Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Irish-class sports two two-barrel main beam turrets and five secondary single-barrel beam turrets as its primary armament. The ship also sports two launch catapults in the bow and one recovery deck in the aft, which gives the Irish-class a clear relation to the Argama-class assault carriers, which were under construction around the same time as the Irish-class. The Irish-class was designed and equipped with twelve rear thruster, giving the class a speed advantage against enemy ships. Though it holds some measure of AA/AMS defense, it is still ineffective and vulnerable against mobile suits.
- 2-barrel Main Beam Gun
- The primary armament of the Irish-class are two two-barrel beam guns situated above and below the mobile suit hangar. Both guns are mounted as to give them a clear field of fire to cover the front and sides of the ship.
- Beam Gun
- The Irish-class is equipped with five single-barrel beam guns with four mounted on the sides of the ship and one above the rear mobile suit hangar/recovery deck.
At the outbreak of the Gryps Conflict, the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) realized that it would require more than just the Salamis Kai-class ships to effectively fight against the Titans, so it was decided to commission a limited number of battleships to act as command vessels for the AEUG. The result of their work was the Irish-class battleship.
The Irish-class was developed and built in the year U.C. 0087 by Anaheim Electronics' Granada factory. The Irish-class was commissioned and funded by the AEUG who required a more powerful and capable battleship/mobile suit carrier than the Salamis Kai-class cruiser, yet less expensive than the Argama-class assault cruiser, in their fight against the corrupt Earth Federation and the Titans.
The Irish class performed exceptionally well during the Gryps Conflict, but were almost all destroyed in the final battle. It is unknown how many survived, but it is generally believed that none survived the final battle, or remained in serviceable condition, because the Irish-class was not seen in use during the First Neo Zeon War, a conflict that the AEUG was a major participant in. The Earth Federation did construct and use a number of Irish-class battleships after the Gryps Conflict, using the ship as a replacement for the Alexandria-class that was being scuttled due to the class's association with the Titans.
The Irish class would become a model for future Federation battleship development due to its successes in combining firepower with Mobile Suit capabilities. Sadly, the loss of Radish at the end of the war underscored the vulnerability of these large ships to mobile suit assault.
The Irish-class ships continued to serve the Earth Federation Forces for several decades, including the Laplace Conflict in U.C. 0096, with three Irish-class battleships assigned to the 13th Autonomous Corps in U.C. 0120: the Arlberg, Meteran, and Saint Ives.
In December U.C. 0095, the Échalote, with two high-ranking Federation officers onboard, served as the mother-ship of the Unicorn Gundam 03 Phenex during joint evaluation tests with the Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee. The Échalote's bridge was destroyed by the runaway Phenex in what would be later known as the "Échalote Incident".
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam UC: One of Seventy Two