Roil Tiluvo Aerospace Assault Transport
by Pieter Thomassen, edited by Tim Wing
The Roil families of aerospace craft were designed to fill all needs of the Tirolian Mercantile Empire’s with one common design. As such, one could be forgiven for expecting this aerospace craft to be a bit of a compromise; however nothing could be further from the truth. The Roil family was the most well rounded aerospace craft in the known universe, and has not been surpassed to this day.
Though commonly referred to as the Roil Tiluvo, the Roil family is actually broken down into several types: the Roil Tiluvo Aerospace Assault Transport, the Roil Quel Electronic Warfare Aerospace Craft, the Roil Luhoutzs Aerospace Command Craft, the Roil Lihinal Gunboat, the Roil Destrin Aerospace Assault Transport, the Roil Tiluvosen Aerospace Assault Transport, and the Listradin Aerospace Transport Craft. Of these, the original Roil Tiluvo was the most common. United Earth Defense Force reporting nomenclature broke these vessels down into Roil-A through Roil-G, respectively.
- Role: All-purpose aerospace craft
- Planet of Origin: Tirol
- Manufacturers: Spoltra-Shifd 18899550th Armory Planet
- Introduced: 1903
- Retired: 1931
- Status: Reserve
- Primary users: Tirolean Mercantile Empire, Zentraedi Border Fleet
- Number built: Unknown
In the late 1800’s, the Bioroid troop carriers used by the Tirolian forces were in design and function closely related to the Frandlar Tiluvo transports of the Zentraedi fleets. The vessels were during operations escorted by the Rauliras fighter craft, at that time the pinnacle of Tirolian aerospace combat design. The first design proposal involved an updated carrier, but this was rejected fairly early in the design effort. Rather than using a dedicated fighter, it was intended that an assault transport would carry armaments as well as Bioroid troops. This rather revolutionary decision was made after computer modeling showed that a large, armed troop transport would be more than capable of defeating aerial mecha, while remaining fully operational itself. If successful, it was thought that in time this might render the aerospace and atmosphere fighter craft obsolescent. Indeed, this did prove to be the case.
The Masters then took the idea one step further. If the transport were to be equipped with enough firepower to enable it to overwhelm small spaceships (with Rudel-tactics if need be) then the entire army could be made up from just two main designs: the Bioroid and the assault transport. This would significantly ease manufacturing and maintenance. This approach was chosen, and Spoltra-Shifd Armory Planet’s proposed assault transport was designed to fit this role. This it did magnificently.
These vessels were built in the Valivarre system by the Spoltra-Shifd Armory Planet (18899550th Zentraedi Fully-Automated Factory Satellite) and entered service from 1903 through 2012. The Roil Tiluvo was the first version to enter production in 1903 and remains the most numerous as well, with a total of 88,719 constructed. Next produced, from 1909 on, were the Roil Quel, Roil Luhoutzs and Roil Lihinal. Off these versions the respective total numbers produced were 1,729, 1,012 and 516. Production for these versions ceased in 2008. The Roil Destrin was produced for the Border Fleets from 1915 through 2003, with a total number produced of 56,314. From the final two versions, the Roil Tiluvosen and the Listradin, only a few prototypes were constructed between 1996 and 1998. The aggregate number of constructed assault transports was over 148,000.
The rear part of the body was vaguely rectangular shaped, with the smallest dimensions in the vertical, narrowing to the front, forming a prow. Mounted there the forward landing skid, which, like the other skids, was shaped in a manner reminiscent of a claw. Aft under the hull were the two main skids. In the sides of the lower aft section, pointing rearwards in normal flight mode, were the two vectorable exhausts of the main reaction engines. As versions intended for Zentraedi troops and mecha, the Destrin and the Tiluvosen featured a higher main hull. To compensate, the hull carried less armor, and the mass (and thus engine specifications) remained the same.
All other details differ per version. The Listradin, for example, was an unarmed version intended as a civilian transport. As such, it carried no weapons. All versions save for the Tiluvosen were flown by micronian pilots from the cockpit section, which was located in an upper blister. This blister was lengthened aft, protruding over much of the dorsal hull, and usually housed electronics. The Tiluvosen flight crew was located in its body, and the blister on that version was converted into a capacious missile bay.
