List of Robotech vehicles

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This article is a list of all of the vehicles in the anime Robotech.

Mecha[edit]

Cyclone[edit]

The Cyclone Veritech Ride Armor is a fictional powered armor derived from the VR series Ride Armor designed by ARTMIC's Shinji Aramaki for the Japanese anime series Genesis Climber Mospeada. For many fans[who?] the Cyclone is the signature design of Robotech 's Third Generation and Mospeada.

Background[edit]

The Cyclone is definitely the most innovative design in multiform mecha since the renovation of the SDF-1. The Cyclone is a tough, durable piece of hardware that maximizes the versatility, survivability, and lethality of an individual soldier. The weapons systems are modular, accurate, and flexible, and the motorcycle mode is unmatched in its role. In all, one can expect to see more mecha like this in the future.

In vehicle mode, the various models of Cyclone resemble mundane if slightly futuristic motorcycles, but with a flick of a switch the Cyclone unfolds and attaches to the rider's CVR-3 armor, or Riding Suit in Mospeada, and combines to encase the wearer in powered armor, providing greatly increased protection, agility and firepower on such a small scale as to be previously unheard of in the Robotech Wars.

An already small vehicle, the Cyclone can fold into a boxed shape configuration for storage purposes, and in this shape it small enough to be carried aboard the VFA-6 Alpha Fighter in a compartment behind the cockpit as an emergency combat vehicle for downed pilots.

Apart from the internal missile racks of the VR-041 Saber and auto cannon on the Shadow Dancer, all Cyclone weaponry is attached externally either on hardpoints on its forearms or wielded by the pilot. This means all Cyclone weaponry are interchangeable and usable on any model, excluding specialized weapons exclusive to the Devastator and Shadow Dancer.

While not directly intended as such, the Cyclone was the perfect mecha for the post-Invid invaded Earth.[citation needed] The Cyclone's success can be appreciated in the fact that the CVR-3 armor required in its use has become the pilot suit and infantry armor for the REF forces.

Gakken made very famous toy versions of the Cyclone which are fragile and rare. Starting in 2007, Toynami made Masterpiece versions of all four Cyclone models similar to their Valkyries and Alphas.[citation needed]

Cyclone Series Mecha[edit]

VR-038 Bartley: A lighter model of Cyclone primarily intended for reconnaissance use, the Bartley increases the normal Cyclone's speed and agility in exchange for decreased armor.

The VR-038L variant carries a rocket launcher, carrying six rounds in a top-mounted magazine. A shoulder-fired weapon for normal infantry, when used by a Cyclone its clamped to the right forearm plate and can be fired one-handed.

The Bartley is used by Houquet en Rose in Mospeada and her Robotech counterpart Rook Bartley. The name of the mecha appears to have influenced the character's name during translation[citation needed]. The mecha is also seen in use by Sue Graham in Robotech, armed with a video camera instead of a weapon and featuring the black paint job used by the Jupiter Group forces.[1]

VR-041 Saber: A special ops mobile suit, the Saber was equipped with retractable vibroblades in the arm mounted CAD's. For extra firepower the front of the cyclone (chest in soldier mode) mount 6 mini-missiles each.[2]

The Saber is used by Yellow Belmont (Mospeada)/Lancer (Robotech). The VR-041 is known as the Blowsuperior (ブロウスーペリア Burousuuperia?) in Mospeada, a homage to the classic English Brough Superior ("Brough" pronounced like "rough") motorcycles.

VR-052 Battler: The Battler serves a dual role as a model issued to infantry forces as well as emergency vehicle for use by downed pilots, both features ensuring it is the most commonly available model. The default color scheme is bare gray metal, though the Jupiter Group sported their preferred dark gray/black paint job. Lacking the Saber's internal missile racks but featuring more armor than the Bartley, the Battler is the standard model of Cyclone.

The standard issue intended for infantry use is armed with a large beam rifle. Without a Cyclone the rifle is a heavy squad support weapon, but when used by the mecha it can be wielded like a rifle or even fired one handed.

  • The VR-052F is the strandard emergency model. To fit into limited space in storage mode, the Cyclone carries twin mini-missile launchers on each forearm plate. The VR-052F is used by Stick/Scott Bernard. Later in the series, Scott is shown using an EP-37 Beam Rifle normally carried by infantry VR-052's and uses it in combination with the missiles.
  • The VR-052T carries an EP-40 Pulse Beam Pistol that replaces the normal right forearm plate with its magazine. This pistol is not as powerful as other cyclone weaponry and requires greater accuracy on the part of the pilot, but carries large volume of ammunition. This model is used by Ray/Rand.[3]

Known as the VR-052 MOSPEADA Ride Armor in the Japanese anime series Genesis Climber Mospeada.

VR-055 Devastator: Intended as a portable heavy weapon variant of the Cyclone concept, the Devastator carries a large double-barreled rapid fire pulse particle gun mounted on its shoulder, a trio of GR-10 rockets on each lower leg, a triple mini-missile rack on the right forearm plate with a double-barreled pulse beam gun mounted on the left forearm plate.

