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Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RGM-79 GM is a mass-produced mobile suit based on the technology of the RX-78-2 Gundam. The basic frame was suited for a fairly high level of mobility, for the time, both on Earth and in space while at the same time proved easily adaptable to modifications that could be developed into mission specific GM models.
The armor of the GM is a titanium alloy, a sturdy metal that could be refined more quickly and easily than the Gundam's Luna Titanium Alloy. Although titanium is less durable than luna titanium, it is also slightly lighter which reduces the GM's overall mass compared to the Gundam.
The GM was armed rather simply, with most of its weapons basically scaled down versions of that of the RX-78-2 Gundam . The GM was primarily armed with a beam spray gun, which was basically a downgrade in most aspects of the Gundam's powerful beam rifle. It did have the distinction still of being the first mass-produced beam weapon ever made - something the Zeon forces had yet to do. The beam spray gun had a much worse range than the beam rifles used by other Federation MS, but it could still destroy MS in one shot and was just as accurate and had a higher rate of fire and more ammo. The GMs also used 100mm and 90mm machine guns, the latter having less ammo capacity but a better armor penetration rate. Heavy weapons wise, GMs used remakes of the Gundam's 380mm Hyper Bazooka. For close quarters combat, the GM featured a single beam saber, although earlier models had the twin-saber backpack of the Gundam. Lastly, the GM had a pair of 60mm vulcan guns mounted in its head, which gave pilots backup firepower that was highly effective against aircraft and ground vehicles but woefully inadequate against mobile suits. Early in production, the beam spray gun had yet to be completely mass-produced so most GMs were equipped with machine guns.
By Operation Star One and Battle of Solomon, however, most the mobile suits used the beam weapon. It should also be noted that a small portion of the GMs stationed at the Federation General HQ in Jaburo also used the Gundam's beam rifle (These may have been either spare or left-over hardware from the initial V-Project Gundam prototypes however).
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- The Vulcan guns were 60mm Gatling Guns stored on the sides of the GM's head. Having the greatest rate of fire of all the GM's weapons these are primarily used to ward off advancing enemies, shoot down missiles, or hit other fast moving targets. They also made good use as an anti-aircraft and anti-personnel weapons. The Vulcan guns however had a hard time piercing heavy armor (though they had shown the ability to do severe damage to Mobile Suit's if fired at point-blank range)and thus were not often used against larger, more heavily armored foes. Still the Vulcans were useful in preserving ammunition for the GM's more powerful weapons such as the Beam Spray Gun.
- THI BSjG01 Beam Saber
- The GM was the second MS of the One Year War that wielded a beam saber, unlike the Gundam it only stores one beam saber in its backpack unit. The beam saber use Minovsky particles held in place by an I-Field to form an effective cutting surface that can slice through nearly any material. The particles for the beam saber are stored by E-cap in the hilt of the saber, which is recharged from the GM's reactor when the saber is returned to its socket. Once activated, beam saber do not rely on the mobile suit's reactor and can be thrown or discarded as decoys. The beam saber is most often used for close range combat or as an emergency weapon once all other ammunition has been depleted. Some GM's were fielded 2 beam sabers during the war
- BR-M-79C-1 Beam Spray Gun
- The Beam Spray Gun was essentially the Gundam's beam rifle in a smaller weaker form. The beam spray gun has a smaller focusing coil which results in a less powerful, and a more scattered shot. As a result of this the beam spray gun is less effective at long range, but is better at close range due to a more spread out shot, similar to a shotgun effect. While the beam spray gun is less powerful than the beam rifle, it has been shown to be able to penetrate the armor of a Rick Dom - one of the most heavily armored mobile suits of the One Year War.
- NF GMG-Type.37/100mm Machine Gun
- The standard armament for Federation mobile suit ground forces, the Type 37 is an open-bolt, gas-operated, magazine-fed, mobile suit handheld machine gun. It fires a 100x450 millimeter round at a rate of 500 rounds per minute and is loaded with a 20-round box magazine. Features include a folding stock and swivel forward hand grip. Accuracy is limited due to the aiming from regular iron sights and not a targeting sensor. Maximum effective range of 1.5 kilometers.
- BLASH HB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka
- Similar to the Zaku's Bazooka, the Hyper Bazooka was a heavy weapon used by the GM. Technically a large rocket launcher it could fire several 380mm rockets to attack targets at long range. While very powerful the Hyper Bazooka had a slow rate of fire and fairly little of ammunition. Most oftenly used to take out slow, heavily armored targets.
- YHI 6ML-79MM 6-Tube Missile Launcher
- The missile launcher consists of the base receiver that has all the targeting equipment and the trigger group. Up to three two-tube missile packs may be loaded onto the receiver. Each tube contains one missile, which after being fired, is wire-guided to the target. The missile packs may be swapped out in the field. Most oftenly used to take out slow, heavily armored targets.
- HWF GMG·MG79-90mm Bullpup Machine Gun
- Because of the expense and difficulty of producing beam rifles, or even beam spray guns, the Earth Federation also produced mobile suit sized machine guns and bazookas, similar to what Zeon's Zaku mobile suits used, because they are cheaper and easier to produce, requires less energy, and is overall easier to maintain because it relies on older, less complex, well known technology. In addition machine guns had the advantage of holding considerably vastly greater amounts of ammunition, and mobile suits could carry fresh clips around to reload their weapons should the current clip run out. This allows a mobile suit to operate with greater independence as during the One Year War the only known way to rearm a spent beam rifle was to return to a base with the proper recharging equipment.
