Technology & Combat Characteristics
Due to its status as a land battleship, the Lesseps-class is heavily armed. Its armament includes three 40cm dual cannons, with two cannons mounted on the front side and the last one on the rear side of the ship. Further weaponry includes 32 vertical missile launchers and ten torpedo launchers, allowing the ship to unleash a large number of missiles on the enemy. A specialiced equipment of the ship are its 34 smoke/chaff/flare dispensers, which can release a thick smoke to cover the ship. Optionally, the Lesseps-class can be equipped with side turrets.
Like all ZAFT vessels, the ship's most important armament is its mobile suit compliment. Unusually, the Lesseps lacks any linear catapults for launching its mobile suits, but as it was designed specifically to use the quadrupedal ground-combat TMF/A-802 BuCUE, this was deemed unnecessary. In addition, it sometimes uses a pair of slow but heavily armed TFA-2 ZuOOTs on its upper deck as a pair of extra turrets.
- 40cm Dual Cannon
- Vertical Missile Launcher
- Torpedo Launcher
- Smoke/Chaff/Flare Dispenser
Special Equipment & Features
The Lesseps-class' most unique feature is its snake-like "Scale system", which allows the ship to traverse the open sea as well as traveling over ground. This system designates the ship more accurately as an amphibious battleship.
When the Lesseps fell into the hands of the Junk Guild, the three main turrets were replaced with 3 large manipulator arms for handling cargo.
The Lesseps-class land battleships are ZAFT vessels designed to patrol the land, just as the Vosgulov-class submarines dominate/patrol the sea. It was first commissioned in the First Alliance-PLANT War alongside the smaller Petrie-class land cruiser, its supporter.
The lead ship of the Lesseps-class was assigned to ace pilot Andrew Waltfeld, the renowned "Desert Tiger", and served as the flagship of his North African occupation force, headquartered in the city of Banadiya. As Waltfeld frequently piloted a TMF/A-802 BuCUE and later a TMF/A-803 LaGOWE in battle, operational control of the Lesseps often fell to his subordinate Martin DaCosta. The Lesseps was abandoned after suffering severe damage at the hands of the Earth Alliance ship Archangel. It was then salvaged by the Junk Guild group around Lowe Guele, who laid claim to the ship, and after encounters with Blue Cosmos and ZAFT, used it to travel to the Orb Union. In CE 73, another Lesseps-class vessel, the Desmond, assisted the battleship Minerva in the Battle of the Gulnahan Ravine. This ship was under the command of Joachim Ruddle.
- The Lesseps is named after 19th-century diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps.
- The Desmond may be named after the 20th century religious figure and philosopher Archbishop Desmond Tutu.