All armed versions were equipped with two forward and two aft particle cannons, and with a rotary close-in defense turret under the hull. The Tiluvo, Quel, Destrin and Tiluvosen variants mounted four additional particle cannons in the hull, the Luhoutzs version mounted six additional cannons. The main armament of the Lihinal version was mounted in four cannons, visually identical to and mounted in the positions of the more standard particle cannon. However, these weapons were rail cannons for anti-matter pellets. The troop carrying versions (Tiluvo, Luhoutzs, Destrin and Tiluvosen) had two large release doors in the sides aft.
The interiors of all craft have four deck levels. The only version differing in more than detail is the Tiluvosen. As a solely Zentraedi vehicle, this version carried its flight crew in the main body and a missile battery in the top blister. All other versions had their flight deck on top of the vessel, immediately under the upper hull is a floor with medical facilities, crew rest rooms and other mission related rooms. Below this was the main mecha hangar, with enough room, if needed, for 26 Bioroids and their hoversleds in the micronian versions and 22 Zentraedi mecha in the Zentraedi versions. Underneath the hangar was a floor with access to the anti-gravity engines and several micronian sized storage rooms.
Crewing differed from version to version. The Roil Tiluvo had a flight crew of three micronians and could carry 36 micronian troops with 26 Bioroids with sleds.
The Roil Quel had a flight crew of three and nine electronic specialists. The Roil Luhoutzs had a four micronian flight crew, could carry 36 micronian troops, and had a command crew of 20 micronians. 14 Bioroids with sleds were carried as the craft’s combat complement. The Roil Lihinal had a four micronian flight crew and carried 12 troops. The Roil Destrin had a three micronian flight crew and carried 22 Zentraedi troops manning 22 Zentraedi mecha (Regult artillery pods could not be deployed). The Roil Tiluvosen had a two Zentraedi flight crew and carried up to 20 Zentraedi troops manning 20 Zentraedi mecha (once again, the Regult artillery pods could not be deployed). The civilian market Listradin had a three micronian flight crew and could be configured for a variety of cargo and passenger configurations.
Life support limits for all versions save the Destrin and the Tiluvosen were for 900 micronian sized personnel, with a limited duration maximum of over three times this number. For the Destrin and Tiluvosen versions the limits are for about 40 Zentraedi, with a limited-duration capability of three times this number as well.
Engines and flight characteristics
The Roil’s main power system was a Zorrelev-45-Dirac protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace cluster with two furnaces. The power plant could nominally deliver up to 3.5 gigawatts of power, and could operate for 60 minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates auto-shutdown.
Maneuvering thrusters thrusters consisted of 12 clusters with vectorable nozzles constructed in strips of 6 meters in length were installed on the Roil series. Two strips were mounted forward and aft on the both the dorsal and ventral hull and on each flank. Four more strips were located on the four edges of the main hull amidships. The Roil family had two Varrelev Tiralon fusion-plasma shock expansion thrusters with protoculture energizer and vectorable nozzles mounted in the lower aft flanks of the vessel. The anti-gravity system consisted of four Rotalsz anti-gravity pods.
The Roil series was well suited for both space and the atmosphere, and had, through their thrusters, anti-gravity systems and maneuvering thrusters excellent handling qualities in both environments. The vessel was equipped with three landing skids; two large main skids under the aft main body and one movable, two-pronged skid under the nose. All skids were vaguely reminiscent of large metallic claws. The Roil could make cold landings on these skids, and due to the large surface area the resulting ground pressure is low enough to make a touch-down on many terrain types possible. In an ocean, the vessel would float but could not maneuver, and the main ingress and egress ports would be submerged. Water can be let into the hold to submerge to vessel to a maximum depth of about 150 meters, but the anti-gravity systems would have to remain operating, otherwise the corvette would sink. Mecha could ingress and egress in this condition; however, the hold would need to be pumped dry before the vessel could resume atmospheric and/or space flight.
