Robotech Armed Forces
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The Robotech Armed Forces are the fictional military force depicted in Robotech.
Robotech Defense Force: 2009-2022
Because of Robotech's unaltered reuse of footage from The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, distinctive signage reading "Robotech Defense Force" or "RDF" never appears in the show, instead reading "UN Spacy" (the fictional military force depicted in Macross; the term "Spacy" is an extrapolation of the terms 'Army' and Navy' - though some Japanese sources also use the term 'Space Army' and some English-language sources use the term 'Space Navy,' suggesting that the term is a contraction). In latter-day references, "Robotech Defense Force" has been replaced with "United Nations Defense Force", but that term is not used in any official references published before the mid-2000s.
The Robotech Defense Force's primary air and light infantry mecha during the war with the Zentraedi was the VF-1 Valkyrie Veritech fighter. At this time, its primary ground mecha were the Destroid series: MBR-04-VII Tomahawk, MBR-07-II Spartan, ADR-04-X Defender, HWR-00-II Monster and SDR-04-XII Phalanx.
Robotech Expeditionary Force: 2022-2044
The exploits of the REF were briefly chronicled in the third Robotech Saga but were greatly expanded on in Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles and Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. Although the Jack McKinney novels (books 13-17) details the exploits of the REF, they have been reduced to Secondary continuity in the Robotech Saga in 2002 and are no longer considered reliable in the rebooted Robotech timeline.
The REF departs Earth in a quest for the Robotech Masters' homeworld of Tirol in 2022 (in the rebooted timeline). The mission's objective is to attempt a diplomatic solution with that power to resolve the mutual need for the Protoculture supply that caused the previous Robotech War. In the event that a peaceful resolution proves impossible, then the REF will be at least be able to fight in the Masters' territory this time. However, instead of facing the Robotech Masters, they become involved in a long-running battle with both a faction of the Invid led by a male leader known as the Regent, who leads half of the Invid Race. The other half, led by his wife, the Regess (or Regis) has already traveled to Earth and occupied it in 2031.
In 2029, the Second Robotech War began when the Robotech Masters and their entire spacefleet arrive in Earth orbit to reclaim the protoculture matrix in the ruins of the SDF-1. The war lasts for over a year and although the Masters are defeated, the United Earth Government (UEG) is crippled and the United Earth Forces (included the elite Army of the Southern Cross) suffer massive losses. The REF was unable to send significant aid back to Earth due to its war with the Invid. When the Invid invaded Earth in 2031, marking the start of the Third Robotech War, the remaining military forces on Earth were easily defeated. The REF learns that Earth has fallen to the Invid when a group of survivors from the Southern Cross refugees who escaped from Earth after acquiring one of the few remaining operational spacecraft.
In September 2038, the REF 10th Mars Division launched an assault against the Invid in an attempt to destroy Reflex Point. However, the attack fails miserably, and the Division is nearly wiped out, although a handful of survivors, including Lance "Lancer" Belmont are able to reach earth. The REF had faced the Invid before but it is soon realized that the Invid have been evolving on Earth and consequently, their military abilities and strength has grown considerably.
In September 2042, the REF 21st Mars Division launched another assault against the Invid but despite their improved weaponry, the Invid overpower and destroy the entire division. One confirmed survivor was REF pilot Scott Bernard.
In 2043, as chronicled in Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles the Regent is soon joined by General T. R. Edwards, who betrays the REF to gain power. Edwards eventually betrays the Regent as well, killing him. Edwards is eventually defeated by Admiral Rick Hunter and Captain Vince Grant, and the REF turns their attention to freeing Earth from the Invid.
Robotech Expeditionary Force: 2044-onward
Battle of Reflex Point
In July 2044, the REF prepares for one final assault on Earth to dislodge the Invid. However, if the attack fails, Admiral Rick Hunter orders the use of the Neutron-S missiles as a last resort. The Haydonites, a mysterious alien race which has allied with the REF and the Sentinels against the Invid, has provided the REF with new technology, including the new missiles and Shadow technology, which enables ships to remain invisible to Invid sensors. The missiles, will wipe out most, in not all, of the human life on Earth, but it will destroy the Invid, which it is feared will use the protoculture on Earth to eventually conquer the galaxy. Some senior REF officials feel that the missiles should be used immediately, since the REF will likely sustain very heavy losses in the attack, even if it is successful. However, Admiral Hunter overrules them and declares that the missiles will only be used if the attack fails and the REF itself is facing complete destruction. Admiral Hunter then orders General Reinhardt to assemble all available REF forces at Moon Base ALUCE and to prepare for the assault.
