The Albion (MSC-07) is the seventh Pegasus-class assault carrier. The carrier was first designed by Shoji Kawamori and was eventually refined by Mika Akitaka. Albion's debut came in the 1991-1992 OVA Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, and was featured in the 1992 movie follow-up Last Blitz of Zeon.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
Developed as the mothership of the Gundam Development Project prototypes, the Albion's design concept was based on the SCVA-73 Troy Horse, another Pegasus-class ship constructed at the end of the One Year War.
The Albion featured a number of new technologies, including a laser propulsion system, which allowed it to accelerate by receiving energy from an external source, reducing propellant consumption.
Instead of machine guns, it was armed with a network of laser gun turrets. As with the other Pegasus-class ships, its main cannons are a set of twin mega particle cannons concealed behind the "shields" in the middle of the ship. It was also armed with another pair of twin mega particle cannons underneath the mobile suit decks.
- Mega Particle Gun
Like most Pegasus-class ships, the Albion had two large shutters on the sides of the ship, each armed with a large mega particle cannon.
- 2-barrel Mega Particle Turret
Underneath each launch deck is two 2-barrel main gun turrets mounted ventrally.
- 2-barrel Secondary Gun Turret
On the base of each of the Albion's four wings is a 2-barrel secondary gun turret.
- 2-barrel Anti-Ground Laser Gun Turret
On the ship's ventral hull, the Albion is equipped with four 2-barrel laser gun turrets designed for anti-ground roles. They are mounted in retractable hatches.
- 2-barrel Anti-Aircraft Laser Gun Turret
On the ship's dorsal hull, the Albion is equipped with fourteen 2-barrel laser gun turrets designed for anti-air roles. They are mounted in retractable hatches.
- Large Missile Launcher
The Albion is equipped with four missile launchers; two on the outer sides of each launch catapult deck.
Special Equipment & Features
- Minovsky Craft System
A lift-generating system in use since the One Year War, it allows a vehicle to resist the pull of Earth's gravity. It is not installed on a standard mobile suit due to its power requirements and size. When Minovsky particles are released into the air, the positive and negative particles spontaneously align themselves into a three-dimensional cubic lattice. Because of the repulsive and electrostatic forces between the particles, this lattice resists compression, and the Minovsky Craft System uses this phenomenon to push the underside of the vessel away from the planet's surface. This allows the equipped vehicle to float over Earth's surface without use of fuel.
On 13 October UC 0081, the Earth Federation passed the "Federation Forces Reconstruction Plan", aimed at getting the Earth Federal Forces back into shape. As part of this plan, the "Gundam Development Plan" was secretly started, with the express purpose of developing Mobile Suits that could outperform the Zeonic Company's MS. Included in the Gundam Development Plan were designs for the next generation of the Pegasus class assault carrier: The Albion.
The construction of the Albion originally began during the One Year War. However, its completion was delayed due to the end of the war and the subsequent reduction of military funding. Because of the delay, however, both it and its sister ship, the Stallion, were equipped with many new technologies that allowed them to outperform other ships of the same class.
The Albion launched from the lunar city Von Braun on 7 October UC 0083, with Captain Eiphar Synapse commanding. Albion received both the RX-78GP01 Gundam "Zephyranthes" (Unit 1) and the RX-78GP02A Gundam "Physalis" (Unit 2), and orders instructing Synapse to take his ship to Torrington base in Australia, where the new suits could be field tested under Earth's gravity. Captain Synapse arrived on 13 October as scheduled, and presented Torrington's base commander with paperwork instructing him to load both suits with live ammunition — and the paperwork instructing Torrington's base commander to load Unit 2 with an MK-82 tactical nuclear warhead.
Shortly after sunset, the Delaz Fleet commenced Operation Stardust, beginning with Anavel Gato's hijack of Gundam Unit 2. Once the terrestrial Zeon remnants confirmed Gato had secured the Gundam, MS-09F/trop Dom Tropens and one YMS-16M Xamel launched a raid against Torrington to help divert the Federation's search parties. Although Gato was pursued by Kou Uraki, who commandeered Gundam Unit 1, he managed to escape from Torrington through the aid of a friendly Zeon submarine. Albion was heavily damaged in the raid, thanks in part to powerful multi-missiles fired from the same Zeon submarine. While undergoing repairs at Torrington, Captain Synapse received a change in orders: Ascertain the location of the stolen Gundam, and if necessary, destroy it. Along with those orders came a full complement of Mobile Suits and pilots: Chuck Keith and Kou Uraki, originally stationed at Torrington, were reassigned to Albion, along with Bernard Monsha, Alpha A. Bate, and Chap Adel. Commanding the newly formed Albion MS contingent was Lt. South Burning.
Following the last known course of the Zeon submarine, Albion departed from Torrington on 14 October and arrived in Africa on 16 October. One week later Albion succeeded in locating the stolen Gundam, but failed to secure it. Zeon's Kimberlite Base MS unit, composed of about six old Zaku II F2 types and four Dom Tropens, engaged Albion's MS units, buying enough time for Anavel Gato to escape into space aboard a Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV). Once in space, Gato and the stolen Gundam Unit 2 were caught in the crossfire between two of the Federation's Salamis class cruisers and a pair of Musai's, which included Gato's flagship, the Peer Gynt. Using the position of this battle as a starting point Albion proceeded into space and requested additional help with the task of locating the stolen mobile suit. General Kowen granted the request, assigning two Salamis class cruisers to assist; unfortunately, both were destroyed and the Gundam heavily damaged by Cima Garahau and her men.
