ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse Gundam
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse Gundam is the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam equipped with the γ Blast Silhouette pack. The design is based on the Earth Alliance's GAT-X105+AQM/E-X03 Launcher Strike, although it also bears a slight resemblance to the Freedom, with its rail gun and Beam Cannon in reverse positions as opposed to the Freedom. Similar to the Launcher Striker pack the γ Blast Silhouette pack equips powerful long range high energy cannons to the Impulse. Unlike the Launcher Striker the γ Blast Silhouette equips two M2000F "Kerberos" cannons, as opposed to the one "Agni" cannon, effectively doubling its firepower. To serve as mid-range weapons the γ Blast Silhouette is equipped with a pair of railguns and eight missile launchers. The γ Blast Silhouette is superior to the Launcher Striker in close combat due to being equipped with a pair of beam Javelins. Additionally the γ Blast Silhouette provides better mobility, possessing powerful thrusters that allows the Impulse to hover over surfaces such as water.
The ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse is equipped with all of Impulse's standard systems and weapons; such as chest-mounted CIWS guns, anti-armor knives, mobile shield, beam rifle, the Impulse's modular Core Splendor system, the Deuterion Beam Energy Transfer System, and Variable Phase Shift armor.
- GMF39 Quadruple Missile Launcher
- AGM141 "Firely" Guided Missile
- Besides its cannons, the Blast Silhouette also mounts two GMF39 quadruple missile launchers. These launchers are mounted on top of the beam cannons and, when used, are mounted over the shoulders of the Impulse. These cannons are used to fire a large number of AGM141 "Firefly" guided missiles
- M2000F "Kerberos" High-Energy Long-Range Beam Cannon
- The most powerful weapon of the Blast Silhouette are its two large M2000F "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannons. These cannons grant the suit heavy firepower over long distances. When in use, the cannons swoop underneath the arms of the Impulse, who then holds them in its arms when firing.
- MA-M80 "Defiant" Beam Javelin
- Although designed for ranged combat, the Blast Silhouette pack contains two MA-M80 "Defiant" beam javelins, a variant of the classic beam sabers. These javelins are primarily used for close combat, but also can be thrown, like a traditional javelin could, as a powerful projectile.
- MMI-M16XE2 "Deluge" Hyper-Velocity Rail Cannon
- Two MMI-M16XE2 "Deluge" hyper-velocity rail cannons are mounted on the pack, which, when deployed, are mounted over the shoulders. Unlike the "Kerberos" beam cannons, the rail cannons fire solid projectiles via electromagnetic fields.
- M71-AAK "Folding Razor" anti-armor knife
- For close combat, the Impulse is equipped with two M71-AAK "Folding Razor" anti-armor knifes, which are stored in the hip armor of the suit when not in use. While not really effective against weapons like beam sabers, it is nonetheless capable of cutting into the armor of another mobile suit.
- MA-BAR72 High-energy Beam Rifle
- The Impulse usually uses a single MA-BAR72 high-energy beam rifle for ranged combat, a feature similar to most other advanced mobile suits. When not in use, this rifle is stored on the back of the suit, underneath the Silhouette pack.
- MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS
- Like most other mobile suits, the Impulse also mounts two MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS guns to shoot down incoming missiles or enemy units at close range. While most other suits have these CIWS guns installed in their heads, the Impulse instead mounts these guns in its chest.
Special Equipment & Features
- The Deuterion beam energy transfer system is a wireless energy transfer system built into the Second Stage Series and their support ship, the Minerva-class battleship. The system allows a mobile suit that is properly lined up with the Minerva to receive a recharge while in the field, meaning that if the mobile suit runs low on power during a battle it can be quickly recharged without coming into the ship's hanger. The transfer system if very efficient requiring only a few seconds before the mobile suit is fully recharged. Still on a battlefield even a few seconds could mean death so it is advisable for a machine to only perform the maneuver when they have covering fire.
- Hardpoints for Silhouette Packs
- While the other suits of the Second Stage series are capable of transforming into a mobile armor mode, the Impulse instead is similar to the Strike in the fact, that it can adapt to different situations by using exchangeable Silhouette packs. In addition to adding weapons and equipment for different mission profiles, these packs also reconfigure the Impulse's Variable Phase Shift armor.