All these weapons make the Devastator as powerful as a squad normal Battlers, but comes at the expense of the Cyclone's famed agility and speed. The Devastator also requires the operator to be wearing the modified heavier CVR-4 armor to use it.

Originally only existing as an unrealized design published in the ARTMIC Design Works book, and having never appeared in either Robotech or Mospeada, the VR-055 became an official design with its inclusion in the Robotech: Invasion video game, even if the video game version only vaguely resembles the original. The fact it was designed by the creators of original series has meant the Devastator is less looked down upon than equally overly armed designs the fan-created Shadow Dancer, but many fans refuse to still consider it a true design because it never appeared in the TV series.

VR-101P Shadow Dancer: The newest Cyclone design's main claim to fame is the inclusion of a Shadow cloaking device, making it undetectable by the Invid. The Shadow Dancer is armed with modified CAD saber forearm plates that integrate the twin forearm mini-missile Launchers of the VR-052F, as well as a reflex auto-cannon mounted interally on right-hand side of torso.

Originally a fan-design created for use in the Robotech Role-Playing Game and published in Protoculture Addicts back in their Robotech fanzine days, the Shadow Dancer has become an official design or near enough to it with its appearance in the Robotech: Invasion video game. The inclusion of a Shadow cloaking device on such a small mecha along with all its weaponry meant many Robotech fans consider it to be perfect example of a munchkin design, and many fans still refuse to acknowledge a design that hasn't appeared in the series.

Other Variants There have been quick appearances of other Cyclone models in various comics, with enough differences to be considered new models such as the Jupter Base Cyclone seen in Robotech: Class Reunion. Also Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles and early images from the Shadow Chronicles seem to imply both new weaponry and at least one new model of Cyclone.

VHT-1 Veritech Hover Tank[edit]

The VHT-1 Veritech Hover Tank is a fictional transformable mecha from the anime series Robotech, based upon the ATAC-SCA-01 Spartas of Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross. It was the backbone of the Army of the Southern Cross (ASC), operated exclusively by its Alpha Tactical Armored Corps (ATAC). Significantly smaller than the larger RDF destroids, the VHT was also faster and more suited to combat within urban environments, a considerable priority for the Southern Cross given its mission of planetary defense.

Highly mobile and heavily armored, the VHT carried impressive firepower that also reflected a general trend among Southern Cross engineers to favor energy and automatic projectile weapons over missiles (which remained popular among REF engineers. In tank mode, the VHT was capable of traversing almost any terrain, including jumping obstacles as required while maintaining a high speed. In this mode, its armament was limited to forward-facing blasts from the same weapon that would in battloid mode be its rifle; however, the true firepower of the VHT was most evident in its two-legged Gladiator mode (also called "Guardian" at least once in deference to the mecha's Robotech origins). Configured as a Gladiator, the VHT boasted both a large energy cannon and a tri-barrelled autocannon, between the two of which it could effectively target even heavily protected aerial targets. Indeed, some early victories of Southern Cross forces depended on this capability, with Gladiator-mode VHTs blasting Bioroids from their formidable antigravity platforms and hovertanks in Battloid mode engaging them on the ground while supported by fire from VHT autocannons.

In later months of the Second Robotech War, advances in technology and the need to take the battle to the Robotech Masters in space saw the addition to the VHT of enclosed, spaceworthy cockpits and thrusters for localized space maneuvering. At this time, the hovertank was also upgraded with improved targeting capabilities derived from Louis Nichols' Visual Trace Firing System (VTFS), colloquially known as the "Pupil Pistol." (The code was used without Nichols' approval, and he nearly burned out the cockpits of the tanks when he discovered it, relenting only when the alien clone Zor Prime explained to him that the killing it would bring about was necessary to end the war.)

The Veritech Hovertank remained a mainstay of the Southern Cross forces even after the widespread deployment of the AGAC, and VHTs were instrumental in the infiltration and eventual destruction of the Masters' mothership in the battle that ended the Second Robotech War (though the concluding events of this war, like the others, were greatly dependent on the individual actions of a few people and not the collective military might of the overall Southern Cross). The timing of the final battle, however -- coming as it did alongside a final assault on Monument City by the remaining Masters' bioroids, assault carriers, and even civilian clones -- made the victory a phyrric one, leaving the Southern Cross forces depleted and the Earth once again in ruins. Those few hovertanks that survived this cataclysm were unable to present more than a token defense in the subsequent Invid Invasion that came a year later and ushered in the Third Robotech War.

VFH-10 Veritech AGAC[edit]

The VFH-10 Armored Gyro Assault Chopper, designated "Ajax" upon its introduction, was the last mecha series developed by the Army of the Southern Cross in both the anime television series Robotech and its original Japanese source The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross. An advanced space-combat fighter based on a helicopter concept, the AGAC was the mainstay of all Southern Cross assaults against the Robotech Masters once the Southern Cross began fleet operations.

