Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Gundam Ground Type was one of the early prototypes for the Earth Federation's mobile suit mass production plan, produced in limited numbers before the recovery of the RX-78-2 Gundam's combat data. As its name suggests, it was designed solely with ground combat in mind, and all space-use equipment, as well as the Core Block System, were omitted. This caused the Gundam Ground Type to be lighter, allowing it to rival the performance of the RX-78 while under gravity.
In order to save time and cost, the RX-79[G] was constructed using surplus parts for the RX-78. Since the quality of these parts varied greatly, differences in performance became a problem, so a limiter was added in order to ensure stable performance. This limiter can be disengaged, activating a state known as "MAX mode", greatly increasing performance. However, due to the heavy burden placed on the unit, this mode can only be activated for a limited time.
Compared to the RX-78, the RX-79[G] featured many design changes. The head-mounted Vulcan guns were omitted in favor of the ability to mount various optional equipment to adapt to different situations, such as extra antennae for long-range communication or a Vulcan pod for enhanced close combat ability. An extendable snorkel camera for enemy searching was mounted on the left side of the head. The beam saber racks were moved from the backpack to the legs, and were changed to an enclosed type to prevent dust from entering. A Vulcan gun and a multi-launcher were mounted on the left side of the chest. Its backpack was designed to mount various equipment, such as a weapon container for carrying various handheld weapons or a parachute pack.
The Gundam Ground Type was capable of using beam rifle. However, only a small number of beam rifles were manufactured for it, and few units were equipped with it. As such, its primary ranged weapons were physical projectile weapons, such as the 100mm machine gun and the 180mm cannon. Two spare magazines for the machine gun can be mounted on the side armor on the waist.
As the RX-79[G] was built out of surplus parts for the RX-78, replacements parts were very limited, and many bases were forced to perform field repairs on their units using parts from other mobile suits, creating many custom type units. One such example was the unit piloted by Karen Joshua, which had its head replaced with the head of an RGM-79[G] GM Ground Type.
- Vulcan Gun
- The RX-79[G] has the Vulcan gun, which the RX-78 Gundam Series had in its head, moved to the left chest. Equipping the Vulcan in the body, where there is more room, allows for a large increase in the number of bullets, but moving the Vulcan from the head, which can swivel up, down, left, and right, to the body makes it difficult to aim, and reduces its ability to follow moving targets. In addition, there is a risk of ignition due to the firearm being mounted right next to the cockpit, and the risk of it exploding when hit by a bullet.
- Equipped underneath the chest Vulcan. This multi-purpose launcher is capable of firing netguns, flares, grenades, and other projectiles. When not used for direct combat, it is used for various other purposes, from distracting enemies, or communicating with allies, etc.
- X.B.Sa-G-03 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 most armor not treated with anti-beam coating. The RX-79[G] has two beam sabers, one stored in the side of each lower leg. The change to leg-mounted saber racks is possible because space have been freed up due to the omission of attitude control thrusters and associated fuel tanks, which are not needed for a ground use unit. The change also serves as dust-proofing measure.
- 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. Every Gundam Ground Type and GM Ground Type carry two spare magazines on their side skirt armor.
- YHI FH-X180 180mm Cannon
- A portable cannon developed by Yashima Heavy Industries as a long-range, large caliber physical projectile 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 and can fire different types of ammunitions. The most notable feature of this weapon is that it can be broken down into compact components for transport in the weapon container carried by the mobile suit.
- BLASH XBR-M-79E Beam Rifle
- A beam rifle developed by the Blash Corporation upon the request of the Earth Federation Ground Forces, who are unsatisfied with the performance of the M-79C-1 Beam Spray Gun. It is primary for use in atmospheric conditions and is a redesign of the RX-78-2 Gundam's XBR-M-79-07G beam rifle. Instead of the 79-07G’s large movable sensor, this rifle is fitted with the BP-SS-001 composite box-type sensor system utilized on the BR-M-79C-3 Beam Spray Gun and licensed from BOWA Corporation, granting the weapon improved targeting precision. The weapon can snipe targets 10 kilometers away, but the accuracy is extremely low, requiring experience and advanced skill to land a hit. Three of these can be stored in the weapon container carried by the mobile suit.
- 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. It can be broken down into various components for transport in the weapon container carried by the mobile suit.
- 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. It can be broken down into various components for transport in the weapon container carried by the mobile suit.
- YHI YF-RC180 Railcannon
- A weapon that uses electromagnetic forces, rather than gunpowder, to fire solid projectiles at very high velocities. Manufactured by Yashima Heavy Industries. This equipment was developed in consideration of the problems that the early beam weapons had(decreased power due to attenuation in the atmosphere), and the basic structure is diverted from a battleship's main gun.
- Gundam Hammer
- A flail-type morning star with a long chain and anchor-shaped grip attached to a spiked iron ball. The weapon could either be thrown or swung around the mobile suit itself to damage the enemy units.
- Net Gun
- A special weapon that deploys a net in the shape of a spider web after firing to capture enemy units.
- 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 due to its movable mount. 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. It can also be used as a gun mount, and a bipod is attached to the back for additional stability when placed on the ground.
- RGM·S-Sh-WF/S-00116·Ap-A Shield
- A reinforced version of the RGM*S-Sh-WF/S-00109 with a small additional armor plate attached to the surface that provides additional protection against projectiles, and increases overall durability. Other features remain the same.