The SDF-3, the massive flagship of the REF fleet, was supposed to lead the attack on Earth but it is delayed as it conducts a test of one of the Neutron-S missiles in the remote omicron sector. The test goes horribly wrong as the missile's detonation creates a new black hole. Even though the SDF-3 is 800 million kilometers (500 million miles) from the detonation, it is heavily damaged. A refitted Science vessel, the Deukalion is also heavily damaged. Vince Grant in the cruiser Icarus attempts a rescue mission but they come under attack from unknown alien forces, and the mission fails. However, Admiral Rick Hunter is able to contact Vince and warn him of the true power of the Neutron-S missiles and that they cannot, under any circumstances, be used on Earth. Vince obeys Hunter's orders and returns to Earth with the Deukalion in tow. However, the SDF-3 is left adrift in space.
Meanwhile, the REF's entire fleet has been assembled near Earth. Despite not having the SDF-3 and its powerful arsenal, General Reinhardt, commander of the SDF-4 Izumo, who has been placed in charge by Admiral Hunter, orders the attack to begin. The attack begins with a full-scale assault on the Invid forces utilizing new shadow technology obtained from the Haydonites, including shadow devices that hide REF ships from Invid sensors and enhanced weapons, including more powerful sycno-cannons for the capital ships and new miniaturized sycno-cannons that have been installed of the fighters.
The force assembled includes the flagship SDF-4 Izumo, four Shimakaze class battlecruisers, approximately 40+ Ikazuchi class carriers, several hundred Garfish class light cruisers and thousands of VFA-6 Alpha and VFB-9 Beta fighters. Constructed with the help of the Sentinels, this was the largest fleet ever assembled by the REF or humanity. In addition, to the massive space fleet, resistance forces on Earth, aided by REF commando units that are dropped prior to the assault, are to attack and attempt to destroy Reflex Point on the ground if the spacefleet proves unsuccessful.
The assault initially goes well as the REF had hoped. The Capital Ships of the fleet fire their massive syncro-Cannons, which destroy several Invid Carriers before they can launch their fighters while REF fighter squadrons, utilizing shadow technology that makes them invisible to the Invid sensors, easily cripple the first wave of the Invid attack. On the ground, REF and resistance forces push the Invid back and approach striking distance of Reflex Point.
However, the Invid Regis, determined to hold on to Earth no matter the cost, launches all of her remaining forces in one final attack wave. Every remaining Invid fighter capable of space combat is sent into orbit against the REF fleet. She also orders all of her remaining ground forces on the planet to retreat to Reflex Point for a last stand. The ground forces on Earth are pushed back by this renewed attack. In space, REF fighter squadrons become overwhelmed by sheer Invid numbers and begin taking heavy losses. Invid fighters soon begin punching through the frontlines of the fleet and, to further compensate for the technological disadvantages, resort to making suicide runs against the REF capital ships, further straining the ability of the REF to continue the battle. General Reinhardt, commander of the Fleet, is informed that the fleet, in particular the fighter squadrons, is taking heavy losses and that the ground forces' attack on Reflex Point has failed. An increasing number of Capital ships are also being destroyed. He decides he has no choice but to use the Neutron-S missiles and orders their launch, but is unaware of the missiles true power. However, the Regis' daughter Ariel, who has a human body and who has grown close to the humans, convinces her mother to leave Earth rather than allow both races to be destryed. This request, combined with the Regis' knowledge of the true power of the Neutron-S missiles which are about to impact Earth, decides to end the conflict. She converts the Invid race to energy and launches into orbit in a stream of light. She gives a gift to her daughter, who chose to stay behind on Earth, by destroying the incoming Neutron-S missiles. The Invid stream of light flies off into space in search for a new planet on which to continue their evolution. Earth, for the first time in 13 years is now free and the Third Robotech War is over.
However, the situation is far from ideal. The REF has suffered heavy losses to its fighter squadrons and many capital ships are destroyed or damaged. The damaged ships and injured personnel are evacuated to Space Station Liberty, a massive spacestation located in deep space. Liberty serves as a fortress, ship construction and repair facility, communications nerve center and way station along the routes to Earth's distant colonies and the REF during its 22-year mission.
Fourth Robotech War
Following the battle, the veritech fighter pilots assemble at Moon Base ALUCE. The fighters are to remain near Earth, which will be vulnerable while the REF rebuilds. Among those killed is Commander Daryl Taylor, the leader of wolf squadron. The surviving members of the squadron, including Marcus Rush and Alex Romero, are merged into Skull Squadron under the command of Maia Sterling.
The REF also faces a new problems: Invid have taken all the protoculture on the planet and the REF has only a year's supply left and the only hope is to find the SDF-3, which has a protoculture matrix on board. Earth, although free, remains in economic and social turmoil. During the Invid occupation, many humans allied with them in exchange of power while areas not under Invid control were ruled by criminal gangs, self-appointed leaders and a variety of cults. Much of the planet remains in a pre-industrial state, and its people are divided and leaderless. As a result, there is little Earth can do to assist the REF.