Unlike the earlier VF-8 Logan, the AGAC was designed with space combat in mind and proved particularly adept in that arena. Its helicopter mode was intended to give it atmospheric capabilities as well; in practice, these did not prove particularly important given the timing of its introduction, which coincided with humanity's transition from a defensive posture to an offensive one that placed emphasis on engaging the Masters in space.

The AGAC boasted considerably improved firepower over the Logan and was considered a significant rival to the heavy armament of the Veritech Hovertank, in part because of its reintegration of missiles (whose area-affecting damage potential was less of a problem for combat operations in space than would be true in a cityscape). It also featured multiple banks of thrusters to maximize maneuverability in a vacuum, making it far less dependent upon the linear fighting tactics of earlier veritech fighters like the Logan and VF-1 Valkyrie whose powerful forward-thrust engines led pilots to mimic atmospheric flight.

Large numbers of AGACs were produced in the wake of early successes, and they continued to replace earlier space fighters and the Logan in Southern Cross squadrons even after the Second Robotech War ended. Declining production capabilities in the wake of the destruction of Monument City resulted in much slower replenishment after the war than had been true at its heydey, however, and those AGACs that were in service when the Invid arrived were far too few to hold off the invaders.

VFB-9 Beta[edit]

Not to be confused with the VF-9 Cutlass, the unrelated variable fighter in the fictional Macross setting.

The VFB-9 Beta Fighter is a Veritech fighter-bomber in the fictional universe of Robotech.

The VFB-9 Beta Fighter is based on the AB-01 Tread Armo-Bomber from the anime series Genesis Climber Mospeada. It is a large aerospacecraft capable of making orbit on the brute-force power of its three huge rocket engines. The VBF-9 is rather unaerodynamic, flying on the "brick with giant engines" principle. Its huge size and slender wings give it an extremely high wing loading, degrading its performance further - in terms of combat use, the Beta is a giant missile truck and little more in fighter configuration. In Battloid mode, the Beta is a hulking, powerful combatant with an impressive array of weapons including three heavy beam guns in each forearm and several missile launchers. The Beta's third configuration is a VTOL and walking configuration.

The Beta has the unique ability to dock with an Alpha Fighter (the AFC-01 Legioss Armo-Fighter in Mospeada), combining the two into a larger combat unit. The Beta fighter provides additional fuel for a docked Alpha and gives it the necessary thrust for reaching orbit. Beta Fighters were used as unmanned boosters for their smaller Alpha brethren.

In older references that are now considered secondary continuity, the VFB-9 was referred to as the "VBF-1" Beta Fighter.

The Beta was preceded in service by the SFA-5 Conbat, of which very little is known. This fighter, originally called AF-03 Convert in Mospeada, is the Armo-Fighter predecessor of the Legioss that was used in an earlier campaign (along with the AS-C03 Condor), and it could transform into Armo-Soldier mode.

[4]

VF-8 Logan[edit]

VF-8 Logan Veritech Fighter was a fictional transformable fighter from the animated television series Robotech, based upon the TASC-SCF-02 Logan of The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross anime series.

According to the current Robotech continuity, the Army of the Southern Cross (ASC) consigned the Logan as its primary Veritech fighter during the ASC's growth as the frontline defense force for Earth with the departure of the Pioneer Mission. The arrival of the Robotech Masters ignited the Second Robotech War and pressed the Logan into combat. The Logan proved ineffective in air and space battles against the forces of the Robotech Masters and during the war, the Logan was supplanted and eventually replaced by the more powerful and versatile VFH-10 Veritech AGAC Veritech Fighter.

The Logan used a triple-barreled cannon, a laser gunpod, but had no projectile-based guns. Its production design showed the ability of mounting two medium range missiles (unseen in the animation). The VF-8's fighter configuration is an extremely cramped design, with a stubby, bulbous nose, very large maneuvering thrusters, no visible air intakes, and a pair of small, highly loaded, unswept wings with a minor taper from root to tip. Also, this Veritech fighter differed from other mecha of this class by having only two modes: the normal Fighter mode and a Guardian mode. The second mode is called Guardian in the animation itself, but called Battloid on the Robotech.com website. (The second mode is called GERWALK or "Flying Walker" mode in The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross anime series.)

[5]

VFA-6 Alpha[edit]

Not to be confused with the VF-6, the unrelated variable fighter in the fictional Macross setting.

The Alpha Veritech - designation VFA-6 - is a fictional transforming aerospace strike fighter used in the Robotech universe.

The VFA-6 Alpha Fighter's design is borrowed from the AFC-01 Legioss Armo-Fighter in the Japanese series Genesis Climber Mospeada. The VF-X-6 Genia prototype of the Alpha was developed with another Veritech fighter design, the Condor, and the two share very strong visual similarities. By the time the Robotech Expeditionary Force departed in 2022, Alpha Veritechs could combine with the VF-X-7 Beta Veritech prototype. The VF-X-6 project was developed slowly through the early teens as an alternate to the then-favored YF-4; when the YF-4 project ended the Robotech Defense Force pushed the VFA-6 into high gear while the Army of the Southern Cross pressed their weight behind the VF-8 Logan Veritech Fighter and VHT-1 Spartas Veritech Hover Tank. In REF service the fighter quickly matured into a powerful and flexible aerospace strike fighter, capable of toting large weapons loads into battle. Several mission-specific models were developed and procured.

