Maxwell Dynamics VA-5 Condor Veritech Attack Fighter

VA-5C Condor, fighter mode.

Technical Specifications:

History and Development:

Maxwell Dynamics’ VA-5 Condor was a heavy fighter-bomber meant to complement the VF/A-6 Alpha series of fighters. Its design was clearly based on the Alpha, with the arms and legs having much the same transformation sequence as on the smaller design. However, the main body and cockpit sections clearly separated the VA-5 Condor from the company’s other designs, and were similar to those of the VF/B-9 Beta, which later replaced the Condor in the attack role.

VA-5C Condor, Battloid mode

One feature was the protruding cockpit section, which, unlike in the later Beta, did not fold down during transformation. The internal weapons bay swiveled forward and formed the connection between the legs and the main body. The Condor was propelled by no less than eight fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix engines, two large and six smaller ones. This gave the Condor excellent acceleration, although the maximum sustained atmospheric speed was limited due to aerodynamic constraints. The proliferation of engines was a bit of a mixed bag. While they allowed for easier engine out maintenance and improved battle damage resiliency, there were nearly twice as many engines to maintain, costing many additional maintenance hours. The successor design, the Beta, reverted to three larger horizontal engines rather than a larger number of smaller ones.

The Condor was tasked in the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) with close air support and heavy assault on starships in low orbit during opposed reentry operations. As such, the design fulfilled its expectations, being very well armored and packing a large punch. Apart from bomb bay and external stores, the Condor carried 36 short range missiles on its legs and arms for self-defense. Additionally, on the right arm, was one of the heaviest beam cannons ever carried by a human airborne mecha, the Hughes Electronics EP-12 particle beam gun pod. This weapon alone could destroy any opposing enemy mecha with its penetrating salvo’s. In addition to the close air support tasking, this tough design also served on the ground in the infantry support role.

VA-5C Condor, Battloid mode


YA-5A: First flying in 2023, the YA-5 Condor was a pre-production prototype designed and built independently by Maxwell Dynamics. The YA-5 was based closely on the VF/A-6 Alpha, utilizing the type’s basic airframe and other components. The YA-5 was essentially the same size as the Alpha, while follow on production variants grew in size.

VA-5A: The production standard VA-5 Condor was built in four different versions. The VA-5A was a one seat all-weather, aerospace combat mecha; three form Veritech with intermediate VTOL mode. It was built only on Earth and went with the Expeditionary Forces when they folded. The VA-5A served with the UEEF Marine Corps (MC) from 2028 until 2037. All A variants were later upgraded to VA-5C standard mid-thirties.

VA/T-5A: A two-seat version, the VA/T-5A, was also built in order to facilitate conversion training from other types of Veritechs. The VA/T-5A served with the UEEF MC from 2028 until 2040 and the UEEF Tactical Armored Space Corps (TASC) from 2018 until 2040. Following the type’s retirement from UEEF service in the late thirties, all aircraft were transferred to the Liberté Colonial Militia (LCM) and the Glorie Self Defense Force (GSDF), where they served until the mid-fifties.

VA-5B: The B variant of the Condor was essentially identical to the VA-5A model, with minor changes made part way through the A‘s production run standardized in the new version. The primary difference was the fact that the VA-5B was built on Space Station Equality. The VA-5B served with both the UEEF MC and the UEEF TASC from 2031 onwards, with all surviving examples being upgraded to VA-5C standard by 2037.

VA-5C: The VA-5C was a one seat upgrade of the VA-5A and B variants. The biggest difference was an upgrade to the main engines and new wings based on those of the VF/A-6 Alpha. This final model served until 2040, when it was replaced by the VF/B-9 Beta. The VA-5C served with the UEEF MC from 2036 until 2040, after which time all remaining mecha were transferred to the Colonial Defense Forces of Liberté and Glorie. The type was finally retired from the colonial defense forces in 2055.

DA-1 Dive Armor Package

DA-1: The DA-1 Dive Armor Pack was an armor and booster package intended for use on the VA-5B and VA-5C Condors. The mecha was only transformable after the DA-1 booster package was jettisoned. When equipped with the DA-1 package, the Condor was capable of long-range orbital insertion in support of troops on the ground, or as a first strike mecha. The DA-1 served with the UEEF MC from 2031 until 2040. While the DA-1 armor packages were transferred to the colonial militias along with the Condors themselves, these armor packages were rarely used by either Liberté or Glorie.

Power Plant:

The Condor’s engines were two Pratt & Whitney JG-95A fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines, one in each leg, with a max thrust of 118kN, and six Turbo-Union ATF 401 miniaturized fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix thrusters. Two of the ATF 401s were mounted fore-arms (usable in jet mode only), and two flanking the JG95 engines in each leg. Each engine was rated to 46.9 kN standard thrust, with a max overboost rating of 91.1 kN for short periods. Two Pratt & Whitney FE-98B first-stage intake fans provided pressurized airflow to main and auxiliary engines, when sufficient atmosphere was present. (It is notable that the FE-98B was considered a separate component by Pratt & Whitney, unlike the first-stage intake fans on VF-1 Valkyrie which were considered an integrated part of the FF-2001 fusion turbines.) The Condor mounted an assortment of small reaction thrusters and gyroscopes for all-environment maneuvers, attitude adjustment, and stability.

