The MS-06K Zaku Cannon is a mass-produced artillery test type mobile suit. It was one of many variants of the standard MS-06 Zaku II produced by the Principality of Zeon during the One Year War. The unit is featured in the original design series Mobile Suit Variations and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn novel/OVA.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Zaku Cannon was developed out of the Zeon's MS-06J-12 Project, which was to build an anti-aircraft Zaku II unit. That project was scrapped when the Zeons learned of the Earth Federal Force's close-combat RX-78-2 Gundam and their mid-range fire support RX-77-2 Guncannon. Thus, the scope of the project changed from anti-aircraft mobile suit to an anti-mobile suit and mid-range support unit.
The Zaku Cannon was based on the Zeon's highly successful MS-06F Zaku II design. This new model featured a powerful 180mm cannon mounted on the right shoulder, the same cannon size as the Federation's RX-75-4 Guntank. It could even be refitted with a MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type's standard backpack by removing the K-Type backpack and cannon. The Zaku Cannon also featured a 360 degree camera eye for improved vision and target acquisition. Lastly, the mobile suit had more powerful thrusters placed in its legs to overcome its increased mass. However, The Zaku Cannon suffered from poor balance due to the large cannon's recoil. This problem was significant enough to cancel its production by the Zeon Military Force after a production run of only nine units.
- 180mm Cannon
- The main weapon of the mobile suit, This cannon's overall power is equal to that of the original Guntank with a single shot being able to destroy a mobile suit. Unfortunately that same power also forces the Zaku Cannon off balance due to massive recoil.
- Shoulder Shield
- The shield is a simple defense used to block most incoming ballistic and explosive projectiles. Also used to great effect in close quarters battle with enemy mobile suits. The Zaku Cannon mounts a shield on its right shoulder.
- 2-tube Rocket Launcher
- Also known as Big Gun, the 2-tube Rocket Launchers are mounted on Zaku Cannon's back waist. The launchers are magazine-fed and can fire small-caliber rockets rapidly. During Zeon Remnant's raid at Federation's Torrington Base in U.C. 0096, the Zaku Cannon was seen using these as surface-to-air weapons against the RX-160S Byarlant Custom.
- 120mm Machine Gun
- The 120mm machine gun is a standard weapon for Zaku type mobile suits. It is a shell firing gun that does not require energy to be used, however its effectiveness against heavy armor is very limited. This model used a 100-round drum magazine.
- MMP-80 90mm Machine Gun
- The upgraded version of the MMP-78 120mm Machine Gun. It used 90mm bullets instead of 120mm type, allowing for a greater speed of firing and a higher rate of penetration. The machine gun is magazine-fed with 32 rounds per mag. The MMP-80 was also integrated with a grenade launcher under its barrel for more firepower.
- Grenade Launcher
- The MMP-80 is fitted with an underslung grenade launcher. The grenade wasn't very effective against large ships, but was an ideal mid-range anti-mobile suit weapon.
- H&L-SB25K/280mmA-P Zaku Bazooka
- The 280mm Zaku Bazooka was another standard weapon that could be equipped to a Zaku type mobile suit. The bazooka fired explosive rounds that were quite effective against the armor of Earth Federation mobile suits and battleships.
- 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 power output of the Zaku's thermonuclear reactor and relayed through the MS' hands.
Special Equipment & Features
- 2-tube Smoke Discharger
- Likely intended to compensate for the Zaku Cannon's low mobility by releasing a cloud a smoke that would cover the area around the mobile suit to make it more difficult for enemies to target.
- Parachute Pack
- An optional backpack equipment created by the Zeon for use by their Mobile Suits for air drop missions, the parachute pack contains a large parachute and aided by four thrusters in making a safe landing to the ground, once touchdown had been accomplished the backpack would be ejected as to not hinder the Mobile Suits performance in ground combat.
Nine prototype units are constructed at California Base, and this squadron of Zaku Cannons are led by Ian Greydon in defense of the base until the end of the war. Greydon's own Zaku Cannon sports a custom twin-antenna head that comes to be known as the "rabbit type." A handful of other Zaku Cannon units also turn up in other theaters of the Earthside war, including Southeast Asia and Australia.
In U.C. 0087, the Earth Federation picked up the designs. After the costly battle with the Delaz Fleet, the Federation's new and powerful mobile suits had been destroyed. They needed very cheap models to replace the advanced mobile suits that had been lost (the Titans taskforce was using up a great deal of the Federation's money for the military). Thus, the Federal Forces filled their ranks with a few of the old Zeon designs, including the MS-06K Zaku Cannon, to supplement their forces.
In the assault of Torrington Base in U.C. 0096, the Zeon remnants deployed at least one Zaku Cannon.