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The GAT-X105E+AQME-X09S Strike Noir Gundam is a Mobile Suit that appears in the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73: STARGAZER OVA and the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73 Δ Astray manga. It is piloted by Sven Cal Bayang.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Noir Striker is developed based on Phantom Pain member Sven Cal Bayang's usage of the Strike Gundam IWSP, and is hence considered the successor to the IWSP. However, unlike the original IWSP, the Noir Striker is specialised for close combat and as a result, the Strike Noir has to work in coordination with the Blu Duel and Verde Buster units in battle group tactics to maximize combat efficiency. The Noir Striker is a flight pack equipped with a pair of MAU-M3E42 Twin Linear Guns, a pair of MR-Q10 "Fragarach 3" Beam Blades, and an EQS1358T Rocket Anchor (similar to those on the Strike E itself), and has VPS armor. The VPS armor makes the Noir Striker hard to mass-produce and furthermore, like the IWSP, it can only be mastered by those with high piloting skills and therefore, there are no records of it being used by regular forces.
Due to the Strike E's power extender, the Strike Noir has longer operational and flight time. When equipped with the Noir Striker, the Strike E's VPS armor changes color, with the shoulder, head, wrist, ankle and skirt color changing to black and the white armor pieces changing to a dull grey.
- M2M5 "Todesschrecken" 12.5mm Automatic CIWS
- Installed in the head of the Strike E are two 12.5 Automatic CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) vulcans. While not very effective at damaging the armor of a MS, they serve as point-defense weapons for destroying incoming missiles, enemy aircraft/fighters and other light-armored targets or to deter enemy MS from closing in.
- M8F-SB1 "Shorty" Beam Rifle
- While most mobile suits feature a single handheld beam rifle, the Strike Noir is instead equipped with two small M8F-SB1 "Shorty" Beam Rifles. Despite their small size and a 15% decrease in effective combat range compared to standard rifles, these are powerful enough to destroy an enemy unit with a single shot. When not in use, they are mounted on the side skirt armor, where the combat knives were stored on the original Strike.
- MR-Q10 "Fragarach 3" Beam Blade
- Developed from the ZGMF-X88S Gaia Gundam's MR-Q17X "Griffon 2" Beam Blade, it is a physical sword with a beam edge. While not as big as a normal Anti-Ship Sword, it can still do massive damage to the target. A pair of "Fragarach 3" beam blades are stored on the wings when not in use.
- MAU-M3E42 Twin Linear Gun
- Developed based on the reliable and cost-effective MAU-M3 Twin Linear Guns fielded by the TS-MA4F Exus, the MAU-M3E42 model is configured for close combat, it has rapid-fire capability and consumes less energy. Strike Noir is equipped with a pair of twin linear guns mounted on the wings and they can swivel in various directions for a wide range of fire.
- 57mm High-energy Beam Rifle
- An optional beam rifle that Strike E can use. It is the same rifle as the one used by the Duel and has a longer range than the "Shorty" beam rifle. Strike Noir has been shown to carry a pair of them for certain missions.
- 175mm Grenade Launcher
- The beam rifle is fitted with an underslung single-shot grenade launcher, which can be loaded with a variety of grenades. The grenade fired is not very effective against large ships, but is an ideal mid-range anti-mobile suit weapons.
Special Equipment & Features
- Hardpoints for Striker Packs
- Because of its origin as a Strike E, the Strike Noir can mount Striker Packs. This ability was demonstrated in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73 Δ Astray, when the Strike Noir was heavily damaged by Ergnes Brahe's GSF-YAM01 Δ Astray and had to equip an IWSP pack used by a Slaughter Dagger.
- Power Extender
- A device that improves a mobile suits energy storage capacity, allowing it to use its Phase Shift Armor for a longer duration than other mobile suits.
- A new version of the Phase Shift armor used on the original Strike. Variable Phase Shift allows the MS to automatically alter the strength and by extension the power consumption of the PS Armor, depending on what combat configuration or situation that MS is in. As a result, the MS's colors changes, but all these must be programmed beforehand. Strike E's VPS armor changes its colors according to the Striker Pack it is equipped with at the moment, but this only applies to the Noir Striker and Another Trial Striker Packs.
