by Rob Morgenstern and Tim Wing, with Pieter Thomassen
edited by Tim Wing
- Salamander reference file
- Salamander gallery
Designation: Bofors CBH-4 Salamander Heavy Combat Battloid
- Total Height: 6.1 meters
- Total Depth: 2.5 meters
- Total Breadth: 2.9 meters
- Weight: 19.0 metric tons
- Total Height: 6.1 meters
- Total Depth: 2.5 meters
- Total Breadth: 2.9 meters
- Weight: 19.6 metric tons
- Design: Bofors
- Builder: Bofors, Proteus Group
- CBH-4A1-Mk. I Salamander: One-man all weather heavy combat Battloid, baseline variant.
- CBH-4A2-Mk. I Salamander: One-man all weather heavy combat Battloid, NCO variant with improved sensor suite.
- CBH-4A3-Mk. I Salamander: One-man all weather heavy combat Battloid, officer variant with improved sensor suite.
- CBH-4A1-Mk. II Salamander: One-man space-capable heavy combat Battloid, baseline variant.
- CBH-4A2-Mk. II Salamander: One-man space-capable heavy combat Battloid, NCO variant with improved sensor suite.
- CBH-4A3-Mk. II Salamander: One-man space-capable heavy combat Battloid, officer variant with improved sensor suite.
- CBH-4-Mk. III Hellcat: One-man all weather heavy combat/tank destroyer Battloid, baseline variant.
- CBH-4C-Mk. III Hellcat: One-man all weather heavy combat/tank destroyer Battloid, command variant with improved sensor suite.
- CBH-4-Mk. IV Hellcat: One-man all weather heavy combat/tank destroyer Battloid, baseline variant.
- CBH-4C-Mk. IV Hellcat: One-man all weather heavy combat/tank destroyer Battloid, command variant.
- CBH-4-Mk. V Hellcat: One-man space-capable heavy combat Battloid, baseline variant.
- CBH-4C-Mk. V Hellcat: One-man space-capable heavy combat Battloid, command variant.
III. Service Life:
- CBH-4-Mk. I Salamander: Used by the UEDF Tactical Corps for a main line combat Battloid from 2019-2033.
- CBH-4A1-Mk. II Salamander: Used by the UEDF Tactical Space Corps Lunar Division and Mars Division for a space-capable combat Battloid from 2022-2033.
- CBH-4-Mk. III Hellcat: Used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Desert Divisions from 2029 until 2031. Used (in limited numbers) by the UEDF Tactical Corps for a main line combat Battloid from 2030 until 2031.
- CBH-4-Mk. IV Hellcat: Used by the UEDF Tactical Corps Desert Divisions from 2030-2031. Used (in limited numbers) by the UEDF Tactical Corps for a main line combat Battloid from 2030 until 2031.
- CBH-4-Mk. V Hellcat: Meant to enter production for use by the UEDF Tactical Space Corps Lunar Divisions in 2034. Only six pre-production prototypes built before the beginning of the 2nd Robotech War.
- Powerplant: SCE-2P Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer
- Fuel Capacity: 6 Standard Canisters of Protoculture.
- Propulsion system: 2 x Allison BRT-3 thrusters in the back, output 160 kN combined for jumping and limited flight operations
Attitude control (CBH-4-Mk. II models only):
- Provisions for 2 x Allison PMT-30 triple maneuvering thrusters on the hips. (These were mounted only when the Salamander was operating in a zero-G or near zero-G environment, such as space or the moon’s surface. These maneuvering thrusters were not mounted when operating on Mars.)
- Running speed: 72 kph
- Jump flight capability: the thrusters have fuel for five minutes of low level flight, with a maximum speed of 120 kph in standard atmosphere. More commonly, for obvious tactical reasons, the mecha uses the thrusters as jump jets, the fuel being sufficient for about 25 jumps with an average height of 30 meters and to a distance of 30 meters.
- Delta-V (CBH-4-Mk. II models only): 0.3 kps with normal fuel supply. Can be extended to 1 kps with the addition of the thruster pack system.
- Protoculture supply: 300 hours operational use.
- Westinghouse TPG-144 X-band pulse-Doppler phased array radar with battlefield surveillance mode.
- Phillips AllView II multi-band digital spherical camera system, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking in Battloid mode
- Thomson LT-8 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
- Improved radar array providing enhanced range and resolution.
- Improved combat computer allowing monitoring of up to 5 other Battloids.
- Enhanced C3I suite providing command and communications with multiple Battloids, as well as remote command posts.
- Westinghouse TPG-154 multi-band pulse-Doppler dual-phased array radar with battlefield surveillance mode providing enhanced range and tracking.
- Enhanced tracking computers to allow additional targets to be tracked.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System:
- Selenia GroundWarrior active/passive sensor jammers.
- 2 x MDS-18 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher Systems capable of launching 3 Tarantula mini-missiles above each shoulder blade. The launcher projects from its armored casing towards the rear of the Battloid exposing the ready grenades, which fire vertically. The launch tubes contain one reload each for a total of 6 grenades per launcher, or twelve total.
- 2 x Mauser E-4 pulse lasers mounted in the head. These lasers provide 50 kJ of output at a rate of 65 pulses per minute for anti-personnel use.
(A2 and A3 Models)
- 2 x Mauser LIW-77 ion cannons which provide 100 kJ output each at a rate of 60 pulses per minute. The primary use for these weapons is anti-personnel with secondary use against light vehicles.
- 1 x Mauser EU-10 Laser Gun Pod. 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.
- or 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. This was the gun pod issued to the VHT-2 Hovertank due to its smaller size and higher penetration capabilities.
