The Zanzibar-class was a line of mobile cruisers produced by the Principality of Zeon.
The Earth Federation surprised the Principality of Zeon with its Pegasus-class carrier, the White Base, during the One Year War. In response, Zeon scientists rushed to develop their own mobile suit carrier and designed the Zanzibar-class mobile cruiser.
Prior to the development of the, Zeon relied on using unarmed heavy lift vehicles (HLV) to transport their mobile suits. The vulnerability of the HLV made it risky to transport mobile suits between Earth and space. The Zanzibar-class was armed and was more manoeuvrable.
Due to the high cost of producing the Zanzibar-class cruiser, Zeon command preferred the more cost-effective Musai-class light cruisers. The only advantage the Zanzibar-class had was its ability to enter the Earth’s atmosphere and be launched into space.
Char Aznable captained the first Zanzibar-class cruiser, the Zanzibar. Kycilia Zabi and Rambal Ral commandeered a Zanzibar-class ship during the One Year War as well. Ginias Sahalin used another Zanzibar-class vessel in Zeon’s base in South-east Asia to power the base and his mobile armour Apsalus III. This ship was destroyed while transporting wounded soldiers to space.
Several Zanzibar-class cruisers were used to transport the majority of the remaining Zeon forces from Odessa into space. M’Quve was the captain of the Madagascar, the Zanzibar-class cruiser that carried other top Zeon officials as they fled from Odessa.
Some of these cruisers survived the One Year War and were remained in service after the war. A few were modified and were designated the Zanzibar II-class after the upgrade.
In UC 0087, Volker Merckx captained the Zanzibar-class vessel, the Keraunos. The ship was still able to hold its own despite it being an outdated model.
During the One Year War, Principality of Zeon used HLVs to transport their mobile suits between Earth and space. However, this was a risky move as the HLVs were merely transport pods with no weaponry and limited manoeuvrability, making them defenceless during flight.
When the Earth Federation deployed their Pegasus-class cruiser, Zeon knew that they had to develop something similar to transport their mobile suit forces more efficiently. The Federation’s cruiser was armed, carried its own complement of mobile suits, and was able to travel between Earth and space.
The Zanzibar-class mobile cruiser was designed with the capacity for six mobile suits in its hangar. Unlike the HLV, the cruiser was able to repair and resupply the mobile suits. Like most Zeon ship designs, the Zanzibar-class cruisers did not have a launch catapult. Instead, its mobile suits were deployed through a hatch on its ventral hull. The ship was armed with sufficient weaponry to defend itself. The design of the ship made it suitable as a flagship of a fleet, usually when the Gwazine-class battleship was unavailable. The Zanzibar-class was the only Zeon ship that was capable of atmospheric re-entry and launching into space.
Unlike the Pegasus-class cruiser that used a Minovsky Craft System, the Zanzibar-class line of ship used a conventional propulsion system. Hence, it could only operate for limited periods in Earth’s atmosphere before the thrusters overheated. It also required a rocket booster to launch it from Earth into space.
The Zanzibar-class mobile cruiser was armed with a main gun and mega particle guns for long-range attacks, and machine guns for anti-aircraft and anti-mobile suit measures.
A twin main gun turret was mounted at the top of the cruiser to the rear. This was more powerful than the mega particle guns. It was able to rotate 360 degrees and had a 180 degrees arc of fire that allowed it to cover the aft of the ship.
Mega particle guns
There were four mega particle guns mounted at the front of the Zanzibar-class cruisers, one on each side near its nose. These were fixed and had limited angle of fire individually. Together, the four guns had a firing range that covered the front of the ship.
The cruiser had five twin machine gun turrets for anti-aircraft and anti-mobile suit purposes.
Behind the scenes
Yoshiyuki Tomino was the principal mechanical designer. Hajime Katoki cleaned up the design.
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