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 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 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. The A-type Zaku II was produced in limited quantity before it was replaced by the MS-06C Zaku II Early Production Type in September UC 0077.
Zeon officials were satisfied with C-type Zaku II and proceeded to mass produced it. The C-type units were first deployed in battle in January UC 0078. The success of the C-type Zaku II made it the mainstay of the Zeon army.
The MS-06A Zaku II Early Type performed poorly especially in close-range combat. Hence, project director Kycilia Zabi ordered the design to be improved. Within a month, the MS-06C Zaku II Early Production Type was unveiled.
The C-type Zaku II was also equipped with a Heat Hawk to allow it to engage in melee combat. Spikes were added to the left shoulder armour of the C-type Zaku II. This was used during close-quarter combat by ramming the shoulder into the enemy.
The C-type Zaku II had a shield mounted on the right shoulder to provide greater protection for the right arm. The rationale was to keep the main hand carrying the weapons to be kept functional for as long as possible in combat to increase the chances of victory. The shield and spiked armour could be switched to accommodate left-handed pilots.
The standard weapons used by the C-type Zaku II were a ranged weapon and a Heat Hawk for melee combat.
120 mm machine gun
The 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) 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.
Heat Hawk Type 3
The Heat Hawk was a melee weapon designed for the Zaku II. 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.
Several pilots distinguished themselves using the C-type Zaku II.
In the Battle of Loum, Zeon Lieutenant Junior Grade Char Aznable sank five Earth Federation Magellan-class battleships in his red C-type Zaku II. This feat earned him the nickname “Red Comet” and made him a feared adversary among the Federation ranks.
The Black Tri-Stars consisted of the Zeon pilots Gaia, Ortega, and Mash. The trio were piloting Three C-type Zaku II units when they crippled the Magellan-class battleship Ananke during the Battle of Loum and made their famous capture of the Federation’s General Revil.
Behind the scenes
Kunio Okawara was the original mechanical designer.
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