At the outbreak of the One Year War, the Federation was caught completely by surprise when the Principality of Zeon launched mobile suits against their fleets. The Federation Admiralty quickly realized that they would need mobile suits if they were to have any chance of victory, and instituted Project V, in order to develop a mass-production mobile suit design. The Admiralty also realized that it would need ships that could carry mobile suits into battle as well, and so they began to construct a new class that would be designed exclusively for MS combat and support, resulting in the Pegasus-class.
From the external contour, the two initial Pegasus-Class ships share much similarity to a class of twin-hull Assault Lander employed by Federation to carry its troops and land-based equipment, particularly its engine, twin hangar, and the bridge; this particular Assault Lander also served as the template for Columbus-class, which inherit its laid out.
These assault carriers are functionally equivalent to the modern day aircraft carrier, as their primary role is to launch and recover mobile suits. Because of this, Pegasus-class ships enjoy more freedom on the battlefield, since they do not have to stick in packs for protection against enemy mobile suits. Because all Pegasus-class ships carry their own MS with them at all times, they are somewhat less dependent on their main guns and anti-aircraft/anti-MS guns for protection. All Pegasus-class ships are also equipped with a Minovsky Craft System which enable ships in this class to enter and exit the Earth's atmosphere; additionally, the craft system allows for these assault carriers to float on the planet by creating a barrier between the carrier and the earth.
Unlike the other ships in the Earth Federal Space Force, the Pegasus-class is not so much a single class as a concept; as rapidly advancing technology swiftly changed both the internal arrangement and external appearance of the Pegasus-class ships. Only the first three units (Pegasus SCV-69, White Base, and White Base Jr. (SCV-71) were completed to the original plans. After the White Base Jr., technology was advancing so quickly that each subsequent Pegasus-class assault carrier looked significantly different, though each had the same general arrangement of a central hull with two large aft thruster blocks, two wings, and two forward mobile suit launching "legs." The overall design looked like a sphinx or a winged horse, giving the class its name.
After the One Year War, every ship was re-designated MSC (Mobile Suit Carrier) whether it had survived the war or not.
Ships of the Pegasus-class
To a practiced eye, no two ships of the Pegasus class are alike. The advancing technology of the war resulted in drastic changes that severely affected the external appearance of the ships. However, four distinct flights appeared:
- Flight I: The base Pegasus design, repeated on White Base and White Base Jr.,
- Flight II: A modified Flight I design, seen on Thoroughbred and Blanc Rival, mostly similar but flatter in shape,
- Flight III: New external design, included two additional catapults, a new laser propulsion system and generally improved armament, not completed until postwar
- Flight IV: Actually completed before Flight III, an improved Flight II design.
List of ships of the Pegasus-class
- SCV-69 (LMSD-70) Pegasus
- SCV-70 (LMSD-71) (MSC-02) White Base
- SCV-71 (LMSD-72) White Base Jr.
- SCVA-72 (LMSD-73) Thoroughbred
- SCV-73 (LMSD-74) Blanc Rival
- LMSD-75 (SCVA-73) Troy Horse
- LMSD-76 Gray Phantom
- SCVA-74 (MSC-06) (LMSD-77) Stallion
- MSC-07 (LMSD-78) Albion
- Sleipnir Kai
- White Base II
- Il Nido
In the Mobile Suit Gundam novel trilogy, the corresponding vessel is the White Base-class assault carrier, Pegasus rather than Pegasus-class assault carrier, White Base. Beyond that, the vessel is identical.
- The World-Wide Gundam Informational Network
- Gundam Naval Museum
- Library of Londonion (ship names & fates)