How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

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False Prophet
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How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by False Prophet » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:34 am

With the theory and performance of assault carriers doing OYW as a basic, in your opinion, how sure was the EFF about assault carriers as a complete replacement for battleships and cruisers between 0080 and 0080? They did put the effort to refit the Magellan and Salamis in 0083, and then there was the Salamis-Kai and Birmingham-class.

Watching Gundam The Origin makes me want to ask this question: How good was the Musai-class and Zanzibar-class providing bombardment/support fire? There were instances which a MS carrier after having launched its MS needed to stay and duke it out, like Operation Maelstrom.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I feel like the Musai-class was extremely inadequate for this task; however, the Zanzibar-class (or the Pegasus-class for that matter) could do it quite well, actually. They did not pack the heat like the Magellan, but they could make do. The Albion had more firepower (defensive turrets, but still more firepower nonetheless) to its direct predecessor, and so were the Argama after that. It was a step toward a specific direction.

So why didn't EFSF just stick to one path instead of doing both: Making both ships-of-the-line and assault carriers, or abadoning it and just make more versatile assault carriers? Yes, I know about the "Big Gun" thing stuck with the older admiral of the EFSF, but shouldn't the data from OYW sufficient to prove otherwise?

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:34 pm

Quite frankly, I would be shocked if the Earth Federation entertained the idea of abolishing ships of the line in favor of nothing but assault carriers for even an instant.

Carriers are, by necessity, big and bulky things that are usually not as fast or agile and equipped with minimal bulky ship-to-ship weaponry. That extra bulk and the additional systems and stores needed to maintain their carrier-based craft (and the carrier-based craft themselves) add a fair bit of cost as well. They'll never be as shooty as a properly equipped ship of the line, which means that to ensure that your carriers survive the best strategy is to have escorts to supplement its anti-aircraft defenses and screen it from anti-warship fire.

There's a reason that Assault Carriers operating on their own usually spend all their time running away from fights with enemy cruisers and escorts... when you take a carrier into a capital ship slugging match, it won't last very long before being shot to pieces, particularly if it's outnumbered.
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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by False Prophet » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:42 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:34 pm
Quite frankly, I would be shocked if the Earth Federation entertained the idea of abolishing ships of the line in favor of nothing but assault carriers for even an instant.

Carriers are, by necessity, big and bulky things that are usually not as fast or agile and equipped with minimal bulky ship-to-ship weaponry. That extra bulk and the additional systems and stores needed to maintain their carrier-based craft (and the carrier-based craft themselves) add a fair bit of cost as well. They'll never be as shooty as a properly equipped ship of the line, which means that to ensure that your carriers survive the best strategy is to have escorts to supplement its anti-aircraft defenses and screen it from anti-warship fire.

There's a reason that Assault Carriers operating on their own usually spend all their time running away from fights with enemy cruisers and escorts... when you take a carrier into a capital ship slugging match, it won't last very long before being shot to pieces, particularly if it's outnumbered.
Why I am not necessary agree with the idea of retaining battleships or cruisers for big-space battles, which was rare after OYW, I do think like you that making some small and verstaile frigates or destroyer for escorting assault carriers might not be that bad if you really want to operate as carrier battle groups.

Maybe the case with the refit Salamis and Magellan was because the post-OYW EF put more emphasize on the recovery of the civilian sector, therefore influenced the EFSF budget plan and made them turn to tried-and-proven designs instead of making something new?

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:15 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:42 am
Why I am not necessary agree with the idea of retaining battleships or cruisers for big-space battles, which was rare after OYW, I do think like you that making some small and verstaile frigates or destroyer for escorting assault carriers might not be that bad if you really want to operate as carrier battle groups.
Since the problems of Minovsky particle interference were never solved in the Universal Century and the eras that followed, space battleships never fell prey to the strategic factors that doomed the surface battleships in the last hundred years of the Common Era. Mobile Suits are the only real impediment to the battlefield dominance of the space battleship.

Minovsky particle interference rendered long-range radar and guided missiles ineffective in combat except at very short ranges, which effectively neutered the threats posed to large warships by long-range guided missiles as well as those deployed by small craft. Being dependent on internally-carried reaction mass for maneuvering made the small craft less of a threat because they have to choose between agility and range, making them easier marks for point-defense guns. Also, because a ship's acceleration, maneuverability, and both the range and firepower of its mega-particle cannons is in direct proportion to the power of its Minovsky reactor(s), the battleships have a large advantage in both reach and endurance.

Because mobile suits are expensive, high-maintenance craft limited almost exclusively to short-range combat, it's very much still World War II-era tactics IN SPACE.


False Prophet wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:42 am
Maybe the case with the refit Salamis and Magellan was because the post-OYW EF put more emphasize on the recovery of the civilian sector, therefore influenced the EFSF budget plan and made them turn to tried-and-proven designs instead of making something new?
Nah, that was a retrofit meant to modernize the Salamis-class for the age of Mobile Suit combat.
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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by MythSearcher » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:51 pm

I see this slightly differently, here’s my thought on this.

UC isn’t that much WWII-in-space, it has its own balancing forces.
It did not really develop the radar warfare as in middle to late WWII for under the Minovsky particle interference, but the problem isn’t completely unsolved. It is at least partially solved after the OYW by using Minovsky Particles wave interference method. (Exact term forgotten, first appeared in Gundam War III IMIDAM encyclopaedia and later adapted to 0083) It is a passive detection method, which detects waves propagated within the spread of M particles (as opposed to the detection of existence of M particles by jamming/interference of EM waves). It surely never got to the level of radar precision, especially considering the density of M particles are highly uneven and changing by the second, but nonetheless you do have some kind of detection other than visible light.

The only war with a high MS-to-ship ratio is OYW, the Battle of Loum probably had the highest in ship sink rate by MS second only to the devastation made by the Mk-82 launched from GP02A in Konpeito. (Reasonably, it is the only other documented case of MSs using nuclear weapons against ships as I recall, sans the failed attempt here and there by incompetent commanders trying to break the treaty.)

After BoL, EFSF figured their ships needed upgrade in AA and need MS. They did launch the Winson plan and V Project to take care of these respectively.
We then fast forward to battle of ABQ, this may be the case sample in which EFSF decided to switch back to mainly use ship of the line with some support MS.

