MBF-02 Strike Rouge
The MBF-02 Strike Rouge is a mobile suit appearing in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its sequel Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Its primary pilot is the Princess of Orb Cagalli Yula Athha. The word Rouge is the French word for the color red.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
A mobile suit build using spare parts for GAT-X105 Strike that were produced while it was repaired at Orb. Strike Rouge is almost an identical copy of the original Strike Gundam and features the same weaponry, two head-mounted CIWS guns, two combat knifes, a beam rifle and a shield. Like the Strike, the Strike Rouge is always equipped with a Striker Pack, and the most commonly used is the Aile Striker, which adds an additional pair of beam sabers to the armament. Besides the Aile Striker, the suit is also known to be equipped with the Integrated Weapons Striker Pack, or IWSP. This pack combined the best aspects of the Aile, Launcher and Sword packs from the original Strike. It included a large number of additional weaponry to the suit's armament, including railguns, cannons, anti-ship swords and a combined shield, mounting a gatling gun and a beam boomerang. The main differences between Strike Rouge and Strike is that the former is equipped with an AI support system and a power extender that increase the operational time, and is responsible for the red-shifting of the phase-shifted colors.
- "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel Anti Air CIWS
- Mounted in the Strike Rouge's head are two "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel CIWS guns. These light projectile weapons are used to intercept missiles and to destroy lightly armored vehicles, although it is classified as Anti Air.
- "Armor Schneider" Combat Knife
- Stored in the Strike Rouge's hips are a pair of folding "Armor Schneider" combat knives. These knives do not need power from the suit, can be thrown, and are capable of piercing the joints and under-armored sections of ZAFT mobile suits.
- 57mm High-energy Beam Rifle
- An optional armament, the beam rifle can optionally be stored on the rear waist. This is the primary ranged combat weapon and can easily destroy a ZGMF-1017 GINN with one shot, but is mostly ineffective against suits with anti-beam coating. It has an additional handle that can shift to the side, and is often used for extra stability when the Strike Rouge is firing its rifle rapidly.
- The shield is an optional piece of handheld equipment designed to increase the Strike Rouge's defensive capability. It is used to intercept attacks that the pilot cannot, or will not dodge. The shield does not have phase shift armor, so it is not as durable as the Strike Rouge's armor, however it also does not drain energy each time it is hit. The shield's major advantage is that it is anti-beam coated and can block or deflect energy based attacks from beam weapons, an ability the phase shift armor is unable to accomplish. However the shield has limits, for instance its ability to block an attack on the scale of a positron cannon blast is limited to halting the momentum while the shield and Strike Rouge itself will be destroyed.
- Hardpoints for Striker Packs
- The key feature of the Strike Rouge is its ability to equip additional equipment in the form of striker packs. Each striker pack is designed to outfit the MS with the equipment needed to fulfill specific combat roles with maximum efficiency.
- Like the Strike, the Strike Rouge is equipped with Phase Shift armor, although the active colours are red and pink rather than the blue, red and white of the first Strike. This is a side effect of the power extender, which also resulted in improved efficiency and armor strength of the Phase Shift armor system. This system is later developed into Variable Phase Shift armor.
- Power Extender
- The suit features a "power extender" system to increase battery life.
- Natural-use OS
- Developed by Kira Yamato, it allows a Natural such as Cagalli Yula Athha to use the mobile suit.
- AI(Artificial Intelligence) Support System
- A pilot-assisting AI system that helps inexperienced pilot in controlling the MS.
While rebuilding the Strike Gundam that was badly damaged outside the territory of the Orb Union, substantial spare parts enough to build another Strike were produced. These parts were later loaded onto the Kusanagi and assembled into a Strike variant, called the Strike Rouge, during the last days of the first Bloody Valentine War. It was piloted by Cagalli Yula Athha, who used the suit for a short time during the Second Battle of Jachin Due on 26 September, CE 71. Among her actions was the rescue of Athrun Zala, who detonated his suit inside ZAFT's superweapon GENESIS to prevent it from firing on Earth.
The Strike Rouge remained operational until mid CE 74, and was used as Cagalli's personal mobile suit after she and the crew of the Archangel left Orb. She launched in her suit several times to convince the Orb forces not to fight against the ZAFT ship Minerva, although with little success. Later, the Strike Rouge was modified to Kira's specifications (by configuring the suit's Variable Phase Shift armor to reflect the original Strike's colors) and launched into space with the help of an attached booster, and used briefly to protect the Eternal. It was however no match against ZAFT's newer and more powerful mobile suits and was heavily damaged in this battle. With both of its pilots equipped with newer and more powerful mobile suits, the Strike Rouge was not seen in battle again and it remains questionable if it was ever repaired or simply decommissioned.
- After the events of Gundam SEED, Strike Rouge is the only mobile suit seen to be operational.
- One of the original ideas planned for Gundam SEED was that the Strike Rouge wasn't going to be Cagalli's unit, but Flay Allster's as part of a propaganda machine for the EA. The idea is revisited in SD Gundam G Generation DS.
- Despite it being an ORB-made unit and officially being designated "MBF-02", the Strike Rouge still bears the "CINQUE X-105" marking on its crest.
- Strike Rouge is the only one of the three main Strike Gundams to have green eyes. It is also the only one built by Orb. However, in the HD Remastered version of Gundam SEED, the Strike Rouge's green eyes can only be seen when its Phase Shift Armor activates. It is possible that this is an animation mistake.
- While not officially numbered, the Strike Rouge (in its Aile Striker Pack configuration) was released in the Real Grade line of Gunpla, as a recolor of the Real Grade Aile Strike Gundam. This makes it one of the few models to be released in all of the four grades (High, Master, Perfect, & Real).