ARMSCOR A-16 Executioner Jet Attack Fighter

A-16 Executioner Multi-role Fighter Aircraft

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen

Designation: Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR) A-16 Executioner Jet Attack Fighter

I. Dimensions:

  • Total Length: 16.5 m (A), 16.5 m (B), 17.9 m (C, D)
  • Total Height: 6.6 m (A), 6.4 m (B), 6.4 m (C, D)
  • Total Wingspan: 10.2 m (A), 9.7 m (B), 9.7 m (C, D)
  • Total Dry Weight: 17 tons (A), 18.3 tons (B), 18.6 tons  (C, D)

II. Service History:

  • A-16A: Served with the UN Spacy from 2004 until replaced by the -B.
  • A-16B: Served with the UN Spacy from 2010 until 2017, and with the UEDF Tactical Air Force from 2020 until replaced by the -D.
  • A-16C: Served with the UEDF Navy from 2018 until the Invid invasion.
  • A-16D: Served with the UEDF Tactical Air Force from 2024 until the Invid invasion

III. Type:

  • A-16A/B : One man attack fighter.
  • A-16C/D : Two-man attack fighter.

IV. Propulsion:

(A-16A/B versions)

  • 2 x Eurojet EJ-210 mod 8 chemical turbofans with infra-red suppression, 166 kN of afterburning thrust total.

(A-16C/D versions)

  • 2 x Nakajima/P&W/Rolls Royce FF-2011-9 fusion turbines, max. unboosted output 170 kN each (no overboost possible).
  • 1 x Tirolian mecha proto-generator (known on Earth as the RT/PS-4d), providing electrical power to the mecha; output 325 MW.

V. Performance:

(A-16A/B versions)

  • Maximum speed: 2,678 kph (Mach 2.2) @ 15,000 meter, 1,838 kph (Mach 1.5) @ sea level.
  • Maximum climb rate: >25,000 meter/minute.
  • Range (typical): 1500 km.
  • Stall speed: 175 kph.
  • Maximum altitude: 19,000 meter.
  • Max load runway length: 512 meters.
  • Design-g limits: 9.5 g.

(A-16C, D version)

  • Maximum speed: 2420 kph (Mach 2.25) @ 15,000 meter, 1300 kph (Mach 1.1) @ sea level.
  • Maximum climb rate: >25,000 meter/minute.
  • Range (typical): n/a.
  • Stall speed: 125 kph.
  • Maximum altitude: 19,000 meter.
  • Max load runway length: 512 meters.
  • Design-g limits: 9.5 g.

VI. Electronics:

Typical set for A-16B variant

Radar System:

  • Hughes AWG-20 X-band pulse-Doppler radar, providing long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes, as well as extensive surface search, attack, navigation, and mapping modes.

Optical tracking:

Thomson LT-3 multi-frequency laser ranger/designator

  • Zeiss FOI-8 infra-red imaging sensor and low-light level camera system in retractable optic ball-turret in front of the cockpit canopy.

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-200 active radar jammer
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares
  • Active missile jammers.

VII. Armament:


  • (A variant) 1 x Gsh-30-4A1 four-barreled 30mm cannon, firing API (Armor Piercing Incendiary) ammunition at 990 m/s or HEI shells at 1040 m/s. Firing rate is 3000 rounds/minute maximum, ammunition supply is 250 rounds.
  • (B variant) 1 x GU-9 55mm single barrel autocannon; cannon fires APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) and HESH-I (High Explosive Squash Head-Incendiary) rounds at 150 rounds/minute. Ammunition supply is 200 rounds.
  • (C/D variants) 1 x EP-4 single barrel particle cannon; charged from the protoculture generator, it can fire 9 MJ of particle energy every second.


(A and B variants)

  • 8 hardpoints for assorted ordnance, 3 under each wing and 2 under the inlet. The hardpoints are not conformal and can carry MERs (Multiple Ejector Racks). Typical loads carried are:
    • 6 x AGM-65R Maverick missiles on two triple MERs under the wings, with two fuel tanks under the inlet and 4 x Sidewinder missiles under the outer wing hardpoints,
    • or 4 x GBU-27/B Paveway III laser guided 907kg bombs, with 2 x Sidewinder missiles under the wing hardpoints,
    • or 8 x CBU-87/B cluster bombs, with usually 4 x Sidewinder missiles under the wing hardpoints,
    • or 18 x Stiletto missiles on six MERs under the wing hardpoints (after 2009),
    • or almost any other other ordnance.

(C and D variants)

  • 3 conformal hardpoints for Carapace missile containers under the inlet. These missile containers can contain 6 Diamondback missiles, 12 Hammerhead missiles, or 3 Stiletto missiles. Typically, two Carapaces contain Diamondbacks, and the other Carapace contains Hammerhead missiles for a total of 12 Hammerhead and 12 Diamondback missiles.
    • 6 standard hardpoints, three under each wing, suited for MERs. Typical loads carried are:
    • 8 x Derringer missiles on horizontal MERs on four hardpoints,
    • or 1 x laser guided mk84 907kg bomb on each hardpoint,
    • or 1 x Silencer anti-radiation missile on the inner hardpoints,
    • or a Carapace missile container on each hardpoint (load-out dependent on mission),
    • or 1 x Firebird long range air-to-air missile on each hardpoint,
    • or almost any other hard-point mountable ordnance, such as iron bombs.

