ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse Gundam
The ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse Gundam is a Mobile Suit in the series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny and is is analogous to the Earth Alliance's old GAT-X105+AQM/E-X03 Launcher Strike Gundam. It is piloted by Shinn Asuka and later by Lunamaria Hawke.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ZGMF-X56S/γ Blast Impulse Gundam is the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam equipped with the γ Blast Silhouette pack and is designed for long-range heavy assault and bombardment missions. As such, the Blast Silhouette pack is equipped with heavy assault weapons in the form of two beam cannons, two railcannons and a pair of missiles launchers. The pack also contains a pair of beam javelin for close range combat, and has additional thrusters that enable the Blast Impulse to hover over earth surfaces such as water and improve its overall mobility. The Blast Impulse retains all of the Impulse's standard armaments, thus it can use a beam rifle and shield for ranged combat and defense respectively. The suit's VPS colors are different from that of the normal Impulse, and is now black, green, white and blue.
- M2000F "Kerberos" High-Energy Long-Range Beam Cannon
- The most powerful ranged weaponry of the Blast Impulse is its two large M2000F "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannons. These cannons are mounted on the sides of the Blast Silhouette pack and are positioned underneath the MS's shoulders, with their trigger held in each hand when in use.
- GMF39 Quadruple Missile Launcher
- Mounted in the back of each "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannon, the pair of missile launchers are positioned over the shoulders when in use and can fire a large number of AGM141 "Firely" guided missiles. Due to their position, the missile launchers cannot be used at the same time as the "Kerberos" high-energy long-range beam cannon.
- AGM141 "Firely" Guided Missile
- MA-M80 "Defiant" Beam Javelin
- Although designed for ranged combat, the Blast Silhouette pack contains two MA-M80 "Defiant" beam javelins, which are stored inside the "Kerberos" high-energy long range beam cannons when not in use. These beam javelins are primarily used for close combat, but can also be thrown, like a traditional javelin could.
- MMI-M16XE2 "Deluge" Hyper-Velocity Rail Cannon
- Two "Deluge" hyper-velocity rail cannons are mounted at the top of the Blast Silhouette pack, and are positioned over the shoulders when in use. These rail cannons fire solid projectiles that have been accelerated via electromagnetic fields.
- MMI-RG59V Mobile Shield
- The Blast Impulse can use a physical anti-beam coated MMI-RG59V mobile shield for defense, it can be mounted on the left forearm or handheld. This shield is expandable, but is normally used in its compact state by the Blast Impulse in order to utilize its other weapons with less hindrance.
- M71-AAK "Folding Razor" anti-armor knife
- Stored in the suit's side armor, these knives do not need power from the suit and while not really effective against weapons like beam sabers, they are nonetheless capable of cutting into conventional armor of other mobile suit with the exception of phase-shift armor or its variants.
- MA-BAR72 High-energy Beam Rifle
- Stored on the suit's rear skirt armor, this beam rifle is developed based on Freedom and Justice Gundam's beam rifle, and provides the Blast Impulse with another ranged beam weapon.
- MMI-GAU25A 20mm CIWS
- The Blast Impulse mounts two CIWS guns in its chest to shoot down incoming missiles or enemy units at close range.
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 is 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 or situation 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.
In CE 73, ZAFT created the Impulse as part of the Second Stage Series of new Gundam-type mobile suits. The Impulse is similar to the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam, created by the Earth Alliance during the First EA-PLANT 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.
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 Gundam. The Blast pack used in this battle is eventually destroyed by Auel Neider in his ZGMF-X31S Abyss Gundam, 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 torso and into the cockpit, directly killing Auel.
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.
Notes & Trivia
- For about 11 years, the only official gunpla of the Blast Impulse is a No Grade 1/144 Scale Model. However, in August 2016, the Blast Impulse was released as a P-Bandai exclusive High Grade 1/144 model kit in the HGCE line.
- The Blast Impulse's rear mounted beam cannons bear a slight similarity to the Gundam F91'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).
- According to the suit's HP in the game, "Gundam SEED Destiny: Rengou vs. Z.A.F.T. II Plus", Blast Impulse has the second strongest variation of the VPS among the three Impulse Gundam variants seen in the anime. As of yet no official sources state the strength of each of the Impulse Gundam Variants VPS armor, so this claim has to be taken with a grain of salt.