MS-06R-1A High Mobility Zaku II
The newest model of the MS-06 Zaku line, the MS-06R-1A type, represents a fundamental change from the existing F and C type models. The R-1A type uses a propulsion engine and verniers that are considerably more powerful that than of the standard F type. However, as the fuel consumption has also increased, pilots must be careful not to run out of fuel during engagements. The efficiency of the arms and legs has also been improved, so an increase in the performance of this type in melee combat can also be expected. Two types of control interfaces are also available on the R-1A type, semi-auto control and manual control, which allows the pilot to select the most ideal control type for the operation or engagement at hand.
Because the capabilities of this Mobile Suit have risen to a level impossible for the standard F-type, by studying this manual thoroughly, pilots will be able to perform at their peak level.
Access to the cockpit is through a standard airlock that can be controlled by manual switch or wireless systems, and is also equipped with emergency access controls.
Around the cockpit hatch are manual airlock access switches, as well as remote control and emergency cockpit access controls. Pilots are encouraged to carefully perform checks on this equipment themselves in addition to regular maintenance personnel. Additionally, the pressure seals on the airlock itself should be carefully checked.
The cockpit of this Mobile Suit has a large number of manual switches and controls, each with a specific function, so a great deal of knowledge is required to operate this unit. In particular, the various vernier switches and the manual control board for the computer play a vital role in the operation of the Mobile Suit. It is important to understand this thoroughly.
When conducting a pre-launch external inspection, there are a number of key maintenance points to check:
- Airlock external control handle
- Wireless remote access switch
- Internal airlock control handle
The main panel located in the center of the cockpit can display images and data along with the main screen, but it can also be used for communication purposes. The screens to the left and right are used for radar and sensor data, but in emergencies can display the overall status of the Mobile Suit, as well as any damage sustained. The main screen is also capable of displaying all the data on the main panel by simply flipping a switch. The pilot will often need to select the most important data to display according to the situation. The screens can be controlled through switches, or also by using the computer's manual input board. However, the screen select switches can be preset by using the input keyboard.
Because the electrical systems on this Mobile Suit are considerably more complicated than the F type, an automatic test system (known as the BIT) will automatically check the systems at set intervals. If the main panel is damaged or unable to be used, the overhead main warning screen can also be used to display data. Additionally, this information can be displayed independently of the screen control presets.
The main panel constantly displays Mobile Suit and combat data, so checks can be performed very quickly.
When doing preflight checks, pilots should first perform an external check, and then begin the internal systems check. At this time, it's extremely vital to thoroughly check weapons, fuel and propellant levels, maintenance status, and the cockpit equipment. In particular, the individual vernier and propulsion systems efficiency, as well as the efficiency of all the other propulsion systems, are important areas to check. Additionally, the pilot's normal suit and helmet must be carefully checked. If trouble is encountered in this process, it is recommended that the launch be delayed.
The propulsion systems of the Mobile Suit are typically used when launching from the carrier ship. Using the main propulsion engine for no more than 30 seconds is recommended to avoid overload. In order to prevent the delay of additional launches, this is important as a fuel conservation measure. From the time that the first unit launches, the remaining units should launch and move into formation and begin accelerating towards the combat zone within 3 minutes. From the time of launch to the beginning of the acceleration phase, the Mobile Suits are under the control of the launching vessel, but once the acceleration phase begins, the formation leader assumes command and control. The communication units should be set to receive mode and pilots should avoid communications, even laser, as a measure to avoid detection.
The offensive capabilities are essentially the same as the F-type, but the additional verniers make more precise aiming and tracking possible. Additionally, the computer provides considerably more targeting assistance than the F type. However, the R-1A type only carries enough propellant for about 15 minutes of combat maneuvers, so the pilot must be extremely conscious of the fuel remaining. Targeting is accomplished on the main screen, and has an automatic lock-on system.
As the Mobile Suit sustains damage, in order to avoid the reactor melting down, an auto-recovery system has been installed. However, if the main warning alarm issues what is known as a 'red alarm', the possibility of catastrophic meltdown is high, and the pilot should eject immediately. If the pilot should encounter friendly forces that were forced to eject or escape, the pilot should judge the situation and either perform a rescue or contact their command authority for instructions.
Returning to base
Upon the resolution of combat, pilots should follow the instructions of the commanding officer, or in the case of independent flight, the carrier vessel. When preparing to land aboard ship, except in special circumstances, the autopilot system should be used.
This particular ejection system is from the R1-A type, and though there may be minor differences between individual serial numbers, they are basically identical.
There are types of ejection equipment that can be internally and externally operated, and the proper procedures for each type must be followed carefully, so thorough knowledge of both types is necessary. Additionally, it is vital that pilots know which type they are using.
When operating the ejection system, each control system is given a specific priority that pilots should remember. The primary system is the control seat ejection ring, the secondary is the Auxiliary ejection lever located on the lower left of the control panel, and the reserve system is the chest armor purge lever located on the upper left console.
These are the only three means of operating the ejection and escape systems, so in the event that these controls are non functional, pilots must use the airlock to escape. It is vital that pilots take the survival kit located in front of the airlock when escaping in this way. To avoid getting caught in combat while escaping, pilots should move directly out of the combat area. When engaged in melee or close range combat, pilots should move a minimum of 15 kilometers away from the combat area, or 50 kilometers from anti-ship combat.
For post-ejection procedures, pilots are instructed to refer to, and commit to memory, the ‘Escape pattern’ manual.
Also keep in mind that in addition to the equipment in and around the cockpit area, there are also escape controls on the upper left shoulder and lower left leg.
Escape Pattern Manual
1. Activate ejection systems
Upon pulling the ejection ring located underneath the middle of the control seat, the ejection sequence will activate. In the event of a malfunction, use the auxiliary ejection lever. Should both of these systems malfunction, purge the chest armor and pull the ring again. If all systems fail, egress through the airlock.