- EQS1358 & EQS1358T Rocket Anchor
- A more unique feature of the Strike E, one EQS1358 rocket anchor is mounted in each hand and foot, for a total of four rocket anchors. These anchors can be used for various purposes, such as for maneuvering or to grapple a unit and throw it over a short distance. The attached cable is coated with a special polymer that allows the pilot to adjust the physical properties (thickness, strength, etc.) of the cable upon firing. A variant of this, the EQS1358T, is mounted in the Noir Striker.
After the First Alliance-PLANT War, as part of the "Actaeon Project" MS development plan, at least one other GAT-X105 Strike was re-manufactured. The unit was assigned to Phantom Pain pilot, Sven Cal Payang, and subsequently upgraded into the more powerful and advanced Strike E. Sven's Strike E was typically equipped with the Noir Striker and often work in a team consisting of Mudie Holcroft and her GAT-X1022 Blu Duel, as well Shams Couza and his GAT-X103AP Verde Buster.
The Strike Noir's first deployment in the anime, along with the Blu Duel and Verde Buster, was to defend against Zala loyalist guerillas who emerged in the wake of the "Break the World" terrorist attack. Shortly afterward, Sven supervised a squad of GAT-01A2R Slaughter Daggers as they destroyed a Coordinator refugee camp where some of the terrorists were allegedly trained.
Later in CE 73, Sven engaged in a brief, inconclusive duel with Martian Coordinator Ergnes Brahe in the GSF-YAM01 Δ Astray, who later escaped in his ship, the Acidalium. Shortly afterward, when Orb joined in a treaty with the Earth Alliance, Sven was assigned to lead a squad of five Slaughter Daggers piloted by Orb soldiers in pursuit of the Acidalium. During the battle, Strike Noir's striker pack was damaged by Δ Astray and Sven changes over to the IWSP pack (which was being used by one of the Orb pilots) in order to continue the fight. He subsequently defeated Δ Astray using the Strike E IWSP.
Sven later returned to his Phantom Pain squad and escorted the Bonaparte as it delivered the GFAS-X1 Destroy to Neo Roanoke's unit. The Bonaparte was attacked along the way, and while Blu Duel pilot Mudie Holcroft was killed, the attacking ZAFT force is wiped out and the Bonaparte arrived at its destination.
Later, the remainder of Sven's squad is assigned to attack the Deep Space Survey and Development Organization's (DSSD) space station, to capture the GSX-401FW Stargazer's AI unit. During the battle, Sven is caught off guard by Stargazer's unorthodox anti-beam defense system, and Strike Noir's left arm is sliced off, along with other less significant damage. Stargazer's pilot Selene McGriff then grabbed the Strike Noir and uses the DSSD station's propulsion laser to launch both mobile suits away from the battlefield. They are carried all the way to Venus, where Selene drained Strike Noir's remaining power into Stargazer's reactor, and rescued Sven from the disabled mobile suit. The heavily damaged Strike Noir was abandoned as Stargazer returned to Earth.
- It is the second Strike-derived unit to bear a color-themed name, "noir" being the French word for black, and the first being the MBF-02 Strike Rouge.
- The Strike Noir, along with its sister units the Verde Buster and the Blu Duel, make up the third "trio" of Gundams piloted by EA/Phantom Pain pilots, following the GAT-X131 Calamity, GAT-X252 Forbidden, and GAT-X370 Raider from Gundam SEED, and the stolen ZGMF-X24S Chaos, ZGMF-X88S Gaia, and ZGMF-X31S Abyss from Gundam SEED Destiny. While the pilots were raised and indoctrinated in a special military school, they were apparently not artificially enhanced.
- Strike Noir's traits are similar to Devil May Cry character Dante such as twin guns resembling Ebony & Ivory, twin swords resembling Agni and Rudra, dark colors, and its pilot Sven resembles Dante as well.