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 for specifically for Earth-based usage.
Based on feedback received from pilots in the front lines, the Zeon scientists worked on an improvement of the J-type Zaku II. The MS-06JC Zaku II was a modified variant of the J-type to provide increased performance in ground combat.
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 and the JC-type Zaku II for ground-based missions.
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. Its power plant was more powerful than the F-type to compensate for the loss in mobility due to gravity.
The Zeon scientists continued to make improvements to the J-type Zaku II based on feedback they received from pilots in the front lines. The MS-06JC Zaku II was an upgraded J-type variant.
The JC-type had more powerful thrusters to increase its mobility. The cockpit of the JC-type was moved higher up the chest of the mobile suit, and to a more central position instead of being on one side in the J-type. This was to improve the centre of gravity, an effect more pronounced on Earth compared to in space.
Besides being shifted, the cockpit was also redesigned. The control sticks were moved to the sides of the seats and more screens were added to provide a more comprehensive data readout.
The standard weapons used by the JC-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 JC-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.
- Norris Packard
- Lou Roya
- Charlotte Hepner
- Nikki Roberto
- Ken Bederstadt
- Federico Czariano
Behind the scenes
The MS-06JC Zaku II first appeared in the Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. It was intended to be an alternative visual design of the MS-06J Zaku II Ground Combat Type from the Mobile Suit Variations. However, the technical specifications published for both units were conflicting in many areas. This resulted in the version from the 08th MS Team to be retconned into a new model, the MS-06JC Zaku II, to resolve the conflict with the J-type Zaku II.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
- Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story: The Blue Destiny
- Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise from the Ashes
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0079: Zeonic Front
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Lost War Chronicles
- Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War
- Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 603
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Pilot’s Locus
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Climax UC