argama and the three stolen RX-178 Gundam Mk-II units. One of these units would be piloted by squadron leader and Federation veteran pilot Lila Milla Rira. Among the mobile suit pilots Lila technically had the highest rank, however she was a regular soldier while most of the others were Titans and thus had authority equal to a regular soldier two ranks above them. She was killed by Kamille Bidan's RX-178 Gundam Mk-II in combat, when he shot with his beam rifle at point blank range into the cockpit of the Galbaldy β.
After Lila's death Jerid Messa, a Titans officer that looked up to and admired Lila, began piloting a Galbaldy β in her honor and would battle her killer Kamille Bidan and his RX-178 Gundam Mk-II on the moon. However Kamille's skills were improving, making the technologically superior Gundam Mk-II a deadly opponent, so Jerid Messa had little choice but to switch over to the RMS-108 Marasai.
After the end of the Gryps Conflict, the Axis Neo Zeon forces under the command of Haman Karn began making their move for dominance of the Earth Sphere (UC). At this time several RMS-117 Gabaldy β mobile suits would be captured. These machines would be studied and used to produce a newer more powerful mobile suit, just as the Earth Federation had done with the designs for the MS-17 Galbaldy α. The new mobile suits produced would be the AMX-117L Gaz-L and the AMX-117R Gaz-R mobile suits. These almost identical mobile suits would be used as bodyguards for the mobile suits of important members of Neo-Zeon.
Notes and Trivia
- 1/144 HGUC RMS-117 Galbaldy β model kit instruction manual, Bandai, 2018