The Ural-class is a MS carrier used by the ESF armada in season 2 of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. One vessel of this class was operated by the ESF Coup d'état Faction in Season 2 as their flagship under the command of Kati Mannequin. Later in A wakening of the Trailblazer the Earth Sphere Federation Army deploys this class to defend Earth against the threat from the ELS.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Ural-class is the successor to the Virginia-class; it is designed to be a MS space carrier/battlecruiser. Designed by ESF engineers (previously from the Union), it's the largest space MS carrier ever built. The class was designed with strong aesthetics after the Virginia-class. Although similar in purpose and design, there are notable differences.
The Virginia-class's components was a series of modules collected together to be a space-worthy vessel. ESF engineers used the same engineering methods to create the Ural-class. To save time and resources for mass-production, various systems and components for the Virginia-class was recycled onto the Ural-class, with new system configurations and enhancements.
At the bow, the midsection of the ship, engineers designed a larger version of the MS hangers used by the Virginia-class. Four similar versions of these modules are boxed and interconnected as a single large MS hanger. At the port and starboard, 3 large MS hanger modules are interconnected with the main body of the ship. Because the hull isn't strong, an additional layer of hull armor was placed at the middle-side section of the class, but for unexplained reasons, ESF engineers never fully reinforce the class to be completely armored. The aft-section are a pair of plasma engines recycled directly from 2 Virginia-class ships. The short-cylinder section to the engines are reconfigured to be attached at the rear port and starboard section of the outer MS hangers. With so much space, a single Ural-class can hold up to 36 MSs at its side containers and 24 in the central container for a maximum capacity of 96 MSs. The central section can also be utilized to carry a large mobile armor like the GNMA-Y0001 Empruss or GNMA-0001V Regnant.
For combat, the ship is armed with particle turrets covered throughout the ship. A dozen Laser Cannons are placed at the bow and four at the aft-section. Each of the turrets have a near 180 spherical degree of fire. ESF engineers distributed its Laser Cannons throughout the ship to give it a full 360-degree fire coverage. The ship can hold GN Missiles, but it's complete payload is undefined. Because of how its weapons are arranged, the ship's weapons are best used to fire face-forward. The ship has weak defense at the rear and can be easily be crippled by enemy MS forces. Like most ESF ships, the class is weak at close range combat. It largely depends on its MSs to help compensate for its weaknesses in combat; the class is best used at long-ranged combat and fire support.
The class was designed for heavy tactical transportation. The class's size, lack of speed, and poor maneuverability makes the class one of the most vulnerable and least suitable for combat. It was never reinforced with hull armor and relies on an escort fleet to protect it while in transportation and/or combat missions. Because of its weaknesses, it's often used as rear support for the Baikal-class. By AD 2314, the ESF armada retro-fitted all their ships with hybrid propulsion to co-utilize between plasma and particle propulsion. For emergency speeds, the ship can execute Trans-Am.
- Laser Cannons
- Four of these powerful gun mounts are mounted in front of the bridge of the ship and can only shot straight ahead making them the main weapon for Space Transport Ship.
- GN Missiles
- The Ural-class also mounts GN Missile Launchers just like other ESF Army vessels. However at present the location of these launchers are the only things known whilst their size and missile capacity are currently unknown.
Renewed Celestial Being Threat
The Ural-class was first seen pre-taking in a resupply/offloading operation where a single vessel of this class transferred numerous GNX-704T Aheads, a GNZ-003 Gadessa, a GNZ-005 Garazzo, a GNZ-007 Gaddess, and the GNMA-0001V Regnant to the fleet of Baikal-class vessels which were currently involved in the A-LAWS' attempt to hunt down the renewed threat posed by Celestial Being.
ESF Coup D'Ete Faction
Much later on rogue ESF Army officer, Colonel Kati Mannequin returns in command of the ESF Coup D'État Forces commanding from a Ural-class vessel. Catching the A-LAWS' fleet by surprise, the ESF Coup forces supported Celestial Being and Kataron as they combated the remaining A-LAWS forces. After the A-LAWS fleet of Baikal-class cruisers is nearly completely destroyed by a shot from the GN Rail Cannon of the Innovators' Celestial Being, the ESF Coup forces remain inactive until the GAGA Forces begin to overwhelm the CBS-74 Ptolemaios 2. This stirs Colonel Mannequin and Klaus Grad to order their forces forward to support CB's efforts with Kati's Ural-class opening fire with its main Laser Cannons. The same Ural-class flagship is almost destroyed by Gagas but are stopped by Patrick Colasour and his GN-XIII - much to the dismay of Kati who believed Patrick to have died.
In A.D. 2314 the ESF Army would be forced to deploy everything it had to combat the grave threat that the ELS posed to Humanty. Numerous Ural-class carriers were sighted among the Federation's "Absolute Defense Line" and at least one such vessel survived the battle.
- ↑ Second Mechanics Sourcebook