Technology & Combat Characteristics
The RMS-154 Barzam was designed to be a high-performance unit for use by regular forces, but in low cost. The Barzam was submitted as a proposal for a mass production type model based on the RX-178 Gundam Mk-II, and was developed for the EFF as their next flagship MS. However, it was not able to secure enough development time for this request, and planning was carried out based on the design of existing MS.
Construction was completed at the EFF New Guinea base, most notably with the involvement of former Zeon engineers. The completed unit is said to be a high performance machine, having balanced specifications because it adopted the design concept of the Gundam Mk-II. However, because priority was given to ease of production and the result of excessive simplification of the machine's structure, its form is very different over that of existing MS. The chest armor has a double structure, designed with consideration for the safety of the pilot. It features a Zeon-style mono-eye camera/sensor in the head. In addition, the waist and abdomen have been integrated into the chest, with legs fixed directly from the bottom edge of the chest. The Barzam was highly versatile, and could be equipped with any of the hand-held weaponry available to the RMS-179 GM II, and RMS-106 Hizack mobile suits, as well as its own unique beam rifle. It also featured two beam sabers stored in the recharge racks in its forearms, and could be equipped with the head-mounted double-vulcan pods created for the Gundam Mk-II, and also the generator from the RMS-108 Marasai.
- VCU-505EX-Gry/Ver.009 60mm Double Vulcan Pod
- Like the Gundam MK-II, the Barzam does not have vulcan guns mounted in its head and instead uses an external head-mounted device containing the vulcan guns. The vulcan guns are shell firing weapons with a high-rate of fire, but little power and are generally ineffective against mobile suits; however, they can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. They are ideal for shooting down small, lightly armored targets such as missiles, small vehicles, etc.
- Beam Rifle
- The Barzam possesses its own beam rifle, with a feature that allows it to connect to the Barzam's arm when in use. Like most beam weapons of the period, it is powered by a rechargeable energy cap. The beam rifle could also be mounted with a grenade launcher for more firepower.
- Grenade Launcher
- A grenade launcher could be fitted on the side of the beam rifle. These grenades weren't very effective against large ships, but were ideal mid-range anti-mobile suit weapons.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small cylindrical device held in the mobile suit's hands when operated and is powered by a rechargeable energy capacitor. It is capable of cutting through any metal not treated with anti-beam coating. The Barzam has two beam sabers, one stored in each forearm.
- BR-87A Beam Rifle
- The same beam rifle used by the Marasai and Hizack. The beam rifle is powered by a rechargeable energy cap and capable of firing concentrated mega particles, a shot can damage any ordinary armor that has not been specially treated to resist beam attacks.
- 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.
In UC 0087, the Earth Federation Forces planned to develop a new mass-production mobile suit to replace their outdated RMS-179 GM II. One of the designs submitted for consideration was that of the RMS-154 Barzam. The inner frame design of the Barzam was based on that of the RX-178 Gundam Mk-II, but based on the outwards appearance of the Barzam alone, the similarities were hardly apparent.
However, the Barzam's attempts to be basic were far too successful, and the unit was deemed too generic. Without any special weaponry or unique abilities the Barzam was just an ordinary unit, and the Earth Federation Forces decided only on a limited mass-production run. Also, the Barzam's generator was too powerful for the suit, resulting in various balance problems.
Notes and Trivia
- In the game Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, the Barzam's beam rifle can be charged up to fire a more powerful beam.
- Despite popular belief, the hole on the crotch plate is not a beam cannon. Depending on the art, it is either a thruster, or a port for refueling.
- Model Graphix Special edition "GUNDAM WARS III" Gundam sentinel ISBN 4-499-20530-1