Technology & Combat Characteristics
One of the last machines in the Zaku II High Mobility Type series, the MS-06R-2 Zaku II High Mobility Type was Zeonic Company's entry in the competition for the Principality of Zeon's next generation space-use mainstay MS. It was a replacement for the beam weaponry equipped MS-11 (later the MS-14 Gelgoog) which was facing delays in development. The competition was one of Zeon's responses to the Earth Federation Forces' successful development of their own MS and their counter offenses.
The R-2 had a complicated development history that reflected the confusion that plagued the Zeon’s mobile suit development. It is based on the MS-06R-2P Zaku II High Mobility Test Type, which was intended to be able to use beam weaponry, but failed to reach a practical level. However, the suit exhibited high capabilities even without beam weaponry, and was later redesigned into the high mobility R-2 which uses normal Zaku II weapons. The R-2’s exterior is almost identical to the past Zaku II High Mobility Type machines, but it has been greatly altered in various areas, such as a new generator with higher output, a different chest piece, higher propellant capacity, and the use of lighter and better armor material in some sections. Thus, the R-2 has higher performance and is lighter than the R-1 and the R-1A Types.
The R-2 was reputed as a “Gelgoog wearing a Zaku’s skin” for its high capabilities. In fact, it used parts meant for the still in development Gelgoog in its construction. A result of this is that its legs’ internal structure has been redesigned. The R-2’s legs are also better armored compared to previous Zaku High Mobility Types, offering better protection against enemies attacks. These added armor also make the silhouette of the R-2’s legs more similar to that of the Gelgoog’s. It should however be noted that the shape of the leg armor can vary slightly from machine to machine. Like the other Zaku High Mobility Types, the R-2 has propellant tanks in the calfs and thighs to increase the operating time of the legs’ propulsion devices.
The suit’s backpack is based on those used by past Zaku High Mobility Type machines, but the propellant tank at the top is enlarged and holds 18% more fuel than the R-1A Type’s. Other features of the backpack remain the same, such as large thruster nozzles, an exposed roll bar at the top that could facilitate exchange of propellant tank or the entire backpack, and fin-shaped stabilizers at the bottom that can move together with the thrusters, granting the suit high mobility and maneuverability. The R-2’s communication and sensor systems are also enhanced like the past Zaku High Mobility Types. Despite having a blade antenna on its head, this does not indicate that the suit is a commander use machine as with the usual Zaku II. Instead, it is said that the suit’s designer included the blade antenna simply for decorative purposes, and it is present on all the R-2 machines during roll out. The particularly shape of blade antenna used is known as the stabilizer type.
Despite having better specifications, the R-2 lost the competition to the Zimmad Company’s MS-09R Rick Dom due to issues with cost and operating conditions. In the end, only four R-2 were produced, and they were deployed to ace pilots, such as Johnny Ridden.
- Shoulder Shield
- A large composite armored shield on the Zaku II's right shoulder. When the machine is in the optimal attack posture, where the frontal projected area is the smallest, the corners of the shield are in front, maximizing the defensive area and forming sloped armor to reduce damage from ricochets.
- 120mm Machine Gun
- A standard weapon for Zaku type MS. It is a shell firing gun that does not require energy to be used, however its effectiveness against heavy armor is very limited. It uses a 100-round drum magazine. It is said that Johnny Ridden often used the ZMP-50D, and also the M-120A model, in close range combat.
- 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 Zaku II's thermonuclear reactor and relayed through the MS' hands.
- 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. Can be stored on an optional rack mounted on the shoulder shield.
- H&L-GB05R/360mm Giant Bazooka
- The same MS-use bazooka as used by the Dom, it fires rocket-propelled 360mm physical rounds, its magazine holds 10 rounds. It has a low muzzle velocity, but is one of the Zeon’s most powerful MS-use physical projectile weapons. Has the same usage as the Zaku Bazooka.
- MIP-B6 Cracker Grenade
- A multi-warhead grenade. After being thrown at the target, the six protrusions on the cracker's body explode in different directions, dealing damage over a wide area. A flash-type variant also exist, which can temporarily paralyze the sensors of enemy MS.
- Backpack Weapon
- A prototype, portable beam weapon that appears in the manga Mobile Suit Gundam MSV Battle Chronicle Johnny Ridden. It uses the generator of the MS-14 Gelgoog as its power pack, and directly connects to a beam gun (semi-similar to the Gelgoog's beam rifle, but with a different barrel) via a cable. It is used as an external attachment to the mobile suit's original backpack.
Only four R-2 Zakus were produced before the MS-09R Rick Dom was chosen as the new space combat MS. They were assigned to Major Johnny Ridden (painted red and black), Lieutenant Colonel Gabby Hazard (painted orange and black), Colonel Robert Gilliam (painted blue and beige) and the fourth unit was given to test pilot Elliot Rem, which eventually evolved into the MS-06R-3S High Mobility Type Zaku. In the Spirits of Zeon video game, the fourth unit is assigned to Kurt Roswell (painted maroon and gray).
Notes and Trivia
- Real Grade 1/144 MS-06R-2 Johnny Ridden's Zaku II
- High Grade 1/144 MS-06R-2 Zaku II
- Master Grade 1/100 MS-06R-2 Zaku II (Ver.2.0)
FA-78-2 Heavy Gundam | RGM-79L GM Light Armor | RX-77-3 Guncannon Heavy Arms Type | RX-77-4 Guncannon II | RX-78-3 Gundam "G-3" | TGM-79 GM Trainer
|Aircraft / Spacecraft|
Corvette Booster | Guncarry | Lightliner
|Principality of Zeon|
MS-06R-2 Zaku II High Mobility Type | MS-10 Pezun Dowadge | MS-11 Act Zaku | MS-12 Gigan | MS-13 Gasshia | MS-17 Galbaldy α
|Aircraft / Spacecraft|