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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). GMs that were captured by Zeon, would typically use Zeon manufactured weaponry such as the MS-06 Zaku II's 120mm machine gun. From the GM will start the RGM series, developed from the Anaheim, that will remain the first choice as Federation's mass production mobile suits until the end of Federation it self.
- 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 missiles to attack targets at long range. No mass-production MS's armor is able to stop this weapon. While very powerful, it has a slow rate of fire and a fairly little amount 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
- The bullpup machine gun is an open-bolt, gas-operated, magazine-fed, mobile suit handheld sub-machine gun. It does not require energy to be used, however it is ineffective against heavy armor. When the magazine is empty, it can be discarded and replaced with a new one.
- NFHI*EPHB-type.Doc-04/380mm Hyper Bazooka
- The ground-type hyper bazooka fires a 380x1900 millimeter HEDP rocket at ranges up to 2.5 kilometers. It is loaded with a 5-round box magazine with one round pre-loaded into the chamber.
- 120mm Machine Gun
- The 120mm machine gun is a standard weapon for Zaku type mobile suits. It is a shell firing gun that does not require energy to be used, however its effectiveness against heavy armor is very limited. This model used a 100-round drum magazine.
- BLASH XBR-M-79E Beam Rifle
- Prototype Beam Rifle
- FADEGEL RGM-M-Sh-003 Shield
- A basic optional arm-mounted defense armament for many Federation mobile suits. The shield is a thick sheet of armor designed to take severe punishment that would normally destroy a mobile suit. Since the introduction of beam weaponry, shields have been treated with an anti-beam coating allowing it to withstand several beam shots before the coating wears off. Typically physical shields can only take so much damage before they succumb to the pressure and break. A shield can be equipped to either arm of the GM in order to increase defense against both beam and physical attacks.
- RGM*S-Sh-WF/S-00109 Shield
- Beside the standard model, the GM is capable of mounting on either of its forearms a smaller RGM*S-Sh-WF/S-00109 Shield. It is capable of deflecting most incoming ballistic projectiles and some explosive warheads. Mount latch and joint/pivot mount position retracted for protection or extended for slashing or punching attacks. Can be thrust into the ground and used as an elevated weapon firing position. Features include top carrying handle and shield claw.
- Parachute Pack
- An optional backpack equipment created by the Federation for use by their Mobile Suits for paradrop missions from the Medea Transport Plane. The backpack contains three parachutes and four thrusters to help in making a safe descent to the ground, once touchdown had been accomplished the backpack would be ejected as to not hinder the Mobile Suits performance in ground combat.
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-78-2 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 km/h 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-09B Dom, a mobile suit that performed slightly better than the GM but not appreciably more-survivable or deadlier against the GM's weaponry. 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. During the One Year War, some GM units would be captured by Zeon, and added to their own forces, these units would usually be repainted into a new color scheme and featured the Zeon emblem on one of their shoulders, to help distinguish them from the Federation GMs. In UC 0081 one unit would be piloted by Invisible Knights member Ailos Bade, who would use it in the MS-08TX/N Efreet Nacht recapture mission.
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 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.
- RGM-79DR GM Underground Type
- RGM-79 GM (Thunderbolt Sector)
- RGM-79ARA GM Juggler
- RGM-79D GM Cold Climate Type
- RGM-79F Land Combat Type GM
- RGM-79G GM Command
- RGM-79L GM Light Armor
- RGM-79SC GM Sniper Custom
- RGM-79U GM Sloep
- RGM-79V GM Night Seeker
- Gefangener GM
- GPB-GM79-31 Forever GM
Notes & Trivia
- 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.
- Just as the Original Mobile Suit Gundam had World War 2 influences, the GM could be seen as the equivlaent to the American M-4 Sherman and the Soviet T-34; both the Sherman/T-34 are mass produced in the tens of thousands easily overwhelming their enemy counterparts despite their quality shortcomings. And both of them are technologically superior to their immediate mass produced enemy counterparts (i.e. Panzer III and IV for real life/World War 2, and the MS-05 Zaku I and MS-06 Zaku II for Mobile Suit Gundam) However it should be noted that unlike the GM, the M-4 Sherman and T-34 lacked the firepower to mission-kill their more advanced adversaries (Tiger I, Panther, Tiger II) in one shot whereas the GM's beam spray gun could destroy a Gelgoog or Dom in one shot regardless, just as they could destroy the GM in one or two shots as well.