The Silhouette Gundam is a mobile suit that appears in the Mobile Suit Gundam F91 Silhouette Formula manga/model kit series Mobile Mobile Suit Gundam Silhouette Formula 91 in UC 0123.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
The RXF-91 Silhouette Gundam is an advanced mobile suit that is based on stolen data from the Strategic Naval Research Institute's Formula Project. Because it uses stolen data the RXF-91 Silhouette Gundam is in many ways identical to the F91 Gundam F91 that SNRI was still developing. The suits were not completely identical, possessing different exterior frame designs.
Following are notable differences between the F91 and Silhouette Gundams.
- The Silhouette Gundam lacked the F91's multi-layered armor, face heat vents, a spare beam shield, and the advanced bio-computer.
- The shoulder radiator fins are replaced by tubular heat vents
- Silhouette Gundam's beam shield generator is much larger than SNRI's model.
- Unlike the F91's removable model the Silhouette Gundam uses a fixed VSBR backpack, which can be switch with a secondary system and used as normal beam cannons in the case that the VSBRs malfunction.
- The Silhouette Gundam possesses a beam spray gun on its right arm and two heavy machine guns mounted in the left forearm.
- In term of performance, the F91 has a noticeably greater acceleration and less mass, but the Silhouette Gundam has greater reactor output.
Several of the RXF-91 Silhouette Gundam's key features are its light weight, speed, and mobility. However, in order to make the mobile suit smaller and lighter it sacrifices armor strength. Because of the weaker armor, the use of certain tactics employed with older mobile suits, such as ramming an enemy at high speed, are not viable.
Because the Silhouette is a test-model mobile suit it was installed with equipment that limits the unit's performance but makes it easier to handle. The purpose of the equipment is to allow data to be gathered so that mass production mobile suits can be made to be pilot-able by anyone.
- Vulcan Gun
- A standard armament of the mobile suits that are descended from the Earth Federation Forces's RX series is a pair of head mounted 60mm vulcan guns. These shell firing weapons have a high-rate of fire but have little power and can't damage the thick armor of a mobile suit, though it can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. The weapons are ideal for shooting down small, fast moving, lightly armored targets such as missiles, small land vehicles, and attack helicopters.
- Beam Saber
- The Silhouette Gundam is equipped with a pair of beam sabers that are stored in backpack recharge racks in a manner similar to the original RX-78-2 Gundam.
- Mega Machine Cannon
- The Silhouette Gundam is equipped with a pair of fire-linked mega machine cannons in its upper chest. In the age of miniaturized mobile suits, the emphasis for mobile suit designs is speed, thus armor is sacrificed to reduce mass and weight. This leaves many mobile suits more vulnerable to physical round weapons, such as machine guns, that had been discarded for mobile suit combat because of a lack of effectiveness after the One Year War. Though based on the concept of old mobile suit machine guns, the mega machine cannons mounted in the Silhouette's chest have been improved with modern technology, making them more effective.
- Heavy Machine Gun
- In addition to the mega machine cannons mounted in the chest, the Silhouette Gundam is also equipped with a pair of fire-linked heavy machine guns mounted in the unit's left forearm.
- The most powerful weapon employed by the Silhouette Gundam is a new type of beam rifle known as the Variable Speed Beam Rifle, or VSBR for short. Rather than being a hand-carried weapon powered by an energy cap or e-cap, the VSBR was mounted on the mobile suit itself and powered directly by its reactor. The pilot could adjust the speed at which the mega particles used in the beam fire were accelerated. Slower-speed particles produced a wider beam that delivered more raw damage, and higher-speed particles created a more tightly focused, penetrating beam. Thus, the Silhouette's pilot could choose to deliver beam damage on a wider area or focused, high-speed shots to penetrate thick armor or even beam shields.
- The Gundam is equipped with two Variable Speed Beam Rifles which are mounted on the unit's backpack.
- Beam Spray Gun
- The beam spray gun is a simplified - often called a tuned-down - version of a beam rifle that was originally designed during the One Year War, as a less expensive alternative to the beam rifle. Key characteristics of a beam spray gun are a shortened barrel and a simplified focusing coil. While this reduces the manufacturing cost, it also reduces its overall effective range, and results in a more divergent beam emitted from the barrel. However, the beam still has the power to penetrate the armor on just about any mobile suit. During the One Year War the beam spray gun was noted for penetrating the armor of the Zeon's MS-09 Dom which was the most heavily armored mobile suit of the time. At close range the beam spray gun is said to be more effective than the beam rifle as the beam causes more widespread damage.