- FADEGEL RGM-M-Sh-003 Shield
- The same shield as used by the RGM-79 GM, it is composed of a triple honeycomb structure made of Luna Titanium and the surface also has anti-beam coating for defending against beam attacks.
- FADEGEL RGM-M-Sh-007 Shield
- An improved model of the RGM-M-Sh-003. It has the exact same size as its predecessor, but its material was changed to Titanium-Ceramic composite. Its mount latch was made movable, allowing the shield to be positioned up or down when carried by a Mobile Suit manipulator or mounted on the forearm, increasing its usability.
Special Equipment & Features
- MAX Mode
- A system that releases the limiter of each part of machine, greatly increasing its performance. While it can generate enough power to slow the descent of the Apsaras, the load on the machine is so great that there is a risk of total loss, so the activation time is limited. In the manga Mobile Suit Gundam the 08th MS Team U.C.0079 + α Tribute, Michel, who has released his limiter, is depicted to faint and bleed from the intense G's caused by the automatic emergency evasion, and Shiro also partially releases his limiter to increase the power without overloading the machine.
- Head Equipment
- Since the RX-79[G] lacked head-mounted Vulcan guns, a snorkel camera is attached to the left side of the head. Additionally, there are also optional replacement equipment such as "long-distance communication pack" for the right side of the head and an "added Vulcan pod" for the left side of the head.
- Desert Equipment
- For combat in desert environments, the RX-79[G] could optionally attach parts such as dust proof filters on the chest intake, and protective covering for the joints and manipulators.
- Container Rack
- On the back of the RX-79[G] is a container rack for carrying weapon containers, parachute packs, etc. In addition, the rack is equipped with a foldable searchlight and certain sections can unfold into a forklift-like mechanism for attaching the containers.
- Parachute Pack
- An optional back-mounted MS equipment created by the Federation for paradrop missions from the Medea Transport Plane. The Parachute Pack contains three parachutes and four thrusters to help in making a safe descent to the ground. Once touchdown had been accomplished the Parachute Pack would be ejected so not to hinder the mobile suit performance in ground combat. Two types of parachute pack were known to exist.
- Weapon Container
- Container for storing spare or additional armament that can be attached to the container rack. The container allows the RX-79[G] to carry a variety of armaments and ammunition for both itself and the other members of its squad.
- B Container
- Original equipment set in the Mobile Suit Gundam the 08th MS Team U.C.0079 + α Tribute manga. It is a container equipped with an automatic ammunition supply device for the 100mm machine gun. Three spare banana magazines are mounted vertically, each held by a foldable simple arm. When reloading, stoppers will come off and the arms will expand to the right side of the RX-79[G]. By extending the right arm holding the machine gun to the right side of the RX-79[G] in advance, the spare magazine will be installed automatically.
In July, U.C. 0079, the RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam was rolled out and began trial as part of Operation V, the Federation's top secret mobile suit development project. However, as the Principality of Zeon's occupied territory on Earth continued to expand, the Earth Federation Forces felt that they could no longer wait for the data from the RX-78 series, and began the RX-79 project: the development of a ground-use Gundam.
The development of the Gundam Ground Type was led by the Earth Federation Ground Force (EFGF), and in total, 20 units were produced. As the project progressed, the EFGF also began establishing mobile suit units. In July, the EFF Far Eastern Front Army established the 1st Mechanized Composite Battalion (colloquially known as "Kojima Battalion", after its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kojima) to counter Zeon Earth Attack Force's Central Asian Front Army. Since they were based in Southeast Asia, a fiercely contested area, 12 of the 20 units were assigned to the 01st, 04th, 06th, and 08th MS Teams of the Kojima Battalion.
Notes & Trivia
- The Gundam Ground Type is the first production-type Gundam-type mobile suit.
- The beam rifle used by Gundam Ground Type and GM Ground Type has three different model numbers from three different sources: "P.B.R-0079/A12 S-000011" from the MG Gundam Ground Type manual, "P.B.R-0079/A12 S-0000204" from the MG Gundam Ez8 manual, and "BLASH XBR-M-79E" from Master Archive Mobile Suit - RGM-79 GM Volume One. The last model number also appeared in Gundam Mobile Suit Bible 15, while Master Archive Mobile Suit - RGM-79 GM Volume Two listed an alternate model number of "BLASH XBR-M-79E (P.B.R-0079/A12 S-0000204)".
- The Gundam Ground Type along with its GM counterpart debuted in the Gundam Vs as extras for the Deluxe version of Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation Vs Zeon and remained playable units up until Extreme VS where they became NPC units.
- Despite having the 08 designation on their shield, none of the pilots from the show were playable until Gundam Vs Gundam.
- The Gundam Ground Type appeared in Gundam Breaker Mobile, as a non-playable enemy unit in the Story/Free Missions until it became available for purchase in the Coin Exchange for the "Gundams in the Jungle" event held on July 14, 2021.
- High Grade Universal Century 1/144 RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type (2007) instruction manual
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team Official Archive, p.38
- High Grade Universal Century 1/144 RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type (2018) instruction manual
- High Grade 1/144 RX-79 Gundam vs MS-06J Zaku II set (1996) instruction manual
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team Official Archive, p.39
- 1/144 HGUC RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type (2007) model kit manual
- UC Hardgraph: Earth Federation mobile suits and the establishment and organization of mobile suit units
- Master Grade RGM-79[G] GM Ground Type (2001) instruction manual