|ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom|
|Prototype Assault Mobile Suit|
|Manufacturer||Three Ships Alliance|
|Operator||Three Ships Alliance, Orb Union|
|Known Pilot||Kira Yamato|
|Head Height||18.88 meters|
|Weight|| 80.09 metric tons|
|Powerplant||Ultracompact Hyper-Deuterion Nuclear Fission Reactor|
|Accommodation||Pilot only, cockpit in chest|
|Armor:||Phase Shift Armor|
|Special Equipments and Features|
The ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom is a mobile suit which mainly shown in TV Series anime Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. First shown deployed in episode 39 (called PHASE 39 in the Anime), it is piloted by one of the main character of the series, Kira Yamato. Together with Strike Freedom, Kira Yamato, plays a pivotal role in ending the Second Bloody Valentine War, as part of Three Ships Alliance and Orb Union's 2nd Space Fleet. Despite its designs bears striking similarity to its predecessor, ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam, this mobile suit can be easily distinguished in the anime by its golden joints across its white and black body, detachable wings, and its "trademark" capability to lock onto multiple units.
In the Real World
As many of protagonists' mobile suits of Gundam metaseries, at least in Japan and its surrounding countries, Strike Freedom enjoys significant popularity among other mobile suits. Strike Freedom is often featured in Japanese Newtype Magazine and available in a wide range of model kits and stand off display. In December 2006, it had two Master Grade class model kits, released two at once, making it become the first mobile suit from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny to have a Master Grade model.
Part of Strike Freedom's popularity can be traced back to Bandai Action Kits Asia Cup 2005, which was divided into two categories (the Open Category and Junior Category), shown that the world winner of the Junior Category (謳小楓, from mainland China), used the Strike Freedom kit (in Super Deformed form). At least one other regional Junior Category winner (William Frederick Soehaili, from Indonesia) also used the Strike Freedom Model Kit. Furthermore, there were two other regional winners using model kits from the Cosmic Era universe, both hailing from Singapore. The Open Category winner used the Destroy GFAS-X1 Destroy model kit, while the Junior category winner used the ZGMF-X42S Destiny model kit.
Designed by Kunio Okawara, its design bears striking similarity to the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam. Although, with a closer, in-depth view on both designs, their various differences become obvious. Their head and "wing" designs are quite different.
Strike Freedom lacks the pair of plasma cannons in the upper part of the wing, it being replaced by the multiple detachable wings mounted cannons, called DRAGOONs. Strike Freedom has two rifles which can be combined into a longer rifle. It still retains the twin hip-mounted rail-guns, although now the rail-guns can swivel back, giving space for mounting the previously stated rifles. In its abdomen , the Strike Freedom mounts an additional beam cannon. However, the most significant difference is probably the existence of golden colored joints in various parts of the Strike Freedom.
As with many mobile suits in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, the Strike Freedom bears features resembling famous systems from mobile suits of the other previous Gundam metaseries.
The DRAGOONs are similar to funnels and bits of Universal Century's universe (the first Gundam universe). The beam shields used by the Strike Freedom were first seen on the Gundam F91 (although, chronologically in the Universal Century universe, the Gundam F90 VSBR Type was the first UC mobile suit to use one). The visual effect of its wings once the DRAGOON units have detached is similar to Mobile Suit Victory Gundam's Victory 2 Gundam. There are many more similarities, however, as it also has the series's original features, the capability to lock on to multiple enemies, inherited from the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam.
The Strike Freedom is available in a wide range of model kits, and rivals its predecessor, the Freedom, in the number of model kits based on it that are produced by Bandai. In late December 2006, Bandai released two first Master Grade (shortened as MG) class Strike Freedom model kits at once. Aside normal MG, Bandai also released a MG Full Burst Mode version. This made the Strike Freedom the first mobile suit from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny which has a Master Grade model.
In Cosmic Era Universe
The ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom along with its companion and counterpart mobile suit unit, the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice, are among the most advanced mobile suits in the Cosmic Era during the Second Bloody Valentine War (the main plot of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny). They are often compared to ZAFT's ZGMF-X42S Destiny and ZGMF-X666S Legend, and to a lesser degree the Orb Union's ORB-01 Akatsuki.
Despite its name being 'Strike Freedom', it is commonly referred to as Freedom by both friend and foe. It is only referred to by its full name twice during the show of the TV series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, once by Kira and once by Lacus, both in its debut on 39th episode.
The Strike Freedom is armed with new advanced weaponry, giving it several times the combat ability of the original Freedom thanks to advancement in technology which takes place in the roughly two year gap, chronogically, that separates their construction.
Apart from the head-mounted CIWS and combinable "Super Lacerta" beam sabers, the Strike Freedom is equipped with a pair of "Xiphias 3" rail cannons on its hips, a smaller and more refined version of its predecessor, and a chest-mounted "Callidus" multi-phase beam cannon. It also carries two high energy beam rifles that can combine into a longer, more powerful weapon similar to the GAT-X103 Buster's ability to combine its main armaments into a more powerful weapon. These rifles can be stored on the hips by having the rail cannons swivel to the rear of the suit. For defensive purposes the Strike Freedom is equipped with beam shields which are mounted on its forearms.
Much like the suit it’s based on, the most distinctive feature of the Strike Freedom is the set of wings housed on its backpack/thruster array. These wings give the Strike Freedom an updated HiMAT (High Maneuver Aerial Tactical) mode akin to the Freedom. In addition, it has the "Voiture Lumière" booster engine on its "wing", first employed by GSX-401FW Stargazer and Delta Astray. Unlike its predecessor, the wings are part of the Strike Freedom's weaponry as the blue sections of the eight wing components can detach and operate as remote "Super" DRAGOON units, each mounting one beam assault cannon.
Like its predecessor, the unit is equipped with hardpoints to dock with the METEOR (Mobile suit Embedded Tactical EnfORcer) weapon system. The Strike Freedom utilises an updated version of the Generation Unsubdued Nuclear Drive Assault Module complex operating system.
The ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom currently has no clear fictional "historical" background, as various official sources have some contradicting statements. However, the sources at least agree that Strike Freedom is completed in secret by Terminal or Clyne Faction. It also agreed that the mobile suit is based on the earlier ZGMF-X10A Freedom and is powered by the Ultracompact Hyper-Deuterion Nuclear Fission Reactor.
Shigeru Morita, one of the series' major staff members, had stated that the Stargazer had a direct link with the Strike Freedom in regards to technical development. He also stated that Strike Freedom is powered by the Ultracompact Hyper Deuterion Nuclear Fission Reactor, explaining over debate about Strike Freedom's power plant.
In the Master Grade model kit manual , Strike Freedom was stated as originally under the production of ZAFT as a newer version of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom. In the manual, this mobile suit was planned by ZAFT to be mass-produced for achieving victory for any war. Further in the manual, Strike Freedom's original maiden flight date was after the Amory One Incident (The incident shown in early episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny). Later, during final stages of its development, Terminal stole the mobile suit and modified it for Kira Yamato, resulting in it becoming the "ultimate" Mobile Suit. It also explained the "ZGMF" model number, which is common for ZAFT's mobile suits. Shigeru Morita's declarations over his will to build links between Strike Freedom, Destiny and Stargazer, that the first two field a propulsion system derived from Stargazer's "Voiture Lumière" interplanetary propulsion system, were also confirmed by this manual.
From High Grade model kit manual , Strike Freedom was completed by the former Clyne Faction led by Lacus Clyne. The manual state that Strike Freedom was created by stealing data from the next-generation Second Stage series that was under development by ZAFT and combined with data from the Freedom which was restored in Orb after the previous war, Bloody valentine war (Main plot of TV Series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED). Further stated, as this hybrid machine is a further power-up of the Freedom, which already far surpassed ordinary mobile suits, no normal human can operate it. The manual also explain Strike Freedom name, that when Lacus Clyne finally approves the decision of its developers and gives it to her beloved one, Kira Yamato, she gives it the names of the Strike and Freedom that had previously fought alongside him as if offering up a prayer.
Despite the intention of ZAFT to mass produce this Mobile Suit, as in MG manual, only one mobile suit known to be completed and deployed in Cosmic Era universe, shown in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
Characteristics and Features
In the anime, Strike Freedom features an incredibly high attack and defensive capability, which some consider it as nearly equivalent of a Super Robot concept among mobile suits in the Cosmic Era universe. Unlike Freedom, which can be categorized as medium range mobile suit (despite of this, Kira often uses it as a close combat mobile suit, using Freedom's high speed), Strike Freedom excels in various ranges. For close combat, aside from the CIWS and the twin combinable beam sabers, its chest and hip mounted cannons can also be utilized, not to mention its already high speed. In medium range combat, two beam rifles and various cannons are available with or without the multi-lock capability. For long range, the combined beam rifles and the powerful chest cannon can be used. It has remote weapons, the DRAGOONs, which can be used for either close (shown in episode 39 of the TV series), medium, and long range combat. For defensive purposes, two powerful beam shield generators are mounted on each of its arms. This is in contrast to its close combat companion, the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice which has massive amounts of close combat weapons.
The "trademark" feature of Strike Freedom is its ability to lock onto multiple units. This multi-lock capability allows the pilot to target several enemies at once with a multiple weapon salvo firing. This ability is known as "Full Burst Mode" in the master grade model kit manual and Arcade/PlayStation 2 video game, Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED Destiny: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. II Plus. This ability is also shared by the original Freedom, as well as the MVF-M12A Ootsukigata. Also, the ZGMF-X09A Justice and ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice also have this capability for use with the METEOR weapon system.
The DRAGOON units units seem to use the newer ZAFT technology which allows pilots lacking enhanced spatial awareness to operate remote weapons. Together with HiMAT mode, Kira Yamato is able to attack multiple targets in the Full Burst Mode. Also noted is the fact as to why the prefix "Super" was added to Freedom's DRAGOON system was because it was originally planned to be named "Super Freedom".
