- Salamis-Class Cruiser
In the fictional Gundam universe, the "Salamis"-Class Cruiser is the workhorse ship of Earth Federal Space Force's naval fleet. It was introduced in UC 0060, and subsequently modernized as part of the "'70s Armament Reinforcement Plan". The ship's design was upgraded and improved on multiple occasions, resulting in many variants. Major redesigns of the ship included once after the
One Year Warand a second during the years between UC 0083 and UC 0088.
The "Salamis"-Class is named for the
islandof Salamis in Greece, the site of the Battle of Salamisin September, 480 BC.
The Original "Salamis"
The first "Salamis"-Class Cruisers were launched around U.C. 0060 in conjunction with the "Magellan"-Class Battleships. As part of the Earth Federal Space Force's "'70s Armament Reinforcement Plan", which began in U.C. 0070, both designs were stripped of their older shell-firing guns and equipped with more powerful mega particle cannons, which the "Salamis" mounted in six main cannon turrets. Secondary armament consisted of six two-barrel
machine gunturrets for anti-fighter (and later anti-mobile suit) defense, and two six-cell external missile launchers. The original "Salamis"-Class suffered heavy casualties during the One Year Wardue to the general superiority of the Zeons' combination of their "Musai"-Class Light Cruisers and their MS-06C Zaku II mobile suits. In particular, the nuclear-bazooka-armed C-Type Zaku II extracted a heavy toll against the "Salamis"-Class, as their thinly armored hulls were ill-suited to withstand nuclear weaponry. The "Salamis" had no hangar bay, and thus could not launch fighters or mobile suits of its own for defense, although some "Salamis" were modified to carry either fighters or MS on external racks as a temporary stopgap measure. Because of its lack of MS hangars and other reasons, the EFSF recalled the last remaining "Salamis" vessels to the asteroid base Luna II, where they remained until September U.C. 0079, when the Federation scientists finally launched their first mobile suits.
The Vinson Plan
Having realized the need for MS carrying capability on its space fleet, the Federation refurbished a number of "Salamis"-Class Cruisers and "Magellan"-Class Battleships at its
Jaburobase under the "Vinson Plan", which removed some of the internal missile launchers of both vessels to mount a hangar bay for mobile suits or mobile pods. The "Vinson Plan" "Salamis" could carry 3 mobile suits or as much as 16 mobile pods.
Once the refitted ships were launched from Jaburo to join the rest of the fleet, the remaining ships of the Federation's fleet were redeployed into combat zones with the new
RGM-79 GMmobile suit and RB-79 Ballmobile pod for protection. Even with the "Vinson Plan" refits, many federal mobile suits, fighters and mobile pods had to be carried into battle in Columbus class transports. Although the "Salamis" class would suffer even more causalities throughout the remainder of the war, they proved to be more effective when used in conjunction with mobile suits, a lesson lost upon the architects of the 0083 variant redesign a few years later.
The 0083 Variant
Between UC 0080 and UC 0083, the "Salamis"-Class Cruiser underwent its first major redesign. Top members of the Federation
Admiraltydecided that the "Salamis"-Class was in need of a total overhaul, and Federation engineers were charged with re-designing the class. The Admiralty was interested in improving the three major problems of the original "Salamis" cruisers: insufficient firepower, the slow speed of the cruisers (the original "Salamis" class ships had only one engine), and a better point-defense system for protection against enemy mobile suits. Drawing on the blue prints of the "Magellan"-Class Battleships, engineers began the lengthy process of refitting the "Salamis" class.
The design of the "Salamis"-Class Cruiser 0083 Variant was heavily modified, with additional beam weaponry (including three double-barreled beam cannon turrets, a first for the "Salamis" class), AA/AMS defense, increased missile capability (the six-cell launchers were exchanged for larger 15-cell launchers, eight internal VLS cells, and larger engines. The overall length of this variant was reduced from 288 to 188 meters, a size reduction made possible by designing the ship from the start to use mega particle cannons, which allowed eliminating ammunition storage; reducing fuel bunkerage also contributed to the smaller size, as did the lack of any hangar facilities for Fighters or
mobile suits. Many of the new "Salamis" refit units were lost during the Delaz Fleet's Operation Stardustin U.C. 0083.
The design philosophy of the "Salamis"-Class Cruiser 0083 Variant reflected conservative attitudes of the Federation
Admiralty, who despite the key role of MS in the One Year War, went back to producing "big gun" designs with no MS hangars once the war had ended. However, Operation Stardustdemonstrated that MS were around to stay, and the Salamis was again redesigned.
The "Salamis Kai"
At the end of Operation Stardust the Federation
Admiraltydecided to abandon the 0083 variant in favor of a new redesign of the vintage "Salamis"-Class Cruiser, one that would feature an integral MS hangar. During this second round of refits between UC 0083 and UC 0088, the "Salamis"-Class received the equipment fit that would serve it through the rest of its career. Federation engineers borrowed ideas and equipment from the "Pegasus"-Class Assault Carrier program (most notably the "Albion"), and the failed design of the 0083 refit, incorporating the best of both classes into this refit.
The vessels refitted under this plan received an all-new bow including MS hangars for four to six
mobile suits(the new bow bore only a cursory similarity to the original bow). The catapult deck was mounted on the exterior of the ship, bearing a passing resemblance to the bow of a World War II aircraft carrier. The hangars and workspaces were placed inside the hull, so they could be continuously pressurized to a shirtsleeves environment. The addition of the hangars and topside catapult deck, however, did cost the "Salamis Kai" one main beam gun turret. Two additional twin-barrel beam gun turrets replacing the generally useless side sub-bridges. Anti-mobile-suit machine gundefenses were increased, as well. This version, known as the "Salamis Kai"-Class Cruiser, remained in continuous production from UC 0083 to UC 0093, and composed the bulk of the fleet through the end of the first Universal Century. These ships saw a great deal of action in both major fleets (AEUG and Titans/ Earth Federation) during the Gryps War.
The Fate of the "Salamis" Cruiser
The "Salamis"-Class was first upstaged by the "Alexandria"-Class Heavy Cruiser during the Gryps War but still continued to play a major role as a major warship for the Earth Federation, AEUG, and the Titan task force. But the "Salamis" model would not be discontinued until U.C. 0093, in favor of the newer and greatly superior "Clop"-Class Cruisers. However, the "Salamis Kai"-Class Cruiser would continue to see service in the Earth Federation's Space Force fleet at least until U.C. 0153.
List of Mobile Suits
* [http://www.geocities.com/gundam_uc0079/index.html The World-Wide Gundam Informational Network]
* [http://www.geocities.com/gundamships/Mainpage.html Gundam Naval Museum]
* [http://www.mahq.net/index.htm MAHQ]
* [http://side7.gundam.com/rgz/info/uc_ship.html Library of Londonion (ship names & fates)] ----
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