Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RX-78-4 Gundam Unit 4, more commmonly referred to as "G04", was more advanced in many ways than its more famous predecessor. The Federation decided to convert the Gundam units 4 and 5, which were already in development, into space combat versions for use as main forces in the invasion of Solomon, A Baoa Qu, and then Zeon itself. These machines based on the RX-78-2, and the replacement of the backpack and the addition of thrusters and propellant raised their mobility by roughly 40 percent. Their operating time was also extended, and it was anticipated that they would produce great combat results during lengthy battles, especially in attacks on space fortresses.
The biggest change was the elimination of the core block system. The space freed up was used for cooling systems, thus increasing the generator output and enabling the use of more powerful beam weapons. As a result, the armament was upgraded to include a hyper beam rifle, and one beam gun was installed in each forearm. Plans were also made to equip unit 4 with a powerful, long range mega beam launcher. Thus its generator output was further increased, its cooling systems were enhanced accordingly, and the design of the cooling fins in its chest was changed. Like the unit 5, the unit 4 can be outfitted with a booster pack which extends its operational range and time.
- Vulcan Gun
- Mounted in the head, the pair of shell firing weapons have high-rate of fire but little power and can't damage the armor of a mobile suit, though they can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. They are ideal for shooting down small, lightly armored targets such as missiles, attack vehicles, etc.
- 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. The beam saber can cut through most armor not treated with anti-beam coating. The G04 has two beam sabers stored in the backpack.
- Hand Beam Gun
- Also known as "Beam Gun Unit", one is mounted on each forearm. The weapon is undergoing verification of its combat effectiveness, cost, serviceability, etc. It has a short effective range and is most suitable for use in close combat.
- XBR-M-79H-2 Hyper Beam Rifle
- An enhanced version of the beam rifle carried by the RX-78-2, it is powered by an E-Cap and has improved output as well as accuracy.
- Hyper Bazooka
- A general purpose fire support rocket launcher platform for Mobile Suits. With considerable destructive power owing to the explosive yield in each warhead, the weapon was primarily used to destroy less-maneuverable battlefield targets such as warships, satellites, land battleships, bunkers, and buildings.
- Mega Beam Launcher
- A high output, long range beam weapon with a total length of 12 meters. To ensure high precision, three targeting sensors are fitted on the weapon's long barrel. Due to the weapon's huge energy requirement, the G04's generator's increased energy output is still insufficient and an energy pack is attached to the left waist to provide additional energy. However, as the energy pack is still undergoing adjustments, it is rather unstable.
- 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. The G04's shield has an unique feature, it is normally in its collapse form and can expand when required.
Special Equipment & Features
- Booster Pack (Bst)
- A special set of external fuel tanks and thrusters to give the unit higher speed and better maneuverability. The G04's operating time is also extended.
- Magnetic Coating
- A special membrane treatment applied to mobile suit joints to improve their response speed. The mobile suits developed by the Earth Federation Forces use special actuators called field motors, whose efficiency is increased by the magnet coating process. The treatment also reduces friction resistance in the mobile suit's joints.
Deployed to the 16th Autonomous Mobile Squadron and assigned to the Pegasus-class warship, the SCVA-72 Thoroughbred, the RX-78-4 Gundam G04 was designed to be able to use a powerful mega beam launcher. The RX-78-4 only used the mega beam launcher once, in order to stop a reinforcing fleet from Granada. Though the launcher was successful in destroying the fleet, the load it put on the RX-78-4's additional energy pack was too much, resulting in an explosion that also killed the pilot.
In Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space, if the player acquires an "A" rank or higher in the mission to protect G04, its pilot Luce Cassel would miraculously survive the explosion with only minor injuries.
In the "IF" volume of Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story: Space, To the End of a Flash, Ford Romfellow managed to save Luce by ripping off the critical energy pack with the G05.
Either way, the G04 would then be upgraded with the same booster pack as the G05 and the two would participate in the Battle of A Baoa Qu.
Notes and Trivia
- In SD Gundam G Generation Spirits, Gundam Unit 4's head sensor was erroneously colored red instead of green. This was corrected in the sequel, Wars.