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Designation:

RGM-78 Gundam Platoon Leader Mobile Suit (RX-78, -78NT-01, 78FA-01, -78FA-02)
RGX-78 Gundam Mark II Experimental Mobile Suit

I. Dimensions:

RGM-78 RGM-78FA-01 RGM-78NT-01 RGM-78FA-02 RGX-78
Total Height:  17.5 meters 18.4 meters 18.2 meters 17.5 meters 17.5 meters
Total Depth : 6.0 meters 6.2 meters 7.0 meters 6.0 meters 6.0 meters
Total Breadth : 8.5 meters 9.3 meters 6.4 meters 8.5 meters 8.5 meters
Dry Weight : 27 metric tons 31 metric tons 30 metric tons 38 metric tons 28 metric tons
Operational Weight : 33 metric tons 45 metric tons 33 metric tons 55 metric tons 35 metric tons

II. Type

III. Service Use

IV. Propulsion

Engines:

(RGM-78)

(RGM-78FA-01)

Main Engines of standard model, plus:

(RGM-78NT-01)

(RGM-78FA-02)

Main Engines of standard model, plus:

(RGX-78)

Powerplant:

(RGM-78, -78FA-01)

(RGM-78NT-01, -78FA-02, RGX-78)

Fuel Capacity:

(RGM-78)

(RGM-78NT-01)

(RGX-78)

V. Performance

RGM-78 RGM-78FA-01 RGM-78NT-01 RGM-78FA-02 RGX-78
Running speed: 165 kph 92 kph 192 kph 86 kph 222 kph
Max loiter time: 45 seconds 30 seconds 90 seconds 30 seconds 110 seconds
Jump distance:(*) 120 meters 50 meters 150 meters 50 meters 220 meters
Cell duration:(**) 150 hours 100 hours 150 hours 100 hours 150 hours
Acceleration: 1.5 G 1.1 G 2.1 G 1.7 G 2.5 G
Delta-v capacity: 89.6 kps 61.5 kps 118.4 kps 89.9 kps 184.1 kps
* = Earth-normal conditions and without thrusters
** = Continuous operational use.

VI. Electronics

Radar tracking:

(RGM-78, -78FA-01)

(RGM-78NT-01, -78FA-02, RGX-78)

Optical tracking:

(RGM-78, -78FA-01)

(RGM-78NT-01, -78FA-02, RGX-78)

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

VII. Armament

Cannon

(RGM-78, -78NT-01)

(RGM-78FA-01)

(RGM-78NT-01)

(RGM-78FA-02)

(RGX-78)

Hand Held Weapon

(RGX-78)

Melee Weapon

(RGM-78, -78NT01)

(RGX-78)

Missiles

(RMG-78FA-01)

(RGM-78FA-02)

(All)

Other Military Cargoes available include:

VIII. Armor

The armor on the Gundam series is a low-mass plating that is the standard for command mobile suits known as Gundarium. Aside from the superb protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor is also fairly resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns too, owing to the fact that the armor can flake off and evaporate in layers under fire from such high-energy weapons, taking much of the weapon's energy and converting it into the latent heat of sublimation in the armor. The armor stops all small arms fire, and has good resistance to all weapons commonly mounted on combat mecha. This new armor is also much lighter than most armors weighing a full two thirds less than the traditional armor's mounted on mecha but is almost twice as expensive to make.

The Gundam provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for three days maximum.

IX. Development

The Gundam represents the future in armored cavalry, the mobile suit or MS. The RGM-78 was designed to be a true fast strike destroid offering tremendous mobility and firepower with excellent jump abilities. The RGM-78 Gundam, developed by Anaheim Electronics based in Von Braun City on the Lunar surface.

Designed much more like a veritech in battloid mode the RGM-78 has amazing maneuverability both on the ground and in the air featuring excellent jump capabilities and excellent deep space combat characteristics. The Gundam also sports a stunning amount of firepower centered on a new type of tachyon rifle which, while it has limited ammunition, delivers enough energy to destroy many types of mecha with one shot or two shots.  The cannon while expensive, can still be issued to most mobile suits, however it does bar it from any sort of widespread use mecha such as veritechs or destroids.  Another unique weapon is the tachyon saber which uses an intense magnetic field to contain a stream of collected tachyon particles into a small space making it a very effective cutting tool and excellent melee combat weapon capable of inflicting serious damage to any mecha who comes close enough. The Gundam also sports some more conventional weapons such as a head mounted pair of tri-barrel 60 mm autocannons which provide close range fire support as well as a pair of missile launchers contained behind its shield. The construction of the Gundam differs from its Tirolian counterparts.  While the Tirolians originally opted for the monocoque construction, Terran engineers went with a semi-monocoque construction based on an internal framework to which individual armored plates are attached.  This allows for maximum protection for the mecha at the cost of mobility, however this was later deemed acceptable as the Gundam's mobility was far beyond what was expected.  The final piece of the Gundam's excellent ability is its armor. A unique and highly reflective substance known as Gundarium. This armor almost completely stops all projectile weapons and provides excellent protection against energy weapons and weighs a fraction of most other armors. However, the Gundarium alloy is both expensive and time consuming to make.  This lead to a decision to only use it on platoon leader mobile suits such as the Gundam until a cheaper and easier way was found to manufacturer this excellent armor.   

