Technology & Combat Characteristics
By the end of the One Year War it had become obvious to the Earth Federation that the primary weapon in any future conflicts would be the Mobile Suit. Because of this the Federation began to study the lessons learned from the Pegasus-class program (several units of which, including Albion, were still in service) in order to create a better carrier for their mobile suit forces, the result of which was the Alexandria-class Heavy Cruiser.
The original plans for the Alexandria-class had it equipped with four two-barrel main beam cannons, two single-barrel beam cannons, and four two-barrel defensive turrets, and had two launch platforms for its Mobile Suit contingent, which were stored in the bow below the bridge.
- 2-barrel Main Beam Cannon
- The primary armament of the Alexandria-class was her four two-barrel main beam cannons. Situated with two to each side of the mobile suit hangar, these guns covered both the front and sides from attack. In an effort to boost rear defenses, the Hario refit incorporated two more of these guns mounted on the left and right sides of the main bridge module. In this location they were able to cover the rear, sides, and front of the ship, greatly increasing overall firepower.
- Beam Cannon
- These weapons are located on the outboard sides of the engine pods on the original class, Hario refit, and Aswan refit. They are placed in such a manner so as to allow for coverage of the dorsal, forward, and ventral approaches. Secondary cannons are located above the mobile suit hangar on the original design, Hario refit, and Aswan refit, these guns supplement the ship's forward firepower. On the Gaunland refit, these guns have been moved to the upper sides of the bridge module with a slightly altered design style.
- 2-barrel Defensive Turret
- The standard defensive armament on the original and Hario refit, these guns were designated for AA/AMS defense. However, the limited number of turrets meant that the ship was still greatly dependent on its mobile suit contingent for AA/AMS defense.
- 3-barrel Defensive Turret
- An upgraded defensive turret used on the Gaunland refit, these weapons replaced the standard two-barrel variant and the overall number of turrets was increased from four to ten in order to provide for greater AA/AMS capability.
- Missile Launcher
- An addition placed on the Gaunland refit, these missile launchers were added for the purpose of providing great anti-ship and anti-mobile ship capabilities. The launchers are arranged in an array on the centerline of the ship below the bridge.
The Federation originally commissioned the Alexandria class shortly after the One Year War, and the ships were set to be delivered in time for the Federation's naval review in UC 0083; however, setbacks during the outfitting pushed back their launch date. These vessels became command ships for various Titans task force commanders.
These ships originally went into service for the Federation's elite "Titans" task force, a group formed in the wake of the Delaz Conflict whose sole purpose was to eliminate anti-government threats to the Federation. The Titans were utterly ruthless in their pursuit of dissidents, taking up Zeon-style tactics including the wholesale nerve-gassing of entire colony cylinders, and brought about a full scale civil war between the Federation and the dissident Anti Earth Union Group. After the defeat of the Titans, the Alexandria class became an uncomfortable reminder of them, and the class was quickly and quietly decommissioned with the last unit being mothballed before the Second Neo Zeon War in UC 0093.
Three ships of the Alexandria-class were refitted. One was the Hario, a ship that was used by the Titans, which was modified to include additional aft firepower (the aft quarter being a traditional weak fire zone in space warships), which was the personal ship of Paptimus Scirocco during the early stages of the Gryps Conflict. Another vessel modified for the Titans Test Team was the Aswan, which had its aft bridge section modified to contain a secondary mobile suit bay. Decades after the retirement of the last Alexandria-class ship from the Earth Federation Space Force, the Gaunland, a ship of that class, was recommissioned and refitted by the League Militaire to act as their flagship against the invading Zanscare Empire. Included in the Gaunland refit were two additional mobile suit catapults in the aft, as well as additional beam turrets and a set of missile launchers. The Gaunland gave honorable service to the League Militaire while acting as the flagship and later as a decoy vessel that assisted in the defeat of the Keilas Guilie fleet, redeeming at long last the honor of the class.
Notes and Trivia