The MSZ-006A1 Ζeta Plus A1 (Z Plus A1) is a part of the Zeta Plus line of mobile suits. It was the first mass-produced successor to the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam and was introduced in the photo-novel Gundam Sentinel.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The transformable mobile suit MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam developed by the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) is originally considered far too complex and expensive for mass production. But Karaba, the AEUG's terrestrial ally, 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 guns are mounted on the sides of the Zeta Plus' head. Having low power but a high rate of fire, they are mainly used to intercept approaching enemies, missiles, etc. Zeta Plus' extended head allows it to carry 80% more ammunition for its vulcans than the Zeta Gundam.
- Thigh Beam Cannon
- A pair of beam cannons are mounted on the thighs of the Zeta Plus A1, and are usable in both mobile suit and waverider modes. They are power rated at 2.4 MW.
- Beam Saber
- A common close combat weaponry, it use Minovsky particles held in place by an I-Field to form an effective cutting surface that can slice through most material without anti-beam coating. 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 first Zeta Plus A1 rolled out in November of U.C. 0087, and the new machines were assigned to Karaba units such as the 18th Tactical Fighter Aggressor Squadron (18TFAS) based aboard the Garuda class carrier Audhumla. Karaba eventually deployed about twenty machines, three of which were painted in white and orange demonstration colors. Rumor has it that one of these colorful machines was used by the legendary ace pilot Amuro Ray in his role as commander of 18TFAS.
Some of the Zeta Plus A1s remained in service in U.C. 0096, and were stationed at certain Earth Federation ground bases such as the Cheyenne base. During Bright Noa's investigation of said base, two guarding Zeta Plus A1s were immobilized by Tri-Stars team's RGM-96X Jesta and RGM-96X Jesta Cannon.
Notes and Trivia
- In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, the cockpit monitor of a Gustav Karl shows an allied Zeta Plus A1 erroneously as "Zeta Plus C1".
- 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