The main reason might be the Dolos class and Gihren’s poor use of them. Battle of ABQ showed that a huge carrier with a large number of MS isn’t that effective, both sank within about an hour in the battle, both are placed about 30 mins of travel with Salamis/Magellan full battle speed in front of the main fleet and with only 2 Cruiser class ships as flank. At first it seems to be pretty effective since you get a large number of MS spread in the frontline with minimal large targets for the EFSF to shoot at, but then obviously all of the EFSF ships rushing in focused their fire on the Dolos class ships, the 4 flank cruisers actually sank after the Dolos class by the ships in the back of the EFSF fleet. The EFSF had the opposite tactics, they had their own carriers, the Columbus class, carry the MS to the battle field and then have the MS tag along on their ships of the line. With the Winson plan upgrades, the EFSF ships aren’t pushovers anymore, their AAs are capable in at least delaying MS attacks and the ship sink rate of MS dropped significantly.

This is maybe why after the OTW, the EFSF seemed to be very confident that they can revert to using large ships giant guns strategy with no MS capacity, the brain children of this is the Birmingham, and the 0083 version of Magellan and Salamis all have a carrying capacity of 0, instead they spot a higher number of AA guns and turrets. Main turrets also seem to be lighter and smaller(like reducing a gun or simply smaller in size for the Salamis guns), and more engines are attached so by speculation they might be faster ships (pure speculation and I am not going to defend against this point, feel free to use the thrusters are smaller/ship seemed to have increased in size even though the official given length is shorter arguments, see thread for ship sizes where I actually supported the view of the Salamis Kai being a larger ship than the original, but the silhouette of the Salamis Kai does look to be sharper and faster but I know this is certainly complete bias with no grounds at all other than it is my favourite ship in UC). On the other hand, they also seemed to have upgraded the Columbus class to have an extended cargo bay, which can obviously carry more MS if need be.

It is only after 0083 that they seemed to be modifying the Magellan and Salamis into ships that can support MS in mass numbers. (Yes, they have at least a Salamis in 0081 that can do a cool auto resupply for a GM, but the majority of ships in 0083 that got destroyed don’t)

MS then never really appeared in as large numbers again (only hundreds in large battles as opposed to thousands in OYW). A ship can carry around a single digit to a dozen or at most 20 MS most are less than a CVE. You never get the WWII CV scrambling a few dozens of fighters’ type of operation unless you have a dozen of ships to begin with. (Ok, you get other ships in WWII that don’t carry planes, but there are in turn some BB and CA or maybe even CL with planes…the Japs just love having some planes on their ships.)

Which, might be reasonable for MS being more powerful than WWII planes against ships. With more effective units, you don’t need as many of them. Although I have some doubts with that rationale, MS-06C were equipped with nuclear bazookas, so power-wise the MS after OYW shouldn’t be as powerful as the BoL, and the ships in BoL aren’t as well equipped with AA fire against MS (along with the sudden M particles interference rendering radar useless & lack of training of crew in this kind of situation), so the speed/acceleration/mobility/manoeuvrability required won’t be as much in BoL. Anyway, it is at least reasonable if you are looking at it by itself, so I’ll just rationalize the OYW as a special case since M particles and MS are both new and Zeon didn’t really know how much MS they needed, while EFSF needed that many MS to counter Zeon’s number of MS and they just kept producing. After the war, they had the numbers and figured they don’t really need that much MS against ships and the capacity on ships aren’t that great to begin with.

Rationalizing the situation, the ships in UC all became more like Battle Carriers or Cruiser Carriers, which we know is just because it sounds cool IRL, they are still considered ship-of-the-line with all their fire power and they are not really reluctant to rush into the frontlines and fire their main guns to sink the enemy’s ship.

Some do stay fairly far away and just send out MSs to do their job or even employ sniping/bombardment/etc., which happened in at least both Zeta and Sentinel and even in OYW(in the MS Igloo manga GM Camof chapter) All cannot be said to be very good tactics even if we look at it in context. GM Camof needed to be so close to get a clean shot, with the first one as a test shot that alerts the enemy and they are so close that you need to disguise as the enemy to do the shot, almost suicidal for the MS pilot. In Zeta Gundam it was Char who made the shot and it is hard for even him to make a clean shot, and their own ship was already under attack by the enemy to begin with. In Sentinel, the MSs reached the range of the enemy’s MSs before getting the ship in range and started to shoot at each other at a few thousand km away and have no way to hit. This is usually treated as a special case here anyway because no M particles was scattered (Though I have no idea where is this sourced from, they used visual data to detect enemy and them launching MS to begin with so it will be the same no matter if they scattered M particles or not)

Anyway, it is in space so there’s no horizon, and the main guns are just capable of shooting at targets hundreds or maybe even thousands of km away. (not accurate but capable to cause serious damage power wise.) Therefore no matter how far you are from your enemy, you are not completely safe from enemy fire. True, the further you get the safer you are, but at the same time, your MS will take longer to get to the battlefield meaning you have even harder time to get the enemy ship because they will now have more time to shoot at your MSs. Of course that works both ways, so you WILL be safer, so both sides will try to get as close as they are comfortable for their own safety but as far as they can tolerate the low effectiveness. If the ship effective firing range(for accuracy) is similar for the MS effective combat range, then ship guns will be much more effective and ships will likely be more aggressive to close in the range.

This seems to be the exact situation in UC, space is huge, but the accuracy of guns are limited by M particles, and the combat range of MS are also limited by the propellant it can store. The former is lengthened by advancement in detection methods and better guns(and less crew onboard that runs around to cause vibration which can throw the aim off in thousands of km away) The latter is then of course lengthened by advancement with increased power, propulsion systems and weapons. They both advance in a similar rate and thus you get the result of ships carrying a limited number of MS with some main guns that are powerful enough against other ships.

That being said, Space is just too huge, and by a simple calculation of a patrol fleet of the EFSF will be enormous. A fleet that can have ships patrolling the lower orbit, and main paths to and from the 5 Lagrangian points and the moon, will be at least in the 500 to 600 range if you want to have something like 30 mins from each other. So the EFSF ordering about 400 Clops to replace the old Salamis kais made sense in numbers. That is still just a ship in each patrol point, imagine if you had a carrier with some escort ships. MS came in as the game breaker, since they can rush to the next ship for combat faster than ships, they can possibly still attack with their ship guns with a low accuracy, but you don’t want each ship carrying too much MS, because if you do that, you will have an insane number of MS and your ship will have less operational time and you will need more ships to fill in when those are resupplying.

