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ZGMF-YX29R Knight Saviour Gundam

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ZGMF-YX29R Knight Saviour Gundam
ZGMF-YX29R Knight Saviour

Unit type

Prototype variable aerial-combat mobile suit

Manufacturer

Integrated Design Bureau

Developed from

ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam; ZGMF-X09A Justice Gundam; GAT-X388 Gaia Gundam

Operator

ZAFT

First deployment:

C.E. 75

Accomodation:

Pilot only, in standard cockpit in torso using YMF-X29C escape pod

Dimensions

Overall height 18.9 meters in mobile suit mode; Max gross weight 79.67 metric tons

Powerplant

ultracompact hyper-deuterion nuclear fusion reactor, power output rating unknown

Equipment & Design Features

Sensors, range unknown; Variable Phase-Shift(VPS) Armor; emergency escape system; lightwave-thruster system

Pilot

Athrun Zala

The Knight Saviour Gundam is a high-performance variable mobile suit, developed from the ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam and used to test a number of experimental technologies that were further refined in the ZGMF-X42R Destiny Gundam. In late CE 75, it is piloted by ZAFT ace and FAITH Special Forces operative Athrun Zala, and once by Stella Loussier.

Technology & Combat Characteristics

As a variant of the Saviour Gundam, the Knight Saviour shares many of its characteristics, including high speed and maneuverability, with a mix of powerful long-range and close-quarters weapons enabling it to operate equally well in all theaters of combat. Using data gleaned from analysis of the captured Gaia Gundam, along with the latest technologies developed by ZAFT, the Knight Saviour's abilities have been significantly improved across the board.  The Knight Saviour is the first mobile suit to be equipped with a Hyper-Deuterion Nuclear Reactor, an experimental new powerplant that combines an experimental fusion reactor with a refined form of the deuterion beam technology pioneered with the Impulse and the Saviour. Because this entire system is internalized, it eliminates the need to obtain energy recharges from the Minerva. Additionally, the hyper-deuterion reactor differs from the nuclear reactors of mobile suits like the Freedom in that it does not require an N-Jammer Canceller. This grants the Knight Saviour Gundam an infinite power supply, with a far higher energy output than any normal mobile suit up to that point.

The Knight Saviour is designed for high-speed, high-maneveuverability aerial combat, and to that end its backpack has also been enlarged, drawing on technology and date from the ZGMF-X09A Justice. This new backpack is fitted, in addition to conventional thrusters, with a prototype lightwave-pulse thruster array. A precursor to the much more sophisticated "Voilure Lumière" of the Destiny Gundam, this propulsion system consists of a set of experimental plasma thrusters, which are coupled together with a small shaped photon field developed based on earlier research into photon sail technology for interplanetary travel. This relatively small field acts as a narrow, sophisticated exhaust nozzle, which is controlled automatically by the Knight Saviour's computers in order to maximize speed as well as enhance maneuverability. The power requirements for this system are so high, however, that only a mobile suit equipped with a hyper-deuterion nuclear reactor can support it effectively. The end result is that, at the time it is deployed in combat in late CE 75, it is one of the fastest mobile suits in existence, exceeded in this regard only by the Destiny Gundam. 

In order to cope with the additional stress of movement at such high speeds, the stiffness of the joints was enhanced by applying Variable Phase-Shift (VPS) armor, increasing their ability to withstand the high G-Forces of high-speed maneuvers. This also has the added effect of improving the Knight Saviour's defenses as well. In addition to VPS Armor, the Knight Saviour is equipped with a pair of forearm-mounted beam shields, which are capable of blocking nearly any attack. Its offensive armament is also augmented, with larger, more powerful beam sabers, which are longer-bladed and more powerful than traditional beam sabers, and can also be combined into a dual beam saber, as well as a pair of wing beam blades that can be used in mobile armor mode. It retains the head-mounted CIWS and the 76mm machineguns on the main body, usable in mobile suit and flight mode respectively, and enhanced versions of the Saviour's beam rifle and fixed beam cannons. Supplementing its weapons is an MMI-RGX46 Assault Shield that mounts a more powerful "Validus Fulgor" beam shield, an extensional arrestor, and a beam boomerang. A nearly identical shield is also equipped to the Destiny. This powerful array of weapons, which combined with its high speed, maneuverability, and combat capabilities, make it an exponentially more deadly machine than its predecessor.

