The MC80a Star Cruiser, also known as MC80A Star Cruiser, was a general classification for a group of early MC80 Mon Calamari Star Cruisers converted from luxury starships into warships. They were used by the Alliance of Nations
Built initially as massive pleasure craft by Mon Calamari shipyards, the MC80a Star Cruisers received a series of crucial upgrades to allow them to operate against Imperial warships. The addition of the Mon Calamari provided the Alliance with their first consistent source of large, powerful capital warships.
Rounded and organic in appearance, most MC80a cruisers were oblong cigar-shaped vessels. The surface of the cruisers were dotted in pods and bulges that contained sensor arrays, weapons batteries, deflector shield generators, and observation decks. Their thrusters were arranged with several on the ventral side close to the bow and several on the dorsal side close to the stern.
The MC80a Star Cruiser's role as the center of most Alliance fleet formations often pitted it against the larger and more powerful Imperial-class Star Destroyer, which, while unable to match the Star Destroyers in weaponry, was able to outlast in terms of defense due to triple layered shields, multiple redundant back-up shield generators, and double redundancy critical systems. These features, combined with a heavily armored hull and structural fortification, allowed an MC80a to absorb large amounts of damage while other fleet elements either fled or engaged enemy vessels.
Despite this incredible defensive ability however, the MC80a required extensive pre and post battle maintenance. This task that was exceedingly difficult for resource strapped Alliance engineers especially due to the Mon Calamari penchant for artistry, aesthetics, and uniqueness of each ship: extensive time had to be given to understand each ships unique systems and operations before it could be repaired. This was eventually rectified in the standardized MC90 Star Cruiser design.