The Albion proceeded to Von Braun, where the ship was docked for resupply. During this port call Anaheim Electronics took custody of the damaged Unit 1, upgrading it into the RX-78GP01Fb Gundam Zephyranthes Full Burnern — a version refitted for space combat. Departing Von Braun on 4 November, Albion proceeded to the Sea of Solomon to resume its search for the missing Gundam Unit 2. Between 4 November and 6 November Albion supported Gundam Unit 1 as it conducted weapons tests with an experimental beam rifle. On 6 November Albion detected a Papua class resupply ship and began pursuit of the vessel after it failed to respond a message requesting that the ship identify itself. Believing the ship to belong to the Delaz fleet, Captain Synapse ordered Albion to begin pursuit and launched mobile suits at the fleeing vessel. During the MS launch a Chivvay-class ship opened fired on Albion, disabling one of the launch catapults. Despite the damage Albion and the Chivvay-class ship began to exchanged fire; meanwhile the disabled catapult became functional and Gundam Unit 1 was launched into battle. Unit 1 opened fired on the Chivvay-class vessel, striking an ammunition storage bay and prompting the crew of the Chivvay-class ship to abandon ship; however the vessel was sped up in an effort to make a kamikaze attack. At the last second, Albion opened fire with her main gun, destroying the Chivvay-class ship with 1500m to spare. Although damaged during the battle Albion continued on to the Sea of Solomon to resume her search for the missing Unit 2.
On 8 November Admiral Green Wyatt, the supreme commander of the Earth Federal Space Force, rendezvoused with Cima Garahau and her men in what was meant to be a covert meeting. Unfortunately, while both parties were meeting Albion inadvertently wandered into to the rendezvous area. Unaware of the ongoing secret meeting and believing Admiral Wyatt's battleship to be under attack Synapse ordered Albion's MS unit to launch. Cima and her men promptly retreated from the battlefield, but their Zanzibar II-class cruiser Lili Marleen was unable to outdistance itself from Albion's MS units, so Cima and her men launched from their ship to provide cover fire. To support the illusion that Albion was protecting the battleship Birmingham Admiral Wyatt ordered Birmingham to fire her main guns at the retreating Lili Marleen while making sure that the shots missed. Birmingham's shot missed Lili Marleen, but did hit one of Cima's Musai class cruisers, thereby ensuring Cima's escape. Cima and her MS team engaged Lt. South Burning and his MS team, during which time two MS from Lili Marleen were lost. During the battle Lt. Burning recovered a suitcase containing valuable information on Operation Stardust, unfortunately while returning to Albion his Mobile Suit self destructed as a result of damage incurred while battling Cima. The death of Lt. Burning came as shock to those aboard Albion, especially to the MS pilots Bernard Monsha, Alpha A. Bate and Chap Adel, as they had all served under Lt. Burning in the 04th MS Team during the One Year War. Following Lt. Burnings death Captain Synapse exercised his command authority and promoted Alpha A. Bate and Kou Uraki one rank.
On 10 November, Albion was en route to the Naval Review when the missing Gundam Unit 2 was suddenly spotted heading directly toward the Federation fleet. Albion went into hyperdrive, launching all of her mobile suits in an effort to intercept Unit 2 before it reached the review, but the Mobile Suits failed to catch up in time, and Gundam Unit 2's MK-82 nuclear weapon was launched into the middle of the Federation's fleet. Fully 2/3rds of the Federation's fleet were destroyed or disabled. At the same time, two colonies were hijacked in mid transfer, sending one toward the moon. Captain Synapse ordered Albion to sail for La Vie en Rose, where he (forcefully) acquired the experimental Mobile Armor RX-78GP03 Gundam Denbrobium, then departed at high speed toward the Delaz Fleet's hijacked colony, which was now headed for Earth. As Albion approached the colony Synapse received new orders from Bask Om to defend the Solar System II deployment with Cima's fleet. Synapse reluctantly complied, and ordered Gundam Unit 3 launched against the Delaz Fleet. Despite an heroic effort from Kou Uraki and the Gundam Unit 3, the colony crossed over the point of no return, eventually impacting the American Midwest, none-the-less a heavily damaged Albion continued fighting until the last.
With the conclusion of Operation Stardust the Federation opened court martials against certain people for actions undertaken during the crisis. For stealing Unit 3, Kou Uraki was sentenced to one year of hard labor, and Synapse was sentenced to death. Since the development of nuclear weapons was in violation of the Antarctic Treaty, all records of Gundam Unit 2 and subsequent events were deleted from official records, and the sentences likewise suspended.
It is unclear whether the Albion survived the damages incurred during the Delaz Fleet crisis, as the ship is not seen past UC 0083.
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Illustrations & Artwork
- Tokyopop books. Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Stardust Memory Technical Manual. ISBN 1931514062
- Animerica. Gundam Official Guide ISBN 1569317399