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Technology & Combat Characteristics
The ZAKU Phantom is a commander/ace pilot use version of the ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior and features higher performance. Appearance wise, the ZAKU Phantom is almost identical to the ZAKU Warrior except for an additional shield on the right shoulder and a blade antenna on its head for C4ISR purpose (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance). The armament of the suit is similar to the ZAKU Warrior, and it also has the ability to use Wizard Packs to adapt to different combat roles.
- Shoulder Shield
- The shoulder shield is a distinctive feature of the ZAKU series. Unlike most mobile suit shields which are mounted or held by the left hand, the shields of the ZAKU series are mounted on the shoulder, leaving both hands free to hold weapons. Large enough to protect the torso, the shield also serves as a storage unit for the beam tomahawk and for two spare energy clips for the beam rifle. The ZAKU Phantom possesses two shoulder shields.
- MA-M8 Beam Tomahawk
- While other suits usually use beam sabers for close combat, the ZAKU Phantom instead uses a beam tomahawk which can be thrown quite easily, granting it limited ranged combat abilities. When not in use, the tomahawk is stored inside a physical shield, which is mounted on the shoulder. The ZAKU Phantom possesses two beam tomahawks as it has two shoulder shields.
- Hand Grenade
- The ZAKU series of mobile suits is equipped with four hand grenades, two mounted on each side skirt armor. The grenades are mid-range explosives that are used in the same manner as ordinary grenades. Though the ZAKU can only equip four grenades there are five models that can be equipped in various combinations:
- ZR30F Fragmentation Grenade
- ZR20E High-Explosive Grenade
- ZR271 Thermite Incendiary Grenade
- ZR11Q Flash Grenade
- ZR13Q Smoke Grenade
- MMI-M633 Beam Assault Rifle
- The primary ranged weapon of the ZAKU Phantom is an MMI-M633 beam assault rifle, which unlike most beam rifles does not draw power from the mobile suit's battery. Instead, the rifle has its own independent battery, stored in a replaceable clip (similar to the technology used in the Eurasian Federation's CAT1-X Hyperion series), with a pair of extra clips attached to each shield mounted on the suit's shoulder. When not in use, this weapon could be stored on the back waist armor.
- M68 "Cattus" 500mm Recoilless Rifle
- First used by the GINN, the M68 "Cattus" 500mm recoilless rifle is similar in design to a bazooka and can fire various types of rounds depending on the magazine used. Typically, the "Cattus" is reserved for larger more heavily armored targets such as battleships. Due to similarity between the GINN and ZAKU, the "Cattus" can easily be used by the latter. This weapon would be used by pilots in aquatic combat, since beam weaponry is ineffective underwater.
Special Equipment & Features
- Wizard Pack Hardpoint
After the end of the first war and the signing of the Junius Treaty, a new generation of mobile suits was needed by ZAFT to cope with the technological and numerical restrictions placed on the superpowers as part of the treaty. The ZAKU series's ZAKU Phantom was one such machine. An enhanced version of the standard ZAKU Warrior and produced as part of the "New Millennium Series" of mobile suits, it is used by commanders and ace pilots. As a result, most ZAKU Phantoms feature a custom color paint job, although some Phantoms are painted in the same green color scheme as the basic ZAKU Warrior.
Prominent ZAFT aces using the ZAKU Phantom are first war veterans Yzak Joule, Dearka Elsman and Heine Westenfluss, while other pilots include Rey Za Burrel and Riika Sheder, with nearly each of them piloting a custom colored version. Since the ZAKU Phantom was designed for use with the Wizard Packs, each pilot fields his unit with one such pack, with the EX-M Blaze Wizard being the most prominent being used. However as the war progress, some of them switched to more advanced suits that become available later.