Technology & Combat Characteristics
Weapons wise, the Laurasia-class frigate features a large compliment of weapons on its whole body. Its most powerful weapon are two 937mm dual high-energy cannons, which are mounted on top of the ship. Additionally, a single 450mm dual railgun, two 450mm railguns and two 125mm cannons grant the ship overwhelming firepower against most other ship classes. As with most other ship classes, six 58mm CIWS guns are mounted across the hull to shoot down incoming missiles (though two had poor placement and were more or less useless). Lastly, the Laurasia-class mounts four 450mm multipurpose Vertical Launch Systems for additional firepower.
The Laurasia-class was, like all other ZAFT warships, designed to carry mobile suits. As a result, egg-shaped pod on the underside of the ship contains its mobile suit hanger which can carry up to six suits. These suits are launched from a single catapult in front of the hangar. This hangar has the unusual feature of being capable of detaching from the main ship for use as an atmospheric re-entry capsule
The Laurasia-class was the first class of space warships created by ZAFT prior to the First Alliance-PLANT War. As a result, during the first year of the war, the ships made up nearly the whole ZAFT space fleet. At the beginning to CE 71, ZAFT however fielded the larger and more powerful Nazca-class destroyer, which slowly began to replace the old Laurasia-class.
One Laurasia-class frigate, the Gamow, was assigned to the Le Creuset team and escorted the flagship Vesalius. When the Vesalius returned home to PLANT to report to the Supreme Council, the Gamow became the mothership for Yzak Joule, Dearka Elsman and Nicol Amalfi and their Gundam mobile suits. In this position, the ship and its suits attacked the Archangel until it was drived away by the arrival of the Earth Alliance's 8th Fleet. The Gamow, together with the Vesalius and another Laurasia-class frigate attacked the 8th Fleet in orbit of Earth. There, the critically damaged Gamow managed to destroy the 8th Fleet flagship Menelaos in a suicide ramming attack. In the last days of the war, several hundred Laurasia-class vessels took place in the Second Battle of Jachin Due.
After the first war, the replacing of the Laurasia-class ships through the Nazca-class continued. Nevertheless, during the time of the Second Alliance-PLANT War, many ships of the older class were still in service. Some of these vessels eventually switched side in that war and joined the Three Ships Alliance, together with several Nazca-class vessels and ships of the Earth Alliance.
At least one Laurasia-class frigate is known to be used by the Serpent Tail mercenary group. The group used the ship, among other missions, to attack a ZGMF-1017M GINN High Maneuver Type and eventually capture the suit.
- The Laurasia-class is named for one of the two supercontinents which was formed after the breakup of Pangaea.
- The Gamow is named for George Gamow, an astrophysicist and early advocate of the Big Bang theory.
- The Zeigler is named for Karl Zeigler, a German chemist who won the 1963 Nobel Chemistry award with Giulio Natta of Italy for developing catalysts that aid in the manufacture of plastics with greater uniformity, hardness, strength, and resistance to heat that leads to modern plastics.
- The Galvani is named for Luigi Galvani, an Italian physician and physicist who first covered biological electricity.