The DFA-03 Dopp fighter is the Principality of Zeon's only atmospheric fighter aircraft in use during the One Year War. Zeon's Gaw Atmospheric Attack Carrier could carry eight Dopp fighters and was its most common operational platform. It first appeared in the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. The unit was notably piloted by Garma Zabi and Norris Packard.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Dopp is superior to other aircraft in terms of agility, but suffers badly in terms of cruise airspeed, operational range, and climbing rate due to its poor aerodynamic design — a common trait of (the traditionally space-bound) Zeon's lack of knowledge in atmospheric combat. These shortcomings lead to a significant tactical disadvantage that the Earth Federation aviators soon exploited by coming up with tactics to counter the Dopp's agility. Due to its high fuel consumption rate, the Dopp had to rely heavily on secured ground depots, Gaw carriers, or a Dabude-class land battleship for refueling between operations. As a result, Zeon never gained air supremacy against the Earth Federation Air Forces throughout their time on Earth, a circumstance that allowed the Federation to hold back Zeon advances for over nine months with conventional aircraft. With the introduction of the Federation's own mobile suits, the Dopp quickly became hopelessly obsolete. The twin 20mm Vulcan guns were far too weak to pierce a mobile suit's armor, and only the missiles from the 6-tube missile launchers could pose some threat to a mobile suit.
The Dopp fighter was designed to be fast enough to easily attack and destroy the Earth Federation's naval ships, land battleships, and other fighter aircraft. They were smaller and faster than Zeon's Zaku II and were quite difficult to shoot down by ground units due to Minovsky interference. Dopps were more likely to be deployed against slow and big targets with hit-and-run tactics, such as poorly guarded Federation ground bases, Big Tray-class land battleships, Himalaya-Class aircraft carriers, and the White Base. However, their efficacy throughout the War was very poor due to the Federation's absolute superiority in conventional air-to-air and anti-air warfare.
- 30mm 6-tube Missile Launcher
- The 30mm missiles are the only viable anti-MS weapons on the aircraft (as the 20mm Vulcan rounds' penetration capability was close to none). Twelve missiles are housed equally in two launchers located right next to the fighter's cockpit.
- 20mm Vulcan Gun
- The Dopp Fighter mounts two 20mm Vulcan Gun in the same modules as the missile launchers. While it can hardly penetrate MS armor, the weapon is still useful to ward off advancing enemies, shoot down missiles, or hit other light-armored, fast moving targets like helicopters.
The Dopp fighter would be introduced as part of Zeon's Earth invasion force in the early days of the One Year War, serving as the main fighter of Zeon's air force to support and protect their mobile suits from aerial attacks. Overall the Dopp fared poorly so while it continued to see service until Zeon retreated from Earth following Operation Odessa it would be phased out and completely discontinued after the war.
Notes and Trivia
|MS IGLOO 2 Mechanics|
RGM-79［G］ GM Ground Type | RTX-440 Ground Assault Type Guntank
6×6 Cargo Truck | M353A4 Bloodhound | M72 Lakota | Type 61 Tank
Big Tray-class | Heavy Fork-class
|Aircraft / Spacecraft|
Dragonfly | FF-X7 Core Fighter
|Principality of Zeon|
| Mobile Suit|
MS-05B Zaku I | MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type | MS-07B-3 Gouf Custom | MS-09B Dom
B.M.C. Z78/2 | HT-01B Magella Attack | Magella Eins | PVN.3/2 Sauropelta | PVN.44/1 Weasel | Russel 1/12 Zebu
DFA-03 Dopp | PVN.4/3 Wappa
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
H.L.V. | Komusai | Papua-class
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Gaw | Musai-class