MS-18 Kämpfer

MS-18 Kämpfer

The MS-18 Kämpfer was a mobile suit created by the Principality of Zeon in the anime series , designed by Yutaka Izubuchi. For the figure Zeonography, it is redesigned by Katoki Hajime. "Kämpfer" being the German word for "Fighter"


According to Zeonography #3011, "Kämpfer [Kämpfer(prototype)] ", in the few remaining weeks before the end of the One Year War, Zeon engineers designed a mobile suit specially for assault and special operations based on the "YMS-18 Prototype Kämpfer". The result is the E-Type, MS-18E Kämpfer, "E-Type" in the MS-18E Kämpfer's model number was an abbreviation for the German word "einhauen typ"," which translates to "one strike". "One strike" summed up the Kämpfer's combat role as a fast hit-and-run tactics assault unit; it was meant to strike quickly, cause massive damage with its varied weapons loadout, and make a fast escape. In order to serve its design roles, mechanical designer Yutaka covered it with thrusters and verniers to give it high maneuverability, yet within the design notes, it comes at a price. The large number of thrusters resulted in a high fuel consumption rate, limiting the Kämpfer to only being operable for short periods of time. Its armour plating would be stripped to a bare minimum, even removing the hip-mounted skirt armor found on most Zeon mobile suits. [Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 War in the Pocket, 1/144 MS-18E Kämpfer model instruction] [1/100 Master Grade MS-18E Kämpfer instruction] The choice of conventional explosives and weapon systems in favour of beam weapons was made to reduce the drain on its powerplant and resultant drop in speed. Weapons racks were designed to be ejected from the unit as they were expended, minimizing dead weight. The unit was intended to be operated by special forces, built to be easily disassembled and reassembled in blocks. This was to aid in its insertion and activation behind enemy lines. This has served as the main design purpose for the story since the Kämpfer would be seen in parts from episode 2 and is assembled in a small storage site from episode 2 to episode 4.

Weapon Systems

To completely fill its role as an assault unit, the Kämpfer was very heavily armed. A variety of weapons are attached to several weapon mount latches at various locations on its frame. Notably, the unit eschews beam weapons in favour of conventional physical weapon systems, keeping with its assault role and minimizing strain on its reactor. Two 360 mm Giant Bazookas could be mounted on the back, while a single 42 mm pump-action shotgun could be stored on the rear of the waist, another shotgun carried in the hands, and two Sturm Faust rocket-propelled grenades attached to the outside of the legs. To round out its arsenal the Kämpfer also featured two beam sabers, stored in recharge racks located inside its thighs and a pair of 60 mm vulcans mounted in its head. It is also capable of using any Zeon-standard hand weapon, including a Gelgoog beam rifle, though such a weapon is not equipped usually due to the aforementioned drain on the reactor.

The Kämpfer was the first mobile suit to use the chain mine, an anti-MS weapon utilizing a number of disc-shaped mines connected to each other by flexible cable. Each mine had magnetic claws on its underside, allowing it to be attached to targets. The chain mine could be thrown out like grenades one by one, laid on the ground or fixed to a building as a mine, or (most destructively) attached to a single enemy and detonated. The last attack method was used by Kämpfer against the prototype Gundam NT-1. While the Kämpfer failed to destroy its intended target, it did heavily damage the NT-1's newly-tested chobham armour. The chain mine was later improved upon and enlarged, for use by RX-78GP03 Dendrobrium as the demolition chain.

