|Manufacturer||Ishikawajima-Harima Battle Armor Industries|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere (Advanced)|
|Top Speed||22 km/h|
|Armor Type||Reflective Armor|
One of the third generation of battle armor suits to be designed and fielded by the Draconis Combine, the Zou - or "Elephant" - was developed by Ishikawajima-Harima Battle Armor Industries in response to the requirement posted by the High Command for a suit that could act in a command-and-control (C2) role, assisting other units via strategic coordination. Manufactured on Luthien, the Zou entered service in 3113 and quickly proved a success.
Although the Zou was a notable success in the C2 role, the suit was originally developed to be the successor to the Kanazuchi, an assault suit. It was as a part of that stage of the Zou's design and development that it was first fitted with more than half a ton of reflective armor, successfully extending the life of the suit against beam weapons. It wasn't until the Zou was further developed by being upgraded with C2 capabilities that it came into its own, providing Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery commanders a heavier ground unit when deployed on combined-arms operations, directing troops, calling in long-range fire and artillery. The Zou began to be widely deployed amongst DCMS units in the 3130s as the Combine prepared to invade the Republic of the Sphere.
Weapons and Equipment
The Zou combined a Battle Armor C3 system with a Medium Recoilless Rifle supplied with twenty rounds of ammunition mounted on the right arm; the left arm of the Zou mounted a Battle Claw.
The original pattern Zou, intended to replace the Kanazuchi, remained popular with DCMS units assigned to lower-intensity combat areas, although the C3 variant remained a more popular choice amongst highly-active units. The original pattern Zou mounted a single but powerful weapon - a Medium Laser with enough power to fire thirty shots. BV (2.0) = 73
- Technical Readout: 3145 DracZous Combine, p. 8-9, "Zou Battle Armor"
- MUL online date for the Zou