Technology & Combat Characteristics
A descendant of the Zaku series of mobile suits, the Zaku III was designed to be highly versatile, being able to perform just about any mission role and many option parts were developed for it. The Zaku III is a big step up from the venerable MS-06 Zaku II, possessing better armor, over twice the power output, three times the sensor range, and four times the thruster acceleration, not to mention the various new beam weapons it wielded. The suit's backpack is equipped with integrated propellant tanks and flexible vernier thrusters, improving its cruising range and mobility.
In the year U.C. 0096, the surviving Zaku III units were modified by The Sleeves for their own use. The Zaku III's front skirt armor was reconfigured with two sub-arms similar to the PMX-003 The O, thanks to this new feature, the Zaku III could quickly deploy and wield both beam sabers at the same time, catching enemies off guard in close-quarters combat. The Sleeves' Zaku III also had a hide bomb dispenser in its left shouldder armor.
- Head Beam Cannon
- Each Zaku III possesses a high-output beam cannon mounted in the "mouth" of the mobile suit, with a power rating of 1.6 MW.
- Beam Cannon/Beam Saber
- Mounted on the front skirt armor and hand operated in use, the barrel units of the pair of beam cannons can be ejected and used as beam sabers. Both the beam cannon and beam saber modes have a power rating of 2.8 MW. These are similar to the Beam Guns/Sabers of the AMX-004 Qubeley. The Sleeves' Zaku III replaced the beam cannon/beam saber with sub-arms carrying a beam saber each.
- Beam Rifle
- The beam rifle, as its name suggests, is a high-powered energy beam weapon that fires condensed mega particles. A heat bayonet can be mounted under the barrel. It is the same beam rifle as used by the AMX-104 R-Jarja.
- Heat Bayonet
- Mounted underneath the barrel of the beam rifle, though not as effective as a beam saber, the heat bayonet can damage a mobile suit that gets within melee range, allowing it to serve as a quick defense/offense weapon. When required, the heat bayonet can be detached from the beam rifle and used as a separate weapon.
- Prototype Beam Rifle
- A high output, long range prototype beam rifle developed for Zaku III's use. As its development took too long, the Zaku III was equipped with R-Jarja's beam rifle instead.
- Beam Rifle
- Same beam rifle as used by the AMX-011S Zaku III Custom. It is a high performance beam rifle developed as an optional armament for the standard Zaku III, has a long effective range and high output.
- Beam Machine Gun
- Used by The Sleeves' Zaku III, it is originally used by the AMS-119 Geara Doga and is powered by a replaceable e-pac.
- Option Rack Shield
- The shield on the right shoulder contains a storage rack carrying spare beam sabers and grenades.
- The Zaku III can use a bazooka which fire large-caliber, explosive rounds quite effective against the armor of mobile suits and battleships.
- Medium-sized Beam Gun
- Replacing the original beam cannon/beam sabers in the skirt armor, these beam guns likely have greater firepower but not the ability to generate a beam saber.
- Vulcan Gun
- The Zaku III can be equipped with a different head unit armed with a pair of vulcan guns. These head mounted shell firing weapons have a high-rate of fire but have little power and are generally ineffective against mobile suits, though it can damage lightly armored areas such as the sensors. These weapons are ideal for shooting down small, fast moving, lightly armored targets such as missiles or small vehicles.
- Hide Bomb Dispenser
- Mounted in the left shoulder armor of The Sleeves' Zaku III, it is the same weapon as used by the Zaku III Custom.
Special Equipment & Features
- Interchangeable Head
- Backpack Variation
- Mounted on the front skirt armor of the Zaku III used by The Sleeves, they replaced the beam cannon/beam saber. Sub-Arms are small manipulators which are normally retracted, folded, or otherwise concealed, like those installed in the PMX-003 The O. The Zaku III's sub-arms carry a pair of beam sabers, providing an element of surprise and tactical advantage in combat.
As the First Neo Zeon War raged on, the Neo Zeon military continued its development of new and more powerful mobile suits. Two competing designs were produced as potential new mass-production front-line units: the AMX-011 Zaku III and the AMX-014 Doven Wolf. The intention of the Zaku III's design was that it would be a new descendant of the old Principality of Zeon's venerable (and highly versatile) MS-06 Zaku II lines. The Zaku III featured a modular construction design, enabling armor, the backpack, and other components to be changed out and customized depending on the mission. Despite its high performance and versatility, however, the Zaku III design lost out to the more powerful Doven-Wolf. As a result, the Zaku III saw only limited production.
During the Dublin Colony Drop, one Zaku III was piloted by Rakan Dahkaran, who would use it to battle against the AEUG and shot down Karaba leader Hayato Kobayashi's Dodai Kai, killing him. Another unit was customized into the AMX-011S Zaku III Custom for use by the captain of the Endra and mobile suit pilot Mashymre Cello
The Zaku III units served during the brief Civil War that occurred during the end of the First Neo Zeon War, being piloted by Haman Karn loyalists. In U.C. 0096, a number of these mobile suits survived and were used by "The Sleeves" during the third of the major Neo-Zeon Movements. These mobile suits were modified with new weaponry and given the distinctive markings featured on many of the mobile suits used by The Sleeves. One such unit was seen fighting against a RGM-89D Jegan during the Battle of Industrial 7. Some Zaku III units were also spotted on Earth in the same year, with one being piloted by the leader of an unknown group of Pirates who raided the Zeon remnant's base in New Guinea.
- A Zaku III variant that switched out its standard backpack for the MS-14J ReGelgu's backpack, which is equipped with propellant tanks and a pair of 8-tube missile pods.
- A Zaku III variant equipped with skirt extension booster. The booster is ejected during close combat, but due to its high cost, it will be recovered after the battle for future use.
Notes & Trivia