Northrop MBR-08 Masamune Main Battle Robot

MBR-08-Mk III Masamune 1ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Robert Morgenstern

edited by Tim Wing


  • MBR-08 Masamune reference file
  • MBR-08 Masamune gallery

Designation: Northrop MBR-08 Masamune Main Battle Robot

I. Dimensions:

  • Total Height: 14.9 m
  • Total Depth: 5.0 m
  • Total Breadth: 8.2 m
  • Weight: 23.9 metric tons (dry), 26.7 metric tons (fully loaded).

II. Type:

  • One man all-weather heavy main battle Destroid mecha.

III. Service History:

  • Mark I: Served with the UN Spacy from 2007 until replaced by the Mark II.
  • Mark II: Served with the UN Spacy from 2009 until 2014.
  • Mark III: Served with the UN Spacy from 2009 until 2014.

IV. Propulsion:


  • One Tirolian mecha protoculture-generator (known on Earth as the RT/PS-2a), providing electrical power to the mecha; output classified.

Reserve Generator:

  • GE EM9G hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell, 450 kW for twelve hours.

Thrusters for Space Maneuvering:


  • MBR-08-Mk II Masamune 22 x AST-06 dual thruster banks on the back, total thrust 15 kN with a total delta-v of approximately 0.2 kps.


  • 12 x Nakajima NBS-1 high-thrust vernier thrusters, located on the ankles (4), heels (2), chest (2), and shoulders (4).

V. Performance:

  • Maximum speed: 96 kph (running)
  • Generator endurance: 12 years operational use.

VI. Electronics:

Radar System:

  • Hughes APG-198 short range (45 km) X band pulse Doppler phased array UWB radar.

Optical tracking:

  • Thomson DOS-2000 multi-band digital camera system, for medium range spherical UV, infra-red imaging and optical band detection and tracking
  • Thomson LT-3 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
  • Zeiss TS-2 long range telescopic array for visible/IR spectrum.
  • Edmund Optics deployable periscope; max. height, 5m.

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-198(V) active radar jammer
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Active missile jammers.

VII. Armament:


  • 4 x Remington M-89 12.7mm machine gun in head, fires standard and tracer rounds at 600 rounds/minute. Armor Piercing capabilities are minimal, restricted to a few millimeters of armor even at point-blank range. Ammunition supply is 1000 rounds per gun.
  • 1 x Vickers 120mm direct-fire mortar, launches shells of 34kg up to an effective range of 1590 meters. The shells are laser guided and are steered by fins. The cannon can fire one shell every 3 seconds, with a total ammunition supply of 35 rounds.

Detachable Masamune Weapons Pack:

  • 2 x Bofors MRL-3 missile launcher. 20 Total internal, short range (8.2km) variable warhead, combined infra-red imager and active radar homing 120mm Rapier III semi- guided rockets in shoulder mounts.
  • 2 x MML-1 missile launchers, mounted to the sides of the mecha. Each launcher has three tubes, each capable of firing Firebird missiles, a conventional warhead with a range of 234 km and a speed of Mach 6.5, guided by a combined IIR and active/passive radar seeker, or RMS-1 “Angel Of Death” Nuclear Stand-off missiles, a reaction warhead (200 kT) mounted on a long range (250 km) Mach 4.0 combined multi-spectrum imager and active radar homing Reflex missiles.


  • 1 x Hughes GU-10 55mm three barreled smoothbore rotary gun pod; has a 250 round capacity. Cannon fires APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin- Stabilized Discarding Sabot) and HESH-I (High Explosive Squash Head- Incendiary) rounds at 600 rounds/minute.
  • or 1 x Hughes GU-11 55mm three barreled smoothbore rotary gun pod; has a 200 round capacity. Cannon fires APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) and HESH-I (High Explosive Squash Head-Incendiary) rounds at 1200 rounds/minute.
  • or 1 x Rheinmetall GU-12 single smoothbore barrel gun pod. Fires 105mm APFSDS and HEAP (High Explosive Armor Piercing) semi-combustible case munitions at 45 rounds/minute. Ammunition supply is 40 rounds.

VIII. Armor:

The armor on the Masamune is composed of a standard Chobham laminar developed in the late 20th century and improved with the materials science advances made during the Robotech era. This armor was mainly designed to defeat projectiles and other kinetic weapons. The armor stops all small arms, heavy infantry weapons fire, and light mecha-mounted weaponry, and provides good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round, and poor resistance to heavy mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the VHT’s 120mm smoothbore shells.

The Masaumne provides 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 three days maximum.

IX. Development:

Simultaneously with the development of the MBR-04-Mk.IV Tomahawk, a lighter torso was being designed for the UN Spacy. The torso would also be mated with a lighter weapons “backpack” than the Tomahawk. At this point in the design stage, the idea that the “backpacks” would be interchangeable across mecha, or at least the two MBR designs equipped for them, was still prominent in the designers’ minds.

MBR-08-Mk III Masamune 2Entering service in 2007, the new torso, the MBR-08-Mk.I Masamune, was a limited success. Improvements in the torso’s leg system led to the Mk. II, which replaced the Mk. I as early as 2009. Soon afterwards, the need for heavier firepower was seen, and a new version, the Mk. III, entered the UN Spacy ranks alongside the lighter Mk. II, and was simply a Mark II refit with the Tomahawk weapons “jacket”.

In total, relatively few Masamunes were produced. Some three hundred of this mecha served with the UN Spacy and the United States Marine Corps through its short lifetime, and even then, many spent their lives on loan to the other branches as aggressor mecha in training exercises.

Despite their limited numbers and unremarkable history, the Masamune did see some service in the years immediately after the Zentraedi bombardment, attacking groups of Zentraedi who had survived their ships’ crash to Earth. Light and fast, this mecha could get in faster than the other main battle Destroids, and was equipped with enough weapons to take on both Zentraedi footsoldiers and battlepods.

Some features of this mecha are particularly noteworthy. Its initial gunpod, the GU-10, though large and unwieldy, served as a working prototype for the lighter and more elegant GU-11 installed on the Valkyrie, and after the GU-11’s introduction, the Masamune usually used this pod, or the deadlier GU-12, in lieu of its original gun, even though the capacity was lower. The central direct-fire mortar fired a 120mm shell unique to this mecha. The
quad machine-gun emplacement in the head was generally underpowered, though it was MBR-08-Mk II Masamune 1useful against full-sized unarmored Zentraedi, since it was capable of incapacitating without doing lethal damage.

The Masamune never greatly distinguished itself, since its fast-insertion role was more adequately performed by the Valkyrie, and since it was relatively under-armed when compared to the Tomahawk. Because of this, it was not missed greatly upon its retirement, and has a place little greater than a footnote in the Robotech Wars. Its most significant contribution would be lessons learned by the Northrop Corporation, which were eventually applied on the later and much more successful FRB-7 Cyclops Force Reconnaissance Battloid.




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: 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 Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Rob Morgenstern; edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2005, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015 Tim Wing



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