Technology & Combat Characteristics
The MS-05Q Zaku I is an upgraded version of the regular Zaku I; which features a more powerful Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor and hardened armor. The head now has power pipes and has a right shoulder armor. The Zaku I unit's head-mounted Mono-Eye camera system and several cameras mounted around the mobile suit's body granted the pilot excellent visibility from the enclosed cockpit. The Zaku I also incorporated laser sensors, infra-red sensors, and a powerful computer to facilitate the MS' operation. Its main weaponry are a 120mm machine gun, heat hawk and a 280mm zaku bazooka. The unit piloted by Norris Packard also featured a set of knuckle spikes.
- 120mm Machine Gun
- The 120mm machine gun is a standard weapon for Zaku-type mobile suits. It is a shell firing gun that does not require energy to be used; however, its effectiveness against heavy armor is very limited. It holds 100 rounds per drum. Spare drums that can be stored on waist armor racks.
- Heat Hawk
- An axe-shaped close combat weapon, it uses a super-heated blade to cut through the armor of enemy MS or vehicles. The thermal energy is generated by the power output of the Zaku's thermonuclear reactor and relayed through the MS' hands.
- 280mm Zaku bazooka
- The 280mm Zaku Bazooka was another standard weapon for Zaku-type mobile suits. The bazooka fired explosive rounds that were quite effective against the armor of Earth Federation mobile suits and battleships.
- Spiked Knuckles
- Three spikes on each hand for punching attacks. Being simple steel spikes, they do not draw any power from the reactor. Because these Knuckle Spikes do not have the range or the power of a normal thermal-based weapon, the pilot is required to be more precise in their use, relying more on skill than technology.
In 0078 U.C, while the MS-06 Zaku II units was now in the progress of production, many pilots still preferred to be with their existing mobile units the MS-05A Zaku I Early Type. The Principality of Zeon started a program to upgrade Zaku I units and the result was the MS-05Q Zaku I units. The plan was to upgrade 240 Zaku I units but only 164 units managed to be upgraded since most of Zeon's priority was given to the production of the Zaku II units. At the end of the war, less than 30 units were also converted. Many of the MS-05Q Zaku I units were used by ace pilots like Norris Packard. Packard piloted a custom Zaku I unit with purple and red color scheme. The unique thing about his Zaku are the knuckle spikes on its hands.