VIII. Armor:

The skin of the Executioner is composed of an advanced titanium-steel alloy. The armor on the Executioner stops all small arms fire, provides fair protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round, and poor resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round. The armored ‘bathtub’ in the Executioner’s pilot compartment stops all small arms fire, provides good protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round, and fair resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round.

These planes provide full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for approximately eight hours.

IX. Development:

A-16A (MiG-31) 5

During the Global Civil War, the Mikoyan-i-Gurevich Design Bureau designed its own equivalent to both the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt and the McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The new aircraft would have to be as effective at taking out ground targets as the A-10, but also as adept at air-to-air combat as the dual-role F/A-18. The design bureau fulfilled these hefty demands brilliantly with the MiG-31. The plane incorporated completely new aerodynamic designs, including a delta wing tipped with the vertical stabilizers, which were in effect very large winglets, and two small canard wings in front. The cockpit section was an ellipsoid, and the main hull extended above and below the wings. Expert detail design and applied aerodynamics, coupled to thrust reversers and revised approach procedures gave the plane the STOL capability of the far older SAAB Draken and Viggen fighters. The MiG-31 was well armored, and had built-in infra-red engine suppressors to counter aircraft-and shoulder-launched infra-red missiles. The armament was impressive as well, with a 35mm four-barreled Gatling cannon under the hull, in front of the inlet. This cannon was a knock-off of the GAU-8/A as installed in the nose of the A-10, and fired similarly powerful ammunition. The one drawback was that exhaust fumes from the cannon’s firing could interfere with the engines, but this was offset by a number of auxiliary inlets and close-off doors in the normal airflow canals. Four hardpoints were also available to mount almost any external store available in the world. The resulting craft was even faster at low altitudes than the F-203, but was still not as good a dog-fighter due to the lower thrust of its engines and its higher weight, causing a lower acceleration and more energy loss during sustained turns. However, as a dual-role attack/fighter aircraft the plane was without equal, surpassing both the A-10 as a ground attack plane and the F/A-18 as a dual-role plane. The USSR was very pleased with the design, since it was an overnight success, and sold a large number to the East-bloc and Chinese forces where it acquired the name of Karyovin.

The MiG-31 was adopted by the UN Spacy in response to lobbying by the Soviet Union to receive defense contracts for what was an overwhelmingly Western supplied force. The A-16 (not to be confused with the A-16 variant of the F-16 Fighting Falcon in US Air Force service) was based on the MiG-31, maintaining its airframe and engines, but with western avionics and weapons fit. The final assembly of the aircraft was subcontracted to ARMSCOR of South Africa, which built it from knock down kits produced by Mikoyan Gurevich in the Soviet Union (witht he exception of the A-16, which was a standard MiG-31 with avionics upgrades). The A-16 differed from the MiG-31 in that it had western avionics, the forward nose section and cockpit was sourced McDonnel Douglas, and the main cannon was a fully shrouded. The shrouding incorporated a fume extractor that allowed the A-16 to operate without the MiG-31’s complicated engine inlet ducting. The plane’s armor and engines were improved, with the intent of changing the plane from a multi-role fighter into primarily an attack plane. An additional four hardpoints were added under the wings, and the gun upgraded to a 35mm Armscor design. This variant served with the UN Spacy, and fought its Russian predecessor on several occasions, as these aircraft still served with anti-unification forces.

In 2010, the Executioner was refit again. The A-16B saw its electronics upgraded to the standard UN Spacy suite, was given carrier compatibility, and the already powerful cannon was replaced with a GU-9, the single barrel version of the GU-11, the same cannon that equipped the QF-3000 Ghost drones. This weapon was reasonably effective against Zentraedi mecha. The A-16B Executioner was well-used during the Zentraedi uprisings.

In 2020, when almost all other forces had upgraded their combat aircraft with designs postdating the Robotech era, the UEDF Navy and TAF decided to acquire an improved model of the Executioner as their prime dual-role attack aircraft. The Executioner C (Navy) and D (Tactical Air Force) were the only pre-1999 designed models to be equipped with fusion turbines. This modification eliminated the dependence on fossil fuel sources, and gave the planes effectively supercruise capabilities and unlimited range. However, the former fuel tanks were not used as reaction-mass tanks, but rather simply deleted in favor of extra strengthening and the UEDF standard electronics set. This meant that the fusion turbines could not be boosted, and that neither the speed nor the maximum altitude performance of the Executioner was greatly affected. In addition, the use of fusion turbines mandated a protoculture power source, and the installment of a protoculture generator provided enough excess current to replace the GU-9 cannon with the EP-4, the same particle cannon used on the VF-4 Lightning.

Both of the Southern Cross variants served until the Invid invasion.



Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (R) is the properties of Big West Advertising and Studio Nue. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Tim Wing; Shoji Kawamori, Miyatake Kazutaka, Haruhiko Mikimoto and Hidetaka Tenjin

Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication. 

Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2000, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015 Tim Wing