Technology & Combat Characteristics
While Project V was underway, the Federation also began production of experimental units using spare parts originally intended for the RX-78 Gundam. Using these parts they built approximately twenty specialized ground combat-model christened the RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type during the mid UC 0079. The RX-78 development program, in addition to the experimental RX-78 Gundam series, managed to generate a significant stockpile of mobile suit parts. The Federation, not wanting to have such parts go to waste, used these stockpiles to create a line of pre-production mobile suits used to field test mobile suit tactics. In order to cut down on costs, most of the armaments and parts of the Gundam Ground Type were also used for the RGM-79[G] GM Ground Type.
Though in many ways similar to its RX-78-2 predecessor, the RX-79[G] was a bit different in other ways, particularly in its armament. The beam sabers were stored in the legs, as the backpack mounted an equipment rack to carry weapon racks, parachute packs, or other field options. The head vulcan guns were removed, as the head now carried a periscope for underwater and trench warfare. Although sporting a smaller generator than the RX-78, the Ground Type Gundam can still use a beam rifle, though it was often equipped with a 100mm machine gun or a 180mm cannon. Two extra ammunition magazines for the machine gun were placed on the sideskirt armor. A single vulcan gun and a multiple-use "multi-launcher" mounted in the torso's left breast rounded out the suit's armament.
As the RX-79[G] was built out of spare parts from Project V, replacements parts were very limited. Luckily, the GM Ground Type shared 80% of the same parts as the Gundam Ground Type, making field repairs easier but sometimes resulted in a few customized mobile suits such as the RX-79［G］Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 piloted by Kojima Battalion's 08th MS Team commander, Shiro Amada, and Karen Joshua's Gundam with a GM Ground Type head.
- Vulcan Gun
- Instead of using the original Gundam's head-mounted Vulcan Guns, the RX-79[G] mounted a single vulcan gun in the left chest. This shell firing weapon has a high rate of fire but little power and can't damage the thick armor of a mobile suit, though it can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. It is ideal for shooting down small, lightly armored targets such as missiles, attack vehicles, etc. Fires at a rate of 1200 rounds per minute.
- Mounted in the left chest, under the vulcan gun, this launcher fires a variety of munitions, ranging from grenades to flares and chaff. While not use for direct combat, it can be used for various purposes, such as distracting enemies, or communicating with allies, etc.
- X.B.Sa-G-03 Beam Saber
- The RX-79[G] has two beam sabers, one stored in the side of each lower leg. The beam saber is a small cylindrical 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 is capable of cutting through almost any armor not treated with anti-beam coating.
- NF*GMG-Type.37/100mm Machine Gun
- The standard armament for Federation mobile suit ground forces, the Type 37 is an open-bolt, gas-operated, magazine-fed, mobile suit handheld machine gun. It fires a 100x450 millimeter round at a rate of 500 rounds per minute and is loaded with a 20-round box magazine. Features include a folding stock and swivel forward hand grip. Every Gundam and GM ground type carry two spare 20-round magazines on their side skirt armor.
- NFHI*GMCa-type.09/180mm Cannon
- The Type 09 artillery cannon fires a 180x800 millimeter HE round and is loaded with an eight (8) round box magazine. Maximum effective range 3.0 kilometers. The cannon can be broken down into five components for storage in the backpack storage container: the forward barrel with muzzle brake group, the rear barrel group, the forward receiver group, the rear receiver group and the magazine. Features include a swivel-out forward hand grip and top carrying handle.
- P.B.R-0079/A12 S-000011 Beam Rifle
- The ground-type beam rifle is powered by an internal energy capacitor with an average charge of 15 rounds. Bore diameter of 150 millimeters. Mega particle range is limited in Earth's atmosphere. Maximum effective range of 2.0 kilometers. 60 RPM. Features include a forward swivel hand grip and 180 degree swivel narrow sensor.
- 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.
- NFHI*EPHB-type.Doc-04/380mm Hyper Bazooka
- The ground-type hyper bazooka fires a 380x1900 millimeter HEDP rocket at ranges up to 2.5 kilometers. It is loaded with a 5-round box magazine with one round pre-loaded into the chamber. The bazooka can be broken down into five parts for storage in the backpack storage container: the forward barrel and muzzle group, the trigger and targeting sensor group, the rear barrel group, the receiver group and the magazine.
- Gundam Hammer
- The Gundam Hammer was essentially a large spiked ball attached to a chain. It was used to give the MS using it a ranged melee weapon. The MS could either throw or swing the Hammer around itself in order to impact and damage its target through the sheer mass of the hammer.
- Net Gun
- Like its name suggests, this weapon fires nets that used to trap, immobilize and and disables the enemy; rather than destroy them. Usually used in Ambush and Capture missions.
- RGM*S-Sh-WF/S-00109 Shield
- Mounted on the forearm, this shield is commonly used by the Gundam and GM ground type mobile suits. Mount latch and joint/pivot mount position retracted for protection or extended for slashing or punching attacks. Can be thrust into the ground and used as an elevated weapon firing position. Features include top carrying handle and shield claw.
- 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 Rack
- Another part that could be attached to the back of an Gundam Ground Type is a weapon rack. The Weapon Rack goes on like a hiking backpack and would allow the Gundam Ground Type to carry a variety of armaments and ammunition for both itself and the other members of its squad.
The RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type was used most notably by the Kojima Battalion operating in Southeast Asia, which fielded 20 RX-79[G] units, with the other eight participating in various operations on Earth.
The Gundam Ground Types were also deployed by the EFF's Experimental Units, with one of them being the platoon commanded by Matt Healy, who was issued a Gundam Ground Type after his RGM-79［G］ GM Ground Type was damaged in battle. Matt and his RX-79[G] unit would participate in the rest of the One Year War, including the Battle of Jaburo. Another unit piloted by Kamuna Tachibana was also stationed at Jaburo as part of its defense line during Zeon's assault of the underground base.
Federation Research and Development used three RX-79[G] units in their EXAM development program (see entry on Blue Destiny below).
Notes & Trivia
- The Gundam Ground Type is the first production-type Gundam ever.
- 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.