Technology & Combat Characteristics
One of the five mobile suits developed as part of the Earth Alliance's G Project, the Buster is an artillery mobile suit and adopts the X100-series frame, similar to the one used by the Duel. It has firepower rivalling that of a battleship's, and is meant to provide rear support for the other units and to attack enemy ships or facilities from a distance. As such, its armament consists mainly of powerful ranged weapons, including a gun launcher, a high-energy rifle and two missile pods. The gun launcher and the high energy rifle are power intensive weapons, and as such they are equipped with their own sub-generators. Both of them are also capable of combining to form weapons with higher output which is seemingly caused by the linkage of the sub-generators, what weapon is formed depends on the combination configuration. Although the suit has no close combat weapon, the missile pods can be used to discourage enemy units from closing in. Due to its role, the main sensor camera on Buster's head is very important and is protected with additional armor. The suit also has the new Phase Shift armor like the other units in the project, making it nearly impervious to shell firing weapons.
- 350mm Gun Launcher
- Mounted on the backpack and carried in Buster's right hand when in use. It is a projectile weapon akin to a railgun or linear gun, which uses electromagnetic forces rather than gunpowder to launch its projectiles. In addition to solid shells, the gun-launcher can also fire specialized munitions such as armor-piercing and high explosive rounds.
- 94mm High-energy Rifle
- Mounted on the backpack and carried in Buster's left hand when in use. It is a beam weapon similar to the beam rifle, and is the highest caliber energy rifle among those used by other units in the G Project. Its destructive power is above a battleship's beam cannon despite its smaller size.
- 220mm 6-barrel Missile Pod
- The Buster is equipped with two 220mm 6-barrel Missile Pods, one in each shoulder, allowing the suit to fire a rain of missiles to destroy enemy units or to stop them from moving closer.
- Anti-Armor Shotgun
- When the High-energy Rifle and Gun Launcher combine, with the Gun Launcher on the front, it forms a very powerful shell-firing Anti-Armor Shotgun. It fires a single stream containing multiple shells that later splits apart, resulting in a scatter shot that damages a wide area. It appears that about four or five shells fired from the Anti-Armor Shotgun is enough to destroy some battleships.
- Hyper Impulse Long-Range Sniper Rifle
- When the High-energy Rifle and Gun Launcher combine, with the High-energy Rifle on the front, it can form a Long-Range Sniper Rifle. This beam cannon type weapon has a very high energy output, firing a larger beam that is capable of penetrating several targets, including battleships, making it the strongest weapon in the Buster Gundam's arsenal. As the name implies, it also features sniping capabilities due to the longer range of the beam. Although the combined forms has higher power, the rate of fire is decreased.
Special Equipment & Features
- As with all of the G Project mobile suits, the GAT-X103 Buster is equipped with phase shift armor. When activated the Buster's color is changed from a light grey to a beige scheme with a bit of green and orange mixed in. Phase Shift armor, when activated, renders the Buster immune to physical attacks such as bullets, the GINN sword, or against missiles. However Phase Shift armor continually drains the battery of energy, shortening the mobile suit's combat endurance, and uses up additional energy when it is hit.
The Buster was one of the prototype mobile suits created by the Earth Alliance under its G Project during the First Alliance-PLANT War. Together with four other machines, the Buster was maunfactured secretly in the Orb Union controlled independent colony Heliopolis.
Buster was stolen by ZAFT pilot Dearka Elsman on Cosmic Era January 25, 71, and was used by him throughout the rest of the war. Dearka frequently dueled with TS-MA2mod.00 Moebius Zero/FX-550 Skygrasper pilot Mu La Flaga, neither pilot able to gain a competitive advantage over the other. Mu's greater experience and skill was balanced by Dearka's elite reflexes and superior machine. The Buster was eventually shot down on earth and captured by the crew of the Archangel in June 71. Dearka spent approximately a month in the ship's brig and subsequently joined the Clyne Faction, using the Buster to bring about the end of the First Alliance-PLANT War. On the last day of the war, Dearka's mobile suit was severely damaged by the ZGMF-X13A Providence Gundam. Dearka and the damaged Buster later met with Yzak and his GAT-X102 Duel Gundam, but they came under attack by the GAT-X370 Raider Gundam. After the Duel's beam rifle was destroyed by Raider, Yzak borrowed the Buster's Hyper Impulse Long-Range Sniper Rifle to take it down.
The Earth Alliance developed a mass-produced variant of the Buster during the war, the GAT/A-01E2 Buster Dagger, which combined the frame of a GAT-01A1 Dagger with the Buster's weaponry and can be equipped with a pair of beam sabers, correcting a flaw in Buster's design. Although only somewhat based upon the Buster, the artillery support paradigm which the suit was designed around would be used in developing another heavily-armed, long-range mobile suit, the GAT-X131 Calamity.
After the war, as part of the "Actaeon Project" MS development plan, another Buster Gundam was re-manufactured and piloted by Phantom Pain pilot, Shams Couza. The unit was later upgraded into the GAT-X103AP Verde Buster.
- Appearing in the manga Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Re:, it is the Buster Gundam equipped with new parts on the chest, back, leg and feet, as well as a large METEOR-like underwater-use attachment. The attachment is built with parts from the UMF-4A GOOhN and UMF-5 ZnO, and can change into an underwater cruising mode when travelling in water. In MS mode, parts of the attachment are held in hand like the METEOR. A weakness of the underwater equipment is that it only has a shallow diving depth.
Notes & Trivia