Variants[edit]

By 2044, the Alpha is seen in several models:

  • VFA-6H Combat Officer's Alpha - The VFA-6H typically is painted blue. In obsolete references, this model was called the "VAF-6C Combat Alpha." In Mospeada, this was called the AFC-01H Legioss Armo-Fighter.[6]
  • VFA-6I Standard Alpha - Painted dark green. This model has a different head than the officer's Alpha. In obsolete references, it was called the "VAF-6R Recon Alpha." In Mospeada, this was called the AFC-01I Legioss Armo-Fighter[7]
  • VFA-6Z Alpha Optimized for Aerial Combat - Optimized for atmospheric operations. The VF/A-6Z typically wears a dark red paint scheme when used in theatres where heavy conflict with the Invid is expected. It was called the "VAF-6J Combat Alpha" in obsolete references. In Mospeada, this was called the AFC-01Z Legioss Armo-Fighter.[8]
  • VFA-6X Veritech Shadow Fighter - A stealth model. It contains a device called the "Shadow" device, which masks the fighter's protoculture emissions. It also uses a set of simple claw manipulators instead of more rounded hands. In obsolete references it was called the "VAF-7A Shadowfighter." In the Palladium Books role-playing game the art for the Shadow Fighter was used for a conjectural "final model" of the VF-1 Valkyrie, called the "VF-1V Vindicator", due to a scaling error by the game's writers (even if the writers' scaling had been correct, the fighter seen in Mospeada/RTNG is so different from the VF-1 that no rational designation scheme would assign the older craft's designation number to it). In Mospeada, this was called the Dark Legioss Armo-Fighter. In Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, it is revealed that the cloaking device of the VFA-6X is fatally flawed, designed by the mysterious Shadow to allow them to more easily destroy the Robotech Forces.
  • VQ-6X Veritech Shadow Drone - An unmanned version of the VFA-6X. Virtually identical except for some modified equipment (most notably, additional missiles). Visually distinct in battloid mode by the fact that the VQ-6X has no head. In the Palladium Books RPG, the art for the VQ-6X was used for the VAF-7A (VFA-6X). In Mospeada, this was called the unmanned Legioss Armo-Fighter.[9]
  • Super Shadow Fighter - A more heavily armed version of the Shadow Fighter, by the time of The Shadow Chronicles there are only a few prototypes which had not yet been fitted with the Haydonite weapons and cloaking system, however this proved to be advantageous as it meant that they could not be destroyed with the same tactics the Haydonites had used on the other fighters fitted with their technology.

Most models of the Alpha have a heavy missile armament of sixty short-range missiles which it complements with the three-barreled beam cannon. The Shadow Fighters replace this with a bulky disruptor cannon, called a 'Destabilizer', which they use to breach Invid force fields. It has a maximum speed of 3000–3250 km/h at high altitude and requires the assistance of the VFB-9 Beta to transit into space.

In the fictional world of Robotech, the VFA-6 remains operational as of the last known date in the storyline (circa 2044).

The VFA-6 Alpha was preceded in service by the VF-1 Valkyrie.

The Alpha served on Earth during the timeframe of the Third Robotech War.

VF-1 Valkyrie[edit]

Main article: VF-1 Valkyrie

In the fictional series Macross and its English adaptation Robotech, the first mass-produced variable fighter (Macross) or Veritech fighter (Robotech) is called the VF-1 Valkyrie, although the exact name varies by Valkyrie model.

The VF-1 was initially designed by the legendary Japanese mecha designer Shoji Kawamori (with contributions by his Studio Nue partner Kazutaka Miyatake) in 1980-1982 to be the centerpiece mecha design of the anime series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982–1983).

In Robotech, the VF-1 is most commonly referred to as the "Veritech Fighter", which is short for Variable Engineering and Robotic Integration TECHnology, but its official popular name "Valkyrie" is used in a few infrequent references.

Veritech fighter[edit]

The Veritech fighter (occasionally misspelled as Varitech[10]) is a fictional fighter aircraft can transform into combat walking machine in Robotech.[11] In the late '90s, an official backronym was invented by Harmony Gold USA for the term "Veritech:" Variable Engineering and Robotic Integration TECHnology. The name is derived from variable fighter, the term for transforming fighters used in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (the series from which the first part of Robotech was adapted). Veritech is sometimes abbreviated "VT," though mostly in the Jack McKinney novel adaptations.

The nomenclature for Veritech Fighters partially follows that established in the 20th century by the US Armed Forces. "V" is added to the beginning of the fighter's designation to stand for "Variable" or "Veritech."

Any vehicle that is considered or referred to as Veritech, has transformable machine forms that it can assume. Using VF-1 Valkyrie as example: They are Fighter Mode, Guardian Mode (Half-fighter/Half-Robot) & Battloid/Robot Mode.

