The Guncannon was a step up from the RX-75-4 Guntank; while the Guntank was more "tank" than mobile suit, the Guncannon was a true mobile suit with limbs. However, it did share the Guntank's Core Block System, using the same FF-X7 Core Fighter. It is based on the data of the RXM-1 prototype bipedal robot.
The first Guncannon was the prototype RX-77-1A Guncannon A, which had poor mobility due to its heavy armor. The second version, RX-77-2 Guncannon, corrected this problem. As defensive weapons, it mounted two 60mm Vulcan guns in the head. However, the Guncannon's primary weapons were the twin 240mm cannons mounted on the shoulders, which were used for the mobile suit's design purpose: mid-range support. The Guncannon was also the first mobile suit used by the Earth Federal Forces capable of firing a beam rifle.
The Guncannon was less mobile but more heavily armored than its cousin, the RX-78-2 Gundam. Unfortunately, the extra armor provided no additional protection against beam weapons, and powerful conventional weapons (such as the Giant Bazooka used by some Zeon mobile suits) were capable of causing severe damage. It also lacked any sort of melee weapon, making it helpless when an enemy mobile suit got too close. Also, its 240mm cannons only held 20 rounds per cannon, meaning the pilot had to learn how to conserve cannon ammunition and use it wisely.
Where the Guntank was designed as a long range support unit, the Guncannon is the mid range support for the Gundam. Like the RGM-79 GM, the Guncannon was also manufactured at Jaburo.
60mm Gatling Cannons "Vulcan Guns"
Dual, head-mounted, triple-barreled gatling cannons in caliber 60 millimeter. Each gun is loaded with 400 rounds of ammunition and fires at a rate of 1600 rounds per minute. Primarily for the elimination of aerial and light armor targets. With sustained fire, the stream of bullets can cause damage to enemy mobile suits.
A pair of 240mm cannons are mounted over either shoulder of the MS. The mid-range fire support artillery cannon is fed by a twenty (20) round internal magazine located inside the main body of the Guncannon. Each 240x800 millimeter shell has a 95 kilogram HE fragmentation warhead, with a casualty radius of 40 meters. Can fire to distances up to 2.5 kilometers.
Spray Missile Launchers
The pilot has the option to replace the 240mm cannons for the two spray missile launchers, which consist of 12 tubes, each tube containing two (2) missiles for a total of 24 missiles per launcher. While they does not have neither the penetration power nor the rate of fire of beam weapons, the rockets are not affected by the line of sight and any type of anti-beam coating.
The Guncannon can be equipped with a larger and more powerful beam rifle than the RX-78-2 Gundam's BAUVA*XBR-M-79-07G. It is powered via an internal E-Cap with an average charge of fifteen (15) rounds. Each beam is capable of tearing through the medium and heavy armor of enemy MS and MA that haven't been treated with anti-beam coating. Maximum effective range of the rifle is 2.8 kilometers.
Each RX-77-2 Guncannon comes with two (2) HEDP fragmentation hand grenades stored one per leg, inside a secured hatch on the lower part of the limb. All the MS need to do is reach down and pull the grenade from the storage rack. Once this is done the grenade is already armed. There is a five to seven second fuse, allowing enough time for the Guncannon to throw the grenade safely away. The average throwing distance is about 300 meters.
The prototype mobile suits produced by the Earth Federation Forces' Operation V, are equipped with a central block which houses the mobile suit's cockpit, control systems and main power source. This core block can eject in case of emergency and unfold into a small Core Fighter.
During the Zeon attack of Side 7, only one RX-77-2 Guncannon survived the attack. It was stationed aboard the Pegasus-Class assault carrier White Base and piloted by Kai Shiden. However, when the White Base made its way to Jaburo, another unit was transferred to the White Base to replace the Guntank. It was piloted by Hayato Kobayashi. To separate the two units, they were named the "C-108" and "C-109". Both units were heavily damaged at the last battle of the One Year War at the Zeon's space fortress A Baoa Qu. Kai's Guncannon later reappears in Hayato's mobile suit museum in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
The RX-77-2 Guncannon was the only "V Project" mobile suit to ever be produced in limited numbers. It served as a main mobile suit until the Federation introduced the RGM-79 GM; however, due to the high cost of beam weapons, many Guncannon units were armed with conventional machine guns or rifles. Some unlucky pilots were not issued a hand weapon at all, and had to rely on the Guncannon's built-in armaments. In the Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front video game, a three-man Guncannon squad was commanded by young, brash Federation pilot, Lieutenant Agar (who would later become pilot of the RX-78-6 Mudrock Gundam). This team would pursue the infamous "Midnight Fenrir Corps" Zeon special forces mobile suit team up to the Battle of Jaburo. Also in Mobile Suit Gundam: Cross Dimension 0079 video game, at least two Guncannons was used by Albatross transportation team in the Gobi Desert, though game's dialogue said they already lost several of them. Three units were also assigned to the SCVA-72 Thoroughbred.
1/250 Original "The Duel in Texas" Diorama Set (1981): box art
Notes & Trivia
In the Gundam VS Gundam series, the Guncannon is a playable unit along with the Gundam and the Guntank, all three of them belonging the Earth Federation time-line. However, as of Extreme Vs, the Guncannon was removed entirely.
In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the Guncannon makes a brief cameo appearance after the destruction of the Devil Gundam.