The Oberth-class of System Destroyers was the first Earth design for a space warship, and was during the first years of the 21th century the prime vessel for the further exploration, examination, exploitation and transport of, for and between the planets of the solar system. As the first design and with only partially understood technologies, it had its flaws, but it served faithfully before, during and after the First Robotech War.
Like the Armor-class Space Carriers, the Oberth-class was designed to fight the Zentraedi fleets as they were hypothesized by the Robotech Research Group from the wreckage of the alien battlefortress. As such, the Zentraedi Thuverl Salan-class came reasonably close to the escort ships of the military theorists' pipe dreams, but even these smaller ships were far more powerful than had been anticipated, and the Oberth-class, designed to fight these ships, was usually overmatched against even these types.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
Deck One contained an observation deck and the Captain's briefing room. Deck Two contained the radio and sensor room, navigational computers, and the Captain's space cabin. Deck Three was divided into three disconnected sections, all of which were accessible from deck four. In the forward section of deck three the main bridge and fire control was located. The mid-ship region contained access-ways to the gun machinery for the topside particle beam cannons. In the aft section of deck three was the service access to the triple ballistic missile launchers. Deck four was the main deck; here were the sick-bay, officers' and crew quarters, and the mess area located. Deck five was the main engineering deck. The main computers, the environmental support systems, the side gun machinery, machine shops, and aft, main engineering were located here. Deck six, which had no gravity, was the shuttle bay and service deck.
The vessel was manned by 24 officers and 76 enlisted personnel. There was often a Marine platoon of 36 men stationed aboard these vessels for landing actions (such as the incident on Mars Base Sara before the Zentraedi arrived) as well as the boarding of derelict craft. Four technical specialists were typically attached to the Marines. In addition, almost 500 personnel could be carried on board for short periods, and this capacity was used for the embarkation of scientists, and for when the vessels were used as transport vessels between the various planets of the solar system.
There were two flights in the production run; the first flight of four ships, named after space pioneers, having four identical forward cannons. The second flight, named after famous women from world literature, had two of its cannons replaced with more powerful versions, and also featured an enlarged hangar.
The Oberth-class was well-armed for its size and design era, with 4 powerful forward fixed particle guns, multiple point-defense lasers, and 18 deadly anti-warship missiles. Nevertheless, it was still easily outmatched by the most comparable Zentraedi scout vessels, which was more effectively armed, armored, and faster. An Oberth-class ship can prevail against this smallest and most numerous of Zentraedi vessels only if it utilized its maneuverability to avoid the scout's guns while it tried to bring its forward battery to bear. However, the limited field of fire of the main gun battery made the Oberth's attack run fairly predictable for Zentraedi fire control parties, with usually unpleasant results.
In order to cut down on transit times, expeditions to the outer planets always started with orbital slingshots around the Moon and the Earth, sometimes even around the Sun. This experience of the Robotech Defense Force (RDF) in slingshot maneuvering would later be of great use in the return voyage of the SDF-1 to Earth. It was the intend of the RDF to mount a fold system on the class as soon as these drives could be safely replicated; however, this never happened.
Designed to patrol Earth's solar system and to escort the far more vulnerable A.R.M.D. carrier platforms, this class entered service in 2007, two years before the launching of the Super Dimension Fortress-1 Macross (SDF-1). Though most were destroyed by the Zentraedi immediately after they entered Earth orbit and when the SDF-1 attempted to link up with Armor 1 and Armor 2, or later when they were recalled to Earth just before the Zentraedi Holocaust, many survived and continued to patrol the solar system until the remainder were decommissioned as more advanced vessels were developed for the Pioneer Mission.
This vessel was fairly spacious, and was popular with its crews before the Zentraedi arrived, but proved to be woefully underarmed to deal with the far larger and deadlier Zentraedi vessels. They also served to evacuate the personnel of Mars Base Sara because of the threat made by anti-unificationist terrorists that caused the abandonment of the base. A ship was captured by these terrorists, who used it to destroy the Oberth, which was carrying part of the base's complement and was unprepared to resist; all hands were killed.
- Appears in Episode 2: Countdown of Robotech: The Macross Saga.
- Originally designed by Kazutaka Miyatake.