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 still a bit different in many 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 having head-mounted vulcan guns like the RX-78-2 Gundam, 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 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.
- Mounted in the left chest, under the vulcan gun, this launcher fires a variety of munitions, ranging from grenades to flares and chaff. It can be used for various purposes, such as 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 containers 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gundam Hammer
- Essentially a large spiked ball attached to a chain, it serve as a ranged melee weapon. The gundam hammer could either be thrown or swung around the mobile suit itself to damage the enemy units.
- Net Gun
- Like its name suggests, this weapon fires nets to trap, immobilize 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 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.
Special Equipment & Features
- 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.
- Weapon Rack
- On the back of the RX-79[G] is a weapon 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.
- 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 weapon 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
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. The 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-type mobile suit.
- 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 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)".