The Nelson-class is the mainstay space battleship for the Earth Alliance space forces. Heavily armed and equipped with an internal storage bay for a complement of mobile armors, it has long been the backbone of the Earth Alliance's space fleets. After the First Junius War, it was refit to more effectively support mobile suits.
One of the most heavily-produced ships in the Earth Alliance, the Nelson class was created as the primary battleship for the Alliance space fleet, and because it can carry mobile weapons itself, occasionally even serve as flagships themselves for smaller task groups. Nelson-class battleships are part of every Alliance fleet in space. It is heavily-armed with a number of single- and dual-barreled beam cannons, as well as a number of machinegun turrets for close-range interception and missile launchers. In CE 73, it was refit with a pair of linear catapults, supplemented by additional missile launchers to boost its already impressive armament. Together with its high firepower and defensive strength, its ability to carry mobile suits makes the Nelson class an exceptionally well-balanced warship.
The Nelson-class has been in service since long before the outbreak of the First Junius War in CE 70. Although it contains a hangar bay for TS-MA2 Möbius and TS-MA2mod00 Möbius Zero mobile armors, the ship predates linear catapults, and thus must deploy its mobile weapons prior to going into battle. The same holds true of mobile suits once the Alliance begins producing them, and like the Agamemnon-class it is incapable of supporting Striker Packs for its mobile suits.
After the end of the First Junius War, the Alliance began a program to refit the Nelson-class ships to carry mobile suits. However the design of the ship made it impossible to integrate a catapult into its hull, so it was instead fitted with two externally-mounted linear catapults, and its mobile suits are stored prone in its cramped hangar bay for easier development. The small size of the hangar bay means that its mobile suits are stored with Striker Packs equipped, and unlike the Agamemnon-class it does not carry additional Striker Packs or the necessary equipment to exchange them. All currently active Nelson-class ships were refit accordingly, and new ships that were rolled out since the refit follow the same design. The Nelson-class ships additionally gained two pairs of missile launchers, mounted above and below each catapult similarly to the Drake class.
In CE 75, war once again broke out between the Alliance and the PLANTs, and the refit Nelson-class ships were deployed for the first time. In addition to being a large part of the main diversionary attack, six Nelson-class ships escorted the Peacemaker Force's Agamemnon-class carriers in a nuclear attack on the PLANTs. The attack was thwarted by ZAFT's Neutron Stampeder, and all ten ships were destroyed. The remainder of the fleet, many of its ships damaged and its mobile suit forces decimated by ZAFT, withdrew back to Daedalus lunar base. The Nelson-class would go on to participate in all major engagements through the end of the war, though many of them would be lost when Daedalus Base is destroyed.