Technology & Combat Characteristics
Developed very late during the One Year War as part of the "United Maintenance Plan", the MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai ("Kai" is Japanese Kanji character "改". In English means "Modified".) was an improved and redesigned version of the mainstay MS-06F Zaku II. The United Maintenance Plan was an effort by the Zeon military to simplify the production of their different types of mobile suits by standardizing parts and systems where possible.
The MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai featured greater acceleration and a redesigned and improved cockpit. It also had the option of two different "helmet" designs. The "A-Type" helmet, which was the more common design, was similar to the typical helmet of the Zaku II series. The "B-Type" helmet was modeled after the Stahlhelm helmet used by the German army in World War II. The Zaku II Kai's main improvement came from its greatly increased thruster acceleration and overall improved maneuverability. However, this also meant that due to increased fuel consumption the unit's operational time was shorter: about 50% of that of the original Zaku II. It also used titanium and ceramic composite armor rather than the super high-tensile steel armor of the original Zaku, which proved more resistant to both regular ballistics and beam weapons. In addition, it was lighter than the previous armor, leaving more space for fuel, thrusters and additional equipment.
Finally, its weapons were upgraded. The Zaku Kai featured a new 90mm machine gun, the MMP-80. Although the MMP-80 fired shells of smaller caliber than the standard 120mm MMP-78 weapon used by standard Zakus, it had a higher penetration and an improved firing rate. The machine gun itself was also equipped with a grenade launcher, which despite being a one-shot weapon, proved to be highly effective. Additionally, the Zaku Kai had a new grenade rack on its right hip in which three cylindrical grenades could be stored for convenient access. Its Heat Hawk remained mostly the same as that used by other Zaku units. The Zaku Kai also could equip weapons used by other Zeon mobile suits, such as sturm fausts, which were a large-scale version of the Panzerfaust anti-tank weapon capable of destroying a mobile suit in a single shot.
Due to the MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai's late introduction into the One Year War, only a handful of the units were produced. Few of these mobile suits survived the war.
- Shoulder Shield
- Mounted on the right shoulder, it is a simple defense used to block most incoming physical projectiles.
- Hand Grenade
- Stored on the right hip of the Zaku for convenient access are three hand grenades. These grenades were more compact than the "cracker" grenades used by the original Zaku. While not very powerful or accurate, they're capable of performing different roles in the battle.
- MMP-80 90mm Machine Gun
- A small caliber machine gun for mobile suits developed under the United Maintenance Plan. The overall shape and mechanism of the Zaku Machine Gun, which was previously deployed, has been changed. The magazine has been changed from a drum magazine to a box magazine, and a 197mm grenade launcher is available as an option. The caliber has been reduced to 90mm, but as a result, the hit rate has improved, and the 90mm shell used is also excellent in initial velocity and anti-MS firepower. The number of bullets loaded is 32 in the standard single magazine and 100 in the triple magazine. The late production model features a different barrel and hand guard, resulting in a more compact shape.
- M-120A1 120mm Machine Gun
- Also referred to as a "rifle" by Zeon soldiers, Zeonic was contracted to develop this weapon. Its internal development code is "ZMC38III". It can switch between semi-automatic and automatic fire. Although useless against Luna Titanium Alloy, it can still destroy weaker armor material with multiple shots.
- H&L-SB25K/280mmA-P Zaku Bazooka
- A portable, physical projectile-type firearm. It is primarily for anti-ship combat and displays its power in hit and run attacks. It can also be used against enemy mobile suits, but it is harder to hit a constantly moving target.
- A simplified, disposable rocket launcher. It is commonly used by Zeon mobile suits in the late stages of the One Year War. As the warhead is not equipped with a guidance device, it is extremely hard to use the Sturm Faust to hit a moving target accurately. However, it is still a highly destructive portable weapon.
- 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 II's thermonuclear reactor and relayed through the MS' hands. The Heat Hawk used by Zaku II Kai is modified with an extendable handle.
- Heat Sword
- A melee weapon originally developed for the Gouf line of mobile suits. Like the Zaku's heat tomahawk, the heat sword's blade is heated to high temperatures to increase its cutting capacity. During the events in Mobile Suit Gundam: We're Federation Hooligans!!, the Zaku II Kai was armed with a heat sword which resembled Heat Sword Type-βIV used by MS-07B Gouf.
- A piece of equipment that increases the Zaku II's defensive capability, it is mounted on the left forearm and/or handheld.
The most famous Zaku II Kai appears in Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, which is piloted by Bernard Wiseman. He effectively uses his machine to critically damage the considerably superior RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex", albeit at the cost of his own life. The Zaku II Kai with the B-type helm was also the main unit of the Capitol Defense Battalion stationed in Zum City later in the war, while another unit was also piloted by Liberio Lincke of Zeon's regiment the Marchosias.
Years later, in U.C. 0096, one unit kept by the Zeon remnant forces participated in the attack on Torrington Base, where it was destroyed along with most of the attacking forces. This unit was equipped with the 280mm Bazooka.
Notes and Trivia
- Because its pilot shares the main protagonist role with Christina Mackenzie, the Zaku II Kai is uniquely featured in promotional art and special renders in the Gundam VS series alongside the Gundams, in some of them even replacing the NT-1.
- The Zaku II Kai is featured in the Extreme Vs. series being piloted by Bernard Wiseman. The Zaku retains its primary weapons; its machine gun, Sturm Faust, grenades and heat axe. As part of its weaponry, Bernard can also plant explosive Santa balloons that will stun any foe trying to rush into the Zaku or to distract enemy support units. As the grenades do not explode on contact and detonate after a prolonged period of time, Bernard can manually detonate the grenades and Santa balloons himself. To compliment his kit, Bernard can also summon a pair of MSM-03C Hygogg to either shoot their beam cannons or their hand missiles. By Extreme Vs. 2, the Hygogg assist was replaced with Mikhail Kaminsky's MS-18E Kämpfer firing its bazooka. For its burst attack, the Zaku II Kai would create a firewall with a quick grenade combination. In Extreme Vs. 2, this burst attack was relegated to one of the Zaku's charged attacks, and its new burst attack involves it performing a melee combo with the heat axe instead.
|Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 Mechanics|
|Earth Federation Forces|
RGM-79D GM Cold Districts Type | RGM-79G GM Command | RGM-79GS GM Command Space Type | RGM-79SP GM Sniper II | RX-77D Guncannon Mass Production Type | RX-78NT-1 Gundam "Alex"
Cold District Use APC
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
63 STS "Ginga" | C-88 Medea
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
LMSD-76 Gray Phantom
|Principality of Zeon|
| Mobile Suit|
MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai | MS-09R-2 Rick Dom II | MS-14Jg Gelgoog Jäger | MS-18E Kämpfer | MSM-03C Hygogg | MSM-07E Z'Gok-E
|Ship / Submarine|
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Musai-class Final Production Type | Tivvay-class
RH-35E Riah 35 Draken-E