All versions but the Destrin, Tiluvosen and Listradin had a dry stores endurance of seven days maximum; after that, the Roil series needs to restock. Destrin and Tiluvosen versions had enough dry stores for two days maximum. The mecha consumables (mainly missiles) were non-existent; there were no rearmament capabilities built in. If used as a bulk transport, the vessel could transport vast quantities of various munitions, but usage depended on the number of troops and intensity of fighting. The missile batteries on the Tiluvosen series was not designed to last through more than one intense combat. The Listradin’s dry stock endurance was to have been four days minimum.
On all versions, the Reflex furnace could function for about 20 years at normal usage levels before an energizer rebuild was necessary. At full power, the main propulsion systems could nominally produce up to 11 meganewtons of thrust. Reaction mass endurance is sufficient for a delta-v of 39.4 kps at the battle acceleration of 1.0 gee, and a delta-v of at most 7.3 kps at the flank acceleration of 4 gees. In an atmosphere, the engines can, through plasma-shock expansion, be over boosted to a maximum of 14.4 meganewtons of thrust and an acceleration of 5 g.
The maximum sustained atmospheric speed was Mach 7.2. This can be exceeded during orbital ascends for the time needed to reach orbit. The maximum hover time on the anti-gravity systems is limited only by the protoculture supplies and maintenance requirements.
Avionics and flight controls
The Roil Tiluvo, Luhoutzs, Quel and Lihinal versions mounted very extensive command, communication and control electronics for deployed Bioroid troops. These were installed in the aft section of the cockpit blister on the dorsal hull. The Roil Quel, as the electronic warfare variant, mounted very complex and sensitive electronic surveillance equipment. This craft was also equipped with a broad range of electronic jammers and spoofers for offensive electronic warfare.
(All except Listradin)
The main assault weapons are two Makral Dassil 43 dual-mode particle cannons mounted in the nose of the vessel, which could elevate between -20 and +110 degrees. The cannons could fire particle packets in enclosing fields (‘annihilation disks’) with a forward velocity of 4500 meters per second, or release the particles in a continuous beam. As the relatively low speed of the disks was only suitable on close ranges, this mode was most commonly used in an atmosphere, and the beam mode in space.
Both cannons were fired synchronously, and the energy systems could supply enough energy to the particle generators to fire a continuous salvo until ammunition exhaustion (typically after 25 minutes of constant firing). The yield of each cannon is 140 MJ/s.
A close-in weapon system, the Misaler Nabrilla 14 was a rotary turret with four tunable lasers. The turret had its own independent targeting system. Each fired pulse had an impact energy of 12 MJ. This weapon system was for engaging attacking missiles and point-blank mecha; it was not suited for long range fire. The rotary turret was mounted in the center of the bottom.
The Misaler Dassil 24 pulse beam cannon was a smaller point defense system providing coverage to the side and upper arcs. The system was mounted to either side of the nose just above the landing foot, and was capable of a yield of 11 MJ for each pulse. The system was frequently used for suppression fire during launch and recovery operations for the bioroid carrier variants.
(Tiluvo, Quel, Destrin, Tiluvosen only)
The Tiluvo, Quel, Destrin, and Tiluvosen versions mounted six Makral Dassil 44 particle cannons. Like the larger -43 series, this was a dual mode weapon capable of firing particle salvo’s either as beams or ‘packaged’ in standing soliton fields. Unlike the -43, though, these weapons were rarely fired in their pulse mode. The cannons served as the secondary armament for the corvettes, used mainly for strafing and starship assault.
Each full-intensity shot had a yield of 90 MJ, and the cannons could cycle through their firing sequence every three seconds at full yield, or faster at lower yields. Four cannons were mounted behind the nose, two to each flank of the vessel in a vertical line, and two were mounted in the tail, over the reaction engines, firing aft.
The Tiluvosen series mounted a pair of Blishaug Rasar 41s. This was a missile launcher for the Rotpaen Touwhaug series (United Earth Defense Force reporting name: MPA-9 Minstrel) of missiles. Two horizontal launch slots for these missiles were located in the upper center of a missile pod mounted in the place of the cockpit and communications blister of the Tirolian flown versions. Both launchers were located over a magazine for eight Minstrel missiles, giving the Tiluvosen a total load of 16 weapons. They launched the missiles by soft launching them horizontally over the craft, after which time the projectiles ignited. All versions of the Minstrel could be carried by the Roil Tiluvosen.
