Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 22 Sep 2000 18:24:07 -0700


Ricky Lai writes,

> It is true that the U.N.T. suffered great losses, thanks to the brilliant
> Stardust Operation; but the size of the remaining fleet that assaulted
> the remnants of Delaz Fleet is quite respectable in itself already. With
> the glamorous debut of Titans, revealed at the end of 0083, the fleet
> commanded by the terror organization should fall nothing short of huge.
> Moreover, consider also the political scenario towards the end of Grups
> War, in which the Titans gradually swallows the entire U.N.T., its fleet
> should only have grown and not shrunk. Therefore, it simply doesn't make
> sense to put the "entire" Titans fleet on the scale of less than 100

  This simply isn't correct.

  As Z Gundam begins, the Titans are a small elite force, with just a
handful of ships. They can spare only two ships to pursue the AEUG after a
raid on Gryps - the Titans' home base! - and are forced to requisition a
regular Federal Forces cruiser as backup. During Operation Apollo, their
attack on Von Braun City, half their ships are Musai cruisers borrowed from
the Zeon Republic. After the capture of Von Braun, the Federation Assembly
finally gives the Titans control of the Federal Forces fleet, but up until
then they're a small force that has to borrowing ships from allies and other
military branches.

  A mere dozen episodes after this, the AEUG persuades the Federation
Assembly to switch sides, and now it's the AEUG that has the Federal Forces
fleet at its disposal. (Thus, the Titans have _not_ "gradually swallowed the
entire Federal Forces" - in fact, they've been kicked out of the
Federation!) The final battle is fought between the Titans and AEUG fleets,
reinforced by additional forces that each was able to borrow from the
regular Federal Forces during their brief periods of official favor.

> The Salamis class does have more guns than the Musai class, but those guns are
> puny!

  They look to be about the same size when I compare the model kits...

> It is important to note that ships enjoy much more freedom of movement
> in the 3-D environment of space, and hence it is not at all difficult
> for a Musai to adjust her position to give a nasty sting to a Salamis
> class, especially when battleships are that slow. A Salamis class, on
> the other hand, had better think hard in concentrating her
> firepower to render a real blow.

  It's possible to turn the entire ship, but it's not quick or easy -
especially if the ships are moving at high speeds. Think of the clash
between Kishiria's small fleet and the Federation fleet just before the
Battle of A Bao A Qu, during which all of Kishiria's ships except the Gwazin
are blown apart while running a gantlet of Federation cruisers. The Musais
and Zanzibars are virtually powerless to fight back, since they're traveling
at full speed through the enemy fleet.

  For that matter, note that Kishiria's Zanzibar is blown apart when it
attempts to escape A Bao A Qu, because it pops up in the middle of a bunch
of Federation cruisers which immediately swivel their gun turrets and open
fire on it. Clearly these guns are effective against Zeon cruisers, and time
after time the ability of the Federation ships to fire in any direction
gives them a visible advantage over the Zeon ships.

> Hold on! How big is the Reyullura class, which appears to be rather small
> (and not just compared to the Lar Kairam class)? I can't seem to even imagine
> comparing the Reyullura class to the Sadaran class. The latter is much
> grander and more impressive.

  It's hard to say - I've never seen specs for the Reyullura. But the
Federation's Lar Kairam class is huge - 487 meters, according to V Gundam -
and it carries just 6 to 8 mobile suits...

> Then what about superships like the Gwadan class? Also, the Dogosgear class
> has so many MS catapults, it triggers much speculation about its MS capacity.
> Certainly the Titans wouldn't provide an exclusive catapult for each MS,
> right?

  One assumes not, but again, I've never seen figures for the Dogos Gear's
capacity. Given its size and number of decks, and the fact that the Titans
have few other ships in their fleet, perhaps the Dogos Gear is designed
specifically to serve as a mobile suit carrier.

  One assumes that the mobile suit capacity would be proportional to the
number of catapults - if a ship carried dozens of mobile suits but just two
catapults, it would never be able to launch them all, so the Dogos Gear's
abundance of catapults suggests it has an unusually high capacity. Not sure
what this implies for the Gwadan's unique swiveling MS launcher, though...

> As mentioned before, having puny guns sticking out in all direction is not
> going to do much good. But at any rate, the Musai class is more powerful
> than ever in 0083 -- the late production type. Not only does it come packed
> with anti-MS weaponry, the number of double guns was increased to five, with
> one of them positioned at the back.

  Exactly; it's been redesigned along the lines of a Federation ship, with
gun turrets in every direction and lots of anti-aircraft guns. As a result,
it fixes the fatal flaws of the original Musai, and its heavier weaponry
gives it an edge over the Salamis. In fact, its firepower is probably
comparable to that of a Magellan.

  In general, considering all the known UC ships, it's simply unusual for a
single battleship or cruiser to carry more than a dozen mobile suits, and 4
to 8 is standard. Even huge 400-500 meter ships like the Lar Kairam are no
exception; a single-digit MS complement is considered adequate.

  Still, there are a handful of ships that seem to have been designed
specifically to carry a lot of mobile suits - the Doros and the Dogos Gear,
with their multiple catapults, come to mind as examples. These are
presumably designed to carry as many mobile suits as possible.

  The former category, cruisers & battleships, typically carry about 4
mobile suits per catapult. The Doros, with its supposed capacity of 182
mobile suits, has 26 per catapult (so it would take it a long time to launch
them all into battle). I'd assume the Dogos Gear, with its 12 catapults,
adheres to the battleship rule of thumb and would carry 40-50 mobile suits -
a full battalion, in other words.

-- Mark

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