There are non-flying veritech type mecha in Robotech universe. A canon example is the VHT-1 Spartas Veritech Hover Tank seen in Robotech's 2nd season named "Southern Cross Saga".

Spaceships[edit]

Garfish-class Light Cruiser[edit]

Screen shot from Genesis Climber Mospeada

The Garfish class cruisers - designation SDS - or Garfish class Super Dimensional Cruiser is a fictional Spaceship used in the Robotech universe. The Garfish class Super Dimensional Cruiser is derived from the Garfish class Super Dimensional Scout Cruiser in the Japanese series Genesis Climber Mospeada. The SCS-01 Garfish prototype was developed just after the departure of the SDF-3 Pioneer during the Robotech II: The Sentinels Campaign, and it entered service with the Robotech Expeditionary Forces (REF) in 2026. In REF service the class of cruisers quickly matured into a powerful and flexible platform, capable of toting large weapons loads, mecha, and/or personal into battle. Several mission-specific models were developed and procured.[12]

Tristar-class Cruiser[edit]

The Tristar-class cruiser.

The Tristar-class cruiser was a common medium fleet starship in the fictional Robotech universe, one of the few classes of vessel that was shared between both the Robotech Expeditionary Force and the Army of the Southern Cross. The class leader, the Tristar, was Major General Rolf Emerson's flagship during the Second Robotech War, and was destroyed when she rammed a Robotech Masters' Mother-ship.

Tristar, like most capital ships of its era, resembled a large submarine and was designed to be based on a planet. Its size is only a little greater than that of an oceanic aircraft carrier. Its primary weapons are retractable into the hull of the ship and then fired off they need to do so.[4]

Ikazuchi-class Carrier (Large Cruiser)[edit]

The Ikazuchi-class Carrier (also referred to as a Large Cruiser) was developed during the 22-year mission of the Robotech Expeditionary Force. Approximately 40 Ikazuchi carriers were involved in the Battle of Reflex Point in July 2044 (as depicted in the Third Robotech Saga and Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles) during which the REF launched a full-scale assault against the Invid on Earth. The carriers served as mobile bases and launchers for the thousands of VFA-6 Alpha and VFB-9 Beta fighters involved in the battle. Each Ikazuchi carrier can serve as a base for hundreds of fighters that can be launched from six quick response bays. For defense, they are equipped with eight triple beam cannon turrets and eight single barrel point defense cannons. For the battle, the Ikazuchi carriers also served as launchers for the Neutron-S missiles.[13] Some carriers are apparently equipped with powerful Syncro-Cannons, although they appear not to be used in the Battle of Reflex Point (but were later referred to in the battle against the Haydonites).

With a main hull length of over 600 metres (2000 feet), the Ikazuchi carriers are the largest capital ships in the REF fleet after the Super Dimension Fortresses.

During the battle of Reflex Point, as depicted in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the Ikazuchis successfully launch the REF's entire complement of fighters quickly and effectively. However, when the Invid fighters overwhelm the REF fighters, they begin launching attacks on the Carriers. Despite their heavy armor and weapons, the sheer number of Invid fighters causes at least three Ikazuchis to be destroyed (an REF officer directly observes this fact in reporting, "Sir! Three cruisers wiped out!") and many more to be damaged. The damaged Ikazuchis subsequently returned to Space Station Liberty for repairs - at least five more were lost when the Haydonites attacked Liberty.[14]

The name 'Ikazuchi' (雷, "Thunder") was also the name given to this ship class in the original Genesis Climber Mospeada, from which the third Robotech Saga was adapted.[15]

Specifications

  • Length: 608 m (2000 ft)
  • Width: 154 m (505 ft)
  • Height: 177 m (580 ft)
  • Crew: 1117 crewmen + 600 pilots and air group personnel
  • Mass: 1,410,000 tons[13]

Shimakaze-class Battlecruiser[edit]

The Shimakaze (島風, Island Wind) battlecruisers were first introduced in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and the prelude comic. Slightly larger than the earlier Tristar-class ships, the Shimakazes primary weapon is a large forward mounted syncro-cannon.[16][17] The Icarus, commanded by Captain Vince Grant is one of five Shimakaze battlecrusiers seen in the movie. The other four are seen with the SDF-4 at the beginning of the Battle of Reflex Point, in which their large syncro-cannons are able to destroy a number of Invid Carriers before they can launch their fighters.[18][19]

SDF-1[edit]

Main article: SDF-1 Macross

The SDF-1 Macross is a fictional interstellar spacecraft from The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, an anime series that aired in Japan in 1982–1983, and its American adaptation Robotech (1985). SDF (Super Dimension Fortress) is a reference to the ship being a maneuverable space fortress capable of space folds, or travelling in subspace for faster-than-light movement.

SDF-2[edit]

In the fictional setting of Robotech, the SDF-2 Megalord is the second Super Dimensional flagship of the United Earth Forces that was abruptly introduced offscreen in the dialogue of the 36th and final episode of The Macross Saga segment.