This ship also mounted 24 Blishaug Rasar 42s. These were missile tubes for the Seraum Awhaug series (MPA-5 Moloch) missiles. Twelve launch tubes were mounted to the sides of the Blishaug Rasar 41 missile launchers. There were no reloads available. All versions of the Moloch could be carried. 72 Blishaug Rasar 43s rounded out the Tiluvosen’s armament. These were missile tubes for the Gerluj Touwhaug (MPA-4 Miff), Gluuk Awhaug (MPA-2 Megrim), and Vlwheralt Awhaug (MPA-3 Morgoth) missiles. The launch tubes were located in the nose of the missile pod mounted in the place of the cockpit and communications blister of the Tirolian flown versions. One reload missile is located directly behind each missile tube.
The Luhoutzs also mounted Makral Dassil 44s, in this case eight of them. Six were mounted in the traditional positions behind the nose and in the tail, and an additional two were mounted behind the upper forward Dassil 44 cannons in the flanks of the vessel.
The Lihinal version mounted four of the fearsome Gluph Lihinal 21 anti-matter pellet rail cannons. This bombardment weapon was developed by the Tirolians as an alternative to the Reflex cannon. The basic cannon was a railgun, mounted in a similar barrel housing as a Makral Mossil 1217 cannon. However, rather than firing a kinetic or incendiary slug, the cannon launches a pellet of anti-matter enclosed in a soliton wave field at a speed of 8.4 kilometers per second. When it strikes the target, the protective field would dissipate and the anti-matter would react with the surrounding matter. Four of these cannons were mounted in the place of the forward Mossil 1217 cannons. These were commonly fired in one salvo. The maximum mass of one pellet was about 20 milligrams, which gave a total salvo weight of 80 milligrams, sufficient to cause a reaction with a yield of 2.9 kilotons. However, the low speed of the projectiles made the weapon less useful than anticipated against enemy starships, and the Gluph Lihinal cannons did not replace the Reflex Cannons as expected. The cannons were suited however for aerial bombardment, and used as such.
The Lihinal also mounted a pair of Makral Dassil 44s.
The Roil family of assault transports exceeded all the expectations its designers had of it, and set new standards for transports in the Tirolian Mercantile Empire’s militaries. By the year 1938, all relevant Tirolian forces were equipped with the Roil Tiluvo. Consequently, several different versions were designed as well on the basis of the original craft.
The first variant was the Roil Quel, an electronic warfare craft that had its mecha bay converted into an electronics compartment, and mounted numerous phased array antenna all over its hull. The next two versions were the Luhoutzs, which carried additional command personnel and equipment in exchange for a large part of its troop capability, and the Lihinal bombardment variant. Two versions were designed for use by the Zentraedi. The Destrin version was intended for the Border Fleets, but due to several economic restraints, only the Tou Salaam cruisers were equipped to handle them. Although they were designed to transport Zentraedi troop, they retained the micronian flight crew. The Destrin featured a vertically extended main hull, to accommodate the large Zentraedi mecha. As the final military variant, the Tiluvosen was designed to complement the Frandlar Tiluvo re-entry pods. The cargo capacity of the Tiluvosen was far less than that of the re-entry pod, but the Tiluvosen was very heavily armed with guns and missiles. The tactical concept was to make the first landings with the corvettes, and to leave the heavy cargo lifting to the larger ships. This way, the Zentraedi could make assault landings with the armed and armored transports in a manner which was impossible with the large, vulnerable and unarmed re-entry pod. However, this version as well as the final version, the civilian Listradin, never moved beyond the prototype stage.
During the Second Robotech war the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) often encountered this vehicle in four of its versions, either in space or on the planet itself. Always it proved to be as maneuverable and more powerful and resilient than the mecha and planes of the UEDF air and aerospace forces. The Roil had a legitimate claim to more kills of mecha and spacecraft than any other vehicle in the Second Robotech war, since it was used for every role the Bioroids were too small for, but for which full destroyers too heavy, from ground strafing runs (the largest flying vehicle ever to do this) to orbital combat.
