Technology & Combat Characteristics
A variant of GAT-01A1 Dagger based upon the GAT-X103 Buster, the Buster Dagger features identical weaponry as the original Buster, including the 350mm gun launcher and the 94mm high-energy rifle. The shoulder-mounted missile pods are retained but scaled down to only three barrels in comparison to the original six barrels. It can also optionally mount a pair of beam sabers on its forearms, granting the suit some form of close combat fighting abilities, which the Buster completely lacks. Like the Dagger, the Buster Dagger is equipped with laminated armor, granting it superior resistance against beam weaponry. In addition, it also share many parts with the Dagger and this results in ease of production.
- 350mm Gun Launcher
- Mounted on the right side of the backpack and hand-carried 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. Like the Buster's, it can be combined with the high-energy rifle.
- 94mm High-energy Rifle
- Mounted on the left side of the backpack and hand-carried when in use, it is a rifle that fires charged energy beam that is highly effective against most targets, but is less effective against targets designed to take beam attacks, such as laminated armor or shields treated with an anti-beam coating. Like the Buster's, it can be combined with the gun-launcher.
- 220mm Triple Missile Pod
- Like the Buster's, a pair of missile pods are mounted on the shoulder.
- ES01 Beam Saber
- An optional weapon that is mounted on the forearms and gives Buster Dagger some close combat capabilities.
Special Equipment & Features
- Laminated Armor
- Like the Dagger, Buster Dagger is equipped with a modified laminated armor made of heat-resistant ablative gel DPX-30, which is more commonly used by warships for atmospheric re-entry. While this offered no increased protection against projectile weapons, it provided defense against mobile suit-scale beam weaponry.
After the theft of the GAT-X103 Buster by ZAFT forces, the Earth Alliance plans to create a Striker Pack based upon the Buster's weaponry for use on its GAT-01A1 Dagger mass production series. However as a result of seeking higher performance, the plan is changed and a simplified version of the Buster is built instead, resulting in the Buster Dagger. Eventually, an unknown amount of Buster Daggers are built and rolled out late in the First Alliance-PLANT War.
One unit is notably piloted by ace pilot, Rena "Sakura Burst" Imelia, who used it in Operation 8.8, a large scale EA attack on ZAFT's Carpentaria Base. Rena's unit, with a few others, eventually took part in the Second Battle of Jachin Due, in which she fought against Shiho Hahnenfuss in her YFX-200 CGUE DEEP Arms. Her unit is however disabled in combat against Kira Yamato's ZGMF-X10A Freedom.