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In the Universal Century timeline of Mobile Suit Gundam, the Salamis-class cruiser forms the backbone of the Earth Federal Space Force's naval fleet. It was introduced in October UC 0070 as part of the Year 70 Armament Reinforcement Plan. The ship's design was upgraded and improved twice, once after the One Year War and again between the years UC 0083 and UC 0086, before the Gryps Conflict.
Technology and Combat Characteristics
Originally, ships of the Salamis-class were armed with conventional weaponry: six main cannon turrets, six two-barrel machine gun turrets for anti-fighter (and later anti-mobile suit) defense, and two six-cell external missile launchers. By U.C. 0079, all of the cruiser's original main cannon turrets had been upgraded with superior mega particle cannons.
- Single-barrel beam turret
- While not as powerful as the turrets of the Magellan-class, these beam turrets were effective anti-ship weapons. Unfortunately, they were not at all useful against the Principality of Zeon's mobile suits. Comparing to Zeon's Musai-class, the layout of Salamis' mega particle cannon allow it to shoot at target in every direction. However, it cannot focus the firepower on single target.
- 2-barrel machine gun turret
- These weapons formed the Salamis-class' anti-air/MS weaponry. 4 protected the bridge and command staff and could rotate 180 degrees from pointing directly ahead to directly aft. They could also rotate in an upward arc of up to 90 degrees. Two more turrets were mounted in large balls on a strut across the front of the cruiser, just aft of the forward beam turret. they permanently faced forward and could rotate in an upward arc, up to 90 degrees. These few turrets were woefully inadequate as mobile suit defenses, except in cases of multiple cruisers firing in a close formation.
- 6-tube missile launcher
- These missiles were used for both anti-ship and anti-fortress purposes. During the opening battles of the War, these tubes were loaded with nuclear warheads.
- 4-barrel machine gun turret (MS IGLOO only)
- The front 2 ball turrets are replaced by two four-barrel machine guns during the Battle of Loum. It is unknown if this change is an older version of the cruiser or a modification made to only a few ships to counter the Zeon mobile suits.
Special Equipment & Features
- Re-entry Shuttle
- Located underneath the bow of the Salamis-class is a re-entry shuttle capable of making atmospheric re-entry, while also doubling as an escape shuttle in the case of the cruiser in danger of being destroyed.
- Supplemental Rocket Booster
- An optional equipment that can be attached to the Salamis-class' main engine thrusters is a supplemental rocket booster system. The Salamis uses this in order to leave the Earth's atmosphere, including from the underground Jaburo base.
The first Salamis-class cruisers were launched in conjunction with the Magellan-class battleships as part of the Earth Federation Space Force's Year 70 Armament Reinforcement Plan in U.C. 0070. It required powerful auxiliary boosters to leave Earth's gravity. The original Salamis-class suffered heavy casualties during the One Year War due 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 hulls were ill-suited to withstand nuclear weapons. For this and a combination of other reasons, the Earth Federation order the Earth Federal Space Force to recall the last remaining Salamis vessels to the asteroid base Luna II, where they remained until September U.C. 0079, until the Earth Federation scientists finally launched their first mobile suits. The remaining ships of the Federation's fleet were redeployed into combat zones with the new RGM-79 GM mobile suit and RB-79 Ball mobile pods for protection. Unfortunately, the Salamis-class ships could only store their new mobile suits and mobile pods on the outer hull of the ship, due to the fact that the ships lacked any sort of hangar bay. 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, which would play a role in the Salamis Kai design a few years later.
The Fate of the Salamis Cruiser
The Salamis-Class was first upstaged by the Alexandria-class heavy cruisers during the Gryps War but still continued to play a major roll as a major warship for the Earth Federation, AEUG, and the Titan task force. But the Salamis model would not be mostly discontinued until U.C. 0102, in favor of the newer Clop-class cruisers, but due to its firepower it still saw limited mass production. However, the Salamis Kai-class cruisers would continue to see service in the Earth Federation, as they were still very useful even in the late uc era
|MS IGLOO 2 Mechanics|
RGM-79［G］ GM Ground Type | RTX-440 Ground Assault Type Guntank
6×6 Cargo Truck | M353A4 Bloodhound | M72 Lakota | Type 61 Tank
Big Tray-class | Heavy Fork-class
|Aircraft / Spacecraft|
Dragonfly | FF-X7 Core Fighter
|Principality of Zeon|
| Mobile Suit|
MS-05B Zaku I | MS-06J Zaku II Ground Type | MS-07B-3 Gouf Custom | MS-09B Dom
B.M.C. Z78/2 | HT-01B Magella Attack | Magella Eins | PVN.3/2 Sauropelta | PVN.4/3 Wappa | PVN.44/1 Weasel | Russel 1/12 Zebu
|Transporter / Supply Ship|
H.L.V. | Komusai | Papua-class
|Cruiser / Mother Ship|
Gaw | Musai-class