|Please note that this is the Gundam Wiki's article on the class of vessels featured in Mobile Suit Gundam; if you are looking for the article on the class of vessels featured in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin then you should head to Columbus-class/Origin.|
The Columbus-class is a series of space transport ships featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam television series.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Evolved from an earlier class of twin-hull assault lander employed to carry its troops and land-based equipment, the Columbus-class functioned as the supply ships of the Earth Federation and were used to replenish its fleet. Columbus-class ships were successful in this role, but during the One Year War, the hit-and-run tactics employed by the Principality of Zeon's mobile suits devastated the Earth Federation's ships, which were ill-equipped to fend off the small and agile mobile weapons. As a result, many of the Columbus-class vessels were repurposed to carry the Federation's own mobile weapons, starting with the RB-79 Ball, as the majority of the hull consisted of the pair of large cargo bays. The side panels of the bays were capable of opening up as well. The ships carried the mobile weapons along with the supplies to maintain them in the hangar bays. Later in the One Year War, a high demand for mobile suits resulted in the Columbus-class vessels being converted again to carry large numbers of RGM-79 GM within their hangers. The underside of the Columbus-class was also modified so that multiple GMs could be connected and refueled quickly during major battles, such as the Battle of Solomon and the Battle of A Baoa Qu. Unlike the assault landers it descended from, the Columbus-class was unarmed, leaving it completely unprotected without an escort.
The Columbus-class served the Earth Federation Fleets as a supply vessel and a carrier, introduced around the same time as the Salamis-class and Magellan-class of ships. They were a staple of an Earth Federation battle group or fleet. Several of these ships resupplied White Base between missions. These ships served throughout the One Year War.
Like most ships in the Federation's space fleet, the vessels of the Columbus-class were refitted between UC 0079 and UC 0083, resulting in the Columbus Kai-class. Unlike earlier Columbus-class vessels, the Columbus Kai-class vessels were not used to ferry mobile suits, serving dedicated roles as a supply carrier or a communications hub.