Combat Record

Despite the drawbacks of limited armor and high fuel-consumption, the Kämpfer was still an incredible mobile suit. Due to its late introduction to the war, only a few units were ever produced. A single Kämpfer was fielded by Zeon's Cyclops Team during their infiltration of the Libot Colony in the neutral Riah Republic of Side 6 on the 20th of December, Universal Century 0079. This unit was piloted by a slightly intoxicated Mikhail Kaminski. Using the Kämpfer, he single-handedly destroyed the entire Scarlet Team mobile suit squadron off the assault carrier Gray Phantom, 3 of the 5 deployed being destroyed in just a few moments after being sent out. It then faced its primary objective, the Earth Federation's RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex". The Kämpfer failed to destroy NT-1 with any of its remaining weapons, a shotgun and some chain mines. These succeeded only in slightly damaging it. Using its pump action shotgun with its normal ballistic ammunition it did little if any damage to the opposing Gundam and was quickly discarded after seeing its poor effects. Its chain mines only blew off its external armor and half of its V antenna. Shortly it fell prey to the Gundam's concealed wrist-mounted 90mm Gatling cannon, after attempting hand to hand combat with a concealed beam saber. Considering the skill which its pilot had in regards to the enemy and the weapons it had left at its disposal, the Kämpfer probably would've fared better if it had weapons that would've been more effective against its main target. The Kämpfer went into battle equipped with 2 bazookas, 2 rocket launchers, vulcan guns, 2 shotguns, 2 beam sabers, and the chain mines were part of 3 trucks which had weapons stashed in them for use in the mission. The Kämpfer was forced to use 1 of its shotguns, both of its rocket launchers, and 1 of its bazookas to fight off the Scarlet Team's three RGM-79SP GM Sniper IIs and two RX-77D Mass-production-type Guncannons. When the Kämpfer finally squared off against the NT-1, it had to use its remaining bazooka to gain access to the hangar the Alex was stored in, leaving it with weapons that were going to be largely ineffective against the target. If the Kämpfer had not encountered these earlier foes and had its more powerful (and more effective) weapons for use against the target, the Kämpfer might've been able to cripple or even destroy the NT-1 instead of merely destroying its external armor.

In the series "Ecole du Ciel", from its ease of dissassembly and reassembly, the Kämpfer has seen usage by post-war pirates and later with the Axis forces. A prototype Kämpfer is operated by Akira and later in the series, Asuna Elnaleat. At the point of U.C. 0086, the unit's parts are difficult to locate, making maintenance of the unit extremely difficult. Later this unit is even seen fielded by AEUG, a testament to its high performance.

In the Playstation 2 videogame , RX-78-5 Gundam "G05" pilot Ford Romfellow encounters a Kampfer while the Pegasus-class Thoroughbred is escourting Darcia's Chivvay-class. Ford at first assumes it to be a modified MS-14A Gelgoog, then later settles on it being a Dra-C.


The YMS-18 variant (the prototype), shown in the MS-18E model instruction manual, follows a command-type style radio horn, and a traditional green Zeon paint scheme.

Another variant from the model instruction manual is the MS-18F, Kämpfer beam weapon equipment type. This type utilizes a modified version of the MS-14Jg Beam Machine Gun.

Zeon ace Shin Matsunaga also had a Kämpfer built for him, it replaced the right spiked shoulder with another thruster shoulder assembly, with one of the shoulder mounted bazookas replaced with a gatling gun. In place of the standard shotgun, this Kämpfer variant is equipped with a long-range rifle. In the Playstation 3 videogame, a Kampfer may be obtained and modified by the player, this Kampfer may mount the shield from a MS-07B Gouf, and a 880mm Raketen Bazooka.

Impact on other series

The concept of an Assault Mobile Suit was reused in 0083, when Mika Akitaka designed the AGX-04 Gerbera Tetra as an Anaheim Electronics attempt to create an assault suit.


MS-18E Kämpfer

Manufacturer: Zeonic Company
Operator: Principality of Zeon
Unit type: Prototype heavy assault mobile suit
Dimensions: Head height 17.7 meters; overall height 18.2 meters
Weight: Empty 43.5 metric tons; max gross 78.5 metric tons
Powerplant: Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor, output rated at 1550 kW
Armament: 2x 60mm vulcan gun, fire-linked, mounted in head; 2x beam saber, stored in recharge racks in hip armor, hand-carried in use; 2x 47mm shotgun, pump-action magazine and breech, 9 round magazine, can be stored on backpack storage racks; 2x 360mm giant bazooka, clip-fed, 5 rounds per clip, can be stored on backpack storage racks; 2x Sturm Faust, rocket-propelled warhead, can be stored in racks on legs; chain mine
Pilot: Jake Yomada, Mikhail Kaminsky, Shin Matsunaga


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