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:47 am

I'll play devil's advocate and say that the Dolos and MS carriers like the Zanzibar Kai (MSV-R) were actually a logical step for Zeon, (and likely any large army centered around MS) once you consider all the circumstances:

For starters let's consider the Zeon military structure, which unlike Orign's and a very different background: Kycillia was the one that pushed the development of the MS and once Zeon began preparing its armies, Kycillia wanted to organize the military centered around MS, while Dozle wanted to have a more traditional fleet of warships. Gihren's solution's to form the Space Attack Force (SAF) for Dozle and the Mobile Assault Force (MAF) for Kycillia, which would allow each of them to implement their concepts. As a result we have the MAF which was centered around MS, allowing a part fo them to become the core of the Earth Attack Force (EAF), but whose ships only accounted for one of the 7 Zeon space fleets. The other 6 fleets made up the bulk of the SAF, which in turn had a less MS per ship given their more traditional approach (non-MS centered) to warfare.

Fast forward to the last days of the war, after the fall of Solomon we see Kycillia dispatch a fleet of 11 ships to reinforce A Baoa Qu. This fleet consisted on 10 Pazock class ships and the Dolos itself. Presumably, these ships would be carrying large amount of MAF MS that were stationed at Granada, home of the MAF. Out of the top of my head I know that one of the possible eMS capacities given for the Pazock is 60. The Dolos was originally said to carry 182, but MSV-R decided to change this into a more open-ended 100+. For quick reference, the Dolos actually began development BEFORE the beginning of the OYW, on December 0078, so perhaps we could presume that the 182 MS figure might have been meant for MS of proportions similar as the MS-06, but larger units such as the Dom and Gelgoog series likely require more room and in turn the number of machines it can actually carry would go down by the time the ship si finally completed.

Prior to this, Encounters In Space (PS2) has the incomplete Doroa (Dolowa) as the only warship that manages to escape Solomon (or at least is seen traveling alone at the end of the animated cutscene), with Gato and Karius on board of it. I could try up with a number reasons for why the Doroa might have been given preference to be allowed to escape even at the cost of other ships, but if I had to pick a simple reason why it survive, it would be because Gato was protecting it, partly because it was its mothership, but perhaps more importantly: because it might have been the only ship capable of resupplying its MS-09RS and specially its experimental beam bazooka. Which bring me to my first reason to consider that MS carriers do were needed, particularly in the case of Zeon: because they might have been the only ships capable of properly supporting the ever increasing variety of specialized non-standard MS. As to how they would achieve that, the first most simple reason would be because fo the larger amount of supplies they carry, but there might be an even more important element we have seen particularly in later series: on-board construction capabilities for components.

While the golden example of this would be the CE world of Gundam Seed, where parts for the commonly stolen Gundams are produced on demand on board of the ship that just hijacked them, we have seen this also in UC, for instance in Unicorn, where weapons and spare parts for MS are seemingly produced on board of ships such as the Nahel Argama. Besides the FA Unicorn and the repaired NZ-666, one very notable example are the infamous beam gatling guns that are commonly related to the RX-0, when they are actually of Neo Zeon design, yet by the end of the OVAs the RX-0 has not 1 or 2, but 6 of these mounted on top of 3 shields equipped with I-fields, which given the end of the series we might presume are also made with psycoframe.

Back to the OYW, we do know that the Zanzibar Kai from MSV-R not only added a MS catapult and additional MS capacity, but also a factory block where the components for the Chimera Corps customized MS were built. Such being the case, I don't think it would be so far fetched to assume that the Dolos class could include such facilities as well, specially considering that its even larger MS capacity would also translate into a larger variety of MS (and perhaps even MA) it has to support.

Let's consider other Zeon ships: the Musai and Chibe have essentially the bare minimum space for carrying MS. Given this situation carrying parts or adding facilities to support MS they are not carrying (spare parts, external propellant tanks for particular units, equipment to recharge beam weapons, unique ammo or missiles, etc.) would be a huge problem. If we look at later Neo neon ships, the Endra was built with the capability to supply the large variety of Axis/Neo Zeon MS that Haman's forces kept cranking out, having decimated facilities to store disabled MS and quickly rebuilt them, allowing them to support more than the 6 MS the ship had maintenance beds for. The Musaka was built to be as small and cost effective as possible, and one of these measures seems to have been to be meant to only support the Geara Doga (and its variants, ex: Jagd Doga).

Ships like the Salamis Kai probably lacked the capacity to properly support different types of MS and they are most effective when they are supporting large numbers of just one or two types mobile weapons (for example, vanilla GMs and Balls during the OYW, GM II and GM IIIs later on). For the Titans which ended up fielding lots of experimental machines, ships like the Dogosse Gear and Alexandria were a necessity to properly support such machines, while the General Revil and Nahel Argama could be seen as their successors which serve as the mothership for irregular units.

And that's not even considering other concepts, such as MS cooling, an idea that comes and goes every now and then, the redesign of the Musia and Chibe for MS Igloo being examples of Sunrise retaking the concept by adding retrieval hatches, just for later redesigns to forget them again. Anyway, the Dolos has a centralized cooling system that would allow it to service many returning MS at once, something which a Chibe or Musai would have to do one MS at a time.

There's also other obscure details, such as the Dolos invisible mega particle cannons on its front, which are seen firing on the movie version. I guess we can just lump them together with the Gaw's and Gwazine's unseeable AA guns.

Lastly, regarding the destruction of the Dolos class ships, I want to point out that they were actually successful during the first part of the battle while Gihren was in command (8:10 to 9:25), but like the rest of the Zeon forces, they felt into disarray when the A Baoa Qu HQ ceased all communications for over 15 minutes after Gihren's death. In fact it wasn't until the Dolos sunk (9:40) that one of the officer's came up with the idea to use that as an excuse: that Gihren was on board the Dolos when it sunk, to allow Kycillia to take command. This is when the White Base forces realize that the Zeon forces have fallen into disarray, claiming that they haven't been able to do any better, yet they suddenly are able to make more progress against the enemy. Say what you may want against Gihren, but as far as commanding the A Baoa Qu forces during the the first hour of the final battle goes, he was actually doing pretty well and I could definitely imagine that even if they would have still ultimately sunk, the Dolos and Dolowa would have been able to do much more damage to the EF fleet under Gihren's orders had he remained in command for the rest of the battle.

Food for thought: Entries not part of the main UC canon, such as Thunderbolt and The Origin, even went with the infamous giant Dolos concept, which can fit entire ships on its catapults (Jukons in TB, Musais in TO), with The Origin version further being implied to have the firepower to almost single handedly wipeout the EF fleet from beyond their firing range given its scaled up weapons. These Dolos are no longer MS carriers, but rather mobile fortresses that could be comparable to some asteroid fortresses (Palau for instance, only had about 15 warships), but with the added benefit of moving around like Axis, not to mention that the TB version would imply that the Dolos can operate within Earth's atmosphere (possibly even survive reentry), a feat which Zeon attempted, but ultimately failed to carry out with the Gwazine class. That's not to mention the astronomical costs that building such massive structures would involve, specially when you consider that the regular sized Dolos was already considered too expensive for using up the resources that could have allowed Zeon to produce a standard fleet of warships instead.

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:19 am

Gelgoog Jager wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:47 am
Lastly, regarding the destruction of the Dolos class ships, I want to point out that they were actually successful during the first part of the battle while Gihren was in command (8:10 to 9:25), but like the rest of the Zeon forces, they felt into disarray when the A Baoa Qu HQ ceased all communications for over 15 minutes after Gihren's death. In fact it wasn't until the Dolos sunk (9:40) that one of the officer's came up with the idea to use that as an excuse: that Gihren was on board the Dolos when it sunk, to allow Kycillia to take command. This is when the White Base forces realize that the Zeon forces have fallen into disarray, claiming that they haven't been able to do any better, yet they suddenly are able to make more progress against the enemy. Say what you may want against Gihren, but as far as commanding the A Baoa Qu forces during the the first hour of the final battle goes, he was actually doing pretty well and I could definitely imagine that even if they would have still ultimately sunk, the Dolos and Dolowa would have been able to do much more damage to the EF fleet under Gihren's orders had he remained in command for the rest of the battle.

I think the maintenance reason for supporting the carrier sounds legit.

However, I hardly think Gihren did a good job in utilizing the Dolos class at all.
They would have lasted much longer if they are with the main fleet and not singled out in the frontline, simply put, they have bitten off more than they can chew.
Listing out the odds, on each side of N and S fields, the Dolos class had 2 light cruiser class ships, presumably Musai, as escort. So they have 3 ships and around 100~200 MSs, against the EFSF about 20~30 ships with around 1000 MS. So they are being pitted against a foe of at least 5 times their strength.

I'd say assuming they have the maintenance capacity of a dozen more ships is rather unrealistic, they only have certain space, and they have double the main guns than the similar length but about half in width Gwazine class, they also have really large portion we can see on the exterior consumed by the 7 catapults.

Even if we give it the benefit of the doubt, and assume it can support all of the MS in the area, say, about 1500 of them on each field? This is exactly why the frontline collapsed when the Dolos classes sunk.
The ability to support the MS corps is completely gone once the Dolos is sunk, and all of the MS are forced to retreat to maintain the line of defence with the EFSF rushing in on their backs.

The Dolos class might have held for an hour, but that is only about 1/4 of the battle if my memory isn't failing me? And from the maps in different period of the battle, I don't even think they "held" the frontline for an hour, they were pretty much just there watching the EFSF fleets rush in. The battle is pretty much EFSF swamped through the Dolos on both sides and then took on the remaining fleet on one side, while Delaz escaped with almost all of the fleet on the other side. iI actually took more time for the EFSF to reach ABQ after sinking the Dolos classes while the distance covered are pretty much the same.

Gihren saw one Dolos sinking, and the other sunk almost right after that, I don't think he can do much about that even if he survived, a dozen of minutes isn't enough time for him to send reinforcements or redeploy MS fast enough to cover that Dolos while it is in the middle of EFSF fleet.

Food for thought: Entries not part of the main UC canon, such as Thunderbolt and The Origin, even went with the infamous giant Dolos concept, which can fit entire ships on its catapults (Jukons in TB, Musais in TO), with The Origin version further being implied to have the firepower to almost single handedly wipeout the EF fleet from beyond their firing range given its scaled up weapons. These Dolos are no longer MS carriers, but rather mobile fortresses that could be comparable to some asteroid fortresses (Palau for instance, only had about 15 warships), but with the added benefit of moving around like Axis, not to mention that the TB version would imply that the Dolos can operate within Earth's atmosphere (possibly even survive reentry), a feat which Zeon attempted, but ultimately failed to carry out with the Gwazine class. That's not to mention the astronomical costs that building such massive structures would involve, specially when you consider that the regular sized Dolos was already considered too expensive for using up the resources that could have allowed Zeon to produce a standard fleet of warships instead.
Oh well, you also have the Moon Crisis Vetra(funny thing if you fit this into Google it overwhelmingly gave Sailor Moon results) which is a very large ship(kilometre class) supposed to serve as a command centre in orbit and the whatever Almarya 28km Gundam battleship(You also get ships named Zaku, Kampfer, etc. in the same size range)

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by False Prophet » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:24 am

With all of the above discussion, could we flash foward to late 0080s-0090s U.C and examine the Dogosse Giar-class? Was the increased MS capability and tons of guns justified its size? And with these ships were treated as flagships of a fleet, how would other ships work in concert with them?

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by MythSearcher » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:12 am

False Prophet wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:24 am
With all of the above discussion, could we flash foward to late 0080s-0090s U.C and examine the Dogosse Giar-class? Was the increased MS capability and tons of guns justified its size? And with these ships were treated as flagships of a fleet, how would other ships work in concert with them?
I'd say the DG class is more of a symbolic means than a pratical one, both the DG in Titans and GR in EFSF are pretty much the flaship of the force and is not unlike Yamato in WWII Japan.

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by False Prophet » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:04 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:12 am
False Prophet wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:24 am
With all of the above discussion, could we flash foward to late 0080s-0090s U.C and examine the Dogosse Giar-class? Was the increased MS capability and tons of guns justified its size? And with these ships were treated as flagships of a fleet, how would other ships work in concert with them?
I'd say the DG class is more of a symbolic means than a pratical one, both the DG in Titans and GR in EFSF are pretty much the flaship of the force and is not unlike Yamato in WWII Japan.
I can see why do you think the Dogosse Giar-class in term of symbolism, but it begged two questions:

- If you think about it, the Titans were really pushing the envelope when it came to weapons development (Mk. II, the Hazel series, etc.) And then there was the unique mass-production and limited-production series that they must pay for. On top of it, there were more than one Dogoose Giar being planned. How big was the Titans budget anyway? And how the hell could they had strong-armed both the E.F.F. and the Earth Federation goverment to give them that enormous budget?

- Why did they changed the design of the class so much between the Dogosse Giar and the General Revil? They might be thinking about doing away with the Titans' imagery, or so I think. Sure, the two added runways were useful, but what about the rest of the vessel?

Also, as a matter of curiosity, which shipyard could had built this kind of vessel, and in the case of the Dogosse Giar, which shipyard could the Titans trust with such a project?

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by MythSearcher » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:27 am

False Prophet wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:04 pm
I can see why do you think the Dogosse Giar-class in term of symbolism, but it begged two questions:

- If you think about it, the Titans were really pushing the envelope when it came to weapons development (Mk. II, the Hazel series, etc.) And then there was the unique mass-production and limited-production series that they must pay for. On top of it, there were more than one Dogoose Giar being planned. How big was the Titans budget anyway? And how the hell could they had strong-armed both the E.F.F. and the Earth Federation goverment to give them that enormous budget?

- Why did they changed the design of the class so much between the Dogosse Giar and the General Revil? They might be thinking about doing away with the Titans' imagery, or so I think. Sure, the two added runways were useful, but what about the rest of the vessel?

Also, as a matter of curiosity, which shipyard could had built this kind of vessel, and in the case of the Dogosse Giar, which shipyard could the Titans trust with such a project?

The Titans didn't order all of their units, the Marasai as an example, they robbed it.
They did ordered their own development, like the Mk-II, but the truth is their developments aren't always the best and they have a tendency to just force better developed units to be supplied to them. The DG is developed from the Birmingham class, which was designed as the flag ship of EFSF, giving it all of the symbolic status they can give it. I don't think DG being developed would not keep that status. Titans isn't a large fleet by itself(They have to use regular EFSF fleet when needed to have a larger force to go into battle), thus having the DG class really isn't that useful for them in their original mission in eliminating small opposing forces that are unlikely to be spread out in many different places.
GR is more of an upgrade to the MS capacity, which is showing to be more and more important because the EFSF is also downsizing throughout the years.

Shipyard isn't really in the settings, but I guess Lunar 2 and Gryps being the best candidate.

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:40 pm

I'm a bit confused on why you say that the Dolos only had 2-3 escorts for dealing with the entire EF approach the field it defended.

But first, regarding the time of the battle, Mark's timeline has the following events:

8:10 - Battle begins
9:25 - Gihren is killed
9:40 Dolos sinks
10:10 Doroa sinks
11:00 the Delaz fleet retreats from A Baoa Qu

https://web.archive.org/web/20160526200 ... meline.php

Just to emphasize this: both Dolos sank AFTER Gihren was killed. In fact the sinking of the first Dolos would be what Kycillia's officers used as a escape goat, claiming that Gihren was killed in the frontline on board his beloved Dolos.

Regarding the battle lines, that is more difficult to discuss, since prior to the battle (during Gihren's speech) we see a large fleet spread around A Baoa Qu, a the Dolos seems to be in the middle, with other ships further to the front. It's also worth noting that during that sequence we get the indication that there could be as many as 7 Gwazines at A Baoa Qu at that point, prior to the arrival of Kycillia's Gwarib that would increase that number to 8:

viewtopic.php?t=16560#p375186
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11901#p264137

Mark's more conservative estimate was that there were 4 Gwazines at A Baoa Qu, which still add up to at least 5 once Kycillia's ship arrives.

Anyway, during the battle itself we do see at least one Gwazine around the Dolos in the TV show, which was also shown during the brief cameo from Unicorn's time travel-like sequence. Considering the importance of these ships, I think it makes sense to asign one Gwazine to each of these carriers.

However, I do think that the rest of the ships we saw earlier are simply spread to the sides of the Dolos also participating in the battle. At this point the Delaz fleet itself is still in the area and that accounts at least for a dozen ships.

As for Gihren directing the battle, considering that the little we did saw of him directing the battle did seemed quite efficient, most well known being his tactics to counterattack the EF's anti-beam charge strategy, the later which had proven quite successfully when used at Solomon, I'm inclined to think that he could have made a big difference if he hadn't been killed early during the battle. After all, the EF soldiers also quickly noticed that the Zeon army began crumbling down after Gihren's death. Not to mention that the Delaz fleet wouldn't have retreated and there wouldn't have been a communications blackout that crippled the entire Zeon army for several minutes... or was it much longer?

This discussion got me thinking on the Delaz fleet: once Gihren's death is announced, Delaz quickly figures out that Kycillia murdered him and abandons the battle. But according to the timeline, this doesn't happen until 11:00 AM. It could be that such is the time when the fleet actually completes its withdrawal, but even so it's a one and a half hour window. More importantly, IIRC MS Igloo indicates that the communications blackout (supposedly form Gihren's death) continued until just after the Delaz fleet retreats through E field, passing by Jotunheim. Could this mean that the disruption of communications from A Baoa Qu HQ, caused by Gihren's death, lasted almost an hour and a half? Considering that again, the outcome is that the EF forces notice that they begin making more progress despite not doing particularly better themselves makes me wonder if that could indeed be the case. Perhaps a topic deserving its own discussion some other time.

Anyway, put simply, if Gihren (or ANYONE to begin with, since the HQ was essentially frozen for awhile after Gihren was killed), had been directing the battle prior to the time the Dolos sank, they could simply have ordered it to withdraw further back to prevent the loss of its supplies and MS repair support capabilities, at least for a while longer. If Zeon had constricted its battles lines and pulled back in amore orderly fashion, the Dolos would eventually have been better protected by A Baoa Qu's defenses. Also, at that point even if the Dolos sank, it would have been possible for the MS it supported to just pull a bit further back to start resupplying directly at A Baoa Qu. The vacuum that the Dolos left in the frontlines far from the the asteroid fortress itself is likely one of the things that hurt the most the defending Zeon forces.

Let me go back the subject of the Dolos weapons: in the trilogy, the Dolos is apparently given a many additional turrets, specially its the front section which is now seen firing large barrages of beams from unseen turrets. Unfortunately this is more common that we would like it to be in Gundam, and would continue happening in Zeta, ZZ and even 08th team: Musai Kai ships attacking Granada fire barrages of beams from the bottom of their hulls, the Nahel Argama fends a Dreissen attack firing countless beams from all around its hull during its journey on Earth and Karen's Ground Gundam comes under heavy fire from a Gaw's unseen AA machine guns, the later which I do recall being mentioned in a profile for the Gaw, much like a Gwazines 155mm AA machine guns (another unseen weapon).

Technically speaking the Dolos would be more on the side of the Musai Kai and Nahel Argama, in which its additional guns could be attributed to an animation error. However, given its size, I would have little problem assuming that the front section of the Dolos could be equipped with a bunch of MPC cannons like those on the standard Zanzibar, built inside the hull. Also, considering that they went out of their way to replace the crudely animated Dolos form the TV series with a far more detailed model, I'm inclined to think that this was meant to be a proper retcon. After all, I find less likely that the Dolos cannons would be able to aim and fire at targets in form of the ship considering that the turrets seem to be at least partially inside the hatches where they are located. Taking that into account, it would make more sense to simply give the Dolos other frontal guns and leave the side guns for targets coming from the sides.

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by yazi88 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:23 am

In Gundam the Origin manga, the Dolos class is very effective in battle as a battleship. It took down a significant portion of the attacking Federation Fleet, and Gihren was shown to be a effective commander, compared to Kycellia who pretty caused Zeon to lose the battle especially the infighting that was caused due to her actions.

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by Zeonista » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:53 pm

Short answer? Given that in Zeta Gundam anime there are Salamis Kai class, Magellan Kai class, the excellent Alexandria class, and the mammoth Dogos Gia, I'd say they were converts. The ZMF had shown the EFSF the way, and they adapted. Winners do that, and Wyatt Green can burn in the nuclear bonfire of his vanities, so to speak.

For my own self, the "guns versus MS carrier" aspect of Stardust Memory was an interesting in-house argument that showed the factionalism of the EFSF that would be exploited by the Titans. It wasn't a technical argument as much as a doctrinal one, although one must wonder why in Tomino's name after Loum, Solomon, A Boa Waku, and the exploits of the White Base the EFSF leadership didn't welcome in the new era. MS were the battle winners and the arm of decision, the verdict could be seen in the debris field of Side 5. The science was settled, time to move on.

But as Clausewitz told us, war is the extension of politics, and in turn the politics of making war involve a lot of competing ideas and goals, many of which are political themselves. (The UC is honest in its pseudo-history, which continues to delight me year after year.) To my mind, the Salamis II class ships were already "in the pipeline" at the end of the One Year War, as an immediate solution to the shortcomings of the original class of ships, which had suffered from unforseen weaknesses in their design. As straight-up gun platforms the Short Sallies were an actual improvement, with much more efficient use of of space and weight, and better arrangement of armament. And I suppose it made sense to some big gun-loving EFSF staff that the tactical arrangement of the late-period OYW battles with transported GMs flying into action alongside the men o' war could be codified as workable doctrine.

But they were still big-gun ships in the era of aircraft carriers and submarines, to belabor the WW II analogy some more, and they required Antietam-'class carriers or some of the rare White Base & V-plan refit cruisers to provide the safety screen of GMs. Without them, the Short Sallies were still only cruisers, and Delaz's veteran MS pilots knew all about attacking cruisers. And then just to show how outmoded the concept of ignoring MS as precision weapons in the hands of a talented and skilled pilot, the Nightmare of Solomon himself one-shotted the Birmingham, turning it into the ultimate roast white elephant, than went on an epic rampage in a mobile armor just to reinforce the lesson. :shock:

Only the intervention of the ready GM squadrons saved the Naval Review battle from turning into a turkey shoot.
Again, turning to the WW II model that inspired Tomino, in the Imperial Japanese Navy, the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and the Royal Navy Pacific Fleet, the big-gun surface action men were admirals in command at the beginning of the war, as they had been even before HMS Dreadnought was commissioned. Conservative in doctrine, confident, and set in their line-of-battle ways, the surface action admirals, urged on by budget-crunching governments, did little to promote tactical initiative or innovation. The young commanders who wanted to do things, strike the enemy first and hard, and unwilling to play the surface ship promotion game, went to submarines and aircraft carriers. Not surprising then the aircraft carrier admirals who confidently used radar and directed aircraft strikes went on to dominate the Pacific War's naval actions.

Yeah sure, in the end Delaz Fleet was crushed by the massed firepower of the EFSF in proper form. But not before suffering an unnecessary costly butcher's bill and failing to stop the colony drop! So after Operation Stardust the verdict was in for all time. MS were the decisive arm, the cruiser was there to haul them about and provide covering fire and the highly visible presence that the Fleet was around...so be good boys and girls, Spacenoid-chan. ;)
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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by False Prophet » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:28 pm

Zeonista wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:53 pm
Short answer? Given that in Zeta Gundam anime there are Salamis Kai class, Magellan Kai class, the excellent Alexandria class, and the mammoth Dogos Gia, I'd say they were converts. The ZMF had shown the EFSF the way, and they adapted. Winners do that, and Wyatt Green can burn in the nuclear bonfire of his vanities, so to speak.

For my own self, the "guns versus MS carrier" aspect of Stardust Memory was an interesting in-house argument that showed the factionalism of the EFSF that would be exploited by the Titans. It wasn't a technical argument as much as a doctrinal one, although one must wonder why in Tomino's name after Loum, Solomon, A Boa Waku, and the exploits of the White Base the EFSF leadership didn't welcome in the new era. MS were the battle winners and the arm of decision, the verdict could be seen in the debris field of Side 5. The science was settled, time to move on.

But as Clausewitz told us, war is the extension of politics, and in turn the politics of making war involve a lot of competing ideas and goals, many of which are political themselves. (The UC is honest in its pseudo-history, which continues to delight me year after year.) To my mind, the Salamis II class ships were already "in the pipeline" at the end of the One Year War, as an immediate solution to the shortcomings of the original class of ships, which had suffered from unforseen weaknesses in their design. As straight-up gun platforms the Short Sallies were an actual improvement, with much more efficient use of of space and weight, and better arrangement of armament. And I suppose it made sense to some big gun-loving EFSF staff that the tactical arrangement of the late-period OYW battles with transported GMs flying into action alongside the men o' war could be codified as workable doctrine.

