The Tokugawa-class Battleship was the among the first new generation capital ships developed by the Robotech Research Group after the end of the First Robotech War. Built for deep space exploration during the early phases of the Pioneer Mission and to aid in the repelling of any future Zentraedi incursion, the Tokugawa-class became operational by early years of the Reconstruction Era. Their first test under fire in the Delta Pavonis star system proved that these ships were tough and capable of unleashing untold devastation upon their larger Zentraedi targets. This ship was seen in the series Robotech: The Masters. One of its older vessels, the Recon-1, was commanded by Major John Carpenter.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
The Tokugawa-class carriers were among the first vessels, after the ARMD platforms and the Oberth-class Missile Destroyers, to be designed by Earth engineers after the Zentraedi Holocaust. The carriers were designed to copy the armament philosophy of the ARMD platforms, as well as provide bulk transport for stores and personnel. Consequently, the original design saw the class with six of the large FLBG-1 cannons, as well as a large mecha complement and powerful Reflex rocket battery. As the FLBG-1 weapons proved to be a disappointment on the ARMD class, however, the armament scheme was up for change, and the Orbital Fleet's disastrous engagement with the Zentraedi caused a major redesign. The large cannons were removed, and in their place faster firing though far less powerful weapons were mounted. As this, and the orbital slaughter, proved to be the death knell for the ARMD operational philosophy, the ship was reassigned as a back-up aviation ship, and only the still heavy missile battery saved the ships from cancellation and scrapping. However, the class was no longer intended for the battleline, but as a baseship, transport and orbital fire support base.
The battlecarriers were nearly the size of the Super Dimension Fortress-1 Macross (SDF-1). However, this class of vessel, in the landing ship configuration, suffered from a lower standard of habitability, since so much internal space was dedicated to mecha storage space and the supplies necessary for prolonged campaigns.
The vessels were built in three main sections. The foremost section contained most of the hangars, and was built in the shape of a blunt wedge, with a large superstructure on top, and a smaller substructure to the rear of the section. Aft of this front section came a central section, capped with the command tower. Behind this was the very massive engine section, with no less than twelve major reaction thrusters.
Variants existed and operated under the Expeditionary Mission. These landing ship were intended to use their own fighters and armaments, and those of the two unconverted ships, to smash through enemy defenses, and then unload their large Planetary Forces detachment in a few hours on the surface. However, the ships became vulnerable during their re-entry to a planet's surface, when they were unwieldy and incapable of outmaneuvering any attack.
The major flaws in this class of vessel were the relatively weak armament and the lack of a one-hit-one-kill heavy gun, despite the fact that the ships were never intended for major naval battles. In addition, the landing ships suffered from the lack of sufficient hangar space for all their enormous mecha complement to be delivered rapidly into battle.
During the Reconstruction Era, the Tokugawa-class saw service as carriers, carrying a large complement of VF-1 Valkyries and later VF-4 Lightnings in space superiority and interceptor roles, and later, several squadrons of the deadly SF-1 Vulture as their primary attack aircraft. The vessels saw several actions during the early phases of the Pioneer Mission in deep space, including the Tokugawa's support of the Lightning squadrons dispatched to disable a small flotilla of Zentraedi ships that had been hiding in the outer system since the destruction of the Dolza's Homebase. The class was also used as baseships for the flotillas searching beyond the solar system for the coordinates of the capital world of the Robotech Masters.
Some years after the departure of the final ships of the Expeditionary forces, and of the logistical tail, including the Factory Satellite, the decision was made to convert most of the Tokugawa class from less than capable combat vessels to rather more useful troop carriers, the other ships becoming mobile aircraft bases for the ground troops deployed from their half-sisters. Much of the hangar space was converted into mecha storage hangars, and the berthing capacity was greatly expanded to house the large troop contingent.