Technology & Combat Characteristics
The transformable mobile suit MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam developed by the AEUG resistance group is originally considered far too complex and expensive for mass production. But Karaba, the organization that serves as the AEUG's terrestrial forces, takes note of the Zeta Gundam's effectiveness and redesigns it to create the mass production type MSK-006 Zeta Plus (later redesignated as the MSZ-006A1). Because this machine is intended exclusively for use in the atmosphere, its space flight systems and atmospheric entry features are eliminated. However, its cost-performance ratio and flight capabilities are superior to those of the prototype Zeta Gundam.
Instead of the flying armor used by the original Zeta Gundam, the Zeta Plus is equipped with variable geometry wing binders similar to those of the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki. These wing binders improve the flight characteristics of the wave rider form, giving it a cruising range of hundreds of kilometers, and in mobile suit form they can be used for AMBAC maneuvering rather than simply becoming dead weight. The Zeta Plus is also equipped with two beam cannons in the side armor, which are connected directly to its movable frame so that energy supply and fire control can be performed without using the mobile suit's hands.
- 60mm Vulcan Gun
- Two 60mm Vulcan Gun mounted on the sides of Zeta Plus' head. Having low power but a high rate of fire, they are mainly used to ward off advancing enemies, intercept missiles, etc. Comparing with Zeta Gundam, Zeta Plus' extended head allows it to carry 80% more ammunition for its vulcan guns.
- Thigh Beam Cannon
- A pair of beam cannons are mounted on the thighs of the Ζeta Plus A1, and are usable in both mobile suit and waverider modes. They are power rated at 2.4 MW.
- Beam Saber
- Beam sabers are standard equipment on all Federation MS. The beam sabers use Minovsky particles held in place by an I-Field to form an effective cutting surface that can slice through nearly any material. The Zeta Plus A1 has a pair of beam sabers stored within the top of the thigh beam cannons.
- A custom shield used by the Zeta Plus A1, it not only protects the mobile suit from physical and beam attacks, but also serve as the nose unit in waverider mode.
- Beam Rifle
- A custom, handheld, ranged beam weapon used by Zeta Plus A1, it has the same level of firepower as the original Zeta Gundam's. It is powered by a replaceable e-pac and usable in both mobile suit and waverider modes.
- Beam Rifle~ReZEL's version
- A beam rifle used by the Zeta Plus A1 in U.C. 0096. It is first used by the RGZ-95 ReZEL and besides functioning as a ranged weapon, it can also emit a beam blade from its muzzle, allowing it to act as a long beam saber.
The Z Plus, although designed at first only for a semi-official series Gundam Sentinel, got its designs to retcon the supposedly earlier model, the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam. After the Gryps Conflict ended, the Earth Federation wanted the design of the Ζeta Gundam to be reworked, so that it was more streamlined, less complex, and, most importantly, cheaper to manufacture, but so that it would still retain all of the major strengths of the original unit. The Ζ-Plus line of mobile suits was the answer to the Federation's requests.
The first Zeta Plus rolls out in November of U.C. 0087, and the new machine is assigned to Karaba units such as the 18th Tactical Fighter Aggressor Squadron (18TFAS) based aboard the Garuda class carrier Audhumla. Karaba eventually deploys about twenty machines, three of which are painted in white and orange test colors for demonstration purposes. Rumor has it that one of these colorful machines is used by the legendary ace pilot Amuro Ray in his role as commander of 18TFAS. Some of the Zeta Plus A1 remain in service even in U.C. 0096 and are stationed at some Earth Federation ground bases.
Notes and Trivia
- The Zeta Gundam's name is derived from "Zeta", which is the sixth letter of the Greek Alphabet - which may be reference to its model number.
- Gundam Sentinel Special Edition, Model Graphix, ISBN 4-499-20530-1
- MSZ-006A1 Zeta Plus A1 on MAHQ.net
- MSZ-006A1 Zeta Plus A1 on Gundams Over Germany
- MSZ-006A1 Zeta Plus A1 on GearsOnline.net