2. Chest armor purges
Upon activation of the ejection system, the chest armor will blow away and open the cockpit to vacuum, so pilots must be wearing their normal suits. Pilots should make air seal checks on their normal suits before activating the ejection system. Pilots should then secure themselves to the control seat as the armor purges.
3. Seat Ejects.
.25 seconds after pulling the ejection ring, the ejector seat will eject from the main body of the Mobile Suit. Pilots will experience a maximum force of 16G as the booster motor fires for 30 seconds, separating the seat from the Mobile Suit by approximately one kilometer after 5 seconds, nearly eliminating the concern of being caught in a reactor explosion.
As the seat ejects, an automated pattern is followed, so no further input should be required.
4. Booster ignites.
A linear motor ejects the seat from the Mobile Suit simultaneously as the ejection booster motor ignites. The booster motor should ignite automatically, but can be manually activated by a control switch on the right of the seat in the event of malfunction.
5. Ejection complete.
Upon escape from the immediate combat area, a reverse thrust rocket will ignite so as to not carry the seat outside the operational radius of friendly forces. Using the verniers, orient the seat facing the sun, and extend the solar panels, antenna, and signal ball. Once this is completed, follow the instructions in the survival manual and await rescue.
Post-Ejection Notes: Two essential issues to be aware of during ejection: make sure to notify friendly forces of ejection, and the appropriate timing of this notification. Upon conclusion of combat operations, survivors should signal for rescue. Search and Rescue operations are protected under the Antarctic treaty, so there will be no enemy attacks, and enemy forces should not interfere with rescue operations. In this circumstance, the Antarctic Treaty takes precedence over any orders issued by superior officers. Rescue operations are also directed to rescue all individuals seeking rescue, regardless of friend or foe. If instructed to assist with an enemy rescue operation, pilots or crew members are instructed to follow the directions of the rescuing party.
This pilot seat also functions as an emergency ejection seat. This is the first model of its type to be equipped on the MS-06 series, so Technicians and Logistics personnel are advised to make special note of it. Technicians must perform detailed maintenance checks on the ejection booster and emergency life support equipment. Special care must be taken to ensure that the life support equipment performs at its maximum duration of 110 hours after activation.
Other than the ejection functionality, other functions are nearly identical to the F-type seat. The key differences are that the F-type’s ECS (life support) connection is located on the seat itself, rather than the cockpit, as well as extra controls attached to the left side of the seat. These controls include the manual controls for the ejection booster, verniers, and life support equipment.
Pilots should make careful inspections of seat systems prior to launch, including the life support equipment, oxygen tanks, ejection booster, verniers, and other essential life sustaining systems.
The survival kit has 24 types of items, with a total count of 50 individual items.
The usage instructions for each item are located in the survival manual. The shelf life of the food, medicine, and batteries is guaranteed for 6 months, while all other items have a maximum shelf life of one year.
The oxygen tanks are mandated to have an annual pressure and insulation tests.
1. Oxygen tanks (5 day supply)
3. Sheet with storage pockets
4. Distilled water (3 day supply)
5. Rations (3 day supply)
7. Double-sided tape
8. Magnet gun
10. Medicine (10 types)
12. Signal transmitters (2 Units)
13. Strobe lights (2 Units)
14. Air seal repair tape
15. Multipurpose adhesive seals
16. Reflective panel
17. Medical Tray
18. Food container
19. Batteries (6)
20. Thermal insulating sheet
21. Survival Manual
22. Zeon reading material
24. Spare pistol magazines (2)
25. Hand Grenade (1)
Survival Kit Instructions
1. Life Support Equipment The life support systems in the seat are powered by batteries in the seat and solar panels, so it is advised to stay out of the shadows cast by asteroids or other debris. The Oxygen tanks are located in the rear of the seat, and waste is ejected into space.
2. Rations and medicine Rations and water are supplied in sterile polymer containers that can be connected directly to the suit’s helmet. Medicines can be connected to the medical connector on the normal suit. Although there is a 3-day supply at minimum, pilots are advised to conserve the food and water rations as much as possible.
3. Repair items Repair items consist of air seal repair tape, double sided adhesive tape, and multipurpose adhesive seals. These items can be used to repair damage to the normal suit, or secure items. Additionally, the air seal tape is of a very strong and highly transparent type which also allows it to be used to repair the helmet.
The contents of the survival kit are extremely compact, and thorough understanding of the usage of each item will greatly increase the chances of survival.
4. Transmitter/Signal Gun To be used if the transmitter in the seat itself should malfunction. These function identically to the equipment in the seat, and two sets are supplied. With battery changes, the transmitters can be used for 72 hours of continuous transmission. Should all of the transmission devices fail, the reflective panel can be used to signal nearby friendly forces.
5. Personal weapons These items are provided with the survival kit for self-defense. Included are one semi-automatic pistol with two magazines, and one hand grenade. Firing the pistol in space requires a high level of skill, and pilots should practice firing in space to gain experience in this area.
6. Rescue tools These items can be used to attach the seat to a friendly Mobile Suit or ship for towing. 15 meters of cable and a magnet gun can be used to attach up to 200 kilograms. To use these items, attach the cable to the magnet gun, and fire the magnet gun at the armor plating of a Mobile Suit or vessel.
The R1A has an exclusive normal suit and helmet which have expanded features to accommodate the connection of survival kit items. Food and water rations are attached to the lower left of the helmet, while medication cartridges are loaded into the autoinjector and connected to the suit’s medical connector. Both of these connectors have airtight valves, so there is no concern of losing the suit’s airtight seal.
Sources: MSV Zaku Series Edition (Vol 1)