The Public-class assault boat appears in the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
At the outbreak of the One Year War in Mobile Suit Gundam, the Earth Federation's Earth Federal Space Force came face to face with the Principality of Zeon's MS-05 Zaku I and MS-06 Zaku II mobile suits, which were unlike any threat the Federation fleets had ever faced before. The mobile suits were fast, maneuverable, and highly agile. Within in the opening weeks of the war, these mobile suits sank most of the Federation's Salamis-class cruisers and Magellan-class battleships. Without a strong naval force to counter the Zeon warships, the Federation needed a way to rapidly increase the size of their navy. Thus, they developed the Public-class gunboat.
The Public-class is basically a simple space vehicle, such as a shuttle, that was crudely refitted to include room for a pair of capital ship-grade torpedoes to be used in hit-and-run attacks. The idea behind these assault ships was to approach at speed, launch both weapons, then leave quickly, much like the World War II era gunboats. However, while extremely fast, these ships were poorly armored and could not easily maneuver.
- Large Missile
- Beam Dispersion Smoke Missile
The Public-class was useful during the Battle of Solomon, when these ships deployed beam dispersion smoke, allowing some of the Federation's dedicated fighting vessels to close in on the space fortress. The Public-class was also utilized during the Battle of A Baoa Qu, although they were far less successful in their ploy to use the beam disruption smoke.
Because of their improvised design and overall inability to do any sort of real damage, the Public-class gunboats were retired at the end of the One Year War.
Notes & Trivia
- The gunboat pilots are best known for saying the phrase, "Public Units Launching!" before firing their missiles.
- In the game Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space, the Public has 4 nose-mounted machine guns.