I was recently checking the defunct Zeonic Front site through the wayback machine archive and found something interesting among the profiles of the GM types
regarding a rather obscure member of the GM series, the RGM-79(GRS) Armored GM
The main points are::
1-It was deployed around the same time as the Cold Climate GM
2-It has been equipped for operating in the sand.
3-It is equipped with reactive armor.
4-It was deployed in Northern Africa and the Middle East.
I will talk more about the roll out date in a moment. Before that, I would like to point out that points 2 and 4 would indicate that the Armored GM is intended to be not only a high ground mobility GM variant, but also as a desert/tropical combat unit. In such case, it might be meant to be a modified version or replacement for the Desert GM
which also used reactive armor.
BTW, since it doesn't seem to have a more dedicated hovercraft system, I'm considering also that it might rather rely on constant thrust to achieve high mobility, similiar on how some Zeta-era MS move around on the ground during the AEUG's assault on Jaburo. In fact it shares the leg thrusters used on advanced GM varaints such as the GM Sniper II and GM Striker, and much later on the Nemo. Also, in the PS2 game this unit cannot fire a bazooka while on movement, unlike Dom types, which probably hints at some balancing issues when compared to Zeon's Dom.
Now back to the roll out date:
According to this thread
, production of the RGM-79D begins on Mid-November. This is consistent with the Blue Destiny manga where Yuu Kajima and his teamates receive their Cold Climate GMs between their first and their second encounters with Blue Destiny Unit 1. According to Mark's timeline
, these encounters take place on Mid November and November 29th respectively.
On the manga we are told that Yuu's team is testing these new GM models with 4 thrusters on their backpacks which were developed in order to stand a better chance against Dom types
(the armored GM also has 4 thrusters on its backapck). This basically indicates that the Federation already new about Dom types before the Mid September, when, according to the other thread, the design of the RGM-79D was completed.
Basically, this means that the RGM-79D and RGM-79GRS were two different proposals for an improved GM after the Federation found out about Zeon's Dom types. Both models were further modified in order to adapt each to a unique climate.
The early development and deployment of the Armored GM also means that the Murdock Gundam was based on it and not the other way around. For reference, the incomplete Murdock was prematurely deployed during the Zeon's assault on Jaburo on November 30th.
Anyway, while Mahq's profile says that the Armored GM was one of the last GM variants to be produced, mainly due to its only recorded appearance taking place on January 1st, it seems that the RGM-79GRS's deployment date is around Mid November, before the deployment of other GM variants such as the RGM-79C, RGM-79SC and RGM-79SP.
Finally, it's also possible that the GM Striker
is closely related to the Armored GM, since not only it does seem to also use reactive armor, but they also share the same backpack and calf thruster arrangement. Furthermore, if you check the images of the Armored GM on Mahq's profiles, you can quickly check that while the second color scheme is suppsoed to be the same one used by the units seen on Zeonic Front, the first color scheme, white with orange, plus gray reactive armor plates, resembles the one used by one of the earliest versions of the GM Striker
found on the Spirits of Zeon Arcade game. Units using similiar color schemes include the Powered GM
and the GM Ground Type
, which points towards such colors belonging to prototype units.
Besides, the RGM-79FP model number seems to indicate that it is somehow related to the RGM-79F Land Combat Type GM
, the same unit that served as the basis for the Desert GM mentioned above.
So, in order to figure out some more about the Armored GM, if anyone has any background info on RGM-79F, RGM-79FP and Desert GM, please share it with us.