(Invid Hellcat) Unmanned Reconnaissance/Strike Drone
- Hellcat / Cougar Reference File
- Hellcat / Cougar gallery
by: Tim Wing
- Role: Unmanned long duration fast reconnaissance/strike drone
- Planet of Origin: Optera (Note: actual planet of design and manufacture unknown)
- Weight: 675 kg
- Primary Armament: Unarmed, apart from
- Introduced: Unknown (First sighted 2014 during the invasion of Garuda)
- Status: All examples destroyed or in operational
- Primary users: Regent’s faction of the Invid race
- Number Built: Unknown
Background and Design
The Invid Regent made extensive use of drones, or Inorganics as they called by the Reconnaissance Expeditionary Forces (REF), in his half of the Invid Forces. These drones can be broken down into two categories: Type 1 Inorganics and Type 2 Inorganics. Type 1 Inorganics were indigenous in design, having been created by the Invid. Type 2 Inorganics were a completely different animal, having been built under contract on occupied Karbarra. The Type 2 Inorganics were very conventional in design, save for the Invid derived control and communication suit. The type 1 Inorganics, on the other hand, were completely alien in design and manufacture.
The Hellcat was an example of a Type 1 Inorganic.
The Hellcat was first encountered during the Invid’s occupation of Garuda. Once the main invasion force was withdrawn from the planet, the Invid left a large number of Hellcats and other Type 1 Inorganics to police the surface of the planet and hunt down dissident groups. Inorganics were not the only Invid forces present during the occupation, but they were the most numerous. It is speculated that this was due to the planets toxic atmosphere, but that hypothesis is doubtful since manned Invid mecha had full nuclear, biological and chemical protection.
The Hellcat was also encountered on other occupied worlds of the local group. On Tirol, the Hellcat was the first mecha that the REF came into contact with. Though obviously at a disadvantage against full sized Mecha, the Hellcat proved frightfully effective in combat against the Special Forces scout teams that first encountered them. Against human sized infantry, the Hellcat had the ability to close with and destroy troops in close combat, in the most gruesome of fashions.
For the layman, the best way to understand the overall design of the Hellcat (and that of most Invid mecha) is to think of it in terms of an Earth bound arthropod. It had an external skeleton, powered by internally located myomer fiber. In this way, the fiber acted much like the muscle in an arthropod. The myomer fiber was relatively light weight and took up little room inside of the mecha itself. Because of this, most of the internal volume of the Hellcat was actually empty space.
In addition to the myomer fiber, the other two principal components of the Hellcat’s inner structure were the biologically derived artificial intelligence and control unit with communications suit (located in the head) and the protoculture energizer power source (located in the chest cavity).
The armor of the Hellcat was designed principally for light weight and protection again projected energy weapons. The outer shell was produced by means of biologically extruded ceramic. This armor provided fair protection against Bioroid ion cannons and Zentraedi Battle Pod particle beam cannons, but due to its brittle nature it offered almost no protection against projectile weapons. Fired solids of as little caliber as 7.62mm AP could easily pierce the Hellcats armor, and rounds of .50 caliber or greater would cause the outer armor shell to shatter completely!
The Hellcat had no real armament other than its vicious ceramic claws. These claws, located on both the four and hind legs could tear through the aluminum armor plate found on most conventional Terran light armored vehicles of the time, and could rip troops in personal battle armor in half with a single swipe of the paw. Their fearsome effect on infantry did much to earn this mecha the reporting name “Hellcat”
For a scout mecha, the Hellcat was provided with a horribly underpowered sensor suit. The Hellcat’s only sensors were a pair of IM-1VS visual/LLLTV (UEDF designation) sensors on either side of the head. The spectral resolution of these sensors were very poor, however (unlike the sensors found in most other Invid mecha) they did provide decent depth perception.
The Hellcat also mounted a powerful battlefield surveillance radar. This PADR-1RS variable frequency multi-mode phased array directional radar system had its antenna mast mounted in what looked like the mecha’s tail. The radar system was advanced even by contemporary Terran standards and offered a full set of ranging, search, track, mapping and observation modes, including a high-resolution ISAR option. The installation could also function in a passive ESM mode.
As the Hellcat was controlled directly by a Central Command and Control hub, great importance was place on its communication suit. Its main “radio” antennas consisted of two large blades located on the shoulders of the front legs. The Hellcat communicated with its control hub by means of medium frequency radio waves which could broadcast line of sight for short range communication, or by means of reflecting off the ionosphere for longer range communication. For communication security, the Invid employed a fairly rudimentary frequency hopping technique.
For long range, secure line of sight communications, the Hellcat had a Free-space optical communication (FSO) transmitter mounted in the tail. This system allowed the Hellcat to communicate with Invid space craft stationed above the horizon, however it had no FSO receiver.
The Hellcat’s greatest asset was its speed. It could run at speeds of up to 190 kph, over broken terrain, for hours at a time. To put this in perspective, the Regult Battle Pod could run at a speed of about 280 kph, but only for short distances (a more typical sustained speed for a Regult closer 170 kph). The Hellcat, on the other hand, could literally travel at top speed all day long. To put this into even greater perspective, the Hellcat could travel from the east coast of the North American continent to the west coast in less than a day.
General characteristics (all)
- Crew: None
- Width: 1.2 m
- Height: 1.4 m
- Length: 2.4 m (Body, not including the tail)
- Combat weight: 675 kg
- Running speed: 190 kph
- Endurance: hours
- Jump: 37 m long jump, with a max altitude of 18 m
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd. (Robotech II: The Sentinels) and John Waltrip.
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 on Robotech Illustrated.
Content by Tim Wing, Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Rob Morgenstern
Copyright © 2013 Tim Wing