Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Spengler-class mobile assault landing ship is the largest naval vessel used by the Earth Alliance. It is designed for amphibious invasion, but also serves as a highly effective aircraft carrier, using the Earth Alliance's F-7D Spearhead VTOL (vertical take off and landing) fighters and Kingfisher 33SP helicopters. In CE 71, the Spengler-class was converted to support mobile suits, with two large gates on each side for the six mobile suits to exit. The flight deck and rear fighter hanger could also be used to carry additional mobile suits in the place of some or all of the fighter complement. The refitted ships are effective, but cramped, mobile suit carriers.
- Ship-to-Air Beam System
- "Igelstellung" 75mm multi-barrel Anti-Air CIWS
- Missile Launcher
Several Spengler-class assault ships participated in the invasion of Orb in CE 71, supervised by Blue Cosmos leader Muruta Azrael aboard the flagship Powell. The Powell replaced 3 of the standard GAT-01 Strike Daggers with Azrael's prototype GAT-X131 Calamity, GAT-X252 Forbidden, and GAT-X370 Raider.
In CE 73, 81st Independent Mobile Battalion commander Neo Roanoke took command of the John Paul Jones, which carried his customized GAT-04 Windam and the captured ZGMF-X24S Chaos, ZGMF-X31S Abyss and ZGMF-X88S Gaia. The John Paul Jones was used to ambush the ZAFT battleship Minerva in the Indian Ocean, and later attacked it again near the Dardanelles as part of a joint task force with the Orb Union aircraft carrier Takemikazuchi and several Orb and Earth Alliance cruisers. Later, a large number of Spengler-class carriers were among the Earth Alliance forces that joined with ZAFT to attack Heaven's Base in Iceland, after the LOGOS's manipulation of the Alliance is revealed.
- The Spengler-class is also known as the Tarawa-class. In the 12th episode of SEED Destiny, the Minerva's sensor console labels the vessels as Tarawa-class, but the ship's sensor operator verbally identifies them as Spengler class.
- The Spengler might be named for German historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler.
- The Tarawa is named for the Battle of Tarawa in World War II. Its name is most likely a reference to the real life Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship.
- The Powell is possibly named for US General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
- The John Paul Jones is named for the naval hero of the American Revolutionary War.