Limited only to existing footage of the SDF-1, a new SDF-2 is never seen and presumed destroyed with the SDF-1 sometime during the Khyron's attack of New Macross City in 2014. Its surprise non-appearance and the ambiguity of its outcome has been an endless source of confusion and debate among Robotech fans.

The Robotech comic adaptation by Comico depicts the SDF-2 as sitting back to back with SDF-1 in Lake Gloval. This was expanded upon in the Robotech novels by Jack McKinney. It is similar in appearance to SDF-1 and seems to have been intentionally built in the original ship's post-modular transformation mode. This is unusual given that the purpose for transformation in the original was due to circumstance, not design. However, the novel explains this was to facilitate the transfer of the engines from the SDF-1 to the SDF-2, although this never actually happens. Since the ship is visualized in the comics as being similar to the SDF-1 (though armed with ARMD class carriers), it is generally assumed to be a second Macross-class battlefortress.[20]

According to the Robotech novels, some of its remains are buried at the three mounds that play a key part of the Second Robotech War. The rest of its components and materials were scavenged for the construction of the new SDF-3.

SDF-3[edit]

The SDF-3 Pioneer as seen in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. After being severely damaged 2043, the SDF-3 was rebuilt as a "Shadow Dimensional Fortress" which incorporated new technology obtained from the Haydonites.
This section specifically deals with Robotech continuity. See the article about the SDF-1 for more general information from both Macross and Robotech.

The SDF-3 is the third Super Dimensional Fortress of the United Earth Forces, and was first introduced in Robotech II: The Sentinels (1986). In recent comics, it was identified by name as the Pioneer, and was rebuilt as a "Shadow Dimensional Fortress." It is commanded by Admiral Lisa Hunter, and later by her husband, Admiral Rick Hunter. In 2022, the SDF-3 was launched as the flagship of the Pioneer Expedition on a mission to find the Robotech Masters Homeworld to try and prevent another war on Earth. The mission, which would take many unexpected turns and face unimaginable challenges, would last 22 years.

History and background[edit]

The SDF-1 and the newly built SDF-2 were both destroyed at the end of the First Robotech War in Khyron's final attack on New Macross City in January 2014. Construction of the SDF-3 began almost immediately using the salvaged remains of the ruined ships as well as technology taken from the captured Zentraedi Satellite factory. Construction, on board the Satellite factory, would take eight (8) years and would consume much of the resources of the Earth which was still struggling to rebuild after the Zentraedi holocaust of 2011 which devastated 95% of the surface and reduced the human population to only 70,000.

Some military officials, most notably Commander Anatole Leonard of the Army of the Southern Cross, were angry about the construction and mission. The construction of the SDF-3 had stripped the Zentraedi Satellite Factory of almost all usable equipment (making it of little further use) and Earth had poured so much into the SDF-3's construction that other military and weapon development projects had been put on hold. In addition, the departure of the SDF-3, which had been fitted with Earth's most advanced weapon systems, as well as over 10,000 of Earth's best soldiers (and their families), would greatly compromise the planet's ability to defend itself should another alien attack occur. Before the SDF-3 departed, Leonard warned on television that "Once the SDF leaves orbit I won't be able to defend the Earth against a flock of pigeons."[21]

Despite the massive cost, it was believed that the SDF-3 would require every advantage possible as its mission would be long and dangerous and that the likelihood of another alien attack on Earth was low. However, circumstances would play out in a manner nobody expected: The Robotech Masters had already become aware of the protoculture on Earth and of the failure of their Zentraedi soldiers to retrieve it. In 2012, the Masters, in command of a spacefleet of six motherships, had departed from Tirol, their homeworld on a 15 year journey to Earth.[22] When the SDF-3 arrived on Tirol, they found a planet that had been devastated by the Invid years earlier. The Robotech Expeditionary Force would use the SDF-3 as a base to help rebuild Tirol and help free over a dozen other worlds from Invid occupation, as well as to form alliances with other alien races against the Invid.

However, in a twist of irony, the Robotech Masters would arrive at Earth in 2029 and the Second Robotech War would begin between them and the United Earth Forces (UEF) and the Army of the Southern Cross. The war would last one year and lead to the destruction of the Masters' entire fleet and the devastation of Earth and its military forces. The SDF-3 ended up fighting a war it never expected to face while Earth would face the war the SDF-3's mission was supposed to prevent. The war, which led to the spread of the spores of the Invid flower of life across Earth, drew the Invid to the planet a year later. The Invid Invasion was quick and devastating as the Earth forces had exhausted themselves fighting the Masters. The Third Robotech war began as Earth would remain under Invid occupation for 13 years. Events would keep the SDF-3 away from Earth during both wars, until 2044 when it was to lead a final assault against the Invid on Earth.

Depiction in Robotech[edit]

Robotech II: The Sentinels depicted the SDF-3 under the final stages of construction within the giant Robotech factory in orbit around the Earth in the year 2022. Though human-engineered, the exterior is of Tirolian design, as part of the Pioneer expedition's strategy of infiltrating the Robotech Masters homeworld. The ship is introduced in the finished animation of Robotech II: The Sentinels, but the launch is never seen because the rest of the series was never completed. The storyline is continued in a series of Robotech novels from Del Rey.