But they were still big-gun ships in the era of aircraft carriers and submarines, to belabor the WW II analogy some more, and they required Antietam-'class carriers or some of the rare White Base & V-plan refit cruisers to provide the safety screen of GMs. Without them, the Short Sallies were still only cruisers, and Delaz's veteran MS pilots knew all about attacking cruisers. And then just to show how outmoded the concept of ignoring MS as precision weapons in the hands of a talented and skilled pilot, the Nightmare of Solomon himself one-shotted the Birmingham, turning it into the ultimate roast white elephant, than went on an epic rampage in a mobile armor just to reinforce the lesson. :shock:

Only the intervention of the ready GM squadrons saved the Naval Review battle from turning into a turkey shoot.
Again, turning to the WW II model that inspired Tomino, in the Imperial Japanese Navy, the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and the Royal Navy Pacific Fleet, the big-gun surface action men were admirals in command at the beginning of the war, as they had been even before HMS Dreadnought was commissioned. Conservative in doctrine, confident, and set in their line-of-battle ways, the surface action admirals, urged on by budget-crunching governments, did little to promote tactical initiative or innovation. The young commanders who wanted to do things, strike the enemy first and hard, and unwilling to play the surface ship promotion game, went to submarines and aircraft carriers. Not surprising then the aircraft carrier admirals who confidently used radar and directed aircraft strikes went on to dominate the Pacific War's naval actions.

Yeah sure, in the end Delaz Fleet was crushed by the massed firepower of the EFSF in proper form. But not before suffering an unnecessary costly butcher's bill and failing to stop the colony drop! So after Operation Stardust the verdict was in for all time. MS were the decisive arm, the cruiser was there to haul them about and provide covering fire and the highly visible presence that the Fleet was around...so be good boys and girls, Spacenoid-chan. ;)
If what you are saying is true in Gundam, and that the young admirals were pushed onto lesser positions, I am starting to wonder whether the Titans would had actively seeking out these people, who were talented, had little time for bureaucracy, and already had a beef with the E.F.F. high command.

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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by Zeonista » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:57 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:28 pm
Zeonista wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:53 pm

But as Clausewitz told us, war is the extension of politics, and in turn the politics of making war involve a lot of competing ideas and goals, many of which are political themselves. (The UC is honest in its pseudo-history, which continues to delight me year after year.) To my mind, the Salamis II class ships were already "in the pipeline" at the end of the One Year War, as an immediate solution to the shortcomings of the original class of ships, which had suffered from unforseen weaknesses in their design. As straight-up gun platforms the Short Sallies were an actual improvement, with much more efficient use of of space and weight, and better arrangement of armament. And I suppose it made sense to some big gun-loving EFSF staff that the tactical arrangement of the late-period OYW battles with transported GMs flying into action alongside the men o' war could be codified as workable doctrine.

But they were still big-gun ships in the era of aircraft carriers and submarines, to belabor the WW II analogy some more, and they required Antietam-'class carriers or some of the rare White Base & V-plan refit cruisers to provide the safety screen of GMs. Without them, the Short Sallies were still only cruisers, and Delaz's veteran MS pilots knew all about attacking cruisers. And then just to show how outmoded the concept of ignoring MS as precision weapons in the hands of a talented and skilled pilot, the Nightmare of Solomon himself one-shotted the Birmingham, turning it into the ultimate roast white elephant, than went on an epic rampage in a mobile armor just to reinforce the lesson. :shock:

Only the intervention of the ready GM squadrons saved the Naval Review battle from turning into a turkey shoot.
Again, turning to the WW II model that inspired Tomino, in the Imperial Japanese Navy, the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and the Royal Navy Pacific Fleet, the big-gun surface action men were admirals in command at the beginning of the war, as they had been even before HMS Dreadnought was commissioned. Conservative in doctrine, confident, and set in their line-of-battle ways, the surface action admirals, urged on by budget-crunching governments, did little to promote tactical initiative or innovation. The young commanders who wanted to do things, strike the enemy first and hard, and unwilling to play the surface ship promotion game, went to submarines and aircraft carriers. Not surprising then the aircraft carrier admirals who confidently used radar and directed aircraft strikes went on to dominate the Pacific War's naval actions.

Yeah sure, in the end Delaz Fleet was crushed by the massed firepower of the EFSF in proper form. But not before suffering an unnecessary costly butcher's bill and failing to stop the colony drop! So after Operation Stardust the verdict was in for all time. MS were the decisive arm, the cruiser was there to haul them about and provide covering fire and the highly visible presence that the Fleet was around...so be good boys and girls, Spacenoid-chan. ;)
If what you are saying is true in Gundam, and that the young admirals were pushed onto lesser positions, I am starting to wonder whether the Titans would had actively seeking out these people, who were talented, had little time for bureaucracy, and already had a beef with the E.F.F. high command.
The Titans were heavily invested in the battle carrier idea, as seen by their monopoly of the Alexandria class ships and the Dogoss Gia. But the use of the battle carriers would only be part and parcel of the Titans' doctrine of actively seeking out and pursuing the Zeon Remnant forces. One or two such ships with a few Salamis Kai along as escorts could overwhelm any solitary Remnants force, no matter how doughty or desperate, and have enough big-gun firepower to flush them out of cover or pulverize their own ship transport. In an emergency the Alexes could do it themselves with favorable chances of success anyway. Small wonder the Remnant forces chose to go underground and not reveal themselves until the reappearance of Axis! So we were left to see the implementation of the Titans battle carrier planning against the AEUG, whose own commanders were also battle carrier advocates. (One of them was even an EFSF pioneer of said tactics!)

But that was not the response you were seeking. :P I have spoken at length on other threads about my own dissatisfaction of the EFSF's reactionary strategy from 0080-84, so I won't retread it here. In short, the EFSF were fools for giving the Zeon Remnants the initiative, and the Titans' more direct and aggressive policy might have worked in the long run if certain prejudices had not interfered with operational planning and conduct. Now, given the main description of Titans characters from the various official and other stories, the Titans pilots were go-getters and motivated to defend the Federation against threats both foreign and domestic. The Titans captains were depicted as having great latitude for operational capability, both to handle their ships & MS, and to successfully pursue the aggressive strategy devised to them by Jamitov Hymen.
So yes, only very motivated personnel with a desire to actively and directly counter the Spacenoid Menace need apply to the Titans, or be sought out by them.
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Re: How sure was EFSF that assault carriers would replace ship-of-the-line?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:08 pm

First, one quick clarification: AFAIK the only official Magellan Kai is the one from 0083, which is only a minor revision over the original: one set of turrets is relocated from in from of the side sub ridges to on top of these, and an extra pair of AA guns are added below the bridge. However the actually upgrade comes in the form of replacing the old ballistic AA turrets with laser turrets, a trend that would be followed up by most warships during the late 0080s (though with smaller mega particle cannons), but would be dropped by the 0090s in favor of returning to ballistic AA guns.

