The MS-06A Zaku II Early Type was the first model from the famous Zaku II line and it was produced in limited quantity by the Principality of Zeon. It was often referred to as Type A or A-type Zaku II.
Zeon embarked on an ambitious mobile weapons programme as part of its aggressive militarisation in preparation for war with the Earth Federation.
Although the Zeonic Company succeeded in producing the first mass-produced mobile suit, the MS-05B Zaku I, it did not rest on its laurels. The EMS-04 Zudah produced by rival company Zimmad Company had proved to be superior to the Zaku I design. Only the disintegration of the Zudah during a trial kept it from being chosen for mass production by the Zeon brass.
The MS-06A Zaku II Early Type was the first design to emerge from the Zaku II line. It was an improvement of the Zaku I design. The first units were deployed in August UC 0077.
Project director Kycilia Zabi found the A-type Zaku II to be underwhelming and ordered for improvements to be made, especially close-range combat capabilities. Limited numbers of the Zaku II Early Type were produced and these were eventually replaced by the improved version, the MS-06C Zaku II Early Production Type.
The C-type Zaku II would eventually be refined into the MS-06F Zaku II that later became an iconic Zeon mobile suit.
The MS-06A Zaku II Early Type was developed from the MS-05B Zaku I.
The Zaku I had poor performance, something made more evident after it was outperformed by the EMS-04 Zudah. Its generator produced low output. The pipes of its cooling pipes were inefficient in dissipating heat as they were built under the armour.
Aware of the Zaku I’s shortcomings, the Zeonic Company improved the overall design to produce the superior Zaku II Early Type. The Zaku II had a more powerful generator and its cooling pipes were strengthened to allow them to be exposed for improved efficiency.
The standard weapon used by the Zaku II Early Type was a ranged weapon.
120 mm machine gun
The electrically-operated ZMP-50D machine gun was developed specifically for the Zaku II line. It was drum-fed with 100 rounds per drum. It did not require power to be fired. However, that reduced its effectiveness against heavy armour.
280 mm Zaku bazooka
The H&L-SB21K/280 mm A-N(Anti-ship Nuclear) Zaku bazooka was an artillery armament that fired hull-piercing explosive rounds. It was designed for use against enemy ships.
It could only take one front-loaded round each time. Due to the method of reloading and the low ammunitions capacity, the pilot had to be very tactful in using it. A magazine of four rounds was stored on the side hip armour.
The bazooka was clasped on the rear waist armour when not in use.
Behind the scenes
Kunio Okawara was the original mechanical designer.