Reconstruction[edit]

The sequel Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles continues from both the end of the original Robotech television series and the unfinished Sentinels series. The first issue of Wildstorm's 5-part prequel comic series Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles shows the original version of the SDF-3 from the Sentinels video, but the ship is damaged and rebuilt as a "Shadow Dimensional Fortress" in later issues. This new look duplicates the general arrangement of the original SDF-1 design, but has a look more in the style of the larger ship designs from Mospeada/Robotech: The New Generation, most specifically the SDF-4 (also referenced as the Liberator). This has been explained as a total systems rebuild, incorporating the shadow-cloaking system to evade Invid Protoculture sensors.

Mysterious disappearance[edit]

In the final episode of the original Robotech series, audiences anticipated the return of the SDF-3, but were left hanging by its mysterious disappearance. Command of the returning Robotech Expeditionary Force was taken over by the SDF-4.[23] Del Rey continued the story through the novel The End of the Circle, to a mixed reception by fans who preferred to see the Sentinels story completed by Harmony Gold.[24]

In the movie Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, it was revealed that the SDF-3 had been attempting to test-fire the new Neutron-S missiles. These malfunctioned badly as a result of design sabotage, seriously damaging the SDF-3 and the science vessel Deukalion, and creating a black hole. The SDF-3 was immobilized and adrift near the new black hole. Captain Vince Grant and the Icarus attempted a rescue, but all three ships were attacked by hostile unknown forces, and Admiral Hunter ordered the Icarus to return to Earth with the Deukalion and deliver a warning about the Neutron-S missiles. The ultimate fate of the SDF-3 is unknown, as it was crippled and had just survived a ramming by a hostile warship when last seen.

At the conclusion of the movie, the starship Ark Angel is dispatched to find out what became of the ship and her crew, and recover survivors, if any.

SDF-4[edit]

This section deals specifically with Robotech continuity. See Genesis Climber Mospeada for more general information about the original Japanese anime storyline.
The SDF-4 is the flagship of the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles.

The SDF-4 (identified as both Izumo and Liberator) is the fourth Super Dimensional flagship of the United Earth Forces that was seen in the finale of the fictional Robotech universe.

The 1985 Robotech series,[25] the Robotech Legacy Collections, and the Robotech Protoculture Collection[26] refer to the SDF-4 as the Izumo, which was the name of this vessel in the original Genesis Climber Mospeada anime series.[27] In the "Completing the Journey" endnotes to the Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles comic series, The Art of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, and the Collector's Edition DVD of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the SDF-4 has been referred to as the Liberator.

History and background[edit]

The last episode of the original Robotech series (1985) and the 2006 film Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles presented the SDF-4 as leading the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) in its final assault to liberate the Earth from Invid alien occupation in July 2044. The SDF-4's commanding officer, General Gunther Reinhardt, is ordered by Admiral Rick Hunter to assemble all available REF forces at Moon base ALUCE for the attack. When the SDF-3 fails to return from a secret weapons test in the Omicron sector, Reinhardt assumes command and is forced to begin the attack. The SDF-4, along with the four Shimakaze battlecruisers, opens the battle with the firing of their massive Sycnro-cannon which destroy several Invid carriers before they can launch their fighters. They continue to provide cover fire while the REF fighter squadrons engage the Invid fighters. Despite their initial successes, the Invid's sheer numbers eventually overwhelm the REF fighters and soon the REF capital ships begin taking losses as Invid forces punch through the fleet's frontlines. Reinhardt is also informed that the ground assault by REF commandos and resistance fighters has stalled while still out of range of Reflex Point. With the ground offensive stalled and the REF fleet hopelessly outnumbered, General Reinhardt decides the only remaining option is to launch the Neutron-S missiles. The Neutron-S missiles, supplied by a highly advanced cybernetic race known as the Haydonites, were ordered by Admiral Hunter to be used as a weapon of last resort if the REF attack failed.

While the Neutron-S missiles are more than powerful enough to destroy the central Invid hive at Reflex Point, they will also wipe out most, or possibly all life on Earth. The use of these "scorched earth" tactics was one of the most controversial of the Robotech Wars. Reinhardt makes the decision with the greatest reluctance, knowing full well that he is condemning the surviving humans and the REF troops on Earth to death and possibly rendering the planet permanently uninhabitable. However, like Admiral Hunter, the REF and the Sentinel races, Reinhardt knows that the Invid will continue to evolve on Earth and eventually threaten the Galaxy unless they are stopped.

As the Neutron-S missiles fly towards Earth, the Invid Regess, recognizing that true power of the missiles is to create micro-black holes, (which is as yet unknown to the REF) decides that Earth is no longer safe. She converts her entire race into pure energy, taking the shape of a giant phoenix, and flies off into space in search of a new planet on which to continue her race's evolution. As a final gift to her daughter Ariel, who has a human body and who chose to stay with the humans, the Regess destroys the Neutron-S missiles.

