Northrop QF-3000 Ghost Drone Fighter

Northrop QF-3000E Ghost 1

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen

edited by Tim Wing

Attachments:

  • QF-3000E Ghost reference file
  • QF-3000 Ghost gallery

Designation: Northrop QF-3000 Ghost Drone Fighter

I. Dimensions:

  • Total Length: 21.62 meters
  • Total Height: 7.85 meters
  • Total Width: 9.35 meters
  • Total Dry Weight: 22.0 metric tons
  • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 31.0 metric tons

II. Service History

  • QF-3000A: Served as an unarmed experimental platform with the UN Spacy in 2003.
  • QF-3000B: Served as an armed experimental platform with the UN Spacy in 2003.
  • QF-3000C: Served with the UN Spacy from early 2004 until replaced by the -E.
  • QF-3000D: Served with the US Air Force and Navy from late 2005 until replaced by the -E.
  • QF-3000E: Served with the UN Spacy from 2006 until replaced by the –F, and with the US Air Force and Navy from 2009 until 2017.
  • QF-3000F: Served with the UN Spacy from 2015 until 2017, and with the UEDF Tactical Armored Space Corps, Tactical Air Corps and Naval Corps from 2018 until 2020.

III. Type:

  • QF-3000A: Unmanned experimental fighter.
  • QF-3000B: Unmanned experimental fighter.
  • QF-3000C: Unmanned fighter.
  • QF-3000D: Unmanned high-altitude fighter.
  • QF-3000E: Unmanned aerospace fighter.
  • QF-3000F: Unmanned aerospace fighter.

Northrop QF-3000E Ghost 4IV. Propulsion:

(QF-3000C)

  • 1 x General Electric F110 turbofan.
  • 2 x hybrid ramjets

(QF-3000D and -E variants)

  • 1 x FF-1999 fusion turbine in tail section, providing 255 kN of thrust, 476 kN in overboost.
  • 4 x Rocketdyne DRaE-3 reaction engine in tail section.
  • 8 x protoculture cell for power generation.

(QF-3000E/F variants)

  • Assorted thrusters for space maneuvering.

V. Performance:

  • Maximum speed (atmosphere): 5272 kph (Mach 4.3) @ >9,000 m, 1200 kph (Mach .98) @ sea level.
  • Stall speed: 245 kph.
  • Maximum climb rate: >33,000 meter/minute.
  • Range (space): Delta-v limit of 2.4 kps (-E variant only).
  • Powercell endurance: Full function for 100 hours.
  • Design-g limits: 20 g. Engines capable of sustained 2.1 g acceleration in overboost.
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: empty 1.18; maximum T-O 0.84; empty (overboost) 2.20; maximum T-O (overboost) 1.57

VI. Electronics:

Piloting Control System:

  • 2 x Robotech Research Group mk3 Heuristic Expert Piloting/Combat System.

Radar System:

  • Hughes AWG-20 X-band pulse-Doppler radar, providing long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes, as well as extensive surface search, attack, navigation, and mapping modes.

Optical tracking:

  • Thomson DOS-1900 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-1D long range telescopic array for visible/IR spectrum.

Northrop QF-3000E Ghost 3Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-200 active radar jammer
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares
  • Active missile jammers.

 

 

VII. Armament:

(QF-3000E)

  • 6 x Mauser GU9 55mm single barrel autocannon; cannon fires APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) and HESH-I (High Explosive Squash Head-Incendiary) rounds at 250 rounds/minute. Each cannon has an ammunition supply of 96 rounds. All cannons are side mounted, three to each side.
  • 2 x MDS-RF-2 three tube missile bay each capable of launching six Bofors multimode aerospace missiles each. Warhead is equivalent to the one on the Stiletto missile, and the missile utilizes ‘burn and drift’ tactics. Delta-v capacity 2 kps. The missile bays are recessed in the side fuselage of the Ghost, and are revealed as armored covers slide inwards.

(QF-3000F)

  • 6 x ARLEN Mk.7 30mm single barrel autocannon; cannon fires APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) and HESH-I (High Explosive Squash Head-Incendiary) rounds at 650 rounds/minute. Each cannon has an ammunition supply of 1200 rounds. All cannons are side mounted, three to each side.
  • 2 x MDS-RF-5 three tube missile bay each capable of launching 20 variable warhead, short range (8.2 km) Mach 3.0 combined infra-red imager and active radar homing 190mm x 540mm Hammerhead missiles and 10 GH-32+ 280mm medium-range missiles.

VIII. Armor:

The armor of the Ghost is composed of an advanced titanium-steel alloy. The armor stops all small arms fire, provides good protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round, and fair resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round.

Northrop QF-3000E Ghost 5IX. Development:

The QF-3000 Ghost drone was designed by Northrop in the early 2000s as a high altitude unmanned fighter. As such, early versions were equipped with a traditional turbine for long range atmospheric flight, and two hybrid ramjet/reaction engines as boosters for extra bursts of speed. The drone did not have any wings, but instead relied on body lift to stay airborne.

The QF-3000C Ghost was acquired exclusively by the UN Spacy, where it served in limited numbers. Shortly after they entered service, the -C variants were refit with a fusion turbine for extreme altitude operations, though it was not yet space- capable. This new variant, the -D, was purchased by both the United States Air Force and Navy, and was not replaced by the -E until after the Zentraedi Holocaust. The new high-altitude variant piqued the interest of the UN Spacy, which immediately began to develop a space-capable version. This variant, the -E, was immediately procured, and after the return of the SDF-1 after the Holocaust, the remaining US Air Force and Navy variants were upgraded to this standard. UN Spacy QF-3000Es were stationed on Macross Island in 2009, and on the Armor series orbital platforms and on the SDF-1 itself. However, combat experience showed that the tactical usefulness of these craft was doubtful, due to Zentraedi tactics and technology, and they were mainly used in an escort or defensive capacity. Most of the early runs of the Ghost were destroyed in the Zentraedi Holocaust and the attack on Dolza’s fortress. Later on, newly built QF-3000Fs were based on the Armor ships that had escaped the Holocaust, but all were soon replaced by VQ-6A Vandal Veritech fighter drones and decommissioned by the time the Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force folded for Tirol. This being said, the Ghost was still popular with some pilots, who felt that the drones provided excellent fire support, as well as being good decoys when the piloted planes were vastly outnumbered.

 


 

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 the work of Egan Loo and the Macross Compendium. Egan Loo is given all credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the Macross Compendium that has been utilized in this publication.

Images Courtesy of Chad Wilson (Marchly) and the Macross Mecha Manual. Chad Wilson is given all credit for all images from the Macross Mecha Manual that have been utilized in this publication.

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 – Macross Perfect Memory and other Macross books

Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, edited Tim Wing

Copyright © 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing

 

 

 

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