Friday, May 6, 2016

Warship Historica

Space Ships and the birth of ships able to operate Mobile Suits.
~Humanity's progress in space and the necessity of new weapons~

Mobile Suits Launch for a Tivvay Heavy Cruiser, December UC 0079

With the advent of the space immigration policy, Anti-Earth Federation activities increased and lead to the militarization of Side 3 as a result.   The weapons born from of this series of events were the Space Warship and ships able to operate Mobile Suits.

The new weapon borne out of space combat technology, the Space Warship.

With the increase in population and the deteriation of the Earth Sphere, humanity established the Earth Federation and advocated a policy of space immigration.  Thus, the U.C. (Universal Century) began.   The foundation of Space immigration was the construction of space colonies in the areas around lunar orbit and the subsequent migration of humanity.

As the space colonies, Moon, and Earth were separated by vast tracts of open space, the development of space ships for transportation was an obvious move, and among these ships, space warships were also created as weapons.

The first space warships were small security ships like the Earth Federation's Salamis class, and the only imagined enemies at this time amounted to terrorists, and so the primary duty of these ships were to provide security in the space around the Sides (governmental units of dozens to hundreds of space colonies, effectively a sub-state or satellite within the Earth Federation).

Later, ships with greater cruising capability and firepower, following the 'big ship big gun' principle were created following the changes in the situation within the Earth Sphere, with Sides being constructed at the Lagrange points.   As Spacenoid independence movements increased, Side 3 began to make decisive movements towards independence from the Earth Federation.  With these movements, where the Space Warship was expected to become the primary means of projecting combat power, the Principality of Zeon, established at Side 3, developed the Mobile Suit, instantly changing the military balance of power, and space warships were developed into MS carriers in parallel to these advances.

Differences Between Older Warship Types and MS Carriers

Two primary types of armed warship exist: Older-style warships were designed with an emphasis on combat power while operating in an electronic warfare environment, and Mobile Suit Carriers were developed to act as carrier ships for Mobile Suits.  

While the two types may seem similar in many respects other than the ability to operate MS, MS carriers were not merely based on the older-style warships, but also incorporated new technologies allowing considerable differences to be observed in their design.   By the One Year War, the differences between Earth Federation and Principality of Zeon warships were quite remarkable.

01 Warship Central Sections (Basic Construction)

Space Warship hulls must be completely airtight and sealed with airlocks, and as a result have more in common with submarines than surface naval vessels.  The Federation's older style warships strongly resemble the form of surface naval vessels, while Principality of Zeon MS Carriers buck this design trend completely.  While both of these designs still maintain a distinct 'top' and 'bottom', primarily for the benefit of the crews on board maintain their sense of direction, the Zanscare Empire's Squid and Amalthea-class ships ignore all concept of 'top and bottom'.

02 Main Guns (Armament)

Both older type warships and MS Carriers are adequately equipped with multiple mega particle cannons and missiles, and can be said to exceed Mobile Suits and Mobile Armor in terms of pure firepower.   However, the older type warships utilize an fire control system (FCS) reliant on radar and datalinks for their anti-air defenses, which result in severely reduced accuracy and effectiveness when under the effects of Minovsky particle scattering.  As a result, their firepower is basically limited to providing anti ship/anti fortification or supporting firepower only.

03 Engine (Propulsion System)

Space Warship propulsion systems typically utilize several thermonuclear rocket engines.  As these engines were developed using Minovsky physics, they are able to deliver a large amount of thrust with a minimum amount of fuel expended, which ultimately leads to excellent mobility on these massive warships.

The White Base (Pegasus) class and some other types of ships capable of atmospheric reentry are also able to utilize the Minovsky Craft system for atmospheric flight.  This property of Minovsky physics acts as a type of psuedo-antigravity system.

04 Bridge (Bridge/Observation System)

Older type Space Warships feature specialized electronic warfare systems, which are used in conjunction with fire control systems to enable observation and detection of enemy forces, and are heavily dependent on radar and other electronic equipment.

Federation ships of this era were said to be only about 40% as effective as Zeon warships for this reason, as Mobile Suit carriers tended to utilize optical and visual means of observation and detection.   The enlarged bridge windows on many of these designs allowed a greater enemy acquisition capability.

05 MS Deck (MS Deployment Capabilities)

Mobile Suit carrier ships are not only able to simply accommodate Mobile Suits, but also have facilities to maintain and store MS in their hangar decks, and also utilize catapult launch systems in order to deploy Mobile Suits.

Late in the One Year War, older type space warships were adapted to carry Mobile Suits and Mobile Pods, but this only took the form of securing them to the external armor plating of the ships.  However, similar to the Chivvay and Salamis Kai class ships, many older type warships would be refitted into Mobile Suit carrier ships, giving them true Mobile Suit carrier capabilities.

Source: Mobile Suit Gundam Ship and Aeroplane Encyclopedia, 2010

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