The SDF-4, after ordering all fighter squadrons to regroup at Moon Base ALUCE, is not seen for the rest of the movie.

Constructed with the help of the Sentinel races, the SDF-4, with a total length of over 1.3 km (0.81 mi) is the Robotech Expeditionary Force's largest and most advanced spaceship.

Secondary Continuity[edit]

In the original Robotech TV series, a portion of the REF fleet is destroyed when the Invid fled earth in their pure energy form. Though a number of vessels - not, as some materials asserted, the entire fleet - are shown to have disintegrated by the final Invid move, whether the SDF-4 was also destroyed is never actually seen and had previously been open to speculation. The non-canon Jack McKinney novels #12 Symphony of Light and #18 The End of the Circle state that nearly the entire REF fleet, including Reinhardt and his vessel (identified as "flagship"), were destroyed during the Invid's departure; but not the Ark Angel, the ship which Vince Grant commanded. Later in Jack McKinney novel #18, "The End of the Circle", a new SDF was being constructed and was named SDF-4.[28]

The above explanation of events was accepted as accurate until the release of the 2006 film Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, which instead revealed that Reinhardt, the SDF-4, and most of the REF fleet survived the battle. The departure of the Regess in the Shadow Chronicles shows the Invid energy passing through the REF fleet but without damaging any ships, one of several instances in which the new continuity finds itself at odds with the old.

Details[edit]

  • Overall Length: 1,305 metres/4,280 feet
  • Primary Weapon: One very large forward-mounted Syncro-Cannon
  • Secondary Weapons:
    • Numerous triple Beam Cannons turrets for anti-spacecraft/starship.
    • Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) Defensive laser cannons against small spacecraft & missiles.
  • Mecha: Large launch bays for Alpha, Beta Veritech Fighters and limited number of Horizon Assault Shuttle Craft.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Veritech Cyclone VR-038," Robotech.com
  2. ^ "Veritech Cyclone VR-041," Robotech.com
  3. ^ "Veritech Cyclone VR-052," Robotech.com.
  4. ^ a b ROBOTECH.COM - The Official Robotech Web Site!
  5. ^ Robotech.com entry on Veritech Logan
  6. ^ ROBOTECH.COM - The Official Robotech Web Site!
  7. ^ ROBOTECH.COM - The Official Robotech Web Site!
  8. ^ ROBOTECH.COM - The Official Robotech Web Site!
  9. ^ ROBOTECH.COM - The Official Robotech Web Site!
  10. ^ The early issues of the Comico comics did this, though it was corrected as of issue 12 of The Macross Saga comic.
  11. ^ ROBOTECH.COM - The Official Robotech Web Site!
  12. ^ ROBOTECH.COM - The Official Robotech Web Site!
  13. ^ a b Ikazuchi-class Carrier (Cruiser) - Overview at Robotech.com.
  14. ^ There are no exact figures on the number of Ikazuchis destroyed or damaged in the attacks. These are only the estimates of fans.
  15. ^ Nelson, Andrew N. (1967). Japanese–English Character Dictionary. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-0408-7, Page 943.
  16. ^ Shimakaze-class battlecruiser at Robotech.com.
  17. ^ Shimakaze Class Super Dimensional Battlecruiser at Unofficial Robotech Technical Files.
  18. ^ The Icarus was presumably lost when the Haydonites attacked Space Station Liberty - although the Icarus is seen leaving the station with the Ark Angel, it is implied that only the Ark Angel initiating a warp fold to escape the detonation of the Neutron-S missiles. The remaining four Shimakazes that took part in the Battle of Reflex Point are not seen for the rest of the movie.
  19. ^ The term Shimakaze is Japanese for Island Wind (島風). The name is presumably derived from the Shimakaze-class super-destroyer, which was the most technologically advanced destroyer-class ship constructed by Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Robotech Sentinels: The Devil's Hand (Book 13 of the Robotech series), Del Rey Books, Jack McKinney, 1988.(ISBN 0-345-35300-5)
  22. ^ Robotech, episode 30, Viva Miriya.[2]
  23. ^ Robotech, episode 85: Symphony of Light
  24. ^ Robotech: The End of the Circle. Del Rey Books, Jack McKinney, 1989 (ISBN 0-345-36311-6)
  25. ^ "Dark Finale". Robotech. Season 3. Episode 84. 1985.[3]
  26. ^ Robotech Extra: Elements of Robotechnology III (DVD). Robotech (3). Harmony Gold, ADV Films. 2001. 
  27. ^ Izumo (出雲) was an ancient province of Japan which today consists of the eastern part of Shimane Prefecture in the Chūgoku Region. The Izumo-taisha (出雲大社, Izumo Grand Shrine, also Izumo Ōyashiro), located in Izumo, Shimane, is one of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan.
  28. ^ Robotech (novels)

External links[edit]

  • ROBOTECH.COM - Official description of the AGAC by Harmony Gold

See also[edit]