During gravity combat testing in Australia at the new Mobile Suit Test Range near Torrington Australia and zero-g testing at both La Vien Rose (Anaheim's private space dock) and outside Van Braun City on Luna, the Gundam showed excellent promise and the RDF Marines and Space Marines immediately made plans to procure almost 1000 units, enough to lead 1000 platoons into battle. However these plans were later curtailed to only 100 units as Anaheim Electronics soon delivered the much improved RGM-78NT-01 Gundam Alex.  Although it saw limited use in handling some Anti-UTG incursions it performed exceptionally. As such the Gundam left service after only four years, but will still it be remembered as the father of the mobile suit.

During early development of the Gundam, designers developed a armor add on package containing additional weapons and thrusters similar to the FAST packs for the veritech fighters.  These packs, dubbed FAWS (Full Armor Weapon System) where to be used for defensive situations as more mobile alternative to the destroids as they were forced to remain on the surface of a ship.  The FAWS added a shoulder rail cannon which provided a long range punch to the Full Armor Gundam.  The package also featured an armored shield which on the reverse side mounted a pair of heavy tachyon cannons further increasing firepower.  This coupled with missile launchers made the Full Armor Gundam excellent for defensive sorties.  All this did of course come at a price, agility.  Of course as they were designed for defensive sorties, this was not seen as a drawback.  The packs were only deployed in combat by the Space Marines as the Marines, who used destroids to fill the roll of heavy mechanized infantry saw no need for the FAWS.

The RGM-78NT-01 Gundam Alex was designed originally as an advanced proof of concept model to test new mobile suit technologies for Anaheim's work on future mecha and mobile suit designs.  In addition to the standard head cannons, beam sabers and a beam rifle, the Alex mounted a tri-barrel 90 mm autocannon in each forearm, giving the mobile suit good close-range firepower to back up its beam rifle. The Alex also replaced the standard cockpit system of the original Gundam with an experimental new type of cockpit. Incorporating a 360-degree "panoramic monitor" screen around the pilot, all of the Alex's controls were incorporated into panels mounted on the pilot's "linear seat." This configuration gave the pilot an almost unlimited field of vision, thus allowing for easier target acquisition and faster response time. This type of cockpit would be modified slightly and make an appearance later in the VF-19 Excalibur.  Another feature adding to the Alex's maneuverability was the "magnetic coating" applied to the suit's joints and motors, reducing friction and wear to almost nothing and making the Alex extremely responsive to pilot input.  The final piece of the new mobile suit was a new more powerful reactor to power its new sensor suite as well as other new equipment.

Like the original Gundam, the Alex had a FAWS developed for it.  It featured slightly improved weapons by replacing the rail cannon with a more robust tachyon cannon as well as increasing the missile payload.  To address mobility concerns, new FAWS had a pair of thrusters attached to it increasing agility and thus, survivability.  The RGM-78NT-01 served until it was replaced by MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam.

Immediately following the development of the Alex, Anaheim Engineers began work on a totally new form of mobile suit.  Utilizing combat data and corroboration with the Tirolian Mercantile Republic companies, a new way to build mobile suits was developed, the movable frame. Up until that point, almost all mobile suits were built on the monocoque construction concept - with the external armor serving as a shell that supported all of the thrusters, joints, hydraulics, fuel tanks, et cetera, that were stored inside. The movable frame concept turned this design philosophy around; the Gundam Mark II was built around a skeleton-like frame, with all thrusters, fuel tanks, weapons and so forth mounted on the frame, and minimal amounts of armor applied to those critical areas that needed protection.  The Gundam Mark II served as a proof of concept design and as such lacked certain features such as internal autocannons and used the same reactor as the Alex.  It does use newer beam sabers and rifles however which would be the basis for those used by the Zeta Gundam.  Three units were constructed at the colony Grypps in the Sol System in 2053.  These three units underwent extensive testing and combat trials with their data being used to construct the next generation of mobile suit.


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Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Layout adapted from Robotech Reference Guide

Content by Jeffrey R. Spillner and Ron Ferrara
Copyright 1998-2001 Jeffrey R. Spillner and Ron Ferrara

Page Last Updated on November 26, 2001 @ 11:00 GMT

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