The MBR-09 Gladiator, commonly referred to simply as the Gladiator, was a mass-produced, ground combat destroid. It was developed shortly after the First Robotech War, but only saw mass deployment following the Malcontent Uprisings. It was heavily in use during the early years of the Pioneer Expedition.
The introduction of new technologies in the years after the First Robotech War made the creation of a new series of Destroids possible. With it came a reappraisal of the tasks of the Spartan. This model Destroid, which was originally built from several off-the-shelf components, had proven to be a very capable close-in combat and engineering mecha. However, compared with the standard Zentraedi Battle Pod, the Spartan was undergunned and outmaneuvered, although there was no comparing the superior armor plating on the Spartan with that on the TBP. The Spartan's successor, the Gladiator, was therefore designed to be faster and more heavily armed than the Spartan, because the REF saw the good points of fast, hard-hitting mecha.
Technology and Combat CharacteriticsEdit
The Gladiator was a major improvement in the areas of speed and firepower on the Spartan. The new mecha had as many energy weapons as the Zentraedi Battle Pods. In addition to this heavy laser armament, the Gladiator had a smaller laser turret under its chin, which was optimized to engage low-armor targets and unarmored personnel. The Gladiator featured a reasonably large missile battery in its chest. The arms and hands could carry additional weapons.
First entering service in 2021, the Gladiator was used throughout the Galaxy in fast strike missions and flanking operations. The Destroid was complemented in this task, by Condor.
There is one variant, the Mk III Gladiator. Introduced in late 2036, this mecha is identical to the Mk II, save for the replacement of the GRA-10 laser cannons with PBC-15 particle beams. This was done out of standardization considerations, and because the PBC-15 offered better penetration and yield.
The armor on the Gladiator is a new development in low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating that became the standard for all Terran mecha after its application to the VQ-6A Vandal. Aside from the respectable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor is also resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns, owing to the fact that the armor can flake off and evaporate in layers under fire from such high-energy weapons, taking much of the weapon's energy and converting it into the latent heat of sublimation in the armor. The armor stops all small arms, heavy infantry weapons fire, and light mecha-mounted weaponry, and provides good to excellent resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie's 55mm APFSDS round, and poor to fair resistance to heavy mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the VHT's 120mm smoothbore shells.
The Gladiator provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for three days maximum.