The GAT-01 Strike Dagger was the Earth Alliance's main mass-production type mobile suit for the last few months of the Bloody Valentine War. Its design is a highly simplified version of the experimental GAT-X105 Strike, which had proved highly effective in combat against ZAFT's mobile suits.
The original design for the Earth Alliance's mass-production mobile suit was the GAT-01A1, that would later be named the 105 Dagger. The GAT-01 was initially built as a basic prototype of the GAT-01A1, solely for testing purposes. It lacked the EMP shielding, laminated armour, advanced sensors and Striker Pack mount planned for the GAT-01A1 and was not intended for production or combat deployment. But with the war proceeding as it was, the Earth Alliance needed to quickly field units that could stand against ZAFT's mobile suit forces and fast, so the simpler and cheaper GAT-01 design was rushed into mass-production. Armed with a single 75mm "Igelstellung" CIWS gun, an ES01 beam saber, an M703 beam rifle and a shield, the Strike Dagger was a "cheap and cheerful" production model which was nonetheless effective in battle. The GAT-01 was succeeded by the GAT-01A1 105 Dagger, the GAT-02L2 Dagger L, and eventually the GAT-04 Windam.
Introduced in CE 71, the Strike Dagger saw first service in the Battle of Porta Panama, acquitting itself well in combat against ZAFT's ZGMF-1017 GINN mobile suits. From that battle onward, the Strike Dagger began replacing the outdated TS-MA2 Moebius mobile armor in all roles other than nuclear missile delivery, proving superior to the GINN. However it proved to be inferior to both Orb Union's MBF-M1 Astray, and ZAFT's successor unit, the ZGMF-600 GuAIZ. Following the disastrous Battle of Porta Panama incident, in which all the Strike Daggers involved were collectively disabled due to ZAFT's experimental Gungnir system, all Strike Daggers had their EMP shielding upgraded to defend against another such strike. After the end of the first war, production of the Strike Dagger ceased in favour of the GAT-01A1 105 Dagger. However, during South America's war for independence, the nation's primary mobile suit is the Strike Dagger, which fares below average against the Atlantic Federation's newer GAT-01A1 105 Daggers and GAT-02L2 Dagger Ls. However, one unit, piloted by USSA ally Barry Ho, managed to defeat several Atlantic Federation mobile suits before his own unit is crippled and he is rescued by Serpent Tail pilots Gai Murakumo and Elijah Kiel.