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The AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra (ガーベラ・テトラ) is a prototype high mobility assault mobile suit designed by Mika Akitaka, and was featured in the anime Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. It was piloted by Cima Garahau.
Design & Development
In the model of AGX-04, the following plot has been depicted as 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 which came great success against the Federation in the One Year War) to perform high speed assault with mobile suits. The Federation forces had little or no time to react before being attacked by large groups of mobile suits. The Federation recognized this as a superior tactic, and sought to produce mobile suits to do the same in return.
However, the "Zephryanthes" was upgradeable and also being designed around the same goal, not just a ground use unit, and it made no sense tactically or financially to produce two mobile suits to do the similar task for ground and space, and chose to keep the design of "Zephryanthes" instead of keeping the "Gerbera", because "Zephyranthes" was multipurpose tasking and reinforced with "Full Burnern" upgrade, it was also statistically a little better than "Gerbera" with its general purpose tasking. Because, the Earth Federation wanted to keep their funds and resources from running out, Anaheim Electronics was left with the RX-78GP04G which was only a half-completed prototype.
Continuing the plot on the official setting instead of the animated story, 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 "brothers" 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, mounts 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, indicates that the Gerbera Tetra still has the RX-78GP04G's speed-performance concepts.
- 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. The machine cannons however had a hard time piercing heavy armor (though they had shown the ability to do severe damage to mobile suits if fired at point-blank range) and thus were not often used against larger, more heavily armored foes. Still the machine cannons were useful in preserving ammunition for the Gerbera Tetra's more powerful weapons such as the Beam Machine Gun.
- Beam Saber
- The name "beam saber" is somewhat of a misnomer as, unlike other weapons with the word beam, the beam saber does not use mega-particles. Instead, 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 Minovsky particles are stored by E-cap in the hilt of the beam saber, which is recharged from the mobile suit's reactor when the saber is returned to its socket. Once activated, beam sabers do not rely on the mobile suit's reactor and can be thrown or discarded as decoys.
- Beam Machine Gun
- A standard hand carried ranged beam weapon is the beam rifle. Capable of firing concentrated mega particles, attacks from a beam rifle are can damage any ordinary armor that has not be specially treated to resist it. The beam machine gun operates on similar principles, 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 (playing both sides against each other to make a quick buck, as their main role as warmonger) offered to support to Aiguille Delaz when Vice-President O'Sullivan 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.
- "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".