- or 1 x 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 armor on the Salamander 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, heavy infantry weapons fire, and light mecha-mounted weaponry, and provides fair to good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round. The arm shields have additional armor providing good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry and poor resistance to heavy mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the VHT-2’s 120mm shell. The shins and joints are reinforced to withstand impact from a moving vehicle.
The Salamander 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 module is also armored and gives the Salamander 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. The MBR(S) models double the consumables supply to last for 96 hours in a hostile environment.
By the late teen’s, the newly consolidated United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) was operating an odd mix of conventional armor and a few over a decade old first generation Destroid designs. They expected the Destroids to reach the end of their service life by the mid-twenties, and they would need replacement. Those Destroids which had low service hours were going to be refit and taken with the departing Pioneer mission. Also, the UEDF Surface Command decided that the larger Destroids were too conspicuous and vulnerable to standoff missile attacks to be fully effective. A smaller Destroid would have better survivability since it would be harder to see and hit as well as being more agile due to the reduced mass. This smaller and more agile mecha could also better adapt to a variety of operating environments.
From this situation, the Battloid concept evolved: a smaller, more agile, multi-purpose robot. To decrease the size and provide operational flexibility, the primary weapons shifted to an assortment of gunpods instead of the slow to reload integral weapons. Most importantly the smaller Battloids were much simpler and cheaper to manufacture than the new Expeditionary Force Destroids, allowing the depleted UEDF to rapidly rebuild a cohesive fighting force after being depleted by the departure of the Pioneer mission and their assignment of most of Earth’s mecha forces.
The Salamander was the first of the so-called ‘Southern Cross Battloids’ designed purely for combat and patrol activities. Bofors’s development group took lessons learned from the Dryad and Satyros designs as well as historical information from the early UN Spacy Destroids to develop the CBH-4 Salamander. The Salamander was viewed as a downscaled version of the Spartan mecha. It was a high mobility mecha, with prehensile hands. To further keep costs down, the cockpit suite was designed to be modular so that only a subset of the mecha had the extensive C3I gear needed to command larger units. The basic unit had a cockpit suite sufficient to maintain battlefield awareness of its immediate surrounding, without the need to coordinate between numerous units. Officers received the complete electronics suite, and non-commissioned officers received a slightly reduced-functionality version due to the smaller units involved. When operating as a unit, the Salamanders and other mecha would share battlefield information, so that each mecha would have a complete picture of their environment.
Another big cost saving came from the fact that unlike the large, older Destroids or the newer Expeditionary Force Destroids, the basic Salamander did not need to be space-capable. The large, older Destroids had a full thruster/Vernier suite to allow them to operate in space, as they did from the decks of the SDF-1 during the first Robotech War. The UEDF decided it would be more cost effective to simply put more close-in defense batteries on their capital ships and keep the Battloids on the ground. The Mark II Salamander could operate on the moon and on Mars thanks to a sealed cockpit module, but it was devoid of all the expensive systems seen on the Destroids which made them truly capable of space combat.
The Salamander has three different modular head styles for enlisted, non-commissioned officers, and officers. NCO and officer models (A2 and A3) have a heavier and more expensive LIW-77 ion cannon system for improved performance. Costs prohibited widespread dissemination of the system and as such was restricted to more senior personnel. The A2-model has an improved array for the radar as well as an upgraded combat suite. The A3-model carries a more sophisticated communications, sensor and control suite to assist in monitoring the battlefield situation. This is readily identifiable by the ‘V’ angled dual array in the head of the A3-model compared to the flat, square array of the A1 and A2-models.
The Mark II version was built for the Tactical Space Corps’ Lunar and Mars Divisions. It was little more than a standard Salamander with enhanced environmental systems optimized for a vacuum environment, as well as additional of hip mounted Vernier thrusters for maneuverability. Its thruster and Vernier system allowed it to operate in free fall, much the same way that the older and larger Destroids could. This system allowed it to make short flights when operating in the Moon’s weak gravity field for increased mobility. If long duration operations or free space operations were needed, a strap-on pack system was designed for enhanced Vernier operation and to extend the fuel supply to a reasonable level for zero-gravity operations.
Of the UEDF Battloids, the Salamander was the most widespread in use. Designed by Bofors, they were also produced by Teledyne Continental and later Proteus Group, which was formed when Cadillac Gage mergered with Bofors. A variety of gunpods were used throughout its service life. The GU-13 was the model used when the Salamander was introduced, but eventually replaced with the more durable and less logistically demanding energy weapons. The EU-10 and EU-11 were preferred when penetration was important. The EU-12 was used when damage potential was more important.
Many Salamanders were destroyed by the Tirolian Bioroids, and Roil series attack craft during the 2nd Robotech War. The remains of the Southern Cross command attempted to replenish their depleted ranks of Salamanders after the destruction of the Robotech Master fleet. While they succeeded in mass producing the Salamander, they lacked sufficient surviving combat veterans to train the masses of new recruits due to the high casualty rate versus the Robotech Masters’ forces. Unfortunately, while the agility of the Salamander proved effective against the Invid one-for-one, the masses of Iigaa and Gurab, exacerbated by the combat inexperience of the average trooper, just overwhelmed the Tactical Corps Battloid battalions, and destroyed a majority of the remaining Salamanders.
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 in this publication.
Images from –This is Animation #10 The Southern Cross, Unspecified Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross OSM, Robotech Masters Saga Sourcebook (March 2009), The Robotech RPG Book Four: Southern Cross (September 1987)
Content by Rob Morgenstern and Tim Wing, with Pieter Thomassen, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2000 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walk; 2016 Tim Wing