The SVMS-01 Union Flag (aka Flag), is the mainstay mass-produced MS of the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations in season 1-2 of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. In season 1, the unit was used by the Union. By season 2, the unit was used by Katharon. In the movie, a customized variant of the Union Flag was used by Celestial Being and piloted by its Gundam Meister, Setsuna F. Seiei.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Flag is a high performance mobile suit that can also act as a high speed jet fighter. Both modes are capable of aerial flight with the mobile suit mode providing greater mobility and the jet fighter mode providing greater speed. For flight, four hydrogen plasma jets are mounted on its back. The linear rifle is usable in both the mobile suit and jet fighter mode. For the latter, it also has the function of generating a "sharp shaped" electromagnetic field on the front of the jet and it is for this reason that the Flag can travel at high velocities despite its shape not being aerodynamic. For melee combat, the unit is equipped with a vibration based sonic blade which possesses the ability to focus plasma into a sword shape. While it possesses two operation modes, the Flag cannot freely transform between these modes in mid-air due to immense stress the frame suffers that can potentially spin it out of control, although it is an improvement in the sense that it does not require the part swapping of its predecessor. Despite the limitations, some ace pilots such as Graham Aker have shown that it is possible for a skilled enough pilot to transform the Flag between mobile suit mode and jet fighter mode in mid-flight using a technique famously known as the Graham Special as he invented it himself.
One interesting feature about the Flag is its fuel system. The hydrogen that it uses as fuel is infused into the molecular bonds of the carbon that makes up the machine's frame, removing the risk of explosions and eliminating the need for extra space for fuel tanks.
It features several improvements upon the Realdo's design including better armaments and a lighter frame structure giving the Flag a higher performance standard and a less bulky appearance. Similar to the AEU-09 AEU Enact, it possesses the ability to receive energy from its bloc's Orbital Elevator, Union's energy linkage system is relatively inferior to the AEU's as well as the fact that the Union's international policy of external intervention means that the Flags are mostly deployed outside of the Union's territory. Additionally, the Flag is capable of transforming into a high speed fighter jet mode, in which the arms lie flat against the sides of the suit, and the wings are transformed into an X-shape.
There are several variants of the SVMS-01 Union Flag created for many specific purposes. These variants include specialized units for specific environments such as space, sky, and ground as well as customized upgrades like the SVMS-01E Union Flag Graham Aker Custom and SVMS-01O Over Flag.
The Flag possess an AI system that programs the visor to make eye patterns. It is assumed that this feature is used to intimidate enemies
To reduce air resistance, the Flag stores its weapons within the unit's main body.
- 20mm Machine Gun
- The 20mm machine gun is mounted next to the drum cockpit. This rapid-fire armament is ideal for shooting down incoming missiles or small vehicles. However, it is generally ineffective against heavily armored targets such as mobile suits.
- Defense Rod
- A standard defensive feature of AEU and Union mobile suits. The defense rod is a rotating rod usually connected to the elbow joint of the mobile suit's left arm. Using rotary motion, the rod is capable of deflecting certain physical rounds such as bullets from a machine gun and in some cases a shot from a beam rifle by generating a plasma field. Compared to conventional shield, the defense rod is lighter as the Flag has to maintain its speed advantage and maneuverability during combat.
- Linear Rifle
- A rifle that fires electromagnetically-accelerated rounds and was one of the most advanced weapons available before the introduction of beam weaponry.
- Sonic Blade (Plasma Sword)
- The standard melee weapon of both the AEU's and Union's mobile suits. A sonic blade is a folding dagger-like weapon that incorporates a high-frequency oscillating blade. The vibrations of the oscillating blade greatly increase the weapon's cutting capabilities. It can focus plasma in a sword shape to form a plasma sword.
- Depending on mission parameters, the Flag can be equipped with different missiles like air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles or even surface-to-air missiles. These missiles are usually stored in the shin compartment, but due to the limited storage space, additional missile pods can be attached to the main wing, sub wing or between the legs.
Special Equipment & Features
- Chaff & Flare Dispenser
- This equipment is used to intercept missiles coming from behind the Flag when it is in flight mode. It is located at the circular ankle joints in each legs. It was rarely used against the Gundams, which used mostly beam weaponry.
- Drum Cockpit
- The drum cockpit is designed to reduce the G forces exerted on the pilot during the unit's flight. It achieves this by having the pilot sit in a lying down fashion. Overall this decreases the burden on the pilot. A sub-cockpit is located in the waist for escape purposes.
- These hardpoints are for mounting additional missile pods.
- Visor AI
- This AI on the Flag is used to control the patterns made by the unit's visor.
Developed in the year AD 2307 the Union's Flag is the first mobile suit to run on solar power energy. It was a state of the art mobile suit and at the time of its introduction was the height of military technology available to the world prior to the introduction of the Gundams.
In the year AD 2307 the majority of the Union's military was still composed of VMS-15 Union Realdos, such as the military of Taribia. However the Realdo were being steadily phased out in favor of the more advanced Flag.
In AD 2307, Graham Aker would use a Union Flag, modified to be left handed, to confront the GN-001 Gundam Exia after the first Ceylon intervention. Despite being in an inferior mobile suit Graham proved to be a difficult foe, using the Flag's speed to dodge Exia's GN Sword. Graham then attempted to tear off Exia's shoulder armor, however the Exia pulled out one of its beam sabers and promptly destroyed the Flag's linear rifle.
The Flag continued to be the Union's frontline unit against the Gundams until the introduction of the more advanced GN-X series in AD 2308.
By the year AD 2312 a significant number of Flags were still in service for the Earth Sphere Federation Army despite being outmatched by the GN-X series of mobile suits. Much like some of the older and outdated units, such as the AEU-09 AEU Enact and MSJ-06II-C/B Tieren High Mobility Type B, the Flag was used as a stopgap method of supplying the Earth Sphere Federation Army with machines because of how GN-X model machines could only be produced in limited numbers compared to non-GN powered machines. Despite this however, their ability to use solar energy as an energy source for weapons gives them a very long operation cycle as a result compared to GN powered mobile suits which require a special recharging facility. Due to this, the Flag was one of models that had seen continued usage by the Earth Sphere Federation Army. This is also because the number of GN powered mobile suits were still little compared to those of more conventional mobile suits as of AD 2312. Some Flags in AD 2312 were acquired and used by Katharon as well.
In AD 2314, one Flag unit was obtained and modified by Celestial Being known as the CBNGN-003 Union Flag Celestial Being Version, integrating the Flag unit with GN technology. The Flag's transformation capabilities also inspired the development of the Brave series of mobile suits.
Notes & Trivia
- In Episode 2 of Season 1, the first meeting of Graham and Setsuna after the intervention at Ceylon Island showed Graham's Flag drawing out his Plasma Sword and attacking Exia right-handed, despite Graham being popularly known as left-handed.
- A Transformation style similar to the Flag's is used by its successors and is also used in Gundam AGE, especially by RGE-G2100 Clanche and its variants.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 HG 1/144 AEU-09 AEU Enact Demonstration Color manual
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 High Grade 1/144 SVMS-01 Union Flag
- ↑ 300 Years Later sourcebook
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Novel 1 "Celestial Being"
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00N Chapter 1
- ↑ Gundam 00 2nd Mechanics
- ↑ HG 1/144 GN-X III ESF Color Type