The VA-5C model was upgraded with two Pratt & Whitney JG-95Ms (M for Modernized) which had a max thrust of 137 kN each, replacing the JG-95A version in previous models. All other engines on the C-variant were the same as in VA-5A, -5B and VA/T-5A Models. In the case of the DA-1 dive armor package, two external booster engine pods attached to the back of the Condor in Battloid mode only. The two PSE7C reaction engines in each pod were rated to 56 kN each but could only be fired for 4 minutes before reaction mass burnout. Typically, these pods were employed when the mecha was used as a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) insertion, heavy air-to-ground assault Battloid.

All variants were powered by two Robotech Research Group RRL-2P Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizers. Fuel Capacity for all variants was 32 Standard Canisters of Protoculture (excluding dedicated canisters for energy weapons) and 3820 liters of D2O (heavy water) reactant for fusion engines. Two 700 liter drop tanks could be carried on the inboard wing hardpoints and one 2000-liter auxiliary tank could be carried in the weapons bay.


The Condor mounted an avionics suite similar to the early VF/A-6 Alphas. This suite included a Hughes APG-111 X-band spherical pulse-Doppler radar, which provided long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes. Medium range infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking was provided by a Phillips AllView multi-band digital camera system. A Thomson LT-5 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator provided additional range information and target designation. The Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS) included an Elettronica SpA Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), an Oldelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR), a Westinghouse ALQ-250(V) active sensor jammer, as well as chaff dispensers and flares. This avionics suite remained unchanged throughout the Condor’s service life.

The Condor was unique in the fact that it featured a full virtual cockpit. Rather than having a transparent canopy like the VF/A-6 Alpha, the Condor had a fully enclosed and armored cockpit. This significantly increased pilot survivability, without a decrease in situational awareness. Indeed, the large multi-function display (MFD) provided far better situational awareness than any pilot’s eyes could. The primary MFD integrated radar, visual and infrared (IR) data, along with data from the mecha’s radar and IR warning receivers and sensor data from other mecha platforms through the type’s secure data-link. (Even though this system constituted an overall improvement in situational awareness through vastly improved sensor integration, most pilots still preferred to have an actual “window”.)


ATM-04 Hammerhead short range missiles

All variants of the Condor typically carried the Hughes EP-12 three-barreled 250-Megawatt class particle gun pod, which had a maximum rate of fire of 240 discharges per minute. The barrels could be fired in sequence, or in one full power burst, with a rate of fire of 80 salvos per minute. This weapon fired 8.4 MJ pulses per barrel and had its own dedicated protoculture cells and capacitor banks. The weapon was carried in the right arm of the mecha, or between the arms while in fighter mode. All versions of the Condor carried 36 short range ATM-04 Hammerhead missiles. The missiles were mounted in weapons bays on both sides of the lower legs (4 to each bay) and in both sides of the fore arms (5 missiles to each weapons bay).

The VA-5 had two hardpoints per wing, with multiple ordnance options, and one hardpoint under each intake. The wing missiles were only available in fighter mode, and the Condor could not transform, nor re-enter a planet’s atmosphere, without first ejecting both payload and racks. Available payloads included, but were not limited to, medium range Diamondback missiles, seven of which could be stored on an AMER (Articulating Multiple Ejection Rack) on each wing hardpoint. The intake hardpoints could mount a five Diamondbacks on a horizontal rack. In total, up to thirty-eight Diamondback missiles could be carried. The Condor could carry one RMS-2 Angel of Death II nuclear stand-off missile per wing hardpoint or one none-nuclear Firebird missile per wing hardpoint. Thirdly, one CBM-200 cluster missile per wing hardpoint could be carried.

The mecha’s internal weapons bay could carry four Derringer A, E or F long range missiles, up to 16 250 kg bombs in both guided and unguided varieties, up to eight 500 kg bombs or four 1000 kg bombs. An additional 2000 liter reaction mass tank, or a high power, long distance, multi-spectral reconnaissance pod could also be carried. The mecha could carry a combination of payloads, and could be overloaded with extra weight, if the needed ordnance could fit through the bomb bay doors. The weapons bay was certified for a total internal load of 4500kg when operating in an Earth-like atmosphere, although heavier loads were possible at the expense of maneuverability and acceleration in space.

VA-5C Condor, Battloid mode

Construction and Armor:

The armor on the Condor was a then new development in low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating that became the standard for all Terran mecha after its application to the VQ-6A Vandal. Aside from the respectable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor had increased resistant to directed energy weapons such as plasma globes (Invid “annihilation discs”), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns, owing to the fact that the armor could flake off and evaporate in layers under fire from such high-energy weapons, taking much of the weapon’s energy and converting it into the latent heat of sublimation in the armor. The armor stopped all small arms, heavy infantry weapons fire, and light mecha-mounted weaponry, and provided fair to good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) round. Naturally, the Condor provided full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a sealed cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies could provide atmosphere for three days maximum.

Service History:

The VA-5 Condor served with the UEEF from 2028 until 2040, and with the colonial armed forces from 2039 until 2055. The Condor was an unsolicited design proposal by Maxwell Dynamics for the UEDF’s requirement for a dedicated ground attack platform. It was intended to compete with the VA-3 Invader then being developed by Northrop Grumman for this very same role. The first flight of the YA-5 prototype occurred in 2023 at Maxwell Dynamics newly rebuilt production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. While the Condor never competed directly with the VA-3 in an organized fly-off, it did catch the attention of the UEEF, which needed a stop-gap solution to handle the role which was intended to be filled by the VF/X-7 Beta Veritech Fighter, which was suffering from some serious development problems during this time. With the introduction into service of the Beta pushed back indefinitely, the UEEF entered into a purchase agreement with Maxwell Dynamics for 450 airframes with the option for additional units later.

The VA-5A Condor entered initial low-rate production in 2025, with the first Veritechs being assigned to UEEF Marine Corps test and evaluation squadron VMX-22 “Space Griffons”. The VA-5A and VA/T-5A reached initial operational status in 2028. All Condors were assigned to the UEEF Marines, with the UEEF’s Fleet Air Wing preferring to wait for the introduction of the Beta. In 2031, production shifted to Maxwell Dynamics’ production line on Space Station Equality (the Robotech Factory Satellite). All Condors built on the Factory Satellite designated VA-5Bs, however changes from the A model to the B model were minimal with the primary difference being its ability to mount the DA-1 Dive Armor Package. The Condor received a major update in 2036 in the form of the VA-5C. The C model introduced improved Pratt & Whitney JG95M fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines and a completely different wing design. The new engines increased the Veritech’s delta-V and the new wing design increased the type’s maximum allowable atmospheric reentry speed. All variants of the Condor in UEEF service were assigned to the Marine Corps.

The NB-1 naval armor pack was introduced in 2036, with the intention of enabling the VA-5 to operate as point defense fighter with the UEEF Fleet Combatants. While the NB-1 pack fulfilled this role, the Navy passed on the Condor, preferring to field the NA-1 Jackal Naval Anti-Aircraft Mecha instead. While a few Marine Corps squadrons were equipped with this system and tasked with fleet defense, the majority continued to operate in the close air support role. Starting in 2039, with the introduction of the VF/B-9 Beta, remaining Condors in the UEEF Marine Corps service began to be transferred to the Liberté Colonial Militia (LCM) and the Glorie Self Defense Force (GSDF). By 2040, all VA-5s had been transferred to the colonial armed forces, where they served in a second line role until 2055.

Paint and Markings:

Initial production VA-5As left the Fort Worth facility painted in the same two-tone medium green and light gray livery as the VF/A-6 Alphas then being operated by the UEEF Fleet Combatant air wing. When production shifted to Space Station Equality, all VA-5Bs and Cs were delivered in the UEEF Marine Corps preferred paint scheme of olive drab and light gray. The specific shade of olive drab then used by the Marine Corps was much browner in hue than green, thus making the mecha easier to identify than they would have been otherwise. All VA-5As were eventually repainted from green and gray to olive drab and gray.

The DA-1 package was delivered in the same brownish olive drab and light gray color scheme as the B and C variant Condors (as well as the majority of Marine Corps mecha at that time). VA/T-5s built at the Fort Worth facility were originally painted white with high visibility orange markings being added by squadrons using the fighter in a training role, while VA/T-5s assigned to combat squadrons received repaints in green and gray. VA/T-5s produced at Equality were painted in an overall olive drab color scheme, with high visibility orange trim added once again by individual units as appropriate. The NB-1 Naval Armor package was produced in a dark navy blue with dark gray highlights. While the intent was to repaint all Condors fitted with this package, in practice the Marine Corps units operating in the fleet defense role retained the olive drab paint scheme, in contrast with the dark blue of the add-on armor.

Technical Specifications:

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (R) is the property of Fuji Television, Artmic Studio and Tatsunoko Production.  This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Tim Wing (Fighter Mode) and Yoshitaka Amano, Shinji Aramaki and Hideki Kakinuma. (Battloid Mode)

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, with Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker and Rob Morgenstern


Thomassen, Pieter; Walker, Peter; Morgenstern, Rob. “VF-5 (A, B, C, T) Condor Veritech Fighter-Bomber” Last modified January 19, 2012.

Yuasa, Yui. “Condor” Last modified July 17, 2019.

Jackson, Irvin. Robotech the Expeditionary Force Marines Source Book. Chicago: Palladium Books, 2015.

Copyright © 2021 Tim Wing