Zeon embarked on an ambitious mobile weapons programme as part of its aggressive militarisation in preparation for war with the Earth Federation.
The MS-06C Zaku II Early Production Type was the first mobile suit that Zeon mass produced. The Zeonic Company continued to improve the designs of the C-type Zaku II and in March UC 0079, it completed the MS-06F Zaku II.
The F-type Zaku II was designed with space combat in mind. Although the F-type could function on Earth, Zeon developed the MS-06J Zaku II Ground Combat Type variant specifically for Earth-based usage.
The J-type Zaku II was most notably employed in Zeon’s Southeast Asia, Australia and European campaigns during the One Year War. It was the second most-produced model in the Zaku II line, after the F-type.
The design of the J-type Zaku II was further improved and the MS-06G Zaku II High Mobility Ground Type was developed. It eventually succeeded the J-type Zaku II for ground-based missions.
The MS-06F Zaku II was a highly successful design. It became the design basis that Zeon scientists used to develop variants. The MS-06J Zaku II Ground Combat Type was built for Earth-based use.
The F-type Zaku II was designed for space combat. Although the F-type Zaku II could be used on Earth, the J-type variant was produced for improved performance under gravity.
Vernier thrusters that were used in space were unnecessary on Earth, and thus were omitted in the J-type Zaku II. This meant that while the F-type could function both in space and on Earth, the J-type was limited to only ground-based usage.
The power plant of the J-type Zaku II was more powerful than the F-type to compensate for the loss in mobility due to gravity. It was also built to be waterproof, allowing limited underwater operations.
The standard weapons used by the J-type Zaku II were a ranged weapon and a Heat Hawk for melee combat.
Three-tube missile pod
A three-tube missile pod was mounted on each leg of the J-type Zaku II. The missiles proved to be very effective against armoured enemies.
The pods held a total of only six missiles so the pilot had to use them wisely during 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-P(Anti-ship Piercing) 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.
The ZIM/M·T-K175C Magella cannon was modified from the main gun of the [HT-01B Magella Attack] tank for use by a mobile weapon. It was primarily used for long-ranged attacks in ground combat. The cannon could use either high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads or armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds.
Heat Hawk Type 5
The Heat Hawk Type 5 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. The thermal energy was generated by the Zaku II’s fusion reactor and relayed through it’s hands to the Heat Hawk.
It was mainly used in close combat or against enemy ships. The Heat Hawk was clasped on the rear armour when not in use.
The MIP-B6 cracker grenades were explosives that were designed to detonate after a set amount of time. The grenades splits into six smaller sections that scatter and explode over a wide area.
Behind the scenes
Kunio Okawara was the original mechanical designer.