Armaments

  • MMI-GAU26 17.5mm CIWS x2
A pair of rapid-fire, shell-firing guns mounted in the Knight Saviour's head, primarily for use against missiles and light aircraft. Usable only in mobile suit mode
  • MMI-GAU2 "Picus" 76mm Machine Gun x2
The "Picus" machine guns serve the same purpose as the Knight Saviour's head-mounted CIWS, albeit these are larger-caliber and used in flight mode. They are mounted to the Knight Saviour's back, in the cowl that covers the mobile suit's head in flight mode.
  • MA-BAR21/KF 60mm high-energy beam rifle
The Knight Saviour's main handheld weapon, an improved version of the Saviour's beam rifle. It is stored on the Saviour's hip when not in use in mobile suit mode, and mounted to a specialized hardpoint on its shoulder in flight mode, where it serves as an additional fixed beam cannon, just as on its predecessor. Initially equipped only with one rifle, the Knight Saviour eventually launches with two.
  • MX112 "Amfortas Kai" High-energy Long-range Plasma Beam Cannon x2
The Knight Saviour's most powerful weapons, an improved, more powerful version of the Saviour's "Amfortas" cannons. The cannons are attached to the Saviour's backpack and fixed forward in flight mode, whereas in mobile suit mode they are fired below the arm.
  • MA-9J "Hyper Fortis" beam cannon x2
The Knight Saviour's secondary ranged weapon, an enhanced version of the Saviour's "Super Fortis" beam guns. Fixed forward in flight mode, they are fired over the shoulders in mobile suit mode, and can rotate approximately thirty degrees vertically.
  • MR-Q15A "Gryphon" Wing Beam Blade x2
The only close-quarters weapon usable by the Knight Saviour Gundam in flight mode, this consists of a beam blade mounted to the leading edge of each wing - similar to the GAT-X388 Gaia Gundam
  • MA-M948S "Vajra Kai" High-output Long Beam Saber x2
Usable only in mobile suit mode, the Knight Saviour's primary close-quarters weapon consists of a pair of high-output beam sabers. The weapons' hilts are longer than traditional beam sabers, and the blade generated is likewise longer and more powerful, giving it greater reach in mêlée than many other mobile suits. One saber is stored in each leg, and the two can be combined to form a double-bladed beam saber.
  • MMI-RGX46 Assault Shield
The Knight Saviour's primary defensive equipment, a conceptual derivative of the Composite Shield used by the GuAIZ and GuAIZ-R, it combines a compact physical shield with additional close-range armament. It is nearly identical to the MMI-RGX47 used by the Destiny Gundam, consisting of:
  • MX2351 "Validus Fulgor" beam shield generator
A more powerful beam shield generator similar to the MX2200 "Solidus Fulgor" mounted to the Knight Saviour's main body, capable of resisting a barrage from even capital-class beam weapons, up to and including positron cannons.
  • EEQ8S "Grapple Stinger" extensional arrestor
An anchor mounted to the shield, which can be fired on a line and retracted, developed based on those of the GuAIZ. It is capable of easily slicing through the armor of most mobile suits.
  • RQM-55E "Flash Edge II" Beam Boomerang
A large beam boomerang developed based on the "Flash Edge" of the Sword Impulse Gundam. Similar in size to the "Flash Edge", it is also capable of functioning as a short-bladed beam saber. This weapon is later further refined into the RQM-60F "Shining Edge" beam boomerang of the Destiny, and is therefore replaced by a fixed beam blade on that machine's assault shield.

System Features

  • Variable Phase Shift Armor
A refined and more energy-efficient version of Phase-Shift Armor, which is also able to automatically adjust its settings for optimum power efficiency.
  • MX2200 "Solidus Fulgor" Beam Shield Generator x2
A small generator on the back of each of the Knight Saviour's forearms creates a powerful, diamond-shaped beam shield capable of deflecting most attacks. The shield it generates is sufficiently powerful to block the weapons of nearly any mobile suit or mobile armor.
  • Lightwave-Thruster System
The Knight Saviour's backpack is equipped with an early prototype lightwave thruster system, which pairs experimental high-output plasma thrusters with a shaped photon field acting as an exhaust nozzle, which is continually adjusted by the Saviour's computers to optimize mobility. 
The same technology is further refined and paired with additional technological innovations to create the "Voilure Lumière" of the Destiny Gundam. Due to the high power demands of this system, it can be used only by mobile suits equipped with a hyper-deuterion fusion reactor.
  • Ultracompact Hyper-Deuterion Nuclear Reactor
A revolutionary type of nuclear powerplant developed using refined version of the deuterion beam technology pioneered with the Second Stage Gundams, combined with advances in nuclear power generation. It grants the Knight Saviour an unlimited power supply without the need for an N-Jammer Canceller.
  • YMF-X29C Mobile Escape System
The Knight Saviour's cockpit block is contained within an escape system similar to the MF-101C mobile escape pod used by the Saviour and other New Millennium series mobile suits

