Design & Development
The instruction manual of the Gerbera Tetra model displayed the following plot to depict how the unit came to be. As part of its military reconstruction following the One Year War, the Earth Federation Forces began its Gundam Development Project, the goal to produce advanced new Gundam-series mobile suit prototypes to test new technology and concepts. The intended fourth unit in this GP series was the RX-78GP04G Gundam "Gerbera". This ill-fated mobile suit design never saw the light of day, as its goal conflicted with its brother unit, the RX-78GP01 Gundam "Zephyranthes", since the full burnern parts were designed to adjust the ground use GP01 into a space use model RX-78GP01-Fb Gundam Full Burnern "Zephyranthes".
The "Gerbera" was designed around the Zeon tactic of performing high speed assault with Mobile Suits, which proved successful against the Federation in the One Year War, as the Federation forces had little to no time to respond to the attack. The Federation recognized this as a superior tactic, and sought to produce Mobile Suits to do the same in return. Both the "Gerbera" and "Zephyranthes" were Mobile Suits developed under this project.
However, the "Zephryanthes" was upgradeable for space combat, so it made no sense financially or tactically to produce two Mobile Suits to do the similar task. In the end, the "Zephyranthes" and its modular system was chosen over the "Gerbera" and its general purpose design, and Anaheim Electronics was left with a half-completed prototype of the RX-78GP04G.
Since the "Gerbera" was designed to be faster and more powerful than the common Zeon mobile suits of the time, it excelled at high speed assaults. The division within Anaheim Electronics that produced the "Gebera" was created from the Zeonic Company (which still had strong loyalty to Zeon) and was approached by the Delaz Fleet. By request, the division revised the design of the "Gerbera", and produced the AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra.
The AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra features a simple armament, focusing more on speed than power. Unlike its Gundam brother units that were built for the Earth Federation, the Gerbera Tetra lacked the head-mounted 60mm vulcan guns. These were replaced with four 110mm machine guns, two mounted in each forearm. For melee combat, the Gerbera Tetra was equipped with a pair of beam sabers. The Gerbera Tetra's most powerful weapon is a beam machine gun, a beam weapon with a much higher rate of firepower than standard beam rifles.
The Gerbera Tetra can be equipped with an optional stürm booster. This optional booster equipment mounts on the Gerbera Tetra's backpack and stores extra propellant, granting additional thrusters and 2 ejectable external propellant tanks. Despite increasing its overall mass, the stürm booster dramatically increases the Gerbera Tetra's speed and flight range, indicating that the Gerbera Tetra still has the RX-78GP04G's speed-performance concepts intact.
- 110mm Machine Cannon
- The AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra is equipped with four 110mm machine cannons, two mounted on each forearm. Having the greatest rate of fire of all the Gerbera Tetra's weapons these are primarily used to ward off advancing enemies, shoot down missiles, or hit other fast moving targets. They also made good use as anti-aircraft and anti-personnel weapons.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small cylindrical device held in the mobile suit's hands when deployed and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. It emits high-energy Minovsky particles to form a blade-shaped I-field (via manipulation of electromagnetic fields), and then fills this I-field shell with superheated Minovsky particle plasma to produce an effective cutting blade. The beam saber is capable of cutting through any metal that has not been treated with anti-beam coating.
- X-04 Beam Machine Gun
- The beam machine gun operates on similar principles as a beam rifle, but it breaks down the concentrated mega particles so that it fired a burst of smaller less powerful beams instead of a single large coherent beam. Each individual beam in a burst was less powerful than the coherent beam from most other beam rifles, however because of the immense power in standard beams this was an issue of little importance. The burst did allow for a spread of beams, similar to a beam spray gun, allowing for a greater chance of hitting a target, yet holds the same range as a regular beam rifle. Because the beam machine gun will overheat from constant use, it was equipped with an automatic cooling mechanism.
- Stürm Booster
- The Stürm Booster is a large thruster component that can be equipped to the Gerbera Tetra to increase speed and flight range. Although it already possesses an exceptionally high base speed, with the Stürm Booster equipped the Gerbera Tetra was one of the fastest mobile suits of its era, with only a handful of unique units with battle-ship sized engines able to outpace it. The overall length of the Stürm Booster is similar to the height of the mobile suit, though it is much thinner. Its most prominent feature is three large thrusters and a pair of external propellant tanks.
- Ejectable External Propellant Tanks
- Because of its high performance the stürm booster burned through fuel quickly. To compensate the stürm booster is equipped with a pair of external propellant tanks to store extra fuel, thus increasing operational flight time. Once the propellant has been used the tanks can be ejected to decrease the mobile suit's mass.
In UC 0083, the Delaz Fleet launched Operation Stardust, an uprising against the Federation. Anaheim Electronics, while supporting the Federation, also offered to support Aiguille Delaz. Vice-President O'Sullivan then gave the completed Gerbera Tetra to Lieutenant Colonel Cima Garahau as a political gesture.
Some say that branch of the Earth Federation, which later developed into Titans, cancelled the development in order to provide this mobile suit to the spy Cima Garahau in secret. Although highly possible, no actual record could be traced to support this argument. During the last stages of Operation Stardust, Cima was killed and the Gerbera Tetra destroyed by Federation pilot Kou Uraki, piloting the RX-78GP03D Gundam "Dendrobium Orchis", when Kou impaled the Tetra on the end of its beam cannon and blasted the suit in half.
- AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra Kirara Custom
- A customized Gerbera Tetra Gunpla operated by Gunpla Idol Kirara, it features a pink color scheme and retains all of the Gerbera Tetra's standard armaments. The first unit was built by Kirara's fans, while Kirara herself built another after her loss in the Gunpla tournament. This second unit seems to be identical to the first, except that it has a modified head unit where the antenna is located on the centre of the forehead like the commander antenna found on some Zeon's MS.
Notes & Trivia
- "Gerbera" refers to the genus of the sunflower plant, which is named after German botanist Traugott Gerber.
- "Tetra" is ancient Greek for the number "four".