MS-05A Zaku I


Model number: MS-05A
Code name: Zaku I
Unit type: mass production general purpose mobile suit
Manufacturer: Zeonic Company
Operator: Principality of Zeon
Rollout: May UC 0075
First deployment: July UC 0077
Accommodation: pilot only, in standard cockpit in torso
Dimensions: head height 17.5 meters
Weight: empty 50.3 metric tons; max gross 65.0 metric tons
Armor materials: super hard steel alloy
Powerplant: Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor, power output
rating unknown
Propulsion: 2 x rocket thrusters: output unknown
Equipment and design features: sensors, range unknown
Fixed armaments: none
Optional hand armaments: 105mm machine gun, drum-fed, 100 rounds per drum, spare drums can be stored on waist armor racks; 280mm Zaku bazooka, 4 round magazine; heat hawk, battery powered, can be stored on waist armor racks; shotgun

In UC 0075, the Principality of Zeon contracted the Zeonic and Zimmad companies to create competing designs for a mass production mobile suit. Following the design failures of Zimmad’s EMS-04 Zudah, the MS-05 Zaku I became Zeon’s first mass production mobile suit in July UC 0075. It was the first mobile suit to incorporate the Minovsky-Ionesco fusion reactor, and the first to mimic human movements. Often called the Early Type by later generations of pilots, the MS-05A was the suit on which many famous pilots trained. In November UC 0075, 27 of these units were assigned to new pilots for evaluation. Among them were the “Blue Giant” Ramba Ral, the Black Tri-Stars Gaia, Ortega and Mash, and many members of the Home Defense Corps. The strengths and weaknesses of the design were hammered out during this testing phase and led to the development of the MS-05B. The MS-05A was basically the same as its brother, the MS-05B, the differences being general improvements in all areas including a redesigned cockpit, a higher output powerplant and redesigned armor.

The MS-05A was never produced in great numbers, and was labeled as unfit for combat even before the start of the One Year War. The Zaku I lost its place as a frontline suit to the MS-06C Zaku II. However, the tally of pilots and machines lost after Operation British and the Battle of Loum saw a sizeable number of these machines brought back to the front lines as a buffer until losses could be replaced. Several units were assigned to the newly formed Midnight Fenrir corps on the eve of the Second Earth Descent Operation, as the standard MS-06F Zaku II was in short supply. The Midnight Fenrir used their old Zaku Is for quite some time before eventually retiring them in favor of newer mobile suits being rolled out toward the war’s end. The MS-05A continued to see service throughout the war in a limited capacity, serving mostly as patrol units, workers and frontline units for backwater bases.

Pilot(s): Matt Austin, Lee Swaggard, Ramba Ral, Gaia, Mash, Ortega
First appearance: MSV
Original mechanical designer: Kunio Okawara (MSV version)


Rear view


Zaku bazooka


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