Technology & Combat Characteristics
While Project V was underway, the Federation also began production of experimental units using spare parts originally intended for the RX-78 Gundam. Using these parts they built approximately twenty specialized ground combat-model christened the RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type during the mid-part UC 0079. The RX-78 development program, in addition to the experimental RX-78 Gundam series, managed to generate a significant stockpile of mobile suit parts. The Federation, not wanting to have such parts go to waste, used these stockpiles to create a line of pre-production mobile suits used to field test mobile suit tactics. In order to cut down on costs, most of the armaments and parts of the Gundam Ground Type were also used for the RGM-79[G] GM Ground Type.
Though in many ways similar to its RX-78-2 predecessor, the RX-79[G] was quite a bit different in other ways, particularly in its armament. The beam sabers were stored in the legs, as the backpack mounted an equipment rack to carry weapon racks, parachute packs, or other field options. The head vulcan guns were removed, as the head now carried a periscope for underwater and trench warfare. Although sporting a smaller generator than the RX-78, the Ground Type Gundam still had the generator power to use a beam rifle, though it was often equipped with a standard 100mm machine gun or a heavy 180mm cannon. A single vulcan gun and a multiple-use "multi-launcher" mounted in the torso's left breast rounded out the new armament. In order to make use of space, two extra ammunition magazines for the machine gun were placed on the sideskirt armor.
As the RX-79[G] was built out of spare parts from Project V, replacements parts were very limited. Luckily the GM Ground Type shared 80% of the same parts as the Gundam Ground Type, making field repairs easier but sometimes resulted in a few customized mobile suits.
- Vulcan Gun
- Instead of using the original Gundam's head-mounted Vulcan Gun, the RX-79[G] mounted a single Gatling cannon in the left chest. This shell firing weapon has a high-rate of fire but has little power and can't damage the thick armor of a mobile suit, though it can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. This weapon is ideal for shooting down small, fast moving, lightly armored targets such as missiles, small land vehicles, and attack helicopters. Fires at a rate of 1200 rounds per minute.
- Mounted in the left chest under the vulcan gun is the multi launcher. This unusual device fires a variety of munitions, ranging from grenades to flares and chaff. While not to use for direct combat, it can be used for various purposes, such as distracting enemies, or communicating with allies, etc.
- X.B.Sa-G-03 Beam Saber
- The RX-79[G] has two beam sabers, one stored in each lower leg in an internal recharging rack. Once removed and activated, operating time is limited to one minute at normal plasma temperature and saber length. Can be replaced and recharged via leg sub-generator, with a full recharge taking 15 minutes. Typical plasma blade runs at 250,000 degrees Celsius, with a normal blade length of 12 meters +/- 0.5 meters.
- 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. Maximum effective range of 1.5 kilometers. The Type 37 cannot be used in space. Every Gundam and GM ground type carry two spare 20-round magazines on their hip armor.
- NFHI*GMCa-type.09/180mm Cannon
- The Type 09 artillery cannon fires a 180x800 millimeter HE round and is loaded with an eight (8) round box magazine. Maximum effective range 3.0 kilometers. The cannon can be broken down into five components for storage in the backpack storage container: the forward barrel with muzzle brake group, the rear barrel group, the forward receiver group, the rear receiver group and the magazine. The recoil produced by this cannon makes it unusable by the RGM-79[G] GM. Features include a swivel-out forward hand grip and top carrying handle.
- P.B.R-0079/A12 S-000011 Beam Rifle
- The ground-type beam rifle is unique in that it has an underbarrel rocket launcher with a loaded box magazine that can carry up to 3 rockets. The beam rifle itself is powered by an internal energy capacitor with an average charge of 15 rounds. Bore diameter of 150 millimeters. Mega particle range is limited in Earth's atmosphere. Maximum effective range of 2.0 kilometers. 60 RPM. Features include a forward swivel hand grip and 180 degree swivel narrow sensor.
- 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.
- 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. The bazooka can be broken down into five parts for storage in the backpack storage container: the forward barrel and muzzle group, the trigger and targeting sensor group, the rear barrel group, the receiver group and the magazine.
- BLASH HB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka
- 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.
- Gundam Hammer
- The Gundam Hammer was essentially a large spiked ball attached to a chain. It was used to give the MS using it a ranged melee weapon. The MS could either throw or swing the Hammer around itself in order to impact and damage its target through the sheer mass of the hammer.
- Net Gun
- Like its name suggests, this weapon fires nets that used to trap, immobilize and and disables the enemy; rather than destroy them. Usually used in Ambush and Capture missions.
- RGM*S-Sh-WF/S-00109 Shield
- Mounted on either forearm, the Federation small shield is used by all Gundam and GM ground type mobile suits. 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 back-mounted MS equipment created by the Federation for paradrop missions from the Medea Transport Plane. The Parachute Pack contains three parachutes and four thrusters to help in making a safe descent to the ground. Once touchdown had been accomplished the Parachute Pack would be ejected so not to hinder the mobile suit performance in ground combat. Two types of parachute pack were known to exist.
- Weapon Rack
- Another part that could be attached to the back of an Gundam Ground Type is a weapon rack. The Weapon Rack goes on like a hiking backpack and would allow the Gundam Ground Type to carry a variety of armaments and ammunition for both itself and the other members of its squad.
The RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type was used most notably by the Kojima Battalion operating in Southeast Asia, which fielded 20 RX-79[G] units, with the other eight participating in various operations on Earth. However, because the RX-79[G] were constructed from spare RX-78 parts, repair of damaged units became a tricky matter due to the unavailability of replacement parts. The result was the creation of custom RX-79[G] units such as the RX-79［G］Ez-8 Gundam Ez8 piloted by Kojima Battalion 08th MS Team commander Shiro Amada, or Karen Joshua's Gundam with a GM Ground Type head. The Gundam Ground Types were also deployed by the EFF's Experimental Units, with one of them being the platoon commanded by Matt Healy, who would be issued a new Gundam Ground Type after his RGM-79［G］ GM Ground Type was damaged in battle, Matt and his RX-79[G] unit would participate in the rest of the One Year War, including the Battle of Jaburo. Another unit piloted by Kamuna Tachibana, would also be stationed at Jaburo as part of its defense line during Zeon's assault of the underground base.
Federation Research and Development used three RX-79[G] units in their EXAM development program (see entry on Blue Destiny below).
Notes & Trivia
- The Gundam Ground Type is the first production-type Gundam ever.
- The Gundam Ground Type along with its GM counterpart debuted in the Gundam Vs as extras for the Deluxe version of Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation Vs Zeon and remained playable units up until Extreme VS where they became NPC units.
- Despite having the 08 designation on their shield, none of the pilots from the show were playable until Gundam Vs Gundam.