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When a ZAFT reconnaissance discovers the Archangel, ZAFT orders Operation Angel Down, with the goal of sinking the Archangel and the Freedom's destruction, as ZAFT headquarters believe they have only caused confusion during the war. The Minerva is also ordered to take part in the battle, where Captain Gladys informs the Archangel's Captain Murrue Ramius to surrender, but politely refuses the conditions. As the Archangel begins diving into the sea, the Minerva fires its Tannhauser positron cannon, in hopes of stopping the battleship. The beam hits the ocean, generating a thunderous explosion, heavily damaging the submerged Archangel, but does not destroy it. Captain Ramius orders one of its damaged engines to be jettisoned and detonated, as a ruse to buy time for their escape.
Meanwhile, Shinn in his Impulse critically damages Kira's Freedom and is torn apart by the shockwave of the explosions. Fortunately for Kira, the shielded cockpit of the Freedom allows him to escape from death and he is summarily rescued by the Archangel's crew.