Model number: RX-178
Code name: Gundam Mk-II
Unit type: prototype general purpose mobile suit
Manufacturer: Earth Federation Forces (Titans)
Operator(s): AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group); Titans
Rollout: December UC 0086
First deployment: 3 March UC 0087
Accommodation: pilot only, in panoramic monitor/linear seat cockpit in torso
Dimensions: head height 18.5 meters
Weight: empty 33.4 metric tons; max gross 54.1 metric tons; mass ratio 1.44
Armor materials: titanium alloy ceramic composite
Powerplant: Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor, output rated at 1,930 kW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 81,200 kg total (4 x 20,300 kg); vernier thrusters/apogee motors: 10
Equipment and design features: sensors, range 11,300 meters
Fixed armaments: 2 x beam saber, power rated at 0.45 MW, stored in recharge racks on backpack, hand-carried in use; shield, mounted on either forearm
Optional fixed armaments: 60mm 2-barrel vulcan pod, 1400 rounds total, mounted on head
Optional hand armaments: beam rifle, power rated at 2.6 MW, powered by replaceable e-pac, 2 spare e-pacs stored in shield; 360mm hyper bazooka, clip-fed, 7 rounds per clip plus 1 round in chamber, can be stored on rear skirt armor storage rack; clay bazooka, clip-fed, 7 rounds per clip plus 1 round in chamber, can be stored on rear skirt armor storage rack
Shortly before the outbreak of the Gryps War in UC 0087, the Earth Federation Forces’ Titans branch was hard at work developing its own mobile weapons in secret as part of its goal of subjugating the Earth Sphere. One of their earliest and more revolutionary designs was the RX-178 Gundam Mk-II, based loosely on the well-known RX-78-2 Gundam from the One Year War. Although designed as a general purpose mobile suit, the Mk-II was intended to be a highly capable unit under gravity and atmosphere – specifically, when fighting inside space colonies. Three prototype units were constructed at the Titans’ base at the Gryps colonies, with plans to mass produce the Mk-II already in the works.
The main technical advancement introduced with the Mk-II was the movable frame construction concept. The Mk-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. With the advent of portable beam weaponry, a mobile suit was typically destroyed with one or two well-placed shots regardless of its armor; therefore, it was decided that otherwise useless armor would be sacrificed for lighter weight – and thus greater speed and maneuverability. When word of the Mk-II’s development reached the underground Anti-Earth Union Group movement, its leaders decided to move openly to capture one of the prototype mobile suits. Not only would this serve to give the AEUG access to the movable frame technology, but it would allow them to openly prove to the entire Earth Sphere that the Titans – now developing new war technologies – had other plans for the otherwise independent-minded space colonists.
On March 2, UC 0087, AEUG pilot Quattro Bajeena (the incognito Zeon ace Char Aznable of the One Year War) led a team of RMS-099 Rick Dias mobile suits into the Gryps II space colony to gather reconnaissance data and – if possible – capture one of the “black Gundams.” Luck was with Quattro, as a young boy named Kamille Bidan found himself in dire straights with the Titans, and being a mobile suit construction hobbyist, soon at the controls of one of the Gundams. With a newfound ally in the boy, Quattro managed to capture all three Mk-II prototypes. However, the Titans were not so willing to give up their prototypes, and the first days of the Gryps War focused on who would control the three mobile suits. In the end, the AEUG came out the winner of the prizes: Unit 02 was heavily damaged in combat; Units 01 and 02 were disassembled and shipped off to the AEUG-supporting Anaheim Electronics’ lunar factory for study; and Unit 03 was repainted in a more traditional midnight-blue-on-white color scheme and remained in the hands of new AEUG recruit Kamille Bidan.
However, the AEUG soon found its newly acquired Mk-II outclassed by newer and more powerful variable form mobile suits/mobile armors developed and fielded by the Titans. One serious design flaw in the Mk-II was its older style titanium alloy ceramic composite armor; this factor, combined with its rather unremarkable armament of two beam sabers, an optional head-mounted vulcan gun pod, and beam rifle, made the Mk-II little more than a remake of the original RX-78-2 Gundam. As Anaheim continued its Project Zeta of next generation mobile suit development for the AEUG, new items were needed to help boost the Mk-II’s performance. The first of these was the FXA-00 Flying Armor, a sub-flight system based on the new waverider technology being developed for the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam. The Flying Armor unit – built exclusively for the Mark-II – allowed the suit to safely enter the Earth’s atmosphere, and then act as a sub-flight unit, giving the Mk-II unprecedented mobility in atmospheric combat. Later on, as Kamille moved on to pilot the new Zeta Gundam and the Mk-II was passed off to Emma Sheen, two competing plans were developed for a second support system: a Full Armor concept and the FXA-05D G-Defenser. The AEUG ultimately selected the G-Defenser, a space fighter-like vehicle that could combine with the Mk-II into the Super Gundam, putting it on a more equal footing with the Titans’ high performance variable mobile suits/armors. At the end of the Gryps War in early UC 0088, the Mk-II was heavily damaged. After being repaired on the Anaheim Electronics ship La Vie en Rose, the Mk-II was put back into service until it is critically damaged almost a year later in Axis during the final battle of the First Neo Zeon War.
Pilot(s): Kamille Bidan, Emma Sheen, Quattro Bajeena (aka Char Aznable), Katz Kobayashi, Jerid Messa, Kacricon Cacooler, Franklin Bidan, Elle Vianno, Mondo Agake, Chara Soon, Beecha Oleg, Elpeo Ple, Jack Bayard
First appearance: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Original mechanical designer(s): Kunio Okawara (principal design), Mamoru Nagano (principal design), Kazumi Fujita (principal design and cleanup)