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In late CE 73, ZAFT creates a new series of advanced mobile suits to succeed their previous generation of Gundams, which were all lost in the previous war. Since the Treaty of Junius bans the military use of the Neutron Jammer Canceller, these new Gundams use conventional battery power instead. However, technological improvements over the last two years mean that battery efficiency is improved, and Phase Shift armor is less power intensive than it had once been. To further improve endurance, ZAFT also introduces the new Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System, which allows a properly equipped battleship to remotely recharge a mobile suit's battery.

One of these new suits is the ZGMF-X88S Gaia, a transformable unit specializing in ground combat. In mobile suit mode, the Gaia is armed with a large beam rifle, a pair of beam sabers, and head-mounted CIWS. For ground combat, it can also transform into a quadrupedal mobile armor mode similar to the TMF/A-802 BuCUE. In this mode, the beam rifle is mounted on right side and is still useable, and is supplemented by a pair of shoulder-mounted beam assault cannons and four CIWS. In addition, for close range combat in mobile armor mode, the Gaia Gundam has two back-mounted wings, which each mount a beam blade for slicing through enemy mobile suits.

The ZGMF-X88S Gaia uses the operating system Generation Unrestricted Network Drive Assault Module.

The Gaia is initially tested at Armory One by Riika Sheder, a defective Coordinator who could only see with artificial assistance. However, before ZAFT can bring it into active service, Stellar Loussier of the Earth Alliance's 81st Independent Mobile Battalion steals the mobile suit and escapes with it to the battleship Girty Lue, where it is given the new model number RGX-03. The Gaia is later transferred to Earth and operates from the carrier John Paul Jones, where it remains until Stellar launches a solo sortie against orders at the Lodonia laboratory facility. There, the Gaia is disabled by the ZGMF-X23S Saviour and ZGMF-X56S Impulse, and Stellar is captured. The recovered Gaia is then recovered by the Minerva, and shipped back to PLANT after being repaired.

Later in the war, the Gaia is acquired by the Clyne Faction, and cosmetically altered with a custom orange and yellow color scheme. The recolored Gaia is piloted by Andrew Waltfeld. This is more likely a 2nd Gaia created from data files by the Clyne Faction, probably along with the DOM trooper.

In addition, the Earth Alliance used data from the Gaia to create the GAT-X399/Q Wild Dagger, a prototype using components of the GAT-02L2 Dagger L that is initially intended to test the viability of the design for mass production. The Wild Dagger is later put into limited production, with a total of 72 being produced for use in counter-insurgency units. Like the Gaia, the Wild Dagger can transform into a quadrupedal mobile armor mode for high-speed hit-and-run attacks. In this mode, it is armed with a forward-firing Gatling gun and a rear-firing cannon, and the waist-mounted beam sabers pivot outward to function similarly to the Gaia's wing blades. The rear-firing cannon is used to finish the job if its Gatling gun and beam sabers prove inadequate in a hit-and-run attack. The Wild Dagger also includes a back-mounted turret that can mount a variety of weapons, including beam cannons and missile launchers.

A special ZAFT variant of the Gaia is the ZGMF-X56S/ζ Gaia Impulse, which is a modified version of the ZGMF-X56S Impulse with a new Leg Flyer, enabling the Impulse to emulate the function of the Gaia as a ground attack unit.

Specifications

ZGMF-X88S (RGX-03) Gaia

Manufacturer: Integrated Design Bureau
User(s): Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty, Earth Alliance, Three Ships Alliance/Clyne Faction
Unit type: prototype transformable attack use mobile suit
First Deployment: 2 October, CE 73
Head height: 17.80 meters (mobile suit mode)
Weight: 69.85 metric tons
Special equipment: Phase Shift armor, Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System
Powerplant: Ultracompact energy battery
Armament: MMI-GAU25A 20 mm multi-barrel CIWS x2, MA-81R beam assault cannon x2, MMI-GAU1717 12.5 mm multi-barrel CIWS x4, MR-Q17X "Griffon 2" beam blade x2, MA-M941 "Vajra" beam saber x2, MA-BAR71XE high-energy beam rifle x1, MMI-RS1 mobile shield x1
Pilot: Riika Sheder, Stellar Loussier, Andrew Waltfeld

GAT-X399/Q Wild Dagger

Manufacturer: Earth Alliance
User: Earth Alliance
Unit type: prototype transformable attack use mobile suit
Head height: unknown
Weight: unknown
Powerplant: Ultracompact energy battery
Armament: M2M5 "Todesschrecken" 12.5 mm automatic CIWS x2, ES04B beam saber x2, 46 mm 6-barrel Gatling gun x1, 175 mm multipurpose smoothbore tail cannon x1, multipurpose turret x1, M703K beam carbine x1, shield x1

Template:Cosmic Era mobile weapons

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