|Archangel-class assault ship|
|Ship type||Assault ship and submarine|
|Launched:|| Archangel - 25 January, CE 71|
Dominion - June CE 71
|Manufacturer:||Earth Alliance/Orb Union|
|Operator:||Earth Alliance (Atlantic Federation), Three Ships Alliance/Terminal, Orb Union|
|Ships of class:||LCAM-01XA Archangel, LCAM-02XD Dominion|
|Length:|| 420 meters (Archangel) |
345 meters (Dominion)
|Armor:||Laminated armor, unknown thickness|
|Mobile weapon complement:|| Archangel, early CE 71|
TS-MA2mod.00 Moebius Zero
FX-550 Skygrasper x 2
The Archangel-class assault ship is a fictional ship class from the Cosmic Era (CE) timeline of the Gundam anime metaseries. They are functionally equivalent to the current day aircraft carriers; their primary mission being to launch and recover mobile suits and mobile armors. However, based in part on the Orb Union's Izumo-class battleship design, she is also a very heavily armed battleship (more heavily armed than either the Nelson-class battleship or Agamemnon-class carrier).
Her design is based on the Orb Union's Izumo-class battleship. Some elements of Izumo's design which was also used in the construction of the Archangel-class assault ships include the "Lohengrin" positron blaster cannon and "Gottfried" Mk.71 dual high-energy beam cannon. She is also equipped with laminated armor, which provides protection against beam weaponry by dispersing them across the entire surface of the armor. Due to extensive automation, the Archangel-class can be operated even by a small crew.
Two Archangel-class ships were built during the war: the Archangel and the Dominion. In addition, the Archangel-class had a special tender vessel designed for it, called the Cornelius-class. The prototype for the Archangel's tender would later be acquired by the Junk Guild and modified into the ReHOME. The production vessels of Cornelius-class were seen with the Dominion when she was at the Earth Alliance Ptolemaeus lunar base.
Later, after the Bloody Valentine War ended, the Archangel was refitted with underwater operation capabilities, making her almost invincible underwater because most beam weapons (which is the main armament of mobile suits and ships) do not work underwater while she can use her "Valiant" Mk.8 110 cm linear cannon, a projectile based railgun, underwater. This is proven in underwater battles during the Second Bloody Valentine War. In addition, this capability makes the Archangel difficult to detect. After being refitted, the Archangel also had improved control systems that allowed it to be operated by an even smaller crew.
At the time it launched, the Archangel-class ship was the largest warship in the Cosmic Era universe, armed with two large-bore "Gottfried" Mk.71 beam cannons in forward turrets, two "Valiant" Mk.8 110 cm linear cannons in aft mounts, sixteen 75 mm "Igelstellung" CIWS turrets, 24 multi-purpose missile launchers (missiles include "Sledgehammer" anti-ship missiles, "Korinthos" M114 surface-to-air missiles, and "Wombat" atmospheric missiles), and a 16-cell "Helldart" surface-to-air missile launcher (located at the back of the bridge tower); however, the Archangel's most powerful weapons are her two "Lohengrin" bow-mounted positron blaster cannons.
The heavy defensive and offensive armament of the Archangel-class, combined with the ship's laminated armor, made it almost impenetrable to all but the most determined assault. The firepower of the Archangel-class ship exceeds most warships in its era, making it difficult to be equalized as a pure aircraft carrier, as it features the hybrid of a battleship and an aircraft carrier.
The Dominion is similar in appearance to the Archangel, except the fact that the Dominion has a dark appearance and has improved sensors.
With ZAFT stealing four of the five G Project prototypes, Archangel was left with only the GAT-X105 Strike and Mu's TS-MA2mod.00 Moebius Zero to defend herself. After the assault ship linked up with Admiral Halberton's 8th Fleet, she took onboard two FX-550 Skygraspers, which were compatible with the Strike's striker packs. En route to the JOSH-A base in Alaska, the Archangel lost the Strike and one Skygrasper in combat and recaptured the GAT-X103 Buster.
During the Battle of Orb, Athrun Zala, with his ZGMF-X09A Justice, joined the Archangel. Both the Justice and Freedom later transferred to the Eternal, after the Eternal joined the Archangel and Orb's Kusanagi, forming the Three Ships Alliance. In the war's final days, Archangel's mobile weapon complements were the repaired Strike, piloted by Mu, and the Buster, piloted by Dearka Elsman.
After the Bloody Valentine War ended, the Archangel went into hiding for two years.
Later that year, the Archangel intervened in battles between the ZAFT battleship Minerva and a joint Earth Alliance and Orb Union task force near Dardanelles and again off the coast of Crete. After the second battle, six more Murasames from the Orb aircraft carrier Takemikazuchi were transferred to the Archangel.
However, shortly after the release of the information on the shady group Logos being the true warmongers of human civilization, ZAFT issued orders to destroy the Archangel. Being pursued by a team under Commander Willard and ultimately the Minerva, its mainstay mobile suit the Freedom was destroyed by the ZGMF-X56S Impulse, and its outer hull was damaged by the Minerva's "Tannhäuser" positron blaster cannon.
The Archangel managed to reach Orb, and was repaired at a secret Morgenroete facility before ZAFT's attack on Orb (codenamed "Operation Fury"). Soon after she was repaired, she engaged the Minerva once again, but with the support of Neo Roanoke and his Skygrasper. During the invasion of Orb by ZAFT, the Archangel was forced to engage Minerva head on in order to defend Orb against ZAFT's attacks. With both ships fairly evenly matched, Captain Murrue Ramius decided to submerge the Archangel into the ocean to break free from the Minerva's relentless pursuit (realizing that once the ship was underwater, the Archangel was virtually unchallenged in terms of firepower because all the beam weapons from the Minerva cannot hit targets underwater). The Archangel then proceeded to fire the "Valiant" linear cannons (projectile based) against the Minerva, which was still hovering above the ocean's surface. Afterwards, the Archangel destroyed ZAFT support ships and submarines one by one with the "Valiant" and torpedoes, including Operation Fury's flagship, the Vosgulov-class submarine St. Helens, and forced a total retreat of all ZAFT forces.
During the last battle of the Second Bloody Valentine War, The Battle of Messiah, the Archangel was able to severely damage the Minerva by disabling the majority of the Minerva's weaponry. Shortly afterwards, Athrun Zala disabled Minerva's engines with the ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice's Fatum-01 subflight lifter.
The Dominion carried the GAT-X131 Calamity, piloted by Orga Sabnak, the GAT-X252 Forbidden, piloted by Shani Andras, the GAT-X370 Raider, piloted by Clotho Buer, and a squadron of GAT-01 Strike Daggers.