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The Musai-class Late Production Type is a fictional space cruiser seen in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
The late production model of the Musai-class light cruiser is subtype of the original Musai-class light cruiser. The late production model featured improved weapons, and improved Minovsky-Ionesco fusion reactor to power the ship's systems, and improved mobile suit carrying and launch capabilities.
The armaments of the later production model differ from the original in that two additional 2-barrel mega-particle cannons were added for ship to ship battles, ten 2-barrel defensive machine guns were added for anti-air defense, and the two large missile launchers were removed.
During the latter part of the One Year War the Principality of Zeon began introducing new mobile suits. Because the original Musai-class was designed to support MS-06 Zaku II mobile suits, the Principality had trouble adapting their hangars to the larger and more powerful mobile suits that were being used. In the Late Production Type the single bow hanger was removed and two new hangers were built into the aft section. These hangars were designed to take advantage of the zero gravity of space and had mobile suit storage racks built onto what would be considered the floor and ceiling (not that it mattered in zero gravity). The racks are adjustable and could easily accommodate the MS-06F2 Zaku II F2 Type and MS-09R-2 Rick Dom II mobile suits or even the RX-78GP02A Gundam "Physalis" that the Federation built three years after the late type Musai's introduction. The storage racks were also designed to serve as catapults that could horizontally launch a mobile suit quickly. With these facilities the late type Musai could quickly launch its four mobile suits, but retrieval was a bit more difficult.
Apart from the new mobile suit hangers the late type Musai has a new Komusai hanger designed to hold the larger Komusai II model shuttle that has the ability to both enter the atmosphere and carry a mobile suit back into space.
- 2-barrel Main Cannon
- The late type Musai mounts a total of five 2-barrel mega-particle cannon turrets as its main guns. These five include the original three and two attentional turrets. One turret is placed on the ventral surface of the bow and the second is placed on the dorsal aft section, just behind the command tower. All of the turrets can swivel ninety degrees in either direction giving each turret a one-hundred and eighty degree field of fire.
- 2-barrel Machine Gun
- To increase anti-air, and specifically anti-mobile suit combat abilities, the late type Musai is equipped with ten 2-barrel defensive machine gun turrets. Two of these machine gun turrets are mounted on each engine pod. The remaining six are placed around the command tower; two to port, two to starboard, and two on the aft of the ship.
- Small Missile Launcher
Special Equipment & Features
- Komusai II shuttle
In that last few months of the One Year War, the Principality of Zeon was having difficulties due to the outdated nature of their Musai-class light cruiser. There was a significant need for a new ship to counter the Earth Federation Forces superior numbers, new Pegasus-class carriers, and mobile suits; as well as possess hangers with new equipment designed to accommodate the larger and more powerful mobile suits of which the Musai-class could only carry two.
Instead of building a completely new ship from scratch, Zeon engineers reworked the Musai-class to fit their needs. Their efforts succeeded in producing a ship with superior firepower, engines, and mobile suit carrying capabilities. However, while the new late production type type Musai was a superior ship, it required considerably more resources and money to build. With the loss of their Earth based facilities the Principality of Zeon chose a less expensive, and less capable, refit design and only a handful of late production type Musai-class light cruisers were built before the end of the war.
What cruisers that did exist served under Admiral Aiguille Delaz at the Battle of A Baoa Qu, and retreated from the battle with the Admiral's Gwazine-class. These ships would spend three years in hiding at the Shoal zone of the former Side 5 before emerging to take part in Operation Stardust. Of these ships the Peer Gynt served as the base of operations for the Delaz Fleet's Ace pilot Anavel Gato and the stolen RX-78GP02A Gundam "Physalis" until the Gundam was destroyed.