- The Silhouette Gundam is equipped with a beam spray gun mounted on its right forearm.
- Beam Shield
- The Silhouette Gundam can be equipped with a single beam shield generator that can be mounted on the left forearm. Unlike an I-field generator, which is effective only against beam attacks, the beam shield blocks both beam and projectile weapons. The beam shield generates a plane of energy similar to the blade of a beam saber. This plane is divided into multiple sections, which can be turned on or off as needed to conserve energy. Individual sections are also automatically deactivated whenever they're in danger of coming into contact with the mobile suit itself. The Silhouette's beam shield generator is noticeably larger than many contemporaries. In many ways it is a smaller version of standard physical shield that mounts the equipment to emit beam shield sections.
- Beam Rifle
- A standard hand carried ranged beam weapon is the beam rifle. Capable of firing concentrated mega particles, attacks from a beam rifle can damage any ordinary armor that has not been specially treated to resist it. One of the more effective methods of blocking a beam rifle is the use of a beam shield.
The Silhouette Gundam is a mobile suit built by Anaheim Electronics as part of the Silhouette Formula Project, launched in UC 0112 and based on stolen plans and technical data of the F90V Gundam F90 VSBR Type, in an attempt to catch-up to the Earth Federation Forces' Strategic Naval Research Institute's advancements in mobile suit technology.
The RXF-91 Silhouette Gundam was piloted by test pilot Tokio Randall and was stored aboard the Anaheim Electronics owned ship Bladewood, a freighter that had been refitted with a mobile suit deck, launch catapult, and a dual barrel beam turret, along with the RGM-111 Hardygun and F71B G-Cannon Magna. The mobile suits were taken to the Zebra Zone of Side 3, an area believed to be uninhabited, where tests were conducted to measure the performance of the three mobile suits. The tests began in November of UC 0122. By February the tests were entering their final stages, but during a mock battle between the Silhouette Gundam and the Hardygun, the two mobile suits encountered a Den'an Zon from the Crossbone Vanguard's Dark Tiger Squadron, who were also conducting tests. Tokio in the Silhouette Gundam drove off the Den'an Zon.
Because the Crossbone Vanguard was not ready to reveal itself, the Dark Tiger Squadron launched an attack against the Bladewood. Tokio launched in the Silhouette Gundam and engaged against two enemy mobile suits. During the attack Tokio released the Gundam's limiter and fought with its full potential, quickly destroying his targets before moving to aid his comrades.
Several days later, the damaged Bladewood took refuge in an officially abandoned colony to undergo repairs by the crew of the Earth Federation Forces Ra Cailum-class Ajax. The head mobile suit engineer - Iris Orlando - was brought aboard the Ajax to transfer the combat data from the RXF-91 Silhouette Gundam to the RX-99 Neo Gundam Unit 2 and adjust the new Gundam's controls.
Shortly after, Tokio was piloting the Silhouette Gundam along with Kevin in the Hardygun in the colonies interior, returning from a meeting from the community with the Colony's refugees. On the way back to the Bladewood the mobile suits were intercepted by Earth Federation Jegans that ordered Tokio to rendezvous with the Ajax.
Because of the Ajax's Captain and mission, Tokio and Iris sought to escape, and assist several other Anaheim technicians in escaping as well. Tokio and Iris boarded the Neo Gundam Unit 2 while Layla Lagiorr, who was riding in the Hardygun as it busted through the Ajax's hull, boarded the Silhouette Gundam after she saw that it was abandoned, despite having only piloted a thirty-year old AMS-119 Geara Doga before.
After activating the Silhouette Gundam, Layla saw the ship's captain Baz Galemson through the window to the ship's pilot ready room, and recognized him as the man who massacred her people six years ago. She used the Silhouette to smash the window with the machine's fist but was stopped from further action by Tokio and Kevin, who convinced her that it was more important to escape the Ajax.
Out in space the three mobile suits were intercepted by Galemson in the Neo Gundam Unit 1, with whom Layla immediately engaged in melee combat. The battle was interrupted by Shelf Sheffield in the XM-07G Vigna Zirah, at which point Layla and the Silhouette escaped into the colony's interior with the people from Anaheim. In the interior they were again intercepted by Galemson. This time Layla engaged him with the aid of Tokio in Unit 2. Tokio used Unit 2 to grab Unit 1 in a submission hold to keep it from moving, and then escaped in the core fighter. Layla used the Silhouette's beam sabers while Tokio used the core fighter's beam guns in a combined attack against Unit 1 that destroyed the mobile suit.
The suit was later upgraded into the RXF-91A Silhouette Gundam Kai.