MS-11 Action Zaku
The MS-11 Action Zaku (aka Act Zaku) is a Principality of Zeon mass production general purpose mobile suit. It was featured as a mobile suit variation in MS-X, it later appeared in the anime Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and the manga Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story: Space, To the End of a Flash and Mobile Suit Gundam: Outer Gundam manga.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Built under the Pezun Project at Zeon's Pezun space asteroid base, the Action Zaku was planned to be a new mass-production model mobile suit that the Zeon would field to sway the tides of war back into their favor. The Action Zaku was the testbed for the new "magnetic coating" technology developed by the Zeonic Company. The special magnetic coating materials were applied to the joints of the Action Zaku, which could be electrically charged to produce a magnetic field. This field caused the components of the joints to repel one another, reducing the friction caused by joint movement to almost nothing, creating a faster and much more responsive mobile suit.
The Action Zaku was also designed with a much higher output reactor, allowing it to wield beam weaponry. A custom beam rifle was in production for the Action Zaku to use. However, the design for the weapon was not complete by the time the Action Zakus were deployed, so they were issued machine guns instead, however as Mallet Sanguine's Action Zaku was seen using a beam rifle before the war ended it's possible that the beam rifle managed to be produced but in limited numbers. The Action Zaku was also issued the same standard armaments of the MS-06 Zaku II, such as the 120mm machine gun, 280mm bazooka and heat hawk.
- ZMP-50D 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. The ZMP-50D used a 100-round drum magazine.
- 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.
- 360mm Giant Bazooka II
- A weapon borrowed from the MS-09R-2 Rick Dom II, which is a redesigned version of Dom series' 360mm Giant Bazooka, with improved shape charges and firepower. The Giant Bazooka II is magazine-fed with 5-round capacity. A single round is particularly effective in anti-ship warfare, and can blow the torso off of an enemy mobile suit.
- Beam Rifle
- A standard hand carried ranged beam weapon is the beam rifle, which is powered by a rechargeable energy cap. Capable of firing concentrated mega particles, attacks from a beam rifle can damage any ordinary armor that has not been specially treated to resist it.
- 4-barrel Bullpup Gun
- The 4-barrel Bullpup Gun is an open-bolt, gas-operated, magazine-fed, mobile suit handheld sub-machine gun. It does not require energy to be used, however its effectiveness against heavy armor is very limited. When the magazine is empty, it can be discarded and replaced with a new one.
- Hand Grenade
- Throwing weapon used an alternative to the Cracker Grenade. These waist mounted grenades can be thrown like regular grenades and set to detonate upon impact with the target or timed to explode after a preset time. They come in multiple variants, allowing them to perform different roles in battle.
- Heat Hawk
- An axe-like weapon used by the original MS-06 Zaku II, whose name is short for "tomahawk". Thermal energy is relayed through the mobile suit's hand to heat the heat hawk's blade, allowing it to slice through the armor of enemy warships or mobile suits.
- Beam Saber
- The beam saber is a small cylindrical device held in the mobile suit's hands when operated and is powered by an energy capacitor that is recharged from special racks. The beam saber emits a blade of plasma contained by an I-Field and is capable of cutting through almost any metal that has not been treated with anti-beam coating.
- A basic optional arm-mounted defense armament for many mobile suits. The shield is a thick sheet of armor designed to take severe punishment that would normally destroy a mobile suit. Since the introduction of beam weaponry, shields have been treated with an anti-beam coating allowing it to withstand several beam shots before the coating wears off. Typically physical shields can only take so much damage before they succumb to the pressure and break. The Action Zaku equips the same shield as the MS-14A Gelgoog, which is styled after the shields used by the African Zulu tribe.
Special Equipment & Features
- Magnetic Coating
- A special membrane treatment applied to mobile suit joints to improve their response speed. Mobile suits use special actuators called field motors, whose efficiency is increased by the magnet coating process. The treatment also reduces friction resistance in the mobile suit's joints.
The Action Zaku was introduced too late for the Principality of Zeon. Some units might have actually seen combat during the retake of the Pezun asteroid after the end of the war, quite possibly already equipped with beam rifles. When the Earth Federation Forces captured the Pezun asteroid, they obtained the designs for the Action Zaku, and the concept of magnetic joint coating. The Earth Federation would put the Action Zaku into production for their own use after the One Year War.
At least one custom unit belong to Granada's ace pilot, Mallet Sanguine. This Action Zaku has a commander antenna on its forehead and armed with two heat hawks, and a beam rifle and shield. After Mallet got seriously injured by the RX-78-4 Gundam Unit 4 "G04"'s mega beam launcher, he has the Action Zaku's limiter removed - increasing its performance while ignoring his condition - in order to exact vengeance from G04's partner, RX-78-5 Gundam Unit 5 "G05".
The Earth Federation would use the Action Zaku for many years, right up into the Gryps Conflict, though not in as great a number as their other mass-produced machines. By UC 0087 the Action Zaku was fairly outdated when compared to the advanced machines being produced by both sides, and saw resounding defeats during each engagement against the AEUG. By UC 0087 the Action Zaku was phased out of service with the Earth Federation.
Notes & Trivia
- In the game Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space, the Action Zaku is an unlockable unit and has its own beam rifle. The design of the beam rifle in the game is similar to the design for the beam rifle the Hi-Zack and Marasai used. This might imply that when the Pezun base was captured by the Earth Federation, they took the design for this beam rifle for their own production purposes.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation and Mobile Suit Gundam Side Stories the Action Zaku is equipped with a Beam Saber for its melee weapon, its stored on a recharge rack on the rear waist armor.