by Rob Morgenstern and Tim Wing, with Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker
edited by Tim Wing
- Salamander reference file
- Salamander gallery
Designation: Proteus Group CBH-4 Hellcat Combat Battloid, Heavy
- Total Height: 6.1 meters
- Total Depth: 2.7 meters
- Total Breadth: 2.8 meters
- Weight: 15.2 metric tons
- Total Height: 6.1 meters
- Total Depth: 2.5 meters
- Total Breadth: 2.8 meters
- Weight: 16.1 metric tons
- Design: Proteus Group and IMI/Urdan Industries Ltd.
- Builder: 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, baseline 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, baseline 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-4-Mk. I 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: 10 Standard Canisters of Protoculture.
- Propulsion system: 2 x Allison BRT-3-100 thrusters in the back, output 210 kN combined for jumping and limited flight operations.
- Running speed: 70 kph
- Max jumping performance: Typically 30 meters high out to a distance of 120 meters for the Mark III, and 25 meters high out to a distance of 100 meters for the Mark IV. The mecha is generally limited to about 25 jumps. It can hover and fly at low altitude for up to two minutes before the fuel stores are exhausted.
- Protoculture supply: 400 hours operational use.
- Westinghouse TPG-183 X-band pulse-Doppler phased array spherical radar with battlefield surveillance mode. Active missile defense mode; networked to EL-8 laser to provide automatic self-defense against ATGMs.
- EL-OP Electro-Optics Industries Ltd. 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
- EL-OP Electro-Optics Industries Ltd. multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
- Improved radar array providing enhanced range and resolution.
- Improved combat computer allowing monitoring of up to 10 other Battloids.
- Enhanced C3I suite providing command and communications with multiple Battloids, as well as remote command posts.
- Enhanced tracking computers to allow additional targets to be tracked.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System:
- Selenia GroundWarrior active/passive sensor jammers.
- 4 x EL-8 Medium lasers mounted in the head surrounding the main sensor array. Each laser is capable of 500 kJ output. For use against light armored vehicles and for self-defense.
- 2 x MRL-9 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher Systems capable of launching 3 Tarantula grenades 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 two reloads each for a total of 9 grenades per launcher.
- 1 x MM-24 missile launcher in the chest, 24 internal 190mm x 540mm variable warhead, short range (8.2 km) Mach 3.0 combined infra-red imager and active radar homing Hammerhead missiles.
- 1 x MIM-60 missile launcher in the chest, 60 internal 76mm x 305mm variable warhead, short range (3 km) 800 kph combined infra-red imager and active radar homing Viper missiles. For direct and indirect fire use against lightly armored mecha, tanks, and tank-like targets.
Common optional hand-held gun pods:
- 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 laser 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 2031, although primarily with the combat Battloids first.
The armor on the Hellcat 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, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and fair to good resistance (Mark III) or good resistance (Mark IV) to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round. The arm shields provide good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weapons and poor resistance to heavy mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the VHT-2’s 120mm shell.
The Hellcat 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 Hellcat 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.
In 2027 the Eastern Bloc Soviet Independent States, in coalition with their south west Asian satellite states began to expand into the oil rich territories of the northern Saudi peninsula. The campaign was well over before the ASC had a chance to react. Afterwards the Soviets placated their Arab allies by undertaking the “liberation” of Palestine. Israel was not an actual member of the UEG, having maintained their independence since the end of the 1st Robotech War. While the Israeli Defense Force was able hold the line at the West Bank, it was unlikely that they would be able to hold out for long without reinforcement from the United Earth Government (UEG) or nuclearization of the battlefield. They chose to accept the help of the Southern Cross. However, the price was their independence.
