Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse Gundam is the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam equipped with the γ Blast Silhouette pack and is designed for long-range heavy assault and bombardment missions. As such, the Blast Silhouette pack is equipped with powerful range weapons in the form of two beam cannons, two rail cannons and a pair of missiles launchers. The pack also contains a pair of beam javelin for close range combat, and has additional thrusters that enable the Blast Impulse to hover over earth surfaces such as water and improve its overall mobility. The Blast Impulse retains all of the Impulse's standard armaments, thus it can use a beam rifle and shield for ranged combat and defense respectively. The suit's VPS colors are different from that of the normal Impulse, and is now black, green, white and blue.
- M2000F "Kerberos" High-Energy Long-Range Beam Cannon
- The most powerful ranged weaponry of the Blast Impulse is its two large M2000F "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannons. They are mounted on the sides of the Blast Silhouette pack and are positioned underneath the Impulse's shoulders, with their trigger held in each hand when in use.
- GMF39 Quadruple Missile Launcher
- Mounted in the back of each "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannon, the pair of four tube missile launchers are positioned over the shoulders when in use and can fire multiple AGM141 "Firefly" guided missiles. Due to their position, the missile launchers cannot be used at the same time as the "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannon.
- MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS
- Mounted in the Blast Impulse's chest, the pair of physical projectile-firing CIWS guns have excellent rapid-fire capabilities. They are primarily used to intercept incoming missiles or enemy units, and to restrict enemy's movements. They are also capable of penetrating ordinary mobile suit armor in extreme close range.
- M71-AAK "Folding Razor" Anti-Armor Knife
- One stored in each of the suit's side armor, these knives are developed based on the data of the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam's combat knives. Its high hardness blade flips out of the handle during use, and can vibrate to enhance cutting capabilities. It can pierce through most armor, except PS armor or its variants, and does not draw power from the suit.
- MA-M80 "Defiant" Beam Javelin
- Although designed for ranged combat, the Blast Silhouette pack contains two MA-M80 "Defiant" beam javelins, which are stored inside the "Kerberos" high-energy long range beam cannons when not in use. These beam javelins are primarily used for close combat, but can also be used as throwing weapons.
- MMI-M16XE2 "Deluge" Hyper-Velocity Rail Cannon
- Two "Deluge" hyper-velocity rail cannons are mounted at the top of the Blast Silhouette pack, and are positioned over the shoulders when in use. These rail cannons fire solid projectiles that have been accelerated via electromagnetic fields.
- MA-BAR72 High-Energy Beam Rifle
- Another handheld ranged beam weapon, it is stored on the suit's rear skirt armor when not in use. It is an enhanced version of the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam and the ZGMF-X09A Justice Gundam's beam rifle, and is developed using the ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam's beam rifle as the base model. It is designed with the Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System in mind, and has an excellent balance of offensive power and rapid-fire capabilities.
- MMI-RG59V Mobile Shield
- The Blast 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 expandable, but is normally used in its compact state by the Blast Impulse in order to utilize its other weapons with less hindrance.
Special Equipment & Features
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. When using the Blast Silhouette pack, the armor automatically takes a black, white, green, and blue color scheme.
- Like the other Second Stage Series suits, the Impulse uses the operating system Generation Unrestricted Network Drive Assault Module.
- Power Extender
- Like the other Second Stage Series mobile suits, the Impulse is installed with a power extender to increase its output and operating time. The device also allows it to be equipped with the Variable Phase Shift Armor.
In CE 73, ZAFT created the Impulse 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 old Striker Packs, granting the suit the ability to adapt to different combat situations. One such pack is the γ Blast Silhouette, which is analogous to the AQM/E-X03 Launcher Striker.
The Blast Impulse was first used in battle in October, CE 73, after the ZAFT military colony Armory One was infiltrated by three Extendeds working for the EA's 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 before escaping to their motherships Girty Lue. The ZAFT battleship Minerva pursued the enemy ship into the Debris Belt, where the Minerva's mobile suits, among them the Blast Impulse launched. A battle then ensued between the ZAFT and Phantom Pain forces, although the Girty Lue was able to escape again.
The Blast Impulse was again used during the Battle of Crete, the second battle between the Minerva and the joint EA/Orb Union fleet. During this battle, Shinn Asuka used it to destroy several Orb and EA mobile suits, while at the same time fighting briefly against Kira Yamato in his ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam. The Blast Silhouette was then destroyed by Auel Neider in his ZGMF-X31S Abyss Gundam, and Shinn retaliated by throwing the beam javelin, penetrating the Abyss's cockpit and killing Auel.
During the Minerva's attack on the Daedalus lunar base to prevent the Requiem superweapon from firing on the PLANTs again, new Impulse pilot Lunamaria Hawke launched in the Blast Impulse and sneaked into the base, while Shinn and Rey Za Burrel fought the EA forces. With Lunamaria facing few resistance, she was able to fly in front of the control room of the Requiem's cannon, which she destroyed with the beam cannons of the Blast Silhouette.
Notes and Trivia
- The Blast Impulse is analogous to the Earth Alliance's old GAT-X105+AQM/E-X03 Launcher Strike Gundam
- For about 11 years, the only official gunpla of the Blast Impulse is a No Grade 1/144 Scale Model. The Blast Impulse was later released as a P-Bandai exclusive High Grade 1/144 model kit in the HGCE line in August 2016, followed by a P-Bandai exclusive Master Grade 1/100 model kit in January 2020.
- The Blast Impulse's back-mounted "Kerberos" beam cannons are named after the Greek mythological three-headed hellhound. The same nomenclature is later used for the TMF/A-802W2 Kerberos BuCUE Hound, which visually resembles the beast. It is interesting to note that Lunamaria's previous machine, the ZGMF-1000/A1 Gunner ZAKU Warrior, is armed with a beam cannon named "Orthros", after the mythological two-headed dog and brother to Kerberos.
- In SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online, the Blast Impulse Gundam is the only Mobile Suit in the Impulse line outside of the Impulse itself that can be obtained by point capsules. The Sword and Force Impulses have to be built via Blueprints. This is different from the Strike, as all three of its forms need to be built via Blueprints.
- Of the three original Silhouette Packs, the Blast Silhouette was the least used by Shinn.
- Fans have speculated that the Blast Impulse has the weakest Variable Phase Shift armor among the three Impulse variants due to its status as a long-range combat MS. So far, Only SD Gundam G Generation series (started with Wars) support the idea with Blast Impulse's VPS having lesser damage reduction than Force Impulse (which function like standard PS) but consume less energy. On the other hand, the "Gundam SEED Destiny: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. II Plus" game implied that Blast Impulse has the second strongest VPS among the three Impulse Gundam variants based on the suit's HP. No official source to date have stated the strength level of each of the Impulse Gundam variants' VPS armor.