Technology & Combat Characteristics
Following the end of the One Year War, the Earth Federation began a rebuilding program aimed at restoring the Federation's armed services back into shape. One of the new vessels to emerge from this was the Federation's Birmingham-class battleship. Larger than the Magellan-class battleship, the Birmingham was designed to be the flagship of the Earth Federation Space Forces' rebuilt fleet, and it sailed throughout the earth sphere to display the power of the Earth Federation in the postwar years.
The rebuilt fleet was still centered on the concept of "Big Gun" warfare, a fact exemplified by the Birmingham-class, which has an impressive armament consisting of multiple mega particle guns, laser turrets and missile launchers. However, the batleship did not include mobile suit hangars on its deisgn, despite the proven effectiveness of the mobile suits during the One Year War. While there is a deck at the stern of the ship's bridge tower, it is for short term arrival and departure launches. This inability to field mobile suits is also shared by the refit versions of the Salamis-class and the Magellan-class, meaning they were probably strapped to the exterior of the hull if the ship were to field mobile suits.
- 2-barrel Mega Particle Cannon
- The Birmingham-class battleship is equipped with five 2-barrel mega particle cannons. Three cannons are placed on the dorsal hull in a superfiring structure while the remaining two are placed on the ventral hull, near midship.
- Mega Particle Cannon
- The Birmingham-class battleship has a single-barrelled mega particle cannon located on the ventral hull, ahead of the pair of 2-barrel mega particle cannons.
- Secondary Mega Particle Cannon
- The Birmingham-class battleship is equipped with four single barreled secondary mega particle cannons, with two cannons placed on the port and starboard side respectively. One is mounted on the side of each engine block, while the other two are mounted midship on the sides.
- 2-barrel Laser Turret
- For defensive purposes, the Birmingham-class battleship is equipped with twelve 2-barrel laser turrets. The turrets are distributed evenly among the port and starboard side. Six mounted on the command tower, three on each side. Another four are mounted on the engine blocks, two on each one, while the remaining two are mounted midship on the side of the hull.
- 12-tube Missile Launcher
- Mounted on the command tower's base are a pair of 12-tube missile launchers, with one 12-tube missile launcher on each side.
On 8 November U.C. 0083, Admiral Green Wyatt and the Birmingham rendezvoused with Cima Garahau, a Delaz Fleet defector who was to supply Wyatt with information pertaining to Admiral Delaz's fleet and the nature of Operation Stardust. Unfortunately, the meeting was interrupted when the Pegasus-class assault carrier Albion inadvertently wandered into the drop zone. Unaware of the secret meeting between Wyatt and Cima, Albion's Commanding Officer, Captain Eiphar Synapse, ordered Albion to launch her MS to defend the Birmingham. To support the illusion that Albion was protecting the Birmingham, Admiral Wyatt had the Birmingham fire a broadside of her mega particle cannons. The broadside missed Cima's flagship and struck one of her Musai-class cruisers, and in the confusion created from the explosion, Cima made her escape.
On November 10 U.C. 0083, the Birmingham sailed with the rest of the fleet to the Federation's naval review being held at Konpei Island. Admiral Wyatt and several other high ranking Federation officials arranged the review in order to visually inspect the navy and show off the power of the Earth Federation Space Force. In the middle of the review, the Delaz Fleet mounted a surprise nuclear attack against the Federation's fleet using the nuclear-equipped RX-78GP02A Gundam "Physalis", which was stolen earlier by Anavel Gato. The blast was centered on the Birmingham, and destroyed the Birmingham and 2/3rds of the participating space vessels in the review. After the destruction of the Birmingham, the construction of the second ship of the line was halted, and it was redesigned with the use of fielding and supporting mobile suits in mind, resulting in the Dogosse Giar-class of battleship and labeling the Birmingham as the last Federation vessel centered around the "Big Gun" concept.