Like the other ZGMF-X series of Gundams created by ZAFT in CE 71, the Providence is equipped with Neutron Jammer Canceller and powered by a nuclear reactor. It is also armored with Phase Shift armor and features armaments reverse engineered from the stolen mobile suits of the Earth Alliance. Initially designed as a close combat unit with large beam sabers, the Providence is later changed into a DRAGOON system equipped unit when Rau Le Creuset is designated as its pilot and because it could be powered by the nuclear reactor, but it still retains the heavy armor of the former's design. As this change is made after the main body's design is completed, some of the new parts could not be integrated into the body. An example is the six quantum communication cables running from the backpack to the chest that are mounted externally due to lack of interior space. Though exposed, these cables still have solid protection as they are covered by Phase Shift armor.
The DRAGOON system is the Providence's main weapon and is first tested on the YMF-X000A Dreadnought Gundam. It allows pilot with high spatial awareness, like Rau, to control multiple wireless guided weapon pods through quantum communication, hence enabling a single mobile suit to simultaneously battle with multiple enemies and attack from multiple directions, including its blindspot. The Providence's DRAGOON system is mounted on the large backpack and the hips, and includes 11 weapon pods that mount a total of 43 beam gun. Paired with the Multi Lock-On System, it is virtually impossible for these weapon pods to miss its mark. The suit's backpack has thrusters of different sizes to prevent loss of mobility caused by added weight of the DRAGOON Systems. Other armaments of the suit include four CIWS guns, a shield with two beam guns and a large beam saber, and a hand-carried large beam rifle. It was considered one of the most powerful mobile suits in C.E.71.
A remote weapon pod sporting nine beam guns. One is mounted at the top of the backpack, the other two are mounted at right angles from it with a smaller DRAGOON Pod in between each.
Small DRAGOON Pod
A smaller remote weapon with two beam guns. Two are mounted on the backpack, one pair on each side skirt armor and another pair on the back skirt armor. The ones on the backpack can flip forward to function as beam cannons when they are still attached.
MA-M221 "Judicium" Beam Rifle
A handheld weapon used by the Providence, the "Judicium" beam rifle is substantially larger than conventional beam rifles and is supported by the suit's shoulder when used. Although it is quite unwieldy, its output is higher than the "Lupus" beam rifle used by ZGMF-X09A Justice Gundam and ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam.
MA-MV05A Composite Armed Shield System
The composite armed shield system is mounted on the left arm and has both defensive and offensive properties. The system is armed with a large beam saber and two beam guns.
Four CIWS guns are mounted on Providence, two on the head and two on the shoulder. These guns are not powerful enough to seriously damage other mobile suits but suitable for shooting down missiles and suppressive fire.
As with the other four ZGMF-X Gundam units produced by ZAFT at its time, the Providence is equipped with a Neutron Jammer Canceller, which counters the effects of the ubiquitous Neutron Jammers and allows these suits to be powered by nuclear reactors. This gives them almost limitless combat endurance, even with Phase Shift armor activated.
Like the other four units, the Providence is equipped with Phase Shift armor. Thanks to its N-Jammer Canceller and nuclear reactor the PS armor is capable of being active for a lot longer than on non-nuclear powered suits such as the Strike.
Multi Lock-On System
As implied by its name, this unique system allows Providence to target multiple enemies and attack them at once. To use this system effectively, the pilot must have high spatial awareness capability, which is rare even among Coordinators. The use of the Multi Lock-On System with the DRAGOON System's weapon pods ensure the Providence never miss its targets.
In mid CE 71, ZAFT created a series of advanced mobile suits based on technology reverse-engineered from the captured Earth Alliance G Project suits. Like their EA predecessors, the ZAFT's Gundams were armed with advanced beam weaponry and protected by Phase Shift armor. However, an additional technology was incorporated as well: the Neutron Jammer Canceller, which counters the effects of the ubiquitous Neutron Jammers and allows these suits to be powered by nuclear reactors. This gives them almost limitless combat endurance, even with Phase Shift armor activated.
The last of this series is the ZGMF-X13A Providence Gundam, which did not enter service until the final day of the war, September 26, CE 71. It was used to great effect by Rau Le Creuset, who finally revealed his plot to destroy humanity. He proved the Providence's power by overwhelming and severely damaging Mu La Flaga's GAT-X105+AQM/E-X01 Aile Strike Gundam and former subordinate Dearka Elsman's GAT-X103 Buster Gundam. He then heavily damaged Kira Yamato's ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam, destroying its METEOR unit in the process. However, Kira ultimately prevailed, as Rau was mortally wounded when Freedom's beam saber pierced Providence's cockpit. The Providence was subsequently vaporized by the last shot of the GENESIS laser.
Cosmic Region #7007 "ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam (ZGMF-X13A Providence Gundam)" figure set (2007): package rear view
Cosmic Region #7007 "ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam (ZGMF-X13A Providence Gundam)" figure set (2007): sample product (right) with parts convertible to ZGMF-X13A Providence Gundam (left).
Notes and Trivia
Whereas the ZGMF-X09A Justice Gundam and ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam's head crests display their respective model number ("nove" (9) and "dieci" (10) respectively), Providence's head crest display "UNDICI", which means "Eleven" in Italian, this is despite its model number being "13". This is likely a reference to the Providence being the eleventh Gundam to appear in the series (after the five original Gundams, the three Earth Alliance second-stage Gundams, the Justice and the Freedom).
The Providence is originally listed as having only 2 "Picus" 76mm CIWS although their locations are unknown. The 1/144 HG model kit shows them to be head-mounted while in the anime, during the battle with Freedom, they are shown to be the protrusions at the shoulders. Later, source books simply combine this two locations and states that Providence has 4 CIWS.
Despite its final boss-esque status, in all of the installations of the Gundam Vs series it appears in, Providence's cost is always lower than that of its rivaling units. In the crossover games, it consistently holds a cost of 2000, the amount usually reserved for ace custom suits or starter Gundams while other mobile suits of its nature tend to have 2500 or 3000. However, in Extreme Versus Maxiboost it has elevated to cost 2500, and in Gundam Versus to cost 400, the same as the Freedom.