With the Invid gone, the REF expects that their next challenge will be rebuilding Earth, which has been devastated by the 13-year Invid occupation. However, the peace following the Invid retreat turns out to be very short-lived. Ariel tries to warn the REF about the new threat that is about to manifest itself but her and Scott Bernard's warning are not heeded. The REF believes that the Invid remain the true enemy and that they are trying to manipulate the REF. Bernard is interrogated and despite his insistence that Ariel is a friend and is trying to warn of an impending disaster, Captain Vince Grant and General Reinhardt, and most of the REF, refuses to trust an Invid. Ariel's warning is only realized to be accurate when Space Station Liberty comes under attack a large fleet of the same unknown alien forces that attacked the SDF-3 in the Omicron sector. It is soon discovered that the attackers are the Haydonites themselves, and that they have turned on the REF. Ariel teleports to the bridge of the Grant's commandship Icarus to explain that the Haydonites believe that all those who use protoculture must be destroyed, including both the Invid and humanity.
The Haydonites original plan was that the REF, unaware of the true power of the Neutron S missiles considered for use during the assault in 2044, would use them on Earth. The resulting black hole that would have been created would have destroyed the Earth, the Invid, the REF fleet, and Moon Base ALuCE. With their original plan thwarted, the Haydonites decide to attack the humans themselves. However, the Haydonites have already prepared for this scenario.
The REF ships docked at Liberty launch an attack against the Haydonites but they soon discover that their former allies have addition surprises instore. Immediately, the Haydonites jam all REF communications. The Haydonite ships are equipped with powerful shields which can withstand hits from the REF weapons and massive cannons that are superior to those of the REF and they easily destroy the REF's first combat defense line. The REF ships attempt to fire their syncro-cannons but a Haydonite disrupter wave causes the cannons to malfunction and explode, destroying and crippling numerous REF ships. By the time the Icarus with Vince Grant, Louie Nichols, Janice Em, Scott Bernard and Ariel arrives on the scene, 89% of the REF forces at Liberty have been destroyed. As the Icarus watches helplessly, a carrier explodes after just one hit on its reflex furnace. Louie reports that the haydonites are also using energy beams that utilize a weakness in the ships' shadow devices, which cause the ships' reflex furnaces to implode. Vince slams his fist as he realizes that every piece of technology the Haydonites have given the REF has some kind of trojan horse built into it. However, with communications still jammed, Grant is unable to warn the REF ships of this discovery, and has no choice but to retreat while the remaining ships are left to fight a hopeless battle.
Vince Grant, realizing that any engagement with the Haydonites with the Icarus (which has shadow technology) is futile, launches another plan. He orders Skull Squadron, under the command of Maia Sterling, to dock at Liberty and acquire special fighters with no shadow technology to hold off the Haydonites long enough to evacuate all of Liberty's personnel to the Ark Angel, a colony ship with minimal armorments but the only capital ship at Liberty with no shadow technology. Meanwhile, Grant and Scott Bernard, move through Liberty on cyclones (motorcycles) until they reach the remaining Neutron-S missiles, which they rig for detonation. As the Ark Angel pulls away from Liberty, the Haydonites move in, but the Ark Angel initiates a spacefold just before the detonation of the missiles. The missiles' explosion destroys Liberty and the entire Haydonite fleet.
At the end of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the situation of the REF is dire. Space Station Liberty, by far the REF's largest and most important space station, is gone and the heavy losses taken by the REF during the assault against the Invid have now been compounded by the further losses to the Haydonites of at least 89% of the ships that were docked at Liberty (although the exact or approximate remaining strength of the REF is not known). The Ark Angel arrives in Earth orbit and flies into the atmosphere and cruises near the surface. Many of those aboard the Ark Angel, such as Maia Sterling and Marcus Rush, were born in space during the REF's 22-year mission, and have never seen Earth's surface until now. On orders from General Reinhardt, the Ark Angel begins a mission to find the SDF-3, which it is learned may not have been destroyed. The REF hopes that the SDF-3, if it has survived, can be found before the Haydonites reach it.
It is hoped by fans that the fate of the SDF-3 and the REF will be revealed in a future Robotech Installment.
Composition of the REF
In June 2044 (at the Battle of Reflex Point), the Robotech Expeditionary Force's primary ships include the SDF-3 Pioneer, the SDF-4 Izumo, five Shimakaze- Class battlecruisers, 40+ Ikazuchi-class carriers, 200+ Garfish light cruisers, and several thousand VFA-6 Alpha and VFB-9 Beta veritech fighters. The Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles comic series and the movie Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles introduced the Shimakaze class (a battlecruiser slightly larger than the Tristar class), the Crusade-class dropship, and the Ark Angel-class colony ships.
- Robotech Timeline - New Generation at Robotech.com.
- Shimakaze-class battlecruiser at Robotech.com.
- Four Shimakaze- Class battlecruisers took part in the battle. A fifth battlecrusier, the Icarus under the command of Captain Vince Grant, had already departed to the Omicron sector to investigate the disappearance of the SDF-3.
- Ikazuchi-class Carrier at Robotech.com.
- Garfish-class Cruiser at Robotech.com.