- The trade off is that machine guns are less effective. If a beam rifle or beam spray gun should so much as glance off of an arm or a leg, that limb will be rendered useless if it is not outright destroyed, and a hit to the torso is almost always fatal. Machine guns have greater difficulty penetrating the armor of a mobile suit, and must typically be fired from at least mid-range with multiple shots hitting the target before it can take down the target. And even then it is not always a sure thing.
- BLASH XBR-M-79E Beam Rifle
- FADEGEL RGM-M-Sh-003 Shield
- RGM*S-Sh-WF/S-00109 Shield
At the onset of the One Year War, the Earth Federation did not take the mobile suit threat seriously- this was until the Principality of Zeon military completely outmaneuvered and subsequently decimated the Earth Federal Spaces Forces in space with their MS-06 Zaku II. As forces of Zeon laid siege on Earth, the Federation developed several mobile suit prototypes, the most notable being the RX-78 Gundam, and from the Gundam came the Earth Federation's first mass production mobile suit: the RGM-79 GM. The GM would serve as the Federation's primary mobile suit throughout the war as well as the basis of the Earth Federation's mobile suits for over fifteen years.
The RGM-79 was far more mobile in space than the Zeon's Zaku II with a maximum thruster acceleration of 0.94 Gs, even better than the Gundam's 0.93 Gs and roughly twice of the Zaku's acceleration. On the Earth's surface, the GM is faster than the Zaku II in a sprint with a top running speed of 102 kilometers per hour compared to the Zeon mobile suit's 88 km/h. The GM had a hull armored in titanium alloy, which is stronger than the Zaku II's super-high tensile steel armor yet allows for a minimum thickness, keeping its weight and production cost down.
During the One Year War, the GM would commonly be supported by the RB-79 Ball mobile pod.
Overall, the RGM-79 GM was superior in almost all aspects compared to the Zeon's Zaku II mobile suit. And, to compensate for Zeon's initially being more experienced in mobile suit warfare, the Federation started with the 'quantity over quality' approach. By the time of the GM's true introduction at the Battle of Jaburo, the Zeon forces had already started production of the MS-09 Dom, a mobile suit that performed slightly better than the GM but not appreciably more-survivable or deadlier against the GM's weaponries. When the war went back into space, the GM actually outperformed the MS-09R Rick Doms in most ways and were outperformed later by the MS-14 Gelgoogs; unfortunately for Zeon, the Rick Doms and Gelgoogs would be held up by the bickering Zabi family politics and the equally-serious ineptitude of high-level Zeon commanders preoccupied with bringing down the White Base and the Gundam. In the end, the Rick Dom was produced in too few numbers and the Gelgoog wouldn't be deployed until the last two weeks of the war.
By the time the Gelgoogs entered service, they were piloted mostly by novice pilots and fresh recruits against a superior number of battle-hardened Federation counterparts, a situation that also plagued the surviving Zaku IIs and even the MS-05B Zaku I that were forced to soldier on due to the scarcity of new mobile suits. It is then when Federation victory became all but guaranteed.
The GM line was first established through the RGM-79(E) GM Early Type, a prototype version that would set down the basics for the GM. The basic GM frame would later be updated and upgraded into the RMS-179/RGM-79R GM II during the mid-UC 0080s and would become one of the most heavily modified mobile suits, spawning many variants until finally being superseded by the RGM-89 Jegan in the UC 0090s.
- Newtype Test GM Juggler
- RAG-79 Aqua GM
- RGC-80-1 GM Cannon Test Type
- RGC-80 GM Cannon
- RGC-83 GM Cannon II
- RGM-79[E] Early Type
- RGM-79[G] GM Ground Type
- RGM-79[G] GM Sniper
- RGM-79C GM Type C
- RGM-79CR GM Kai High Mobility Type
- RGM-79C GM Type C "Wagtail"
- RGM-79C Powered GM
- RGM-79D GM Cold Climate Type
- RGM-79EW EWAC GM
- RGM-79F Land Combat Type GM
- RGM-79F Desert GM
- RGM-79FC Striker Custom
- RGM-79GB High Boost GM
- RGM-79FP GM Striker
- RGM-79G GM Command
- RGM-79GS GM Command Space Type
- RGM-79GL GM Command Light Armor
- RGM-79HC GM Guard Custom
- RGM-79KC GM Interceptor Custom
- RGM-79L GM Light Armor
- RGM-79LV GM Night Seeker II
- RGM-79N GM Custom
- RGM-79Q GM Quel
- RGM-79Q GM Quel (Hazel Reserve Unit)
- RGM-79S GM Spartan
- RGM-79 GM Scout
- RGM-79SC GM Sniper Custom
- RGM-79SC GM Sniper Custom (Shimoda Squad Type)
- RGM-79SP GM Sniper II
- RGM-79SR GM Sniper III
- RGM-79SR GM Sniper III Cannon Pack Test Type
- RGM-79SR GM Sniper III High Mobility Type
- RGM-79U GM Sloep
- RGM-79V GM Night Seeker
- RMS-179/RGM-79R GM II
- RGM-86R GM III
- TGM-79 GM Trainer
- TGM-79C GM Canard
- TGM-79C GM Cannes
- RGM-79(GRS) Armored GM
- Despite common belief, it has never been explicitly stated what "GM" is an abbreviation of, though "Gundam Mass-produced" and "General Model" are popular theories.