Of the Roil Tiluvo vessels, nearly 1500 went with the Tirolian fleet to the solar system and were mostly destroyed. The Southern Cross managed to capture 127 of these vessels, but did not have the energy supplies or spare parts to continue operating them. They were stored on board Space Station Liberty, where the Invid found and wrecked them. The Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF, later renamed United Earth Expeditionary Force) found nearly a hundred of these vessels still intact on Tirol, but never deployed them as part of their forces. It is unknown how many of the Quel, Luhoutzs and Lihinal versions went with the Masters’ fleet, but only 2 Quel and 1 Luhoutzs versions survived the fighting. All 3 vessels shared the same fate as the Tiluvo versions captured by the United Earth Defense Force. The REF only found 5 Quel versions among the Roil class vessels on Tirol, and disassembled these in a (failed) attempt to duplicate their avionics suite. All Roil Destrin were lost with their Border Fleet parent vessels, except for 415 still remaining in the Valivarre system awaiting assignation. These latter were stored with the captured Tiluvo vessels. All Tiluvosen and Listradin vessels were destroyed in the Invid invasion of Tirol.
The United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) made a serious attempt to adopt the assault transport as its own standard dropship. However, different priorities and technical difficulties made this impossible, and at the time of the assault on Reflex Point only five of the Dragon-class Corvettes, as the ships were known, were completed and conducting test flights on Tirol. The Dragon-class entered full scale production shortly after the war, and equip most of the orbital transport flights of both the Terran and Tirloian navies.
Roil Tiluvo Aerospace Assault Transport – original and most numerous type, operated by the Robotech Master’s fleet from 1903 onwards.
Roil Quel Electronic Warfare Aerospace Craft – operated by the Robotech Master’s fleet from 1909 onwards, and the Zentraedi Border Fleet from 1915 onwards.
Roil Luhoutzs Aerospace Command Craft – Command, Control and Communications craft operated by the Robotech Master’s fleet from 1909 onwards.
Roil Lihinal Gunboat – Anti-mater rail gun armed littoral, operated by the Robotech Master’s fleet from 1909 onwards.
Roil Destrin Aerospace Assault Transport – Assault transport configured to carry Zentraedi combat troops, operated by the Zentraedi Border Fleet from 1915 onwards.
Roil Tiluvosen Aerospace Assault Transport – prototype Zentraedi Main Fleet assault transport to supplement the Frandlar Tiluvo reentry pod, test and evaluation began in 1996 but never entered production.
Listradin Aerospace Transport Craft – prototype non-combat transport, test and evaluation began in 1996 but never entered production.
Tirolian Mercantile Empire
- Robotech Master’s Fleet 1903 to 2030
- Zentraedi Border Fleet 1915 to Unknown
General characteristics (Roil Tiluvo)
- Crew: 3
- Length: 121.9 m over all.
- Wing Span: 36.5 m over all.
- Empty weight: 1665 metric tons without fuel and cargo
- Max takeoff weight: 2963 metric tons maximum
- Powerplant: 3.5 Gigawatt Zorrelev-45-Dirac protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace cluster with two furnaces
- Thrusters: 2 x Varrelev Tiralon fusion-plasma shock expansion thrusters
- Anti-gravity system: 4 x Rotalsz anti-gravity pods
- Fuel capacity: 585 metric tons of reaction mass
- Maximum speed: Mach 7.2
- Delta-V: 39.4 kps at 1 gee of excelleration, 7.3 kps at 4 gees of acceleration
- Max excelleration: 5 gees
- Service ceiling: transatmospheric
- Max thrust: 14.4 Mega Newtons
- 2 x Makral Dassil 43 dual-mode particle cannons
- 1 x Misaler Nabrilla 14 rotary turret with four tunable lasers
- 2 x Misaler Dassil 24 pulse beam cannon point defense system
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.
Content by Tim Wing, Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Rob Morgenstern
Copyright © 2013 Tim Wing