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The Birmingham-class battleship is a fictional space warship that appears in the OVA Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory of the Universal Century timeline. In the Universal Century timeline of Mobile Suit Gundam, at the end of the One Year War, the Earth Federation began a rebuilding program aimed at putting people to work to get the Federation's armed services back into shape. One of the new vessels to emerge during this time of rebuilding was the Federation's Birmingham-class battleship.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
The Birmingham was designed to be the flagship of the Earth Federal Space Force, and it sailed throughout the earth sphere to display the power of the Earth Federation in the postwar years. Interestingly, while constructed after the One Year War Birmingham had five two-barrel main beam turrets, missile launchers, and several anti-aircraft weapons; however, Federation engineers did not include Mobile Suit hangars.
The Birmingham-class battleship was designed by Earth Federation engineers to serve as the flagship of the Earth Federation Forces' rebuilt fleet in UC 0083. Despite the proven effectiveness of the mobile suits during the One Year War, the rebuilt fleet was still centered on the concept of "Big Gun" warfare, a fact exemplified by the Birmingham.
Much of the Birmingham's design was taken from its predecessor, the Magellan-class battleship. As such the Birmingham bears a strong resemblance to the previous flagship model. As the flagship of a "Big Gun" oriented fleet the Birmingham was outfitted with the highest number of individual weapons of any ship in use at the time, even when compared to the larger Gwazine-class. The weapons included nine mega particle cannon turrets, 12 anti-mobile suit laser turrets, and 6 missile launchers comprised of two different types.
Like the refit versions of the Salamis-class and the Magellan-class the Birmingham was not designed with a mobile suit hanger. This severely limits the ship's ability to carry, supply, or repair mobile suits. Its likely that like other Earth Federation ships mobile suits could be strapped to the exterior of the hull but the Birmingham was never seen doing so.
- 2-Barrel Mega Particle Cannon
- The Birmingham-class battleship is equipped with five 2-barrel mega particle cannons. Three cannons are placed on the dorsal hull while the remaining two are placed on the ventral hull.
- Mega Particle Cannon
- The Birmingham-class battleship is equipped with four single barrel mega particle cannons, with two cannons placed on the port and starboard side respectively.
- 2-Barrel Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Mobile Suit Laser Turret
- For anti-mobile suit defense the Birmingham-class battleship is equipped with twelve 2-barrel anti-mobile suit laser turrets. The turrets are distributed evenly among the port and starboard side, however ten of these turret are mounted on the aft-most section of ship, six of which are situated on the command tower.
- 12-Tube Missile Launcher
- Mounted on the command tower's base are a pair of 12-tube missile launchers.
- Missile Launcher
- These missile launchers are designed for both anti-ship and anti-fortress purposes.
On 8 November UC 0083 Admiral Green Wyatt and Birmingham rendezvoused with Cima Garahau, a Delaz Fleet defector who was to supply Wyatt with information pertaining to Admiral Delaz's fleet and the nature of Operation Stardust. Unfortunately, while the two were meeting the Pegasus-class assault carrier Albion inadvertently wandered into the drop zone. Unaware of the secret meeting between Wyatt and Cima Albion's Commanding Officer, Captain Eiphar Synapse, ordered Albion to launch her MS to defend Birmingham. To support the illusion that Albion was protecting Birmingham Admiral Wyatt had Birmingham fire a broadside of her large beam turrets. The broadside missed Cima's flagship and struck one of her Musai-class cruisers, and in the confusion created from the explosion Cima made her escape.
On 10 November UC 0083 Birmingham was sailed to the Federation's naval review being held at Konpei Island. Admiral Wyatt and several other high ranking Federation officials arranged the review in order to visually inspect the navy and show off the power of the Earth Federal Space Force. In the middle of the review the Delaz Fleet mounted a surprise nuclear attack against the Federation's fleet using the nuclear-equipped RX-78GP02A Gundam Physalis, which had been stolen earlier by Anavel Gato. The blast was centered on the Birmingham, and destroyed Birmingham and 2/3rds of the participating space vessels in the Federation fleet. After Operation Stardust ended the Federation ceased building battleships that could not carry mobile suits and created the counter-insurgency group known as the Titans.
Interestingly enough, Bask Om's command ship, the Dogosse Gier (from Zeta Gundam), had a passing resemblance to the Birmingham, and unfortunately shared the Birmingham's fate when a competing Titans officer sunk the ship.