- Variable Phase Shift allows the MS to automatically alter the strength and by extension the power consumption of the PS Armor, depending on what combat configuration that MS is in. As a result, the MS's colors changes. Unlike Strike Rouge's color-shifting PS, VPS is capable of changing its strength in the field, although this must be programmed beforehand. When using the Blast Silhouette pack, the armor automatically takes a black, white, green, and blue color scheme, which is presumably the weakest variation of the Variable Phase Shift armor. This is likely due to the fact that the Blast Impulse uses powerful beam weapons with huge energy requirements.
In CE 73, ZAFT created the Impulse as part of the Second Generation of Gundam-type mobile suits. The Impulse is similar to the old GAT-X105 Strike, created by the Earth Alliance during the Bloody Valentine War. Like the Strike, the Impulse can be equipped with exchangeable Silhouette packs, an advanced variation of the old Striker Packs, granting the suit the ability to adapt to different combat situations. One such pack is the γ Blast Silhouette, which is analogous to the AQM/E-X03 Launcher Striker, although far more advanced.
The Blast Impulse was used in battle first in October, CE 73, after the ZAFT military colony Armory One was infiltrated by three Extended humans working for the EA Phantom Pain special forces unit. The Extendeds stole three Gundams of the Second Stage Series and caused serious damage to the interior of the colony before escaping to their motherships Girty Lue. The ZAFT battleship Minerva pursued the enemy ship into the Debris Belt, where the Minerva's mobile suits, among them the Blast Impulse launched. Eventually, a battle ensued between the ZAFT and Phantom Pain forces, although the Girty Lue was able to escape again.
The Blast Silhouette was again used by the Impulse during the Battle of Crete, the second battle between the Minerva and the joint EA/Orb Union fleet. During this battle, Shinn Asuka used the Blast Impulse to destroy several Orb and EA mobile suits, while at the same time fighting shortly against Kira Yamato in his ZGMF-X10A Freedom. The Blast pack used in this battle is eventually destroyed by Auel Neider in his ZGMF-X31S Abyss, although Shinn used the smoke to attack and destroy the Abyss by throwing a beam javelin of the Blast pack into the Abyss Gundam's chest.
During the Minerva's attack on the Daedalus lunar base to prevent the Requiem superweapon from again firing on the PLANTs again, new Impulse pilot Lunamaria Hawke launched in the Blast Impulse to secretly sneak into the base, while Shinn and Rey Za Burrel fought the EA forces. With Lunamaria facing few resistance, she eventually was able to fly in front of the control room of the Requiem cannon, which she destroyed with the beam cannons of the Blast Silhouette.
- For some reason, the Blast Impulse was never turned into a High Grade series, No Grade 1/100 model or Master Grade series bandai scale model like the Sword and Force Impulses were, but still however Blast Impulse Gundam is now available for the No Grade 1/144 Scale Model just like the No Grade 1/144 Sword and Launcher Strike Gundam bandai scale model the conversion kit of the same of Striker Packs.
- The Blast Impulse's rear mounted beam cannons bear a slight similarity to the F91 Gundam Formula 91's rear mounted Variable Speed Beam Rifles.
- The Blast Impulse's back-mounted "Kerberos" beam cannons are named after the Greek mythological three-headed hellhound. The same nomenclature is later used for the TMF/A-802W2 Kerberos BuCUE Hound, which visually resembles it. It is interesting to note that Lunamaria's previous machine, the Gunner ZAKU Warrior, is armed with a beam cannon named "Orthros", after the mythological two-headed dog and brother to Kerberos.
- In SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online, the Blast Impulse Gundam is the only Mobile Suit in the Impulse line outside of the Impulse itself that can be obtained by point capsules. The Sword and Force Impulses have to be built via Blueprints. This is different from the Strike, as all three of its forms need to be built via Blueprints.
- Of the three original Silhouette Packs, the Blast Silhouette was the least used by Shinn, possibly reflecting on how Shinn preferred to engage his enemies at close range. This also draw contrast with Kira, who generally preferred long-range weapons (this more easily allows him to disable enemies without risk of causing their mobiles to explode from critical damage).