The XM-01 Den'an Zon is a mobile suit that appears in the anime movie Mobile Suit Gundam F91, the manga series Mobile Suit Gundam F91 Silhouette Formula, and the manga series Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Though the RGM-109 Heavygun was the first miniature mobile suit to reach mass production, it is the Den'an Zon which is truly the first representative of a new age of mobile suits in the late Universal Century. The Den'an Zon, developed and produced by the Crossbone Vanguard, is lighter and had a greater performance than any Federation mobile suits being produced in UC 117, the year the Den'an Zon was first produced, or in the year UC 123 when the war between the Federation and the Crossbone Vanguard began.
Whereas the Heavygun was simply a smaller version of the RGM-89 Jegan and featured nothing in the way of new technology, the Den'an Zon served as a testbed for a number of technologies developed by the Crossbone Vanguard. Technologies such as the defensive beam shield, the offensive shot lancer, and the beam flag emitter.
Although its unclear for how long the Crossbone Vanguard had been developing its plans to invade and capture the Frontier Colonies, it appears that the invasion was taken into consideration, for the Den'an Zon's design as the mobile suit's primary weapon is the shot lancer. While the shot lancer weapon was rather innovative as a combined close-range and long-range weapon, the basic technology of its weapons was hardly advanced or anything new, simply applied in a new manner. However while the shot lancer's machine guns and pile-driver lance were not as advanced as beam weapons, they would produce far less collateral damage, thus keeping damage inside the colonies to a minimum.
Unlike the shot lancer, the beam shield technology was truly innovative and was probably what really made the Den'an Zon superior to the Federation's mobile suits. Unlike physical shields, which can be rendered useless by several consecutive hits, a beam shield could be maintained as a virtually impenetrable barrier as long as the mobile suit has power. Combined with the Den'an Zon's greater maneuverability, the pilot had a large survival chance on the battle field. It's also possible that this was another technology designed with combat within a colony interior in mind, as it allowed a mobile suit to survive attacks that would normally have to be dodged. By taking such attacks head-on, there would be less collateral damage. However, despite being an incredible defensive technology, it was not perfect. A well placed attack could destroy the beam shield emitter, and it was discovered that a beam attack with a high energy concentration, such as an attack from the F91 Gundam F91's VSBRs, could overpower the beam shield.
- 2-barrel Beam Gun
- For offensive purposes, the Den'an Zon is equipped with a 2-barrel beam gun on its left arm. The beam gun was the only fixed ranged beam weapon used by the Den'an Zon. Because the beam shield was built right on top of the beam gun, it was impossible to use the two devices at the same time.
- Beam Shield
- A new protective device used by the mobile suits of the U.C. 0120 era. Thanks to their increased generator output, the scaled-down mobile suits of this era are able to use beam technology for defensive purposes. 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, or whenever they're in danger of coming into contact with the mobile suit itself.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small cylindrical device held in the mobile suit's hands when operated and is powered by an energy capacitor that is recharged from special racks. The beam saber is capable of cutting through any metal that has not been treated with anti-beam coating.
- Shot Lancer
- A distinctive close combat weapon developed by the Crossbone Vanguard, the "shot lancer" is designed for combat in and around space colonies, where beam weapons would run the risk of triggering catastrophic reactor explosions in enemy mobile suits. Instead, the shot lancer uses electromagnetic acceleration to drive its tip through the enemy's armor, and the spearhead itself can also be launched like a missile. The shot lancer was first equipped on the XM-01 Den'an Zon and remained a standard melee weaponry for many Crossbone Vanguard mobile suits. Earth Federation Forces later adapted the idea into their RGM-122 Javelin during the late U.C.0130s.
- 2-barrel Heavy Machine Gun
- To increase the shot lancer's combat effectiveness, the weapon was designed to incorporate a machine gun. The Den'an Zon's shot lancer featured a two-barrel drum-fed heavy machine gun that proved highly effective against the light armor of modern Earth Federation mobile suits.
Special Equipment & Features
- Beam Flag Emitter
- The beam flag emitter is a technology that uses similar principals as a beam saber to generate a large beam shaped into a specific symbol. It is used to act as a battlefield standard, often designating which units were commanders.
- Optical Visors
- The Den'an Zon can be equipped with a pair of optical visors that are fitted over its standard "goggle"-type optics. So far, these have only been seen on units in the Crossbone Vanguard's Dark Tiger Squadron.
- A tire-shaped support machine that possesses high mobility. For offensive purposes the Einerad is armed with a pair of beam cannons and a missile pod. Appears on a customized Den'an Zon unit in episode 1 of Gundam Build Fighters.
The XM-01 Den'an Zon was first developed by the Crossbone Vanguard in the year UC 117. From that point on it would serve as the basis for several future Crossbone Vanguard mobile suit designs as well as serving as the basic grunt mobile suit of the Crossbone Vanguard's military forces.
The Den'an Zon was first sighted by those outside the Crossbone Vanguard on February 18, 0123 U.C. when several Anaheim Electronics test pilots saw a Den'an Zon from the Dark Tiger Squadron lurking around a meteor in Side 3's Zebra Zone. The test pilot, Kevin Forrest, who was piloting an RGM-111 Hardygun at the time, mistook the Den'an Zon for a type of Zaku mobile suit because of the sensor visor it was equipped with. The Den'an Zon was driven off by Tokio Randall and his RXF-91 Silhouette Gundam. The pilot of the Den'an Zon, Morris O'Barry, returned to his mothership and reported the incident. His commander decided that it was the Dark Tiger Squadron's duty to destroy those that saw the Den'an Zon before they could go back and report it to their superiors. The attack force included at least one Den'an Zon piloted by O'Barry.
Later, on the 22 of February of the same year, O'Barry's Den'an Zon was an escort to Shelf Sheffield and his XM-05B Berga Balus for an information exchange with Federation officer and RX-99 Neo Gundam Unit 1 pilot Baz Galemson. However Galemson doublecrossed the Dark Tiger Squadron and tried to kill them, only succeeding to kill O'Barry who was outside his Den'an Zon.
In UC 0123 the Den'an Zon would be used in the invasion and capture of the Frontier IV colony. During the invasion, the Den'an Zon would perform admirably against the Earth Federation Mobile suits. During the war, the Den'an Zon would continue to serve as the basic Crossbone Vanguard mobile suit. It would continue to serve those related to the Crossbone Vanguard for the following 10 years.
After the financial bankruptcy of the Crossbone Vanguard, the XM-01 Den'an Zon remained in active service as part of colony defense forces. Likely the colonies that used the Den'an Zon were those that still housed wealthy individuals who would have been the aristocracy of Cosmo Babylonia, such as Sheridan Ronah, had the government not gone bankrupt.