Technology & Combat Characteristics
A space variant of FF-3 Saberfish, the FF-S3 is equipped with a total of four booster packs on the wings, two on the top and two on the bottom, ensuring high mobility. The booster packs are also equipped with missile launchers, so the firepower is also enhanced. If needed, the Saberfish can be loaded with a large anti-ship missile.
In outer space, in addition to base defense, it was also planned to be a carrier-based aircraft for Magellan-class battleships, but due to the heavy-duty doctrine of the Earth Federation Army and the design of the Pegasus-class aircraft carrier as a dedicated mothership, loading capacity was not added to the Magellan-class. As a result of the change of the Pegasus-class to the MS-only mothership at the start of the war, the FF-S3 was only used on some ships such as the Columbus-class supply ship and the Salamis-class.
The performance as a fighter is high, and although it demonstrated the performance to overwhelm the Gattle of the Principality of Zeon, it is inferior in output and thrust compared to mobile suits, and was particularly at the mercy of maneuvers using AMBAC. After the end of the One Year War, it was no longer operated in space, and was passed to the Air Force.
- 25mm Vulcan Gun
- Equipped on the nose of the Saberfish. While essentially ineffectual against mobile suits' armor, they are useful in intercepting incoming missiles/rockets, destroying mobile suit sensors, and engaging lightly-armored vehicles.
- Missile Launcher
- A total of 12 units are mounted on the tips of the space warfare booster packs, 3 units each.
- Anti-Ship Missile
- The Saberfish can optionally carry a large anti-ship missile underneath the fighter, giving it the firepower needed to damage enemy ships.
Developed as a joint effort between the Earth Federation Space and Air Force, the Saberfish was developed as part of the Earth Federation's Year 70 Armament Reinforcement Plan in U.C. 0076. The Saberfish first saw combat during the One Year War, and was widely used in the opening stages of the conflict. Although it had decent status as a space fighter, the introduction of the Principality of Zeon's mobile suit technology rendered the fighter practically obsolete. Lacking the armor, up-to-date weapons, and AMBAC system of the opposing mobile suits, the Saberfish became both out maneuvered and outgunned. Also lacking any kind of melee weapon, the Saberfish is almost defenseless in the close range combat that Zeon favored. Thus Federation pilots were often forced to resort to swarm tactics in order to overwhelm its opponents. In the latter half of the One Year War, the Saberfish was taken out of front-line service in space and replaced by the more heavily armored RGM-79 GM and more maneuverable RB-79 Ball. Nevertheless, it continued to see service well into U.C. 0087, despite the continued odds stacked against it and the apparent lack of efforts to modernize its capability as well as survivability.
The Saberfish saw continued combat during the Gryps Conflict when the Anti-Earth Union Group descended onto Jaburo. Several Saberfish would launch from Jaburo to attack the incoming AEUG forces, only to be overwhelmed by the more technologically advanced mobile suits. There were also Saberfish fighters seen in U.C. 0096, when Zeon remnants attacked the Federation's Torrington Base, however these Saberfishs were destroyed by a MS-05L Zaku I Sniper Type before being able to launch.