Strike Freedom's modified "Voiture Lumière" booster engine on its "wings" can generate the visual effect similar to ZGMF-X42S Destiny's Wings of Light. This has been shown to be achievable only when the Strike Freedom deploys all of its DRAGOONs, leaving the thrusters laid out in the remote weapons' docking sections to create this effect. It is unknown whether it functions in the same manner as Destiny's "Wings of Light" (which also spread Mirage Colloid gas to create holographic after-images that confuse enemy sensors in dogfights).
As with Freedom, the unit is compatible with METEOR (Mobile suit Embedded Tactical EnfORcer) weapon system to augment its already impressive firepower.
The Master Grade 1/100 model kit also exhibits a feature which was never shown in the TV series, the ability for Strike Freedom's Hi-MAT system to be deployed into an Extended Hi-MAT mode, where the DRAGOON-bearing sections extend outwards, revealing gold plating similar to its arms and joints. In the same model, it is also revealed that the inner part of Strike Freedom is golden-colored plated.
According to the model's manual , Strike Freedom's golden joints is used to endure ultra-mobility beyond the limits of its design, as power is distributed across all parts, producing a luminescent effect in which light is emitted from the PS armor of the joints. This is similar to a chronogically earlier mobile suit, which announced to be one of the predecessors of the Strike Freedom, the DSSD's (Deep Space Survey and Development) GSX-401FW Stargazer, which also features golden body parts that seem to have some effect on the propulsion system. Also it was stated in the manual that activating HiMAT Full Burst mode and the Super DRAGOONs at the same time was virtually impossible unless the pilot was some sort of a super coordinator. When using its Voiture Lumiere to travel at high speeds, the Phase Shift Armor actually holds the mobile suit together.
The Strike Freedom made its debut on CE 74, shown in 39th episode of TV Series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, when Kira boards the Eternal in the MBF-P02+AQM/E-X01 Aile Strike Rouge and then launches in the Strike Freedom to defend the ship from a ZAFT attack force. Kira with the Strike Freedom successfully disabled 25 ZAKUs and GOUFs within two minutes, and then proceeded to disable three Nazca class destroyers. This decisively ends the ZAFT attacks.
When it arrived on Earth, it immediately confronts the ZGMF-X42S Destiny, piloted by Shinn Asuka, breaking up its battle with the ORB-01 Akatsuki (piloted by Kira's twin sister, Cagalli Yula Athha). The initial clash between the two suits proved somewhat inconclusive as neither unit was able to cause any major damage to the other, let alone gain the upper hand (although Kira knowingly squanders an opportunity to do so). Also, it becomes clear that the two mobile suits were roughly equal in power. The Destiny is however forced to retreat when Rey Za Burrel ordered Shinn Asuka to return to Minerva.
When the Destiny returns it is accompanied by Rey Za Burrel in the ZGMF-X666S Legend, together both units manage to give the Destiny an opportunity to heavily damage the Strike Freedom. Athrun Zala in the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice arrives on the scene at that moment however, stopping the attack as well as the numerical handicap. For the remainder of this battle, which was not long, the Strike Freedom engages the Legend in a skirmish in which neither suit gains an advantage nor damages the other.
The Strike Freedom plays a pivotal role in ending the Second Bloody Valentine War soon afterwards. During episode 49 of the TV series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny , Strike Freedom and the Infinite Justice, both equipped with the METEOR mobile weapons platform, destroy an important relay station that was to be used by the Requiem tactical cannon, which was now under ZAFT control. After accomplishing this goal, in episode 50  the Strike Freedom, sans METEOR, engages the Legend and heavily damages it. Later in same episode, the suit docks with the METEOR once more and then heads to the mobile fortress Messiah and heavily damages it, which leads to its destruction and the subsequent end of the Second Bloody Valentine War.
- When Strike Freedom was shown in the 3rd opening animation, its head crest displayed the words "Liberta Modifica", which is "Modified Freedom" in Latin. Starting with episode 39 the words were changed to read "X-20A VENTI", which is "Twenty" in Italian, a reference to the Strike Freedom's model number.
- Strike Freedom is Kira's only unit that survived through the series. The Strike and the Freedom were both blown up. Strike was blown up by Athrun in the Aegis and the Freedom was stabbed in the torso by Shinn in the Force Impulse carrying an 'Excalibur' Anti-ship sword.
- ↑ , The Bandai Action Kits Universal Cup Information Page from Bandai Hobbysite
- ↑  Scan of manual for Strike Freedom Master Grade model kit, explaining the Mobile Suit Profile, from www.dalong.net
- ↑  Scan of manual for Strike Freedom High Grade model kit, explaining the Mobile Suit Profile, from www.dalong.net
- ↑  Scans of manual for Strike Freedom Master Grade model kit, from www.dalong.net
- ↑  Review of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny episode 39, from MAHQ
- ↑  Review of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny episode 49, from MAHQ
- ↑  Review of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny episode 50, from MAHQ