The adoption of this feature supposedly obeyed the idea that such weapon had a higher chance of destroying a MS if hit, which seemed to be a compromise in exchange of a lower fire rate, but likely became more of a need by the Gryps War as even mass produced MS began using Gundarium Gamma alloy for their armor, granting them higher defense against ballistic weapons.

In turn, by the veents of CCA most mass produced MS have switched back to older Titanium Ceramic Composite armor, though that technically should only apply to Neo Zeon's ships, as the EF's most common MS at that time would have been the GM II & GM III (which did use Gundairum Gamma, but only in key sections such as the cockpit area, using TTC for the rest of its armor), with the Jegan only recently introduced and at the time only assigned to special forces such as Londo Bell. On the opposite side the EF should have yet to fight Geara Doga's, and most likely had no idea about their armor material, which would mean that their forces should have been fit to deal with MS from Haman's Neo Zeon, most fo which were mass produced units that used Gundarium Gamma armor. IIRC the Doven Wolf's armor is shown at one point to be so tough that it can take a direct hit from a ZZ's missile without taking any damage. In other words, it wouldn't make much sense to have their newest model ships, the Ra Callium and Clop class, with ballistic weapons if the Zeon remnants they fight have armor tough enough to withstand damage from ballistic weapons.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, despite the disastrous results from Operation Stardust, I still don't think that the Salamis Kai and Magellan Kai from 0083 were such bad designs, even in a era of MS. The Magellan Kai in particular is more heavily protected than any post-0083 ship, having 16 double barrel laser turrets for shooting down incoming MS and missiles. The Salamis Kai might lagging a bit behind in AA turrets, having 4x single barrel laser turrets and 3 2-barrel 90mm AA guns. But in turn it has plenty of missile launchers, replacing the 2x 6-tube missile launchers of the original with 2x 15-tube missile launchers, keeping the 8-tube frontal missile (torpedo-like) launchers and adding 8-tube vertical missile launchers.

However, the real issue is that these were commonly deployed on their own: for instance, in Thunderbolt the EF's fleet is compromised of a single large capacity MS carrier, the Beehive, protected by several gunship escorts. Within the main UC canon, the same idea could be implemented simply by replacing the large MS carrier with several smaller ones, which by 0083 could be the Columbus Kai/Antietam class ships. On the other hand, they could have simply refit existing old Salamis vessels into the Nelson class (MSV-R), which essentially attached MS hangars & catapults in exchange for lesser AA defenses. An EF could then include a mix of full gunships (Salamis Kai from 0083), middle tier MS carrying cruisers (Nelson class) and fully dediatced MS carriers (Columbus Kai/Antietam class) that together would make up for the downsides of each other, something which only the EF with their large numbers could have pulled off.

One thing I'm not sure about is how the MS capacity of the Nelson class compares to the Salamis Kai from Zeta. The hangars themselves do seem quite long, and considering that the Salamis (and in turn the Nelson class) is longer (288m) than the Pegasus class (250m), I'm willing to consider they could have the same MS capacity as the later. The only partial indication I found that may actually indicate a higher MS capacity is this image from the MSV-R manages, which on one of the Cargo Bay entries seem to end with a 4, though it's very hard to make sense of it. Still, assuming these ships were designed purely with the GM series in mind, and not bulkier units like Guntank, 4 could definitely seem doable in a cargo area similar in size to the White Base MS hangars which can carry 3 MS each, plus core fighters.

If the Nelson class can actually carry 8 MS, it would actually have higher MS capacity than the Salamis Kai, which normally is meant to carry only 4 MS and has a single catapult for launching them, but according to several instances it's able to cram 6 units if needed (cramming additional MS beyond the intended MS capacity was a common occurrence for several ships during the Gryps War).

For the time being let me end with a somewhat crazy theory of mine, that being that the Alexandria class (or rather the Hario) was actually designed by Zeon:

I base this on the existence of the Hario, which is an oddity in itself: an Alexandria class ship operated by EF officers and with MS from the regular forces, including blue Hizacks and... space-use Zaku Cannons. It's more heavily armed than the standard Alexandria, again, despite being operated by regular EF officers and if the shape of the ship didn't already seemed base don the Musai, the Hario even has a green color scheme. Lastly, this ship has a very unique bridge, with more round shapes which are common in Zeon designs, compared to EF designs that used more blocky shapes.

Considering that we know now that the EF captured plenty of Zeon bases & MS factories, and that the Gwanban class is now believed to have been completed during the OYW, but too late to join the final battle at A Baoa Qu, I think we have room to assume that the Hario could have been a new model Zeon ship based on the Musai, which addressed some of the problems of the later such as its lack of AA defenses, a relatively small MS hangar (which led to theories that it could either only fit 3 Zakus or larger Dom/Gelgoog types) and perhaps more importantly, lack of MS catapults. The later might seem like an odd mention, but even fi we leave the Dolos aside, MSV-R introduced the Zanzibar Kai, which essentially turned the Zanzibar mobile cruiser into a MS carrier, with additional MS capacity and large frontal MS catapult.

Incidentally, the fact that the Hario is also operating captured Zeon MS (MS-06K) makes me further inclined to think that the ship itself might have also been treated as a captured Zeon unit, relegated to underequipped regular EF forces. On the other hand, we know now that the first Titan MS was the GM Quel, which was heavily based on the GM Custom, which allowed it be readied sooner. And we also know that one of the first measures the EF did to overcome their lack of modern MS was to use the captured Galbaldy Beta design, which is why despite having higher performance than the MG, it's using older style titanium alloy armor. Perhaps other factors, such as cost or ease of production (the 0080 Musai is particularly said to have been the final version of the Musai which pushed for such traits in a desperate attempt to close the gap between fleet numbers by the end of the OYW) led the EF to pick the Hario as the basis of the Alexandria class, with a few revisions that included changing the Zeon style bridge into something more akin to EF warships.

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