The Drake-class is an escort ship in the Cosmic Era timeline.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Since Drake-class vessels are only small escort ships, they are only lightly armed for combat, mounting three 75mm vulcan cannons to shoot down incoming missiles and enemy units. For ranged combat the ship mounts six torpedo launchers and four 10-barrel missile launchers. The only armaments they lack are beam cannons. Due to its small size and weak structure, the ship is an easy target, possible to be taken down by a single mobile suit. Usually, one blast from a powerful beam cannon or several shots from a standard-sized beam rifle are enough to destroy a Drake-class vessel.
Because of their small size, this ship class doesn't have any interior hanger. Instead, four TS-MA2 Moebius units were merely strapped onto the side, a task, which was continued with the GAT-01 Strike Dagger suits.
The refit version of the Drake-class is able to mount a large version of the Positron Reflector defense technology, capable of defending large structures against heavy attacks from enemy fleets.
The Drake-class is one of the two main space battleships employed by the Earth Alliance in the war against ZAFT. Since they were designed as escort vessels, they were often used to accompany the larger Agamemnon-class carriers and part of every fleet of the EA space forces. In CE 71, Drake-class vessels were part of the 8th fleet which rendezvoused with the Archangel, but they were easily destroyed by the four stolen Gundams used by the members of the Le Creuset Team which attacked the fleet. They also took part in the large space battles which happened in September CE 71, which marked the end of the First Alliance-PLANT War. Since ZAFT had already produced and fielded mobile suits equipped with beam weaponry at that time, the Drake-class ships were destroyed far more easily than before.
After the war's end, the Drake-class vessels were redesigned and outfitted with two external MS launching catapults. Despite this fact, their MS carrying abilities were still weak. In the space battle of the Second Alliance-PLANT War, these ships again took part in battles against ZAFT forces. Later, some Drake-class ships were equipped with large positron reflector shields to defend one of the relay stations of the Requiem superweapon against a large-scale ZAFT attack. These ships however were eventually destroyed and the relay station fell. Also some renegade ships of this class were part of the fleet allied with the Three Ships Alliance.
The positron reflector-equipped Drake-class is visually highly reminiscent of the Reinforce Junior with its beam shield deployed.