The MS-05L Zaku I Sniper Type was the first sniper mobile suit produced by the Principality of Zeon.
It was a variant of the MS-05B Zaku I.
When the [One Year War] begun, the MS-05B Zaku I I was five years old and considered an obsolete model. It saw limited action with auxillary duties such as training, construction and supplies transportation.
The shortage of mobile suits forced Zeon to deploy Zaku I units at the front lines. Some of the Zaku I units were refitted as the MS-05L Zaku I Sniper Type for sniper duties.
The Zaku I Sniper Type was still in use even as late as UC 0096. Zeon remnants leader Yonem Kirks piloted a unit during the remnant’s attack on Torrington Base. The Zaku I Sniper Type provided aerial cover from a Fat Uncle.
The MS-05L Zaku I Sniper Type was a refitted MS-05B Zaku I for sniping purposes.
It had an improved visual sensor compared to the Zaku I. The sensor had night and thermal vision capabilities. The Zaku I Sniper Type used camera lenses developed for the MS-06E Reconnaissance Type. These lenses were enhanced for high magnification use.
The head of the Zaku I Sniper Type was redesigned to be more durable and provide the pilot with increased visibility. An antenna was attached to its head for short-range wireless communications and to evaluate environmental conditions that may affect sniping.
The power plant of the mobile suit was insufficient to power the beam sniper rifle. The rifle drew on an external auxiliary reactor instead.
The right knee of the Zaku I Sniper Type was equipped with a collapsible strut that was deployed in sniping mode to increase stability and accuracy.
The standard weapons used by the Zaku I were a pair of built-in vulcan guns, a ranged weapon and a Heat Hawk for melee combat.
60 mm vulcan guns
A pair of fire-linked 60 mm gatling vulcan guns were mounted on either sides of the Zaku I Sniper Type’s head.
This provided the mobile suit with closed-range fire to while it was deployed for sniping.
Beam sniper rifle
The MIP-Z79-E0 type beam sniper rifle was a Musai-class beam rifle with a built-in beam oscillation device. It also had an electronic targeting system linked to the mobile suit.
The unit piloted by Yonem Kirks was equipped with a rifle modified for rapid firing. The high output overheated the beam rifle’s barrel, hence it used a quick-change barrel.
Heat Hawk Type 3
The Heat Hawk was a melee weapon designed for the Zaku I. It was an axe with a super-heated metal blade that could melt armour as it cut.
It was mainly used in close combat or against enemy ships. The Heat Hawk was clasped on the rear armour when not in use.
Behind the scenes
Hajime Katoki was the original mechanical designer.