Technology & Combat Characteristics
A space variant of FF-3 Saberfish, FF-S3 is essentially the same craft with four boosters attached to its wings. Each of these boosters also armed with an 3-tube missile launcher, which gave it enough firepower to kill a first-generation mobile suit such as Zaku II or a Musai-class light cruiser. If needed, the Saberfish can be loaded with a large anti-ship missile.
Designed to launch from the Federation's Columbus-class carriers, the Saberfish found themselves heading into battle by attaching to and then launching from the hulls of the Federation's Salamis and Magellan-class space warships.
Although the Saberfish remained faster than Zaku II, it was inferior in term of agility and acceleration. One effective tactic of Saberfish squadrons was simply avoiding enemy mobile suits, instead targeting their support ship with quick bombardments from racks of anti-ship missiles.
- 25mm Machine Gun
- Missile Launcher
- Anti-Ship Missile
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. However, when up against later generation mobile suit models or an ace pilot, the Saberfish were hopelessly outmatched even with numerical superiority.
In terms of atmospheric performance, the Saberfish was thought to perform much better. As Earth's gravity limited mobile suits to ground combat, the Saberfish's only oppositions in the air were the poorly-engineered Dopp Fighters and the sluggish Gaw Attack Carriers. 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 combat during the Gryps Conflict when the Anti-Earth Union Group descended onto Jaburo. There were Saberfish aircrafts 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.