Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ASH is ZAFT's newest underwater/amphibious combat mobile suit, and unlike the earlier UMF-4A GOOhN and UMF-5 ZnO, which are not that effective outside of water, the ASH is nearly as effective on land as it is at sea due to its more humanoid design. Like its predecessors, the ASH can transform from mobile suit mode (MS mode) into a mobile armor mode (MA mode) for high-speed underwater movements. It is initially used for covert operations by ZAFT's special ops teams, hence the SSO in its model code, which stands for Support/Special Operations, but it is later put into production for use by normal forces. The ASH is heavily armed with missile launchers, beam cannons, phonon maser cannons, machine guns and beam claws. Due to its design and weaponry, it is equally adept at long and close-range combat.
- GMF22SX Prototype Propeller and Multi-purpose Missile Launcher
- Mounted on the ASH's back, it is a combination of an propulsion system and missile launcher as indicated by its name. The missile launcher can be loaded with torpedoes or missiles depending on the mission's needs.
- MA-M1217R High-Energy Beam Cannon
- A pair of high energy beam cannons are mounted on each shoulder armor and they can be used in both MA and MS modes.
- Type PJP3 Dual Phonon Maser Cannon
- The dual phonon maser cannon is mounted in the body, surrounded by the monoeye track. The phonon maser cannon is a versatile sonic weapon that is unaffected by water, allowing it to function as a effective weapon both on land and in the sea.
- M47 23mm Dual Machine Gun
- Mounted in each forearm, the dual machine guns are mainly for restricting enemy movements, to intercept incoming missiles or to destroy weakly armored enemy units.
- MX-RQB505 Beam Claw
- The ASH's arms are equipped with lethal close-combat weapons instead of normal manipulators, in the form of a pair of beam claws.
Special Equipment & Features
- Self-Destruct System
- When used by the special ops team, the ASH is equipped with a Self-Destruct System. This allows the pilot to destroy the MS in case it can not be brought back to base, preventing any secrets from falling into the enemy's hand.
The ASH is first seen when a ZAFT special operations force is sent to secretly assassinate Lacus Clyne. They manage to destroy the Athha estate, but are thwarted by Kira Yamato in the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam. To prevent themselves from being captured and interrogated, the ASH pilots all self-destructed their units. Later, several ASHs, sporting a new dark gray color scheme, are used in both the attack on LOGOS headquarters at Heaven's Base in Iceland and the invasion of Orb.
Notes & Trivia
- The ASH's dual machine guns were inconsistently depicted, with some episodes/scenes having them firing beams, while others have them firing physical projectiles. This error was not fixed even in the HD Remaster.