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The F90III-Y Cluster Gundam is a mobile suit that first appeared in the Mobile Suit Gundam Silhouette Formula 91 in UC 0123 manga series. It was subsequently featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam Silhouette Formula 91 in U.C.0123 (Vol. Cluster Gundam) manga.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The F90III-Y Cluster Gundam was a trial production unit and the third unit in the Formula 90 series built by the Earth Federation Forces' Strategic Naval Research Institute. A radical departure from the previous F90 units was the fact the Cluster Gundam incorporated a Core Block System that functioned as its cockpit and backpack, so the pilot’s rate of survival is greatly increased. Following the trend of equipping different mission packs for various roles, the F90III is fitted with several hardpoints for attaching a wide variety of equipment. The F90III features a large number of beam weapons, including the mega beam bazooka, which was recently formally adopted by the Federation army and highly regarded by regular pilots. It is speculated that the F90III may have been a candidate mobile suit for the installation of the new VSBR weapon.
- Vulcan Gun
- The Gundam F90III is equipped with a pair of head mounted Vulcan guns. The purpose of the Vulcan guns is to serve as a mid-close range defensive weapon. While it can normally do little damage against the armor of a mobile suit it serves as a much more efficient and cost-effective means to shoot down incoming missiles, as opposed to using the beam rifle, the power of which would be over kill and is far more limited in ammunition. The Vulcan guns are an offensive weapon designed to be used against small lightly-armored targets such as ground combat vehicles or attack helicopters.
- Beam Saber
- The standard close-combat melee weapon of mobile suits descended from the RX-78-2 Gundam, the beam sabers are powerful weapons that emit a blade of plasma contained by an I-field that can cut through any physical armor. The only way to fully defend against a beam saber is to block it with another beam saber or a beam shield. Because of the I-field a beam saber can be used to block an attack from a beam rifle, but this is a technique that requires considerable skill, and can only block an attack of so much power. The F90III is equipped with two beam sabers stored in a recharge rack on the backpack.
- Beam Rifle
- The beam rifle is the standard ranged weapon of Earth Federation mobile suits. The technology of the beam rifle allows it to fire a compressed mega particle beam which can penetrate any physical armor, leading to the saying that any mobile suit equipped with a beam rifle had the power of a battleship at its disposal.
- Mega Beam Bazooka
- An optional weapon of the Gundam F90III is the Mega Beam Bazooka, which can mount on the waist weapons mount. This weapon utilizing the technology of a beam rifle on a slightly larger scale. The mega beam bazooka fires slower moving mega particles, causing its beam to widen and allowing the beam to cause damage over a greater area, ideal for dealing with battleships or catching multiple mobile suits off-guard.
- Beam Shield
- The F90III Gundam can be equipped with a beam shield generator, capable of being mounted on either forearm. Unlike an I-field generator, which is effective only against beam attacks, the beam shield blocks both beam and projectile weapons. The beam shield generates a plane of energy similar to the blade of a beam saber. This plane is divided into multiple sections, which can be turned on or off as needed to conserve energy. Individual sections are also automatically deactivated whenever they're in danger of coming into contact with the mobile suit itself. Like beam sabers, the F90III's beam shields have an internal battery that can power the shield even when not connected to the mobile suit.
Special Equipment & Features
- A new kind of man-machine interface. That is functionally a reverse psycommu system, the bio-computer places less strain on its human operator. The bio-computer is originally intended to help the disabled, but its development is ultimately funded by the Earth Federation Forces, who hoped to employ it as a mobile suit control system and install it in the Gundam F90III for experimental purposes. As its name implies, the bio-computer is similar in structure to a human brain, and its operating processes resemble human thoughts and feelings. Rather than merely displaying data on a computer monitor, the bio-computer can relay it directly to the pilot in the form of sensory information, so what the machine "feels" can also be experienced by the human operator. However, the full latent potential of this system can only be tapped by a Newtype pilot.
- Weapons Racks
- Although the Gundam F90III has a multitude of built in weapons, the designers intended it to operate a number of optional hand held weapons. For the purpose of carrying the additional weapons the designers included weapons racks to hold either the F90III's beam rifle or mega beam bazooka. This made this MS excellent for every possible combat situation.
SNRI's development department publicly announced the F90III in the Universal Century military magazine MS Monthly Journal special edition winter issue in UC 0122.12.05, however, it was also revealed that the prototype Formula 91 Gundam was being developed simultaneously. After its completion at SNRI's Frontier I facility, the F90III immedietly first saw combat in the hands of Earth Federation pilot Lyle Wolf against the Crossbone Vanguard's Death Guns Squad mercenary unit on March UC 0123.
Notes & Trivia
- In the Gundam Data File series, the F90III-Y Cluster Gundam was described as being equipped with a Bio-Computer.