After the shooting was over, the UEDF Tactical Corps was able to assess the effectiveness of its equipment in combat. Among many of it’s weapon systems, the CBH-4 Salamander was found wanting. Sand and grit worked their way into the Salamander’s leg and torso actuators, servos wore out and the cooling system for the electronics suit was inadequate. In combat, the Salamander suffered heavy losses against Soviet tanks. 145mm APFSDS rounds tended to have little trouble zipping through the frontal armor while ATGMs and even RPGs were able to defeat the lighter armor on the back. What was worse, none of the EU series gun pods could reliably penetrate the frontal armor on the T-95, the most common (and oldest) tank in the theatre. The UEDF decided it was time for a new main battle robot.
Proteus Group, Israeli Military Industries and Urdan Industries Ltd. (also of Israel) went to work on a new Battloid. The new Battloid was a continuation of the CBH-4 Salamander platform, but with enough changes to justify a new name. Heavier armor was added front and rear, as well as to the arm shields. The resulting increase in weight necessitated up-rated locomotive actuators, which in turn required additional power. The latest generation of Protoculture Energizer, and an increase of two extra cells met the increased demand. The new mecha, by that time designated the CBH-4-Mk. III Hellcat, was slightly slower than the old Salamander but had increased hop range thanks to improved jump jets. The frontal armor still could not defeat the latest generation of APFSDS rounds, but the arms could.
A whole new sensor suit was designed, using the Westinghouse’s latest 360 degree battlefield radar system. This radar could detect incoming missiles and main gun rounds, and was networked to the head lasers and arms. When an incoming missile was detected, the EL-8s would automatically engage to shoot them down before they could reach their target. The arms would automatically shield the main body from main gun rounds. Israel’s own Electro-Optics Industries Ltd. Provided the rest of the fire control system.
An MM-24 missile launcher was built into the chest to address the Salamanders lack of offensive punch. The clam shell armored doors concealed 24 Hammerhead short range multipurpose missiles. The Hammerhead significantly boosted the Hellcat’s punch relative to the Salamander. It could now engage tanks, enemy mecha and aircraft at ranges fare greater than that of its gun pods. Later a new version, the Mk. IV, replaced the Hammerheads with a MIM-60 missile launcher in the chest, containing 60 Viper missiles. Though they had shorter range and could only attack ground targets, they were much smaller allowing the CBH-4-Mk. IV to carry more than twice as many and mount heavier frontal armor. The Mk. IV was more of a supplement to the Mk. III, rather than a replacement. Both missiles types provided an indirect fire capability to the Hellcat, allowing it to attack tanks in the defilade or hiding behind sand berms or concrete structures. A top attack profile enabled the missiles HEAT warhead to penetrate the weaker top turret armor of enemy tanks. This ended the dependence on close air support and artillery assets for taking out dug-in opponents.
During the Soviet incursion, Russian and Arab gunners had little trouble identifying and picking off officers and NCOs by their unique head designs. This was addressed in the Hellcat. Both the standard and the Command (C) models had identical looking heads. The CBH-4C did incorporate improved sensors and C3I systems. Cooling was improved and seals for the hydraulic systems were made more rugged to help the Hellcat deal with harsh desert conditions.
Development and testing progressed quickly, and the first units to receive the new Battloid took delivery in August of 2029. Tactical Corps Desert Divisions and newly absorbed units from the IDF had first priority and by the end of 3030 all of the units in deployed to South West Asia had turned in their Salamanders in exchange for the Hellcat. In early 2031 the Tactical Corps units stationed in Central Europe began to transition to the CBH-4 as well. A space optimized version, the CBH-4-Mk. V was planned and tested for UEDF TSC Lunar Divisions, but never made it to production thanks to the events of 2031.
Today, a relatively large number of Hellcats survive. Few were lost in the 2nd Robotech War, thanks to the fact that the Middle East was not very high on the Robotech Masters’ list of priorities. The Invid also largely ignored the region when they arrived a few years later. The hundred or so surviving Hellcats went on to serve in the post war, independent, IDF.
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, and Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2002, 2000, 1998, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing