by Rob Morgenstern, Tim Wing, and Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
The FRB-7 Cyclops was a flight capable Battloid deployed by the United Earth Defense Force (Southern Cross) Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions. This mecha first entered series production in 2023, and served through till the Invid Invasion in 2031. In its original form, this mecha was not fully flight capable. However, it came into its own with the introduction of the Mk. II. The Cyclops was considered by many to be the most capable battloid of the Second Robotech War.
- Role – One person, Air Reconnaissance/Forward Observer Robot
- Designer – Northrop Corporation
- Manufacturer – Northrop Corporation, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Mecha, Proteus Group
- Weight – 12,000 kg.
- Primary Armament – Mauser EU-10 Laser Gun Pod
- Introduced – November 2023
- Retired – 2031
- Primary User – UEDF Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions
- Number Built – 960
- Unit Cost – $29 Million (cost in adjusted 2070 International Credits.)
The United Earth Defense Forces (UEDF) Surface Command decided that the large UN Spacy Destroid designs were too conspicuous and vulnerable to standoff missile attacks to be fully effective. Also, in urban combat, the huge robots could easily lose small vehicles in back streets that were too small to accommodate the large Destroids. As such, they desired to create smaller and more agile mecha that could better adapt to a variety of operating environments. From this desire, the UEDF battloids first evolved: smaller, more agile, multi-purpose robots. It was beneficial that the smaller battloids were much cheaper to manufacture, were not dependent on internal weapons fits and did not have to be space capable.
The Southern Cross Surface Command recognized a need for a cavalry scout mecha to provide battlefield reconnaissance and forward observation to support the main forces. The Veritech hover tanks were too expensive to fill the role completely, the Destroids too big and slow and conventional Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) such as the FIAT 6836 M-120 too vulnerable. As such, the Cyclops was designed to provide a high mobility reconnaissance and patrol battloid for the Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions. These battloids also served as forward observers for the Alpha Tactical Armored Corp (ATAC) and other Tactical Corps divisions. They carried no built-in weapons as all internal space was reserved for its sensor suite and to keep the weight down to maximize speed and maneuverability. The Cyclops relied on hand-carried weapons for its offensive capabilities.
Of all of the battloids, the Cyclops faired the best against the Tirolian Bioroids, its speed and maneuverability allowing it to survive where the other mecha were cut down. Regrettably, its armor was too thin to survive a defensive stand against the Bioroids, which is the scenario where most were lost, defending bases and cities from the Bioroid offensives when the other forces were destroyed or unavailable.
After the war with the Robotech Masters, only a few remained to fight the Invid. Those that did make it into the Invid Occupation proved invaluable to those who actually realized what their sensors were capable of and were able to put them to good use. (i.e. away from combat.) For this reason, several good examples of the mecha exist today, and can be found in the Terran War Museum located at the site of the former Reflex Point hive.
The armor on the Cyclops is a 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 is also resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns, owing to the fact that the armor can 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 stops all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provides good to excellent resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and poor to good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round.
The Cyclops provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a fully-sealed cockpit module activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The cockpit module is also armored and gives the Cyclops the option of operating off-planet on the moon or elsewhere in the system. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere purification for one week maximum on Earth and 48 hours in a hostile environment such as the moon or Mars.
No weapons are standard built-in. However, the mecha has hands and can carry weapon pods.
In the early years of its employment, the Cyclops carried the GU-13 three-barreled 35mm gun pod, firing 2000 rounds per minute. This weapon had a 600 round capacity, stored in the pod itself, in a non-detachable ‘magazine’. The Ammunition was a mix of Tungsten-coated depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Spin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APSSDS), High Explosive Armor Piercing (HEAP) and tracer rounds. After the introduction of the EU-10, this weapon was not frequently used.
The West German designed and built Mauser EU-10 Laser Gun Pod was the most commonly used gun pod from its introduction in 2023 till the introduction of the EU-11 in 2028. This gun pod fired energy pulses of up to 10 MJ per blast. This gun pod could fire up to 150 times/minute due to the large capacitors mounted on either side of the pod. This was the most common gunpod assigned to these battloids due to its decent penetration capabilities and high rate of fire. The weapon incorporated a carrying handle to assist in transportation and could be attached to an arm in a carrying position.
Mauser EU-11 28mm Laser Gun Pod was introduced in 2028, and mostly replaced the EU-11 gunpod. This gun pod fired energy pulses of up to 12.5 MJ per blast. This gun pod could fire up to 110 times/minute. This gun pod was also issued to the VHT-1 Hovertank due to its smaller size and higher penetration capabilities.
The General Electric EU-12 pulse ion cannon gun pod, firing 12 MJ pulses at 130 pulses per second. Specially developed for the SC ground Battloids, this cannon used pulse technology to offset the beam attenuation caused by the lower layers of the atmosphere in which it was used. This pod was utilized in cases where more impact than penetration was required, and was introduced around 2029, although primarily with the combat Battloids first.
The Cyclops’s sensor suite was an extremely advanced and versatile design. The Westinghouse TPG-147 pulse-doppler radar had the longest range of any ground radar system of its day. Rockwell International’s excellent AVS-10 camera system (the ‘Big Eye’) gave it infra-red, optical and ultra-violet vision for detecting targets in all weather, day or night. The Thomson LT-9 long-range multi-frequency laser ranger and designator was used to aim its own gun pods and direct indirect fire from supporting artillery.
The Norden BSP-3A packet provided such various sensors as a neural activity sensor. It could detect the unique and very weak electromagnetic activity caused by the functioning of human brains, though only at a short range and against such large targets as full sized Zentraedi. In addition, the BSP-3A packet included full spectrum radiation scanners, seismic detectors, gallium neutrino counters, density meters, directional audio sensors, and spectral and sample chemical sensors.
The mecha came equipped with the necessary computer enhancement and interpretation hardware to make use of information collected by its extensive sensor suite, as well as with a high-speed data link for burst transmission to headquarters.
The tactical electronic warfare system included the Selenia Ground Warrior active/passive sensor jammers and signal detectors (linked with the sensor package).
The Mk. II added the back mounted thruster and hip thrusters to provide the Cyclops with flight capabilities to enhance its mobility and survivability. In concept, it was closest to a recon version of the Zentraedi Nousjaedul-Ger. The Mk. II could fly long distances, making it more of an effective scout than the VHT-1. Being the lightest armored of the battloids, the Cyclops relied even more on speed and maneuverability rather than damage resistance for survival. Also, being lightly armed, the pilots were less likely to engage in combat when enemy contact was made.
The power plant was a MT 844 miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer, fueled by six standard canisters of Protoculture.
The Mk. I had Allison PRT-10 rocket thrusters in the legs for power-assisted jumps. The Mk. II retained these for additional attitude and flight control. Engine output was 7100 Kg of thrust per engine for short duration burns.
Max jump performance (Mk. I only) was typically 30 meters high out to a distance of 90 meters. The mecha was generally limited to 25 jumps. It could hover and fly at low altitude for up to three minutes before the fuel stores were exhausted, but this was rarely done, due to the fact that it turned the battloid into a highly visible, slow moving target.
The Mk. II had one Allison BRT-5 plasma-shock expansion thruster backpack that provided flight capability. The maximum rated output 15,000 Kg of thrust. This gave the Cyclops a thrust to weight ratio of 1.25 to one. The backpack was equipped with four dedicated Protoculture canisters and an energizer. The Mk. II also had two Allison PMT-30 triple maneuvering thrusters on the hips.
Variants and Upgrades
FRB-7A Mk. I: Jump capable enlisted version used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions from 2023-2025.
FRB-7J Mk. I: Jump capable NCO version used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions from 2023-2025.
FRB-7S Mk. I: Jump capable officer version used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions from 2023-2025.
FRB-7A Mk. II: Flight-capable upgrade to enlisted version used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions from 2025-2031.
ARR-15J Mk. II: Flight-capable upgrade to NCO version used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions from 2025-2031.
FRB-7S Mk. II: Flight-capable upgrade to officer version used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions from 2025-2031.
- United Earth Defense Force, Tactical Corps Reconnaissance Divisions 2023 to 2033
General characteristics (all)
- Total Height – 6.1 m
- Total Depth – 1.8 m (without Thruster pack)
- Total Breadth – 3.0 m
- Weight – 12.0 metric tons
- Combat Weight – 14.8 metric tons
- Powerplant – 1 MT844 miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer
- Fuel Capacity – 6 standard canisters of Protoculture.
- Engines – 2 x Allison PRT-10 rocket thrusters in the legs for power-assisted jumps in the Mk. I. Engine output is 7100 Kg of thrust per engine for short duration burns.
(Additions for Mk. II Only)
- Engines – 1 x Allison BRT-5 plasma-shock expansion thruster backpack providing flight capability, maximum rated output 1500 Kg of thrust and 2 x Allison PMT-30 triple maneuvering thrusters on the hips.
- Jumping range – 90 meter
- Flying speed – 200 kph (Mk. II Only)
- Max Altitude – 600 meters (Mk. II Only)
- Protoculture supply – (general supply) 300 hours operational use.
- (backpack only) 18 hours of flight.
- 1 x GU-13 three-barreled 35mm gun pod, firing 2000 rounds per minute, 600 round capacity, stored in the pod itself, and in a non-detachable ‘magazine’.
- 1 x Mauser EU-10 Laser Gun Pod. This gun pod fired energy pulses of up to 10 MJ per blast.
- 1 x Mauser EU-11 28mm Laser Gun Pod. This gun pod fired energy pulses of up to 12.5 MJ per blast. This gun pod could fire up to 110 times/minute.
- 1 x General Electric EU-22 pulse laser pod, firing 12 MJ pulses at 130 pulses per second.
Fire Control (S)
- Rockwell AVS-10 multi-band telescopic digital spherical camera system, for long range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking.
- Thomson LT-9 long-range multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
Norden BSP-3A enhanced sensor packet. Extra sensors include:
- Neural activity sensor
- Full spectrum radiation scanners
- Seismic detectors
- Gallium neutrino counters
- Density meters
- Directional audio sensors
- Spectral and sample chemical sensors.
- The mecha comes standard-equipped with the necessary computer enhancement and interpretation hardware, as well as with a high-speed datalink for burst transmission to headquarters.
Electronic Warfare System:
- Selenia GroundWarrior active/passive sensor jammers
- Signal detectors (linked with the sensor package)
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising, Tatsunoko Studio and Ammonite studio. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Kogawa Tomonori, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Miyo Sonoda, Hiroshi Ogawa, Hirotoshi Ohkura and Takashi Ono.
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.
Sources: The Robotech RPG Book Four Southern Cross, by Kevin Siembieda
Content by Tim Wing, Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Rob Morgenstern
Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing