The SVMS-01E Graham's Union Flag Custom (aka SVMS-01E Custom Flag, Custom Flag) is an enhanced variant of the SVMS-01 Union Flag in Season 1 of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. It is piloted by renowned Union ace Graham Aker.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
After his first battle with the GN-001 Gundam Exia and transfer to the anti-Gundam investigative taskforce, Union ace pilot, Graham Aker, asked for modifications to the SVMS-01 Union Flag (aka Flag) so that he could capture the Gundams. The brilliant Professor Ralph Eifman, a central member of the Flag's development team, obliged and created the SVMS-01E Graham's Union Flag Custom (aka Custom Flag) in a single week as per Graham's request. While its performance is enhanced, the Custom Flag's design also ignores the stress placed on the pilot, and this is once again on Graham's orders. The mobile suit incorporated the Union's latest technology and while it retains the transformation system of the regular Flag, it also has a new High-Speed Flight mode. This mode differ from the normal Flight mode in that the arms are positioned straight backwards, the sub wings are angled forward and the main wings swept back.
Even in normal Flight mode, the Custom Flag's cruising speed was measured to be twice that of regular Flag's. To achieve this speed, the hydrogen fuel payload for its plasma jet engines is reduced, lightweight armor materials are utilized, and its flight units are switched to a large, high-output type that is difficult to control and thus not adopted by regular Flag. The two bold weight reduction measures also allow the Custom Flag to be lighter than the regular Flag even with the installation of the larger flight units. The cost for the mobile suit's high speed is that even with the activation of the anti-G system, Graham will feel 12Gs of acceleration when turning at full speed. As a result, this mobile suit cannot be piloted by anyone else other than Graham. However, even Graham admitted to having problems handling the high Gs after coughing up blood following his battle with the GNW-001 Gundam Throne Eins.
The communication capabilities of the Custom Flag are enhanced as it serves as the commander's unit of the anti-Gundam investigative taskforce. Its head's internal structure remain mostly unchanged, but the blade antennas on both sides of the head have been enlarged and are now symmetrical. Other modifications include reinforced joints and anti-beam coating on the mobile suit's surface for better resistance to the Gundams’ beam weaponry. This coating is also the cause for the mobile suit's black-colored appearance. As Graham is left-handed, the Custom Flag holds its rifle in the left hand and mounts the defense rod on the right forearm, opposite from most Flags. To enable such a change, the software of the machine's fire control system is rewritten. Overall, this mobile suit is customized for Graham’s use in both hardware and software.
The Graham's Union Flag Custom has mostly the same weaponry as the regular Flag, but the linear rifle was switched to a new prototype design with higher performance. The mobile suit changed to another new linear rifle following the official naming of the taskforce as the "Over Flags". As a result, other than the position of the rifle and defense rod, the Custom Flag's appearance is similar to the Over Flags' SVMS-01O Over Flag. In fact, the Over Flag is developed based on the Custom Flag, but as the two differ in their enhancements, they are treated as different machines. With the new linear rifle, the Custom Flag is known as Graham's Union Flag Custom (Over Flags' Ver.). The mobile suit is eventually modified into the GN Drive Tau-powered SVMS-01X Union Flag Custom II (aka GN Flag).
- XLR-04 Trial Type Linear Rifle
- The initial main weapon of the Custom Flag, it is a new, high performance, prototype linear rifle developed by Iris Corporation. Fitted with a large battery, it can use significantly more electrical energy to greatly boost the speed and power of the fired projectile. However, doing so requires charging. The rifle also has an alternate low-power mode for rapid fire as well as an internal mechanism for switching to a different type of ammunition during this mode. During the fight with GN-001 Gundam Exia, the low-power mode's rapid fire is used for distraction and to unbalance the Gundam, allowing the charged shot to hit the Exia. Handheld in MS mode and attached as the nose unit in Flight modes, the weapon can be fired in all these modes. A production model of this rifle is used by the SVMS-01AW Union Flag Orbit Package Astro Work Type and the SVMS-01AP Union Flag Orbit Package Colony Guard Type.
- ”Trident Striker” New Type Linear Rifle
- Following the naming of the Over Flags squadron, the Graham's Union Flag Custom switched to this linear rifle which is named "Trident Striker". It is the Iris Corporation's newest linear rifle and is developed from the trial type linear rifle. It has higher performance and its shape is redesigned to improve the Flight modes' aerodynamics. It features three muzzles, with the central muzzle capable of firing 200mm large caliber projectile at high muzzle velocity, but as this requires charging, it cannot be rapid fired. To compensate for this weakness, the 60mm caliber muzzles on the left and right can rapid fire low power shots.
- Besides the grip located on the rifle's bottom, there is two side grips that can serve as the main grip when firing the 60mm caliber muzzles. In this scenario, the highest muzzle relative to the side grip is utilized. The clear blue part at the top of the barrel is a special gel jacket and the gel within serves as a coolant and also has anti-magnetic functions. This weapon is also used by the SVMS-01O Over Flags, but their rifles' clear part are colored white instead. Handheld in MS mode and attached as the nose unit in Flight modes, the weapon can be fired in all these modes. In MS mode, the rifle can be stored on the side of the legs so that the hands can hold other weapons.
- 20mm Machine Gun
- The Graham's Union Flag Custom has a 20mm machine gun located on the left side of its abdomen like the Union Flag, and it is usable in all of the mobile suit's modes. Although lacking in firepower, this physical projectile weapon can be rapid-fired and has high utility value. It is used for intercepting missiles, anti-vehicles, anti-personal and other cases where heavy firepower is unnecessary. In mobile suit combat, it is mostly for restricting enemy movements.
- Defense Rod
- A type of defensive device also used by the Union Flag, it is meant for flight capable mobile suits that cannot equip a heavy shield. Mounted on the right forearm, it uses rotary motions to deflect/ricochet incoming enemy projectiles, and can generate a plasma field from its center upon contact with the projectile. While capable of blocking beam shots, it sustains some damages in the process. The defense rod may break if hit by an attack on its front side. As it is primarily designed for MS mode, it is not equipped if the mission only involve aerial battle in Flight modes.
- Sonic Blade (Plasma Sword)
- A knife-like melee weapon like the one used by the Union Flag, it has a blade made of super-hard carbon that flips out of the handle during use. The blade can vibrate at a high frequency for high cutting capabilities. Additionally, by focusing plasma into an elongated blade shape around the physical blade, the weapon can be utilized as a plasma sword. The plasma sword's length varies according to its output and it can last for 3 minutes at full power. The plasma sword was created while developing the beam saber. The Graham's Union Flag Custom can carry up to two Sonic Blade (Plasma Sword), one stored in each forearm when not in use.
- Identical to the Union Flag, a missile can be stored in each of the Graham's Union Flag Custom's legs and various types can be equipped to suit the mission. The shin armor flips outward when launching the missile. Although mainly used in Flight modes, they can also be used for anti-air fire from the ground by changing the missile type. The missiles are stored internally to reduce air resistance, but this limits the amount of missiles carried, thus when required, additional missile pods can be mounted below the main and sub wings and between the legs. To reduce the mobile suit's weight when battling the Gundams, the missiles are often not equipped. In fact, the missiles are not used at all against the Gundams.
- GN Beam Saber
- A melee beam weapon taken from the GNW-001 Gundam Throne Eins. As it contains a small GN Condenser, its beam blade does not dissipate when it leaves the Gundam's hand and thus can be used by the Graham's Union Flag Custom (Over Flags' Ver.).
Special Equipment & Features
- Chaff & Flare Dispensers
- Like the Union Flag, the circular parts of the Graham's Union Flag Custom's feet dispense substances for disrupting radar and infrared guidance, and they are used against enemy missiles approaching from the rear during Flight Modes. They are not used against the Gundams as their weaponry rely on GN Particles, different from conventional weaponry.
- Luminescence Facial Patterns
- As with the Union Flag, the face section of the Graham's Union Flag Custom is embedded with clusters of tiny sensor elements that are few millimeters in size and they can display various luminescence patterns for communications, intimidations, etc. An AI automatically determines which pattern is shown. The most well known of these patterns is the eye-like display on one side of the face. However, the patterns are not limited to one side, simultaneous display on both sides is possible.
For information on Graham's Union Flag Custom's history, please go to Graham Aker's page.
Notes & Trivia
- The Union Flag Graham Aker Custom makes an appearance in episode 12 of Gundam Build Divers, but the "Trident Striker" is held in its right hand.
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