History

The history of what would become the Knight Saviour Gundam begins in the waning months of the First Junius War. With the completion of the Freedom Gundam and its sister unit, the Justice Gundam, the National Defense Committee, under the auspices of Patrick Zala, commissioned the creation of an enhanced, mass-production version of both machines, under the development code name "XA2". Their purpose was to take the place of the GuAIZ and, along with the superweapon GENESIS firmly establish the PLANTs as the dominant military superpower in the Earth Sphere. However, with the death of Patrick Zala and the signing of the Treaty of Junius Seven - which outlawed the military use of Neutron-Jammer Cancellers - the project was shelved and the incomplete design data was sealed. 

Subsequently, the New Millennium Project begins development, yielding a number of promising production-model designs as well as a couple of wildly successful prototypes, one of which is the ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam. Early in the development of the Saviour, an unarmed testbed unit designated "YX21" and referred to as "Prototype Saviour" is constructed for the purpose of stress tests of the frame during aerial maneuvers, as well as to refine its transformation mechanism. Based on the data accumulated in tests of this first test unit, the final prototype Saviour Gundam is constructed and rolled out.

When the Saviour Gundam is destroyed in combat against the Freedom, PLANT National Defense Committee Chairwoman Ezalia Joule orders the Prototype Saviour brought up to combat specifications to replace it. In the interim, however, the mobile suit that would become the ZGMF-X42R Destiny Gundam has been commissioned by Chairman Durendal, and so the Prototype Saviour is used to test and develop the technologies that, with further refinement, are then incorporated into the Destiny, including revolutionary new powerplant and propulsion technologies. At the same time, early design concepts from the discarded "XA2" designs, combined with careful analysis of the accumulated combat data from both the Saviour and Athrun's original GAT-X303 Aegis Gundam, as well as data gleaned from the captured GAT-X388 Gaia Gundam to further enhance the prototype, which is then armed with improved versions of the Saviour's weapons and tuned specifically for Athrun's use. The resulting unit is re-christened ZGMF-YX29R Knight Saviour Gundam, and rolled out alongside the Destiny. 

Upon its completion, the Knight Savious is taken to ZAFT's Gibraltar Base on Earth, where it is delivered to the Minerva and assigned to Athrun, who would first take it out into battle during Operation Ragnarok, a joint ZAFT/Eurasian Federation attack on the Atlantic Federation military HQ and Logos stronghold "Heaven's Base", in Iceland.

When Jibril is found in Orb and the Minerva leads the ZAFT fleet in an attack, Athrun would take one of the ship's two Core Splendors to attempt to resolve the situation diplomatically, leaving Impulse Gundam unit 2 inoperable. Its pilot, new ZAFT recruit Stella Loussier, would then take the Knight Saviour and pilot it during the operation, which would end in failure in spite of the best efforts of the Minerva's pilots, as Blue Cosmos leader and sole remaining Logos member Jibril escapes into space. After this, the Minerva would return to outer space, where Athrun would continue to distinguish himself as the Knight Saviour's pilot in the final battles of the war, both while on the Minerva and afterwards as commander of the newly-formed Zala Team.

Trivia

  • The Knight Saviour's head crest displays "X29R VENTINOVE" - "ventinove" means "twenty-nine" in Italian, and is a reference to its model number. The "R" in its designation, as opposed to the "S" of Second-Stage mobile suits like the Impulse, designates it as a Third-Stage mobile suit, equipped with new technologies including the experimental hyper-deuterion nuclear reactor.
  • The Knight Saviour's color scheme and model number are both references to the YF-29 Durendal, from Macross Frontier: Sayonara no Tsubasa
  • The Knight Saviour is the only machine piloted by Athrun not to be destroyed. The Aegis and Justice were both self-detonated, and the Saviour was completely destroyed in combat with the Freedom; The Knight Saviour, however, was still fully operational by the time the story ends.
  • As with previous C.E. Gundams, the word "GUNDAM" is an acronym that denotes its operating system. The version used by the Knight Saviour stands for Gunnery United Nuclear- Deuterion Advanced Maneuver

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