Friday, September 19, 2014

EFSF Weapons Vol. 2 - Heavy Weapons

The second part of the EFSF/GM weapons series will cover the heavy weapons - Bazookas, Cannons, and Missiles. (Oh my?)  

RGM-79C scrambled to intercept an HLV launch from Hughenden.  With the suspected presence of a warship to recover the HLV , this unit carried heavy firepower in the form of 360mm Hyper Bazookas in both hands.   However, the HLV HLV changed course and escaped towards Africa, rather than heading towards Side 3, so this unit was not able to intercept their target.

Armaments of RGM-79 
A brief overview of GM series weapons

During the One Year War, combat under the influence of Minovsky Particle scattering was an area of combat neither Zeon or Federation Militaries had much experience in.   Ideal factors such as engagement distances, shot accuracy, and required magazine capacities were not well understood, and so a variety of concepts for weapons systems were developed. 

Hyper Bazooka

The HB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka was developed by the BLASH corporation as a general purpose fire support rocket launcher platform for Mobile Suits.   With considerable destructive power owing to the explosive yield in each warhead, the weapon was primarily used to destroy less-maneuverable battlefield targets such as warships, satellites, land battleships, bunkers, and buildings.   This weapon was created with input from several of the Federation’s long range weaponry suppliers, and developed to meet the need for a recoilless rocket launcher that could be adapted to a variety of deployment situations.
While possessing relatively simple construction, the HB-L-03/N-STD has a long barrel as well as considerable ammunition weight in the rear, with the center of gravity being maintained near the center, but a specialized manual was also prepared to prevent maneuvers from being affected by the additional weight, and the fire control program was also responsible for limiting the Mobile Suit’s range of motion.

One of the biggest advantages of this weapon system were the three different types of magazines that could be used by the HB-L-03/N-STD, with different types of rounds creating self-contained ammunition packages.    Since the ammunition did not necessarily have to be matched to the 380mm bore size, different types of smaller diameter rounds could also be utilized.   

This feature allowed the use of existing munitions to be used immediately as vital anti-MS rounds were still under development, with various options tested to find the optimal choice.   Indeed, various types of rounds were tested as the weapon was actually deployed, with extensive testing being done in active combat.

Naturally, the velocity of the rounds was nowhere near the speed of a beam rifle, however the weapon’s effectiveness rate being over 90% coupled with the heavy stopping power of the large bore rounds made the weapon useful in a variety of aspects.

However, in engagements between Mobile Suits, the slow large caliber rounds were easily evaded in many cases.  Putting rounds on target was found to be less of a targeting issue and more of a tactics and appropriate firing distance issue, so a high degree of coordination within the MS team was required to effectively employ the weapon in these situations.
The HB-L-03/N-STD was developed along with the RX project, and when deployed with the RX-78-2 Gundam, it featured a early production large sight scope, but later examples deployed with the RGM-79 GM in combat zones were not equipped with this targeting system.  

As the RX-77 Guncannon and the RGC-80 GM Cannon units faced delays in deployment, the RGM-79’s HB-L-03/N-STD2 became the primary fire support weapon for Mobile Suit units.

Additionally, while the early models were equipped with magazines that could not be changed, a small number of an improved model was supplied to units late in the One Year War which featured changeable magazines, the N-STD-10.

The weapon was ultimately used with four main types of rounds: a space-use dual stage booster-equipped HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round, an APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot), a HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) as well as a shotgun-type round.

YHI ERRL-TYPE.Doc-04/380mm
Rocket Launcher

The ERHB-TYPE.Doc-04/380mm Rocket Launcher was a type of MS-carried very large rocket launcher independently developed by YHI.  Developed for use specifically in 1G environments, it is equipped with a number of features, such as a targeting sensor, that give it excellent flexibility.  Additionally, the large banana magazine allows for magazine changes to allow for easy reloading.  A number of different munitions were prepared for this weapon, including warheads with fins that deploy the stabilize the round after launch, often seen among older generation weapons. (ed. note such as the BGM-71 TOW missile.)

The weapon was used extensively in the Southeast Asian and Australian theaters.

Hyper Bazooka

The HB-L-07/N-STD Hyper Bazooka was based on the HB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka with added targeting sensors installed.   The magazine has been changed to a detachable magazine, and is more resistant to debris, weapon impacts, and explosions.  Mobility and frame strength have been increased due to the reinforcing rib that runs the length of the barrel, from the carry handle to the rear of the bazooka, allowing pilots to be less concerned about the condition of their weapon.

Just attaching the targeting sensor has increased accuracy, however the ever increasing mobility and speed of Mobile Suits continues to outpace the ability of the bazooka, leading to only limited continuing deployment in specific combat operations.

180mm Cannon

The FH-X180 takedown-type 180mm cannon was developed by YHI as a extended range cannon for use in 1G conditions.   The design is thought to be inspired by the Zimmad Corporation’s ZIM/M-T-K175C Magella Top cannon.    The cartridge which projects from the upper side of the weapon is a six-round box magazine.  The greatest advantage of this particular model is that the entire weapon can be broken down into compact components and transported in containers equipped on Mobile Suits.  This type of assembly is the basis of YHI’s takedown weapons initiative, which allows weapons to be assembled as the situation requires, and used by any Mobile Suit.  

As the weapon was designed specifically for use in terrestrial conditions, and as it’s primary purpose was as an anti-fortification weapon, the small number of fortifications in the late One Year War meant that deployment of this weapon seems to have been limited to the Southeast Asian theater.

YHI 6ML-79mm
Missile Launcher

The 6ML-79mm Missile launcher is a missile launcher with several missiles housed in separate containers, that could function as a multiple launch missile system, with 2 to 4 missiles being housed in each individual container, dependent on operational demands.

Though developed with a similar concept as the HB-L-03/N-STD Hyper Bazooka, the most notable change was that utilizing a container-type launcher meant that the overall length could be significantly compressed.

However, the difficulty in maintaining a usable number of missile containers, as well as difficulties procuring sufficient numbers of warheads, meant that the deployment of this weapon was limited to only the Southeast Asian and North American theaters.

source: Master Archive Mobile Suit: RGM-79GM GA Graphic, 2010