Name: LHM-BB01 Minerva
Unit type: battleship
Manufacturer: ZAFT (Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty)
First deployment: 2 October C.E. 73
Dimensions: overall length 350 meters
Equipment and design features: sensors, range unknown; ablative armor; optional space booster
Fixed armaments: 2 x XM47 “Tristan” dual beam cannon, mounted on main body above linear catapults; M10 “Isolde” 42cm 3-barrel cannon, mounted on main body; QZX-1 “Tannhäuser” positron cannon, mounted on forward end of main body; 12 x 40mm CIWS, mounted on main body; many x missile launchers (mounts “Neidhardt” space missiles; “Parsifal” ground missiles; “Dispar” interceptor missiles), mounted on main body; 4 x torpedo launcher (mounts “Wolfram” M25 torpedoes), mounted on main body; many x anti-beam depth charge launchers, mounted on main body
Mobile suits: 10 (estimated)
Mobile weapons: ZGMF-1000 Zaku Warrior; ZGMF-1001 Zaku Phantom; 2 x ZGMF-601R GuAIZ R; ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam; YFX-M56 Core Splendor; ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam; ZGMF-X2000 GOUF Ignited; ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam; ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam
Launch catapults: 3
The new battleship Minerva served as ZAFT’s flagship and was the first post-Bloody Valentine War battleship to be commissioned by ZAFT. Taking a design cue from the Earth Alliance’s Archangel class, the Minerva‘s appearance was radically different from other ZAFT vessels. The Minerva was equipped with three mobile suit launch catapults that could accommodate an estimated 10 mobile suits. One catapult near the bridge was devoted exclusively to the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam, its Silhouette packs and the YFX-M56 Core Splendor. The Minerva‘s main armament was a “Tannhäuser” positron cannon, mounted on the forward end of main body. It was also armed with a pair “Tristan” dual beam cannons, a “Isolde” 42cm 3-barrel cannon, many CIWS vulcan guns, missile/torpedo launchers and anti-beam depth charge launchers. The Minerva was designed with a variable geometry, allowing its wings to fold into the main body for atmospheric reentry. A specially designed space booster allowed the Minerva to return to space on its own.
The Minerva‘s official maiden voyage was cancelled on October 2, C.E. 73, when the Alliance’s secret Phantom Pain unit conducted a raid on the Armory One PLANT. During the raid, three new Gundam mobile suits intended for use by the Minerva were stolen. Under the command of Capt. Talia Gladys, the Minerva immediately launched and pursued the Phantom Pain battleship Girty Lue through space. However, their pursuit was interrupted when several extremist Coordinators attached flare motors to the ruined PLANT Junius Seven and attempted to drop it on Earth. The Minerva participated in the effort to halt Junius Seven’s movement and destroyed several fragments during atmospheric reentry. However, the destroyed fragments caused substantial damage across the Earth, and the Break the World incident triggered the Second Bloody Valentine War. At the start of the war, the Minerva was involved in a battle outside the Orb Union before moving to the Middle Eastern and European fronts. On several occasions, the Minerva engaged the Archangel when it intervened in battles between ZAFT and the Orb Union.
In early C.E. 74, the Minerva returned to space when Logos leader Lord Djibril fired the Moon-based Requiem cannon at the PLANTs. The Minerva‘s mobile suit team successfully led an attack to capture Requiem at the Alliance’s Daedalus lunar base. Soon after, an Orb space fleet attacked ZAFT to prevent Requiem from being fired at the Orb mainland on Earth. During the battle, the Minerva was heavily damaged while fighting the Archangel. Also, former Minerva pilot Athrun Zala destroyed the ship’s engines with his ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice Gundam, causing the ship to crash on the Moon’s surface. Although the crew safely evacuated from the ship, Talia headed to the space fortress Messiah and was killed when it crashed into the Moon.
Captain: Talia Gladys
First appearance: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY
Original mechanical designer: Kimitoshi Yamane