McDonnel-Douglas AH/R-15 Phantom III Attack Reconnaissance VTOL

AHR-15 Phantom Attack Reconnaissance VTOL Aircraft 1

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Rob Morgenstern, with Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker

edited by Tim Wing


  • Phantom III reference file
  • Phantom III gallery

Designation: McDonnel-Douglas AH/R-15 Phantom III Attack Reconnaissance VTOL Aircraft

I. Dimensions:

  • Total Length: 7.3 meters
  • Total Height: 2.6 meters
  • Total Wingspan: 6.6 meters
  • Total Dry Weight: 8.9 metric tons

II. Type:

  • AH/R-15: Two seat light VTOL reconnaissance aircraft
  • SH/R-15: Two seat light VTOL ASW/patrol aircraft
  • EH/R-15: Two seat light VTOL Electronic Warfare aircraft

III. Service History:

  • AH/R-15A: Served with the UEDF Reconnaissance Division and Civil Defense Flying Corps from 2026 until the Invid invasion.
  • AH/R-15B: Served with the UEDF Naval Corps from 2027 until the Invid Invasion.
  • EH/R-15A: Served with the UEDF Tactical Air Force and Naval Corps from 2027 until the Invid invasion.

IV. Propulsion:

  • 2 x Rolls-Royce PF500 ducted fan-props providing horizontal propulsion,
  • 1 x Rolls-Royce FT-5000 counter-rotating fan turbine engine for vertical lift. Three blades in each direction of rotation,
  • Powerplant: 2 x SCR-2P Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer.

Fuel Capacity:

  • 8 standard canisters of protoculture.

V. Performance.

  • Service Ceiling: 25,000 meters
  • Maximum speed: 216 kph @ sea level, 248 kph @ 6,250 meters
  • Powercell endurance: 250 hours continuous use

VI. Electronics:

Radar tracking:

  • Westinghouse APG-145 X-band pulse-Doppler omni-directional radar.
  • Ericsson ASARS-10 mm-band Side-Looking Synthetic Aperature Radar terrain mapping & imaging system.

Optical tracking:


  • AHR-15 Phantom Attack Reconnaissance VTOL Aircraft 11Phillips AllView II multi-band omni-directional digital camera system, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking;
  • Ericsson RedEye long-range forward-looking infra-red imaging, detection and tracking system;
  • Phillips video recording equipment capable of storing up to 18 hours of video from the digital cameras.
  • Thomson LT-5 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.

Acoustical tracking: (-B Variant, For sea operations only)

  • Siemens ASY-3 deployable sonar pod, mounted to the center axle of the fan turbine on the underside.

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Selenia Sky Warrior active/passive sensor jammers
  • COMINT Pulse Analyzer
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares.

VII. Armament:

  • 1 x Oerlikon LRD-7 triple barrel 7.62x51mm rotary cannon, fires DU-HEAP (Depleted Uranium-High Explosive Armor Piercing) and HEI-T (High Explosive Incendiary – Tracer) rounds. Maximum rate of fire 3000 rounds/minute. Ammunition supply 1500 rounds. Effective range 600 meters.

2 x Hardpoints each capable of carrying the following ordinance:

  • 1 x MLOP Multiple Launch Ordnance Pod, each carrying 15 70mm unguided rockets;
  • or 1 x dual AMM-1 Arrow launcher with the air-air missiles mounted in line;
  • or 1 x SCAR Rattlesnake air-surface missile;
  • or 1 x Marconi Stingray Mk. 10 air-launched torpedo.

SCAR Rattlesnake air-surface missile

VIII. Armor:

The skin of the Phantom III is composed of treated steel plate. The skin stops all small arms fire, provides good protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round, and poor to fair resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round.

The Phantom III 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 one day maximum.

IX. Development.

The Phantom III was developed to provide a small, agile, reconnaissance vessel in support of the ground infantry of the Tactical Corps. This craft could be considered an advanced cross of a hovercraft and a helicopter with the ‘main rotor’ embedded within the rear hull of the lifting body. This arrangement better protected the vulnerable rotor while providing for better survivability in case of rotor failure. This better survivability is due to the standard engines and lifting body that would allow significantly improved gliding and flight capabilities, yet the counter-rotating fan blades could still provide some autorotation capabilities to reduce the impact. The outboard engines and winglets provide the yaw control that the tail rotor previously provided, with the counter-rotation providing rotational stability. Due to the improved aerodynamics, the Phantom III was capable of breaking the sound barrier if it was needed to rapidly deploy or escape. The main engines AHR-15 Phantom Attack Reconnaissance VTOL Aircraft 8utilize fusion plasma to superheat the air entering the intakes. This provides an operating range that is only limited by the protoculture power systems needed to start and contain the fusion reactions. To achieve these speeds, secondary plasma shock thrusters provide the additional needed thrust.

The Phantom III is loaded with sensor equipment. The primary arrays are located on the underside to the right of centerline symmetric with the 7.62mm autocannon. Additional sensors are embedded in the leading edge of the wing and on the dorsal area. To maximize sensor loading, armor was sacrificed and the Phantom III relies on its speed and agility for survival.

The Phantom III frequently provided forward close air reconnaissance during ground operations as provided by the Tactical Corps’ Reconnaissance divisions for the other arms of the Army of the Southern Cross. The SH/R-15 variant of the Phantom III was devised to support anti-submarine warfare missions as well as better patrol the coastal and seaways, with an appropriate loadout on the hardpoints and the attachment of a sonar pod to the central axle of the lift fan rotors.



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 – Unspecified Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross OSM, Robotech RPG (2nd Edition) Southern Cross Sourcebook

Content by Robert Morgenstern, with Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 1998, 1997, 1996 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015 Tim Wing