The AMX-003 (MMT-1) Gaza-C was a mass production transformable mobile suit developed by Axis Zeon. The “AMX” in the model code refers to it being an Axis Zeon mobile weapon. The “003” in the model code indicates that it was the third mobile weapon designed by Axis Zeon.
The Gaza-C was initially designated MMT-1, where “MMT” stood refers to it being a mass produce mobile suit that was transformable. It was later redesignated as AMX-003 in line with all mobile suits produced by Axis Zeon.
After the defeat of the Principality of Zeon to the Earth Federation in the One Year War in UC 0080, some Zeon remnant forces chose to go into hiding within the Earth Sphere, while others fled the Earth Sphere. Large groups of Zeon forces escaped to the Zeon asteroid base Axis in the Asteroid Belt during and after the war.
The Zeon forces that were stationed at the base and the refugees that joined them became Axis Zeon. The Axis Zeon forces used the construction mobile suits Gaza-A and Gaza-B as the foundation for the combat mobile suit development program. The AMX-003 Gaza-C was the first mass production combat mobile suit produced by Axis Zeon.
The Axis Zeon engineers aimed to develop a mobile suit that was cheap and easy to manufacture due to the lack of resources and technical expertise among the population on Axis. After the Gaza-C was first rolled out in UC 0086, Axis Zeon was able to manufacture over a hundred Gaza-C units by late UC 0087 when Axis Zeon had returned to the Earth Sphere and entered the Gryps Conflict.
The Gaza-C served as the backbone of the Axis Zeon forces through the Gryps Conflict. When the First Neo Zeon War broke out in UC 0088, Neo Zeon started replacing the Gaza-C with its successors as the backbone of the Zeon military, the AMX-006 Gaza-D, AMX-007 Gaza-E, and AMX-008 Ga-Zowmn. Despite being no longer in production, the Gaza-C remained a reliable model and continued to see service. Several units were used by The Sleeves in UC 0096 during the Laplace Incident.
The AMX-003 Gaza-C was developed from the Gaza-A and Gaza-B. Both of these were construction mobile suits. The Gaza-A was a standard mobile suit while Gaza-B was a transformable mobile suit.
Due to the lack of scientist and engineers after being ravaged by the One Year War, Axis Zeon engineers decided to develop a new combat mobile suit based off the Gaza-A and Gaza-B. The scarcity of resources and skilled personnel to manufacture mobile suits meant that the Gaza-C had to be cheap and easy to produce, and was able to use the parts made for its predecessors.
The transformation system used in the Gaza-C was a simplified version of what was used in Gaza-B. The versatility of a transforming frame was very appealing given its proven advantages in the battle field. As such, many mobile weapons developed during this period of time could switch between mobile suit and mobile armour modes. The Gaza-C’s legs functioned as a pair of claws in mobile armour mode, allowing it to grapple enemy mobile weapons and then finishing the opponent off with its beam guns or beam cannon.
A pair of rocket thrusters with a combined output of 79,200 kg provided main propulsion for Gaza-C. Four sets of vernier thruster and apogee motors provided fine adjustments. These made the Gaza-C fast while retaining high manoeuvrability.
The Gaza-C was equipped with a standard panoramic cockpit with linear seat. Instead of the cockpit in torso commonly seen in the Universal Century, its cockpit was located in the mobile suit’s head, above the main camera. This was done to simplify the transformation system by removing the need to account for the cockpit in the torso when transforming between the mobile suit and mobile armour modes.
The AMX-003 (MMT-1) Gaza-C’s standard weapons were two beam guns for the mobile armour mode and two beam sabres for the mobile suit mode. It could optionally be equipped with a knuckle buster that was effective in either modes.
The Gaza-C’s primary weapon was a pair of fire-linked beam guns mounted on the main body of the mobile suit. These had power output rated at 2.3 megawatts each. The guns were mainly used in mobile armour mode as their firing angle was fixed.
The guns drew their rounds from the Gaza-C’s reactor. Minovsky particles broke down matter at a molecular level, allowing the beam gun bolts to penetrate even the thickest armour. This meant that a single shot could destroy a mobile suit.
The Gaza-C had a pair of beam sabres that were stored in recharge racks in its shoulder binders when not in use.
The beam sabres used an I-field to contain Minovsky particles within the shape of a blade. Minovsky particles broke down matter at a molecular level. This meant that the beam sabre could cut through almost any material.
Minovsky particles were channelled into the sabre through an E-cap attached to its hilt. The E-cap recharged with Minvosky particles from the Gaza-C’s reactor when the sabre was stored in the recharge racks of the shoulder binder.
Power output of each beam sabre was rated at 0.4 megawatts.
The knuckle buster was an optional armament made for the Gaza-C. The powerful beam cannon’s output was rated at 6.7 megawatts. When the Gaza-C was in mobile armour mode, the knuckle buster was mounted on its body to function as the mobile armour’s main cannon. The beam cannon was wired to a large sensor in the right chest of the Gaza-C that aided the pilot in aiming.
The knuckle buster drew its rounds from energy capacitors (E-caps), clips of charged Minovsky particles. Minovksy particles broke down matter at a molecular level, allowing the beam rifle bolts to penetrate even the thickest armour. This meant that a single shot could destroy a mobile suit.
When in mobile armour mode, the Gaza-C could deploy itself on a surface and function as an artillery turret, using the kuckle buster to snipe at enemy units.
Behind the scenes
Makoto Kobayashi was the principal mechanical designer. Yoshinori Sayama assisted in cleaning up the design. Hajime Katoki designed the versions that appeared in Gundam Sentinel and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
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