Nelson-class Destroyers were the among the first new generation capital ships developed after the end of the First Robotech War. It was part of the "Battle" series of ships, and had a number of variants that fulfilled a variety of roles. It shared many design choices to its much larger cousin, the Ardennes-class Battlecruiser. The Nelson ultimately formed the backbone of the United Earth Forces' fleets.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
The Nelson-class was considered by many to be a jack-of-all-trades. As the smallest major combatants available, they aid larger ships with mecha defense and add their anti-ship firepower to that of the larger ships. There were a handful of subclasses, such as the Defender-class, Geneva-class missile cruisers.
The armament was mounted to cover all arcs, with priority given to the upper forward sector. In a refit that was ongoing throughout the Second Robotech War, the Robotech Research Group modified the main engines to the RT-80Q standard, which was more efficient in its fuel use. In addition, an additional two particle beam turrets were installed in the side sponsons, and all turrets were upgraded to the more reliable PB-4b system, and one turret was replaced with a PB-5 turret, although the new turrets were not yet available in quantity at the beginning of the 2nd Robotech War and some craft temporarily mounted 7 PB-4 turrets instead. All ships mounted three or five Spacelord anti-ship missile systems.
Nelson's had a hull form resembling a Second World War submarine, as with the hulls of their larger contemporaries. However, there was no conning tower, but a raised deck at the back, the front of which housed the main bridge. Beginning at about half length, there were also two side sponsons that housed the main engines.
After the Zentraedi Holocaust and the Malcontent Uprisings, the United Earth Government started redeveloping the Terrestrial defenses and assembling the Expeditionary Force. During this phase of the Reconstruction Era, two almost identical requirements surfaced; one for a medium destroyer capable of engaging armed Zentraedi scout ships and one for a medium destroyer with additional missile armament to support larger anti-ship patrols. The Defense department therefore combined these requirements and the results were the Nelson and both of the Defender and Geneva-classes, the first one being built in larger numbers. The Army of the Southern Cross expanded the particle beam firepower of its ships by upgrading the existing cannons, adding two more and replacing one with a doubled version. The early Expeditionary Forces used a few of these types of vessels.
Although designed to fight the Zentraedi, the destroyers' most important and best known battles were waged against the Robotech Masters and later against the Invid. The comparable vessel in the Robotech Masters Forces was the Tirolian Assault Carrier, a vessel far superior in mobility and versatility to the Terran design. However, the destroyers were part of mixed battlegroups, and relatively few exclusively Assault Carrier vs. destroyer encounters were fought, usually with regrettable results for the Earth forces. Against the heavier Robotech Masters' ships such as destroyers and the Motherships themselves the results of Nelson/Geneva/Defender actions were usually disastrous for the Terran destroyers.
Despite the heavy losses of the Second Robotech War, the Nelson held surprisingly well against the Invid, whose numerical tactics proved easy prey for these ships defense systems. They were eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
The few remaining vessels with the Expeditionary Force were no longer considered front line vessels, and served as guard vessels for the deep space colonies, and Factory Satellites or as command vessels for planetary raids. All surviving vessels were laid up immediately after the war.