Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ZGMF-X56S/α Force Impulse Gundam is the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam equipped with the α Force Silhouette pack. The Force Impulse is a general purpose MS like the original Impulse, but has higher mobility and speed due to the presence of high output thrusters in the Force Silhouette pack. This pack also grants the suit atmospheric flight capabilities, and adds a pair of beam sabers to the Impulse's standard armaments. The Force Impulse Gundam retains the same VPS colors as the original Impulse and is the most commonly used form due to its high versatility during combat.
- MA-BAR72 High-energy Beam Rifle
- The Force Impulse usually uses a MA-BAR72 high-energy beam rifle for ranged combat. This beam rifle is developed from the ZGMF-X10A Freedom and the ZGMF-X09A Justice's beam rifle, and is stored on the suit's rear skirt armor when not in use.
- MA-M941 "Vajra" Beam Sabers
- Mounted on the Force Silhouette pack, the pair of beam sabers grant the Force Impulse better close combat capabilities than the normal Impulse, and serve as its main close combat weapon.
- M71-AAK "Folding Razor" Anti-armor Knife
- Stored in the suit's side armor, these knives do not need power from the suit and while not really effective against weapons like beam sabers, they are nonetheless capable of cutting into the armor of another mobile suit as long as it is not phase-shift armor or its variants.
- MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS
- The Force Impulse mounts two CIWS guns in its chest to shoot down incoming missiles or enemy units at close range.
- MMI-RG59V Mobile Shield
- The Force Impulse can use a physical anti-beam coated MMI-RG59V mobile shield for defense, it can be mounted on the left forearm or handheld.This shield is collapsible, but is normally used in its expanded state by the Force Impulse.
- MMI-710 "Excalibur" Anti-ship Laser Sword
- Mounted on the Sword Silhouette pack, the pair of "Excalibur" anti-ship laser swords can also be used by the Force Impulse Gundam when the pack is delivered by the Silhouette Flyer but not used to replace the Force Silhouette pack. The anti-ship laser swords are large physical swords with a laser blade along their cutting edge, and as their name implies they can be used to destroy ships in space and naval ships on Earth, although they are mostly used against mobile suits during combat. The two swords can be joined at their hilts to form a large dual-bladed ambidextrous form. The swords are also capable of extending the laser blade over the tip of the sword for piercing enemies with Phase-Shift Armor.
Special Equipment & Features
- Variable Phase Shift allows the MS to automatically alter the strength and by extension the power consumption of the PS Armor, depending on what combat configuration or situation that MS is in. As a result, the MS's colors changes. Unlike Strike Rouge's color-shifting PS, VPS is capable of changing its strength in the field, although this must be programmed beforehand.
- The Deuterion beam energy transfer system is a wireless energy transfer system built into the Second Stage Series and their support ship, the LHM-BB01 Minerva. The system allows a mobile suit that is properly lined up with the Minerva to receive a recharge while in the field, meaning that if the mobile suit runs low on power during a battle it can be quickly recharged without coming into the ship's hanger. The transfer system is very efficient requiring only a few seconds before the mobile suit is fully recharged. Still on a battlefield even a few seconds could mean death so it is advisable for a machine to only perform the maneuver when they have covering fire.
- Hardpoints for Silhouette Packs
- While the other suits of the Second Stage series are capable of transforming into a mobile armor mode, the Impulse instead is similar to the Strike in the fact, that it can adapt to different situations by using exchangeable Silhouette packs. In addition to adding weapons and equipment for different mission profiles, these packs also reconfigure the Impulse's Variable Phase Shift armor.
In CE 73, ZAFT created the Impulse Gundam as part of the Second Stage Series of new Gundam-type mobile suits. The Impulse is similar to the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam, created by the Earth Alliance during the First Alliance-PLANT War. Like the Strike, the Impulse can be equipped with exchangeable Silhouette packs, an advanced variation of the Striker Packs, granting the suit the ability to adapt to different combat situations. One such pack is the α Force Silhouette, which is analogous to the AQM/E-X01 Aile Striker.
The Force Impulse was used in battle first on October 2, CE 73, when the ZAFT military colony Armory One was infiltrated by three Extended humans working for the EA Phantom Pain special forces unit. The Extendeds stole three Gundams of the Second Stage series and caused serious damage to the interior of the colony while fighting ZAFT mobile suits. Shinn Asuka eventually launched in the Sword Impulse to fight the three Gundams but eventually switched to the Force Silhouette after losing the weapons of the Sword pack.
After the Minerva descended down to Earth, the Impulse was commonly launched with the Force Silhouette pack as it granted the suit flight capabilities inside the atmosphere of the planet. The clever use of the Force and Sword Silhouettes allowed Shinn to beat Kira, pilot of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam. Lunamaria Hawke used the Force Silhouette at the Battle of Heaven's base.
At the Battle of Messiah, the Force Impulse was overwhelmed by the ZGMF-XX09T DOM Troopers while Luna hearing Meyrin Hawke on board the Eternal, then damaged by the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam, piloted by Athrun Zala.
Notes and Trivia
- Force Impulse and the Aile Strike Gundam draw out their beam sabers in the same fashion.
- It is implied in the game "Gundam SEED Destiny: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. II Plus" that the Force Impulse uses the weakest setting of the VPS as its HP is low. As of yet no official sources state the strength of each of the Impulse Gundam Variants VPS armor, so this has to be taken with a grain of salt.