Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Zaku Cannon was developed out of the Zeon's MS-06J-12 Project, which was to build an anti-aircraft mobile suit. The project was change to include mid-range support capabilities following the appearance of the Earth Federation Forces' mid-range fire support RX-77-2 Guncannon. The Zaku Cannon was based on the MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type and has a powerful 180mm cannon mounted on the backpack.
Its K-type backpack can be replaced with a Zaku II Ground Type's backpack when needed. The Zaku Cannon featured a 360 degree camera eye for improved vision and target acquisition, and had more powerful thrusters in its legs to overcome its increased mass. However, the Zaku Cannon suffered from poor balance due to the 180mm cannon's recoil and as a result, only a limited number of units were produced.
- 180mm Cannon
- Mounted on the backpack, it is the main weapon of the mobile suit. Its overall power is equal to that of the Guntank with a single shot being able to destroy a mobile suit. Unfortunately that same power also forces the Zaku Cannon off balance due to massive recoil.
- Shoulder Shield
- Mounted on the right shoulder, it is a simple defense used to block most physical projectiles.
- 2-tube Rocket Launcher
- Also known as Big Guns, the pair of 2-tube Rocket Launchers are mounted on the lower sides of the backpack. The launchers are magazine-fed and can fire small-caliber rockets rapidly.
- 120mm Machine Gun
- 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. This model used a 100-round drum magazine.
- H&L-SB25K/280mmA-P Zaku Bazooka
- The 280mm Zaku Bazooka was another standard weapon that could be equipped to a Zaku type mobile suit. The bazooka fired explosive rounds that were quite effective against the armor of Earth Federation mobile suits and battleships.
- 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.
Special Equipment & Features
- 2-tube Smoke Discharger
- Mounted on the backpack, it releases a cloud of smoke that covers the area around the mobile suit to make it more difficult for enemies to target.
- Parachute Pack
- An optional backpack equipment created by the Zeon for use by their Mobile Suits for air drop missions, the parachute pack contains a large parachute and aided by four thrusters in making a safe landing to the ground, once touchdown had been accomplished the backpack would be ejected as to not hinder the Mobile Suits performance in ground combat.
Nine prototype units were constructed at California Base, and this squadron of Zaku Cannons were led by Ian Graden in defense of the base until the end of the war. Greydon's own Zaku Cannon sports a custom twin-antenna head that came to be known as the "rabbit type." A handful of other Zaku Cannon units also appeared in other theaters on Earth, including Southeast Asia and Australia.
After the One Year War, the Earth Federation picked up the designs and produced the machine to supplement their forces. In the assault of Torrington Base in U.C. 0096, the Zeon remnants deployed at least one Zaku Cannon.