Model number: MSZ-006
Code name: Zeta Gundam
Unit type: prototype attack use transformable mobile suit
Manufacturer: Anaheim Electronics
Operator: AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group)
Rollout: July UC 0087
First deployment: August UC 0087
Accommodation: pilot only, in panoramic monitor/linear seat cockpit in torso
Dimensions: mobile suit mode: head height 19.85 meters; waverider mode: overall length 24.32 meters, wingspan 18.61 meters
Weight: empty 28.7 metric tons; max gross 62.3 metric tons; mass ratio 1.70
Armor materials: Gundarium alloy
Powerplant: Minovsky type ultracompact fusion reactor, output rated at 2,020 kW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 112,600 kg total (5 x 12,200 kg, 2 x 10,600 kg, 4 x 7,600 kg); vernier thrusters/apogee motors: 8
Equipment and design features: sensors, range 14,000 meters; bio-sensor system; birdlime launchers in hands
Fixed armaments: 2 x 60mm vulcan gun, 600 rounds per gun, mounted in head; 2 x 2-tube grenade launcher, 2 rounds per tube, mounted in forearms; 2 x beam saber, power rated at 0.65 MW, stored in recharge racks in hip armor, hand-carried in use, sabers double as beam guns in waverider mode with power rated at 1.3 MW total for both
Optional fixed armaments: grenade launcher cartridge, 18+1 rounds, serves as extended ammunition magazine for grenade launcher; shield, mounted on left forearm
Optional hand armaments: beam rifle, power rated at 5.7 MW, powered by replaceable e-pac, doubles as large beam saber, can be mounted on storage rack on back to use in waverider mode, 2 spare e-pacs stored in shield; FXA-03M2 Hyper Mega Launcher, power rated at 8.3 MW, powered by replaceable e-pac, doubles as large beam saber
The Gryps War saw the introduction of many new experimental mobile suit technologies. Anti-Earth Union Group pilot Kamille Bidan, being a mobile suit design hobbyist, began designing a next generation mobile suit for himself. With the aid of AEUG chief mechanic Astonaige Medoz, Kamille’s design so impressed the engineers at Anaheim Electronics that they volunteered to build the suit for him under the flag of the AEUG’s Project Zeta. Initial tests occurred on a non-transformable version, the MSZ-006-X1 Prototype Z Gundam. Called the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam (“Z” being read as the Greek “zeta”), this unit represented many of the changes in mobile suit design philosophies occurring at the time.
Inspired by the RX-178 Gundam Mk-II‘s movable frame design and the FXA-00 Flying Armor, the Zeta Gundam was also built around a movable frame capable of transforming the mobile suit into a fighter-like form called a waverider. This VMSAWRS (Variable Mobile Suit and WaveRider System) unit not only gave the Zeta Gundam added speed and mobility in waverider mode, but also allowed it to make an atmospheric reentry from space on its own without the aid of ballute packs or other external reentry systems. Part of the waverider mode’s form was composed of wing binders – which had already seen experimental use in another Project Zeta design, the MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki – and a tail binder, all of which not only served as control surfaces for the waverider in atmospheric flight, but also contained extra thrusters and worked as additional balancing limbs in mobile suit mode.
The Zeta Gundam’s armament was fairly standard, composed of head vulcan guns, a beam rifle and a pair of beam sabers which doubled as forward-firing beam guns in waverider mode. It could also utilize the powerful FXA-03M2 Hyper Mega Launcher. However, the Zeta Gundam had an additional edge with its bio-sensor – a device developed by Anaheim in an attempt to build a smaller-scale, more economical psycommu system. Though the exact nature of the bio-sensor was unknown, its primary purpose was to allow a Newtype pilot to more easily interface with his mobile suit. The bio-sensor could also have a rather surprising side effect when the pilot was mentally and emotionally focused enough (usually when angry or upset) to cause the bio-sensor to amplify the power, speed and strength of the mobile suit for a short period of time. Kamille’s strong emotions created this effect on more than one occasion, turning the Zeta Gundam into a truly unstoppable force when the Newtype pilot was mad enough.
The Zeta Gundam was delivered to the AEUG flagship carrier Argama in mid-UC 0087, where it served as a frontline assault unit in the AEUG’s war against the corrupt Titans. At the same time, Anaheim began producing the simplified Zeta plus series for AEUG’s Earth-based support organization, Karaba. Following the end of the Gryps War, the Zeta Gundam remained in service for another year, as the AEUG immediately found itself plunged into the First Neo Zeon War and fighting for its survival. Kamille was mentally incapacitated at the end of the Gryps War, so the Zeta Gundam passed through other hands, operated by the AEUG’s various new pilots, including the equally powerful Newtype youth Judau Ashta. The Zeta Gundam remained in service until the end of that war when it was critically damaged during a battle inside the Neo Zeon asteroid base Axis. After the war, the Zeta Gundam’s design served as the inspiration for several later Earth Federation Forces units, including the RGZ-91 Re-GZ (from UC 0093’s Second Neo Zeon War) and the RGZ-95 ReZEL (from UC 0096’s Laplace Incident).
Pilot(s): Kamille Bidan, Reccoa Londe, Apolly Bay, Judau Ashta, Roux Louka, Fa Yuiry, Astonaige Medoz, Iino Abbav, Beecha Oleg, Elle Vianno, Mondo Agake
First appearance: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Original mechanical designer(s): Kazumi Fujita (principal design), Kunio Okawara (transformation planning)