Technology & Combat Characteristics
Developed after the Laurasia-class, the Nazca-class is designated as a mobile suit carrying, high-speed destroyer (DDMH). Its greatest attribute is its speed, which surpasses even the Earth Alliance's Archangel-class. Its hangar has room for six mobile suits, which can be launched from a linear catapult that extends from the center of the ship. The Nazca-class is armed with a pair of 120cm High-energy Beam Cannons in the front, two 66mm Dual Railguns on both sides of the bridge, five 450mm Multipurpose VLS (with starboard and the port side of the ship each having two VLS) and ten 58mm CIWS in unknown locations.
- 120cm High-Energy Beam Cannon
- A pair of rotatable beam cannons mounted on the bow of the Nazca-class serve as the ship's main weapons. A single salvo from these cannons was able to sink a Nelson-class battleship.
- 66mm Dual Railgun
- 58mm CIWS
- 450mm Multipurpose Vertical Launch System
Special Equipment & Features
At the beginning of the First Alliance-PLANT War, ZAFT's common warship in space was the Laurasia-class. At the beginning of CE 71, the military introduced a new type of warship - the Nazca-class high-speed mobile destroyer, which became an important part of ZAFT's space fleet and took part in many battles against the Earth Alliance forces in space. The ship eventually began replacing the Laurasia-class, although this process wasn't finished even during the Second Alliance-PLANT War that occurred two years after the end of the first war. However, there were now more Nazca-class than Laurasia-class vessels.
One Nazca-class vessel was the Vesalius, which served as the flagship of Rau Le Creuset's task force. The Vesalius was one of the three ships which attacked Orb Union's space colony Heliopolis to capture the new mobile suits of the Earth Alliance. The ship was also used by Creuset and his group to pursue the Archangel after it left the colony. When the ship returned to space several months later, the Vesalius again was used to attack the Archangel and its fellow ships of the newly formed Three Ships Alliance. During one of these battles, it was eventually destroyed.
During the first war, the Amzen, Rembrandt, Gansback, and Bonstell were part of a ZAFT expeditionary force that was wiped out by Rondo Gina Sahaku with his MBF-P01-ReAMATU Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu.
In CE 73, another Nazca-class destroyer, the Voltaire, served as the flagship of Yzak Jule and was accompanied by its sister ship Rousseau in a failed attempt to destroy Junius Seven before it fell to Earth.
Another Nazca-class destroyer was refitted with the experimental Neutron Stampeder and instrumental in thwarting a nuclear attack by Earth Alliance forces shortly after the declaration of the Second Alliance-PLANT War. Three such vessels (Holst, Caernarfon and one unknown name) made up the fleet which chased the Eternal after it fled its asteroid base. The three ships and most of their mobile suits were heavily damaged by Kira Yamato in his new ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam. At the end of the second war, several such vessels were part of the Three Ships Alliance's new fleet, consisting of ships from different nations.
- The Nazca-class itself is named for the Nazca culture of ancient Peru.
- The Vesalius is named for the 16th century physician Andreas Vesalius, who wrote the first complete textbook on human anatomy.
- The Heusinger is possibly named for Edmund Heusinger von Waldegg, who invented the steam engine valve gear independently in 1849.
- The Voltaire takes its name from the pen name of 18th century philosopher François-Marie Arouet.
- The Rousseau is most likely named for 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
- The Holst is named for Gustavus Theodore von Holst, who was an English composer whose best-known work is his orchestral suite The Planets.
- The Caernarfon is named for the famous Caernarfon Castle in Wales. It was built by Edward I as a military stronghold and also as a seat of government and royal palace. It was the setting for the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Seed - C.E. Mechanics & The World, p. 196
- Mobile Suit Gundam Seed - MS Encyclopedia, p. 60