Technology & Combat Characteristics
The main module of ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam's modular design, the Core Splendor's primary role is to serve as the cockpit of the Impulse Gundam. However, it can also transform into a support fighter to provide tactical flexibility or as an escape system when the suit is too badly damaged. It is armed with two nose-mounted MMI-GAU19 20mm machine guns, and two wing-mounted QF908 6-tube anti-air missile launchers that are loaded with several AGM33 "Ladybird" guided missiles, and although these are light armaments, they can nevertheless cause moderate damage to enemy units. The missile launchers will detach and return to the Minerva when the Core Splendor is docking with other modules to form the Impulse Gundam.
When ZAFT created the Impulse, they built the suit as a modular unit, capable of splitting into three different modules. The cockpit of the suit was located in the Core Splendor, a support craft which could operate on its own and serve as an escape system. This Core Splendor system was first tested on the ZGMF-X101S ZAKU Splendor, then adapted to the Impulse's design. The new battleship Minerva was also outfitted with a unique catapult to launch the Core Splendor as well as the other modules of the Impulse.
The Core Splendor saw its first combat debut on October 2, CE 73, when the Impulse was forced to fight three other Gundams which were stolen from ZAFT's colony Armory One. The fighter was used by Shinn Asuka to briefly attack the ZGMF-X24S Chaos before combining with the other modules to form the Impulse. Sometime later, the Core Splendor was used in the Gulnahan Ravine to fly through a cave system to secretly attack an Earth Alliance base stationed there. The Core Splendor was also briefly used during the Impulse's battle with the ZGMF-X10A Freedom. During the battle, the Impulse's head and arm are damaged by Freedom, so Shinn disassembled the Impulse and flew the plane and damaged Chest Flyer towards the Freedom. As the Chest Flyer collided with the Freedom Shinn used the CIWS to destroy the module and derail the Freedom long enough for Shinn to connect with another Chest Flyer and reassemble the Impulse. When Shinn switched to the more powerful ZGMF-X42S Destiny, the Core Splendor was handed down to Lunamaria Hawke.
- Given its usage and function (as well as its name), it is likely that the Core Splender is based on the FF-X7 Core Fighter from Mobile Suit Gundam.