RX-78GP03 Gundam "Dendrobium"
|Developed from||RX-78GP00 Gundam GP00 "Blossom"|
|First Seen||November 10, 0083 U.C.|
|Operator||Earth Federation Forces|
|Known Pilots||Kou Uraki|
|Overall Height||38.5 meters126.312 ft |
|Overall Length||140.0 meters|
|Overall Width||62.0 meters6,200 cm |
|Max Weight||453.1 metric tons|
|Standard Weight||226.4 metric tons|
|Power-plant||Minovsky Ultracompact Fusion Reactor|
|Power Output||38900 kW52,165.756 hp|
|Pilot Accommodations||Unmanned (controlled by RX-78GP03S Gundam "Dendrobium Stamen")|
|Max Acceleration||5.00 G|
|Rocket Thrusters||6 x 377500 kg832,244.805 lb |
The RX-78GP03 (RX-78GP03D) Gundam "Dendrobium" is the third unit of the Gundam Development Project, as the combination of both the mobile suit unit - the RX-78GP03S Gundam "Dendrobium Stamen" - and its massive unmanned support unit - the Armed Base Mobile Container "Dendrobium Orchis", and was first featured in the OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. The unit was piloted by Anaheim test pilot Defrah Kar and Federation MS pilot Kou Uraki.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
As described in the MG model manual and MS encyclopedia, while the initial two designs of the Gundam Development Project were specifically designed for an offensive role, the Earth Federation Forces also needed a design for territorial defense in space, also known as Area Dominance tactic. In the Area Dominance Tactic, the battalion group will be small, may be even just a single unit, but need to be able to hold on to that region and fight against numerous enemies with a vast amount of firepower. Furthermore, if it's a single unit, it needs to be able to move around a large area of space rapidly to defend all the incoming enemies. Since the Earth Federation forces were interested in the power of mobile armours deployed by Zeon forces during the One Year War, they had specifically ordered the unit to be a model using mobile armour technology. The result of this was the massive "Dendrobium" mobile weapon. It was not a mobile armour but an unmanned unit composed of a mobile suit, the Stamen, and its add on, the "Orchis".
Developed at the Von Braun city facility and field tested at Anaheim Electronics' La Vie en Rose orbital manufacturing plant, the GP03 Dendrobium was designed to have exceptional firepower and mobility with minimal use of manpower. Two large weapons racks containing sixteen weapon containers sat on the top of the GP03, enabling the pilot to engage in extended firefights without running out of ammunition. The containers were interchangeable and were able to carry different weapons. Extendable large claws mounted with large beam sabres were mounted on both sides of the underbelly of the unit. A warship class mega beam cannon was mounted on the right, while an I-field generator was mounted on left. The control unit for the Dendrobium was the RX-78GP03S Dendrobium Stamen, which was the mobile suit itself. In cases of emergency or severe damage to the "Orchis", the "Stamen" could eject from the mobile armor portion.
- Weapons Containers
- Primarily used for clearing out massive quantities of enemy units, the Orchis was armed with two weapons containers with 8 sets of missiles per container. These containers are able to carry additional beam rifles, bazookas, or even a spare shield for the Stamen unit if needed, a set of chain mines, and 3-tube missile launchers and sets of 108-tube micromissile launchers are also included.
- Large Beam Cannon
- A battleship grade beam cannon installed on the Orchis' right side. It has an extra handle for additional manuverability.
- Large Claw
- The Orchis has two large claws on its underside in case of enemy units penetrating its I-Field. The claws can be used as grappling weapons. For extra defense in close combat, the claws come equipped with two large beam sabers.
