An Assault Carrier (also known as an Assault Landing Craft, Assault Ship, Assault Cruiser, Space Combat Vehicle (SCV), and Mobile Suit Carrier (MSC)) is a ship whose primary function is to deploy and recover Mobile Suits and/or Mobile Armors. These ships are functionally equivalent to the modern day aircraft carrier, and are usually a focal point of the show in which they are depicted. Assault carriers have served as flagships for small task forces when battleships or other large naval vessels are unavailable or ill suited for the role.
Assault carriers are unique for several reasons. Typically, such ships are capable of withstanding atmospheric re-entry, and can be seen operating on Earth or out in space. Often assault carriers will be the ships that house the Gundam type mobile suits and their pilots throughout the duration of the story, and the crew of an assault carrier usually includes the series' main protagonist as a crew member. Frequently this leads assault carriers to become involved in battles with the series' main antagonist. Because all assault carriers are designed to carry their Mobile Suits with them at all times they enjoy more freedom than other ships of there respective side, as assault carriers do not need to stick in packs for protection against enemy ships and mobile suits. Generally, the ships of this class share the same basic shape, and have an overall tendency to be painted white, although this is not always the case.