MS-05 Zaku I


MS-05 Zaku I

In the anime and manga "Mobile Suit Gundam" universe, the MS-05 Zaku I was the first successful mobile suit design to be developed by the Zeonic Company in the Principality of Zeon's quest to develop a combat-capable mobile suit that used the AMBAC System and the Minovsky ultracompact fusion reactor. The Zaku I was first designed and built in U.C. 0075, as the MS-05A Zaku winning the arms war against the EMS-04 Zudah. It wasn't put into mass-production until later that year, as the MS-05B Zaku I. The last production run of the MS-05B is in U.C. 0077, before it was replaced by the newer MS-06 Zaku II unit.

The MS-05A Zaku I was the first attempt made by the Principality of Zeon. It was also the first mobile suit to use the Minovsky-lonesco fusion reactor and mimic human movements. Called the Early Type by later pilots, this was a suit on which many famous ace pilots trained. During November UC 0075, 27 of these units were assigned to new pilots for evaluation. Among them were Ramba Ral, the "Blue Giant," and the Black Tri-Stars Gaia, Mash, And Ortega. The strengths and weaknesses were hammered out during this testing phase, and soon led to the development of the MS-05B Zaku I. For all intents and purposes, the MS-05A was exactly the same as the MS-05B, the only differences being small improvements in all areas including redesigned cockpit, higher output power plant, and redesigned armor.

The MS-05A was not mass-produced as intended, labeled unfit for combat before the start of the One Year War. Still, the successful use of these suits prompted the Zeon Navy to commission ships that could carry them into combat, primarily the "Musai"-Class Light Cruiser. The Zaku I was rendered obsolete by the Zaku II before the beginning of the One Year War, and thus they were relegated for use in the rear lines as supply and construction suits. They still saw some action, though, as colony gassers in the One Week War. Later, with the number of machines lost after Operation British and the Battle of Loum, many of these machines were brought back to the front lines until losses could be replaced. Many units were assigned to the Midnight Fenrir Corps on the eve of Second Earth Descent Operation. The MS-05A would continue to serve as patrol units and workers until the end of the War.

Outside Universal Century

While the Zaku II design has appeared in numerous series outside the UC universe, such as the CE era of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny with the ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior and ZGMF-1001 ZAKU Phantom, The Zaku I design has influenced several alternate universe MS models, such as the CE era's YMF-01B Proto GINN and the ZGMF-999A ZAKU Mass-Production Trial Type. The Zaku I has appeared in its entirety (althouugh slightly redesigned) as the MS-05 Borjarnon Gavane Gooney Custom in 1999's Turn A Gundam, set in CC 2345. The Borjarnon Gavane Gooney Custom, along with the MS-06 Borjarnon, are actually just a single excavated MS-05B Zaku I, and hundreds of MS-06F Zaku II's.

Variations

The Zaku I, like many of the Zeon's mobile suit lines, had a few variations of the basic model, such as the MS-05S Zaku I Commander Type and MS-05J Zaku I Land-Warfare Type.

MS-05J Zaku I Land-Warfare Type

The land warfare Zaku I was little more than a stock Zaku I repainted in region-specific colors.

Few of these suits would see action, for while the Zaku I series was no longer being mass produced, it was not difficult to obtain one. Most Zaku I's were assigned to pilots that requested them, or to newly-formed squadrons that were unable to obtain the best equipment available. Some would see action in southeast Asia, with at least one assigned to Commander Topp. More would be assigned to the Midnight Fenrir teams. And while Manning and Swaggard would eventually take on additional mobile suits, veteran Matt Austin would keep his Zaku I throughout the remainder of the war, adding different weapons and option parts to suit his liking. These included a shield, the MS-07B Gouf’s heat sword, and even a shield salvaged from a fallen RGM-79 GM.

MS-05S Zaku I Commander Type

The MS-05S Zaku I Commander Type was the personal mobile suit of Lieutenant Commander Gerhart Schmeisser, the founder and leader of the Midnight Fenrir Corps. Before the One Year War, Schmeisser was already a decorated mobile suit pilot, and in the opening days of the war proved himself as a soldier. However, during an attack on a facility in New Guinea to clear the way for the Operation British colony drop, Schmeisser was severely wounded in action when a booby-trapped railgun facility blew up. Schmeisser survived, though his injuries prevented him from returning to active combat duty. Despite this handicap, Schmeisser persuaded Admiral Kycillia Zabi to create the Midnight Fenrir Corps. Under his command, the Midnight Fenrir would go on to distinguish themselves in the One Year War. Despite the restriction from combat duty, Schmeisser still used his MS-05S in training missions and in simulations, providing a valuable service to his team even though he could not fight.

The differences between this mobile suit and a regular MS-05B Zaku I were small. The only major differences were a second shoulder dome on the right shoulder, the striking (and often misleading) white and silver custom paint job, and a new shield mounting the fearsome heat saber seen on the MS-07B Gouf. The obvious bonuses of a commander’s type mobile suit aside, the MS-05S was little different from the standard Zaku I being used by the Home Defense Corps, and various out-of-the-way Zeon bases.

pecifications

MS-05A Zaku I Early Type

Manufacturer: Zeonic Company
Operator: Principality of Zeon
Unit type: mass production general purpose mobile suit
Dimensions: head height 17.5 meters
Weight: empty 50.3 metric tons; max gross 65.0 metric tons
Powerplant: Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor, power output rating unknown
Armament: 105 mm machine gun, drum-fed, 100 rounds per drum, spare drums can be stored on waist armor racks; 280 mm Zaku bazooka, 4 round magazine; heat hawk, battery powered, can be stored on waist armor racks; shotgun
Pilot(s): Matt Austin, Lee Swaggard, Ramba Ral, Gaia, Mash, Ortega

MS-05B Zaku I

Manufacturer: Zeonic Company
Operator: Principality of Zeon; civilians
Unit type: mass production general purpose mobile suit
Dimensions: head height 17.5 meters
Weight: empty 50.3 metric tons; max gross 65.0 metric tons
Powerplant: Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor, output rated at 899 kW
Armament: 105 mm machine gun, drum-fed, 100 rounds per drum, spare drums can be stored on waist armor racks; ZMP-47D/120 mm machine gun, drum-fed, 100 rounds per drum, spare drums can be stored on waist armor racks; H&L-SB21K/280mmA-N Zaku bazooka, 4 round magazine, can be stored on rack on rear waist armor; heat hawk Type3, battery powered, can be stored on waist armor racks; G-3 nerve gas grenade launcher; sturm faust1; knuckle shield1
; anti-personnel grenade launcher
Pilot(s): Gadem, Topp, Gabby Hazzard, Matt Austin, Lee Swaggard, Manning, Gaia, Ortega, Mash

1. Information gained from the Zaku I HGUC model

MS-05S Zaku I Commander Type

Manufacturer: Zeonic Company
Operator: Principality of Zeon
Unit type: commander type high powered mobile suit
Dimensions: overall height 18.0 meters; head height 17.5 meters
Weight: Unknown
Powerplant: Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor, power output rating unknown
Armament: heat saber, mounted inside shield on left forearm; MMP-80 90 mm machine gun, magazine-fed, 32 rounds per magazine, spare magazines can be stored on waist armor storage racks; 880 mm raketen bazooka, magazine-fed, 5 rounds per magazine, spare magazines can be stored on waist armor storage racks; 90 mm assault rifle; 3-tube missile launcher; anti-personnel grenade launcher
Pilot: Gerhart Schmeisser

Appearances

* Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO (anime)
* (anime)
* Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO (manga)

References


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