Special Equipment & Features
- I-Field Generator
- The Orchis comes with its own I-Field generator for defense from any particle beam attacks. Though the Orchis could still be hit by physical forces, its generator's greatest weakness was that the housing unit was exposed on the left side of the Orchis. This drawback would make it easier for an enemy to damage the I-Field Generator (as demonstrated by Anavel Gato)
The RX-78GP03 Gundam "Dendrobium" was the third unit built as part of the Gundam Development Project. Unlike the first two the Dendrobium was never brought down to Earth, instead remaining in space aboard the La Vie en Rose under the supervision of Earth Federation Forces security officer Nakohha Nakato and Anaheim Electronics systems engineer Lucette Audevie. After the Delaz Fleet used a nuclear warhead to destroy a third of the Federation forces at Konpei Island for the naval review, and the subsequent mutual destruction of both the "Zephyranthes" and "Physalis", the Albion (MSC-07) docked at the La Vie en Rose for resupply and repairs. During that time both captain Eiphar Synapse and pilot Kou Uraki argued that they should be given the "Orchis" and "Stamen" components so that they could continue their pursuit of Gato. However Nakoha Nakato would not allow them to take the mobile weapon. Lucette Audevie, who was in charge of the "Dendrobium's" construction and development, helped the crew of the Albion to steal the mobile weapon at the cost of her own life.
While it was designed for defensive use, pilot Kou Uraki would use the "Dendrobium" offensively in a series of devastating hit and run attacks against the Delaz Fleet, returning to the Albion (the ship and the rest of its mobile suits staying to the rear away from combat) to be resupplied. With its large amount of missile ordnance, the "Dendrobium" made for a dangerous opponent for Gato's AMA-002 Neue Ziel which relied on its I-Field generator for most of its defense. Both machines were heavily damaged after their last confrontation outside of the colony the Delaz Fleet was dropping on North America, but only pilot Kou Uraki survived.
Notes & Trivia
- The use of a powerful mobile armor with fast acceleration, heavy defense, and vast firepower has only few further developments along this concept in the Universal Century timeline, and most were not used for Area Dominance, but for long range assault against enemy strongholds. However, the concept of Area Dominance is carried over, but instead uses the more agile and versatile transformable or mode-change mobile suit, such as the ORX-005 Gaplant TR-5 (Hrairoo) and the RX-178+FXA-05D Super Gundam. Other examples can be seen in the earlier HFA-78-3 Heavy Full Armor 7th Gundam , MSA-0011(Bst) S Gundam Booster Unit Type Plan 303E "Deep Striker", ORX-005 Gaplant TR-5 (Fiver), and the LM314V23/24 V2 Assault-Buster Gundam.
- Similar to the rest of the Gundams in the Gundam Development Project, the GP03 Dendrobium is named after the dendrobium genus of orchids.
- The design of the Dendrobium has also found its way into non-mecha anime shows such as Digimon. The Ultimate level digimon CannonBeemon possesses a similar design style to the Dendrobium and is also used in area dominance to defend its "Royal Base"
- The design was referenced in Marvel Comics' Marvel MangaVerse series as a weapons platform for the character Iron Maiden AKA Antoinette Stark, who used it to battle a Godzilla-like version of the Hulk.
- With the price of 28000 yen, the GP03 Dendrobium is the most expensive High Grade (HG) 1/144 model kit that released by Bandai, much more expensive than the same grade model kit of METEOR Unit + Freedom Gundam (8000 yen), GN Arms Type-E + Gundam Exia (5500 yen) or GN Arms Type-D + Gundam Dynames (6000 yen). However, the price of HG 1/144 model kit of GP03 Gundam Stamen without the Dendrobium is 1600 yen only.
- In some Super Robot Wars series, the Dendrobium can be deployed on the earth based scenarios if the GP-03 Stamen has a minovsky craft on it's part slots.
- In part three of the Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G,a 1/144 HG RX-78GP03D Gundam "Dendrobium Orchis" appears in the final tournament.
- The Stamen unit of Dendrobium appears as a playable suit in the Gundam Vs series. While it is normally equipped with the dual bazookas included with the Orchis's weapon pack, it can summon the unit's missile containers and use the demolition chain as a jump rope.
- In NEXT Plus, the Orchis unit is a boss unit but the Gundam doesn't separate from Orchis as does Strike Freedom in the Meteor. It is impervious to all projectiles thanks to its I-field though it can be worn out with enough damage.
- It makes an appearance in Extreme Vs as a DLC unit and gains the usage of the large beam sabers and beam cannon and its finisher in EX Mode has it docking with the entire unit and blasts the opponent with the beam cannon after impaling it with its barrel, mirroring Cima's death as it destroyed the Gebera Tetra.