The Drake-class is an escort ship introduced in the anime Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Drake-class is one of the three main classes of space battleships employed by the Earth Alliance. This small escort ship is often deployed to protect larger battleships such as the Nelson-class and the Agamemnon-class. It is armed with vulcan cannons to intercept incoming missiles and enemy units, as well as torpedo launchers and missile launchers to attack enemy units.
Despite its small size, it is incapable of keeping up with the mobility of a mobile suit and can be easily taken down by a single mobile suit. It also has a weakness where its propellant tanks are exposed and externally attached to the engines, leading to them being attacked multiple times, but they can be disconnected in case of emergency.
Because of its size, the Drake-class doesn't have any interior hanger. Instead, four TS-MA2 Moebius mobile armors were merely strapped onto the sides, and this continued with the GAT-01 Strike Daggers. After the First Alliance-PLANT War, the vessels were redesigned with a hangar and outfitted with two external MS launching catapults. Despite this, their MS carrying abilities were still weak.
- 75mm Vulcan Cannon
- The Drake-Class is armed with three 75mm Vulcan Cannons, one in front of the bridge and two on the ventral hull. These are the ship's main anti-air weaponry and are used primarily for defense against enemy missiles and mobile suits. Drake-Class ships equipped with the Positron Reflector lacked the forward ventral Vulcan Cannon.
- Torpedo Launcher
- Missile Launcher
- The Drake-Class is armed with four Missile Launcher, mounted externally around the ship. Each launcher has 10 or 12-tubes, and the missiles fired are primarily used against enemy mobile suits and warships.
Special Equipment & Features
- Positron Reflector
- During the Second Alliance-PLANT War, some the Drake-class replaced their forward ventral vulcan cannon with a Positron Reflector for defending large structures against attacks from enemy fleets.
First Alliance-PLANT War
The Drake-class is one of the space battleships employed by the Earth Alliance during the First Alliance-PLANT War. Several Drake-class vessels were part of the 8th fleet, which rendezvoused with the Archangel, but they were easily destroyed by the four stolen Gundams used by the Le Creuset Team attacking the fleet. Drake-class vessels also took part in the large space battles that happened in September CE 71, which marked the end of the war. Since ZAFT had fielded mobile suits equipped with beam weaponry at that time, the Drake-class ships were destroyed more easily than before.
Second Alliance-PLANT War
The Drake-class vessels remain in use during the Second Alliance-PLANT War with minor alterations. Later, some Drake-class ships were equipped with large positron reflector shields to defend one of the relay stations of the Requiem superweapon against a large-scale ZAFT attack. These ships however were eventually destroyed and the relay station fell. Some renegade Drake-class vessels were part of the fleet allied with the Three Ships Alliance.
Notes & Trivia
- The portrayal of the missile launchers in the anime is inconsistent, sometimes they are shown as 12-tube launchers, while in other scenes, they are 10-tube launchers.