by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen
edited by Tim Wing
- Conbat reference file
- Conbat gallery
Designation: Shimada Enterprises SFA-5 Conbat Anti-spaceship Strike Fighter Aerospacecraft
- Total Length: 17.1 meters
- Total Height: 4.1 meters
- Total Wingspan: 9.5 meters
- Total Dry Weight: 12.9 metric tons
- SFA-5A: One seat anti-spaceship multirole fighter aerospacecraft.
- SFA-5D: Two-seat combat-capable trainer aerospacecraft.
- SFA-5B: One seat anti-spaceship multirole fighter aerospacecraft.
- SQA-5A: Two-seat electronic warfare aerospacecraft.
- SFA-5S: One seat low-observability anti-spaceship multirole fighter aerospacecraft.
- SFA-5DS: Two-seat low-observability combat-capable trainer aerospacecraft.
- SQA-5S: Two-seat low-observability electronic warfare aerospacecraft.
III. Service History:
- SFA-5A: Served with the UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2033 until replaced by the -E variant in the late 2030s, and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2037 until 2052.
- SFA-5D: Served with the UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2033 until 2062, and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2037 until 2070.
- SFA-5B: Served with the UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2035 until replaced by the –S variant in the early 2040s, and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2043 until 2054.
- SQA-5A: Served with the UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2033 until 2063, and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2037 until 2071.
- SFA-5S: Served with the UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2043 until 2070, and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2037 until 2075.
- SFA-5DS: Served with the UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2043 until 2070, and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2037 until 2075.
- SQA-5S: Served with the UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2044 until 2074, and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2037.
- 2 x Nakajima/P&W/Rolls Royce FF-2011-4 fusion turbines, max. unboosted output 140 kN each (overboost, 275 kN each).
- 2 x Nakajima/P&W/Rolls Royce FF-2011-4S plasma-shock expansion reaction engines, max. output 121.5 kN each (overboost, 249 kN each).
- 16 standard canisters of protoculture
- 8.1 liter D20 reactant for fusion engines.
- Assorted auxiliary and maneuvering thrusters.
- Max level speed: Mach 5.4 at 25,000 meters.
- Delta-v capacity: 5.2 kps
- Powercell endurance: 200 hours continuous use
- Initial climb rate: over 30,000 meters per minute.
- Unboosted service ceiling: 29,000 meters
- G limits: -5.4/+12.0.
- Hughes APG-99 X-band pulse-Doppler phased array, providing spherical long-range detection and tracking of targets at all attitudes.
- Phillips AllView multi-band digital camera system, for medium range spherical infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking.
- Thomson LT-5 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):
- Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
- OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
- Westinghouse ALQ-250(V) active sensor jammer
- Chaff dispenser
- 2 x Colt E-19 4.5MJ lasers in fixed-forward firing position. Both lasers can fire 40 times per minute, and are recessed in the ventral fuselage.
- 1 x MM-16/8 Multi-missile system. Four missile bays under flip-open covers on inner and outer edges of the upper nacelles; each carries 2 medium range (65km) Mach 3.2 combined infra-red imager and active radar homing 260mm Diamondback and four 190x540mm short range (8.2km) combined active radar + home-on-jam/infra-red imager guided Hammerhead missiles each, for a total of 16 SRMs and 8 MRMs.
Hardpoints – 4 underwing hardpoints under the inner wings can each mount:
- 1 x RMS-3 “Archangel Of Death” Nuclear stand-off missile. Reaction warhead (500 kT) mounted on a long range (354 km) Mach 4.0 combined multi-spectrum imager and active radar homing missile. Customized for anti-starship operations. Maximum delta-v in space is 9.8 kps.
- or 1 x CBM-200 Anti-mecha Cluster Missile. Two hundred guided cluster bombs with a range of 500 meters mounted on a long range (80 km) Mach 4.0 combined multi-spectrum imager and active radar homing missile. Customized for anti-mecha operations both in space and on the ground. Maximum delta-v in space is 3.5 kps.
- or 1 x Carapace missile container, carrying 6 medium range (65km) Mach 3.2 combined infra-red imager and active radar homing 260mm Diamondback missiles or 12 190x540mm short range (8.2km) combined active radar + home-on-jam/infra-red imager guided Hammerhead missiles.
- or 1 x RMS-2 ‘Angel of Death’ Nuclear Stand-off missile. A reaction warhead (200 kT) mounted on a long range (293 km) Mach 4.0 combined multi-spectrum imager and active radar homing missile. Preferred ordnance for anti-starship missions. Maximum delta-v is 5 kps.
- or 1 x Firebird missile. A conventional warhead mounted on the frame of a RMS missile with a range of 234 km and a speed of Mach 6.5, guided by a combined IIR and active/passive radar seeker. Weapon has a delta-v of 4 kps in space.
- or 1 x Silencer anti-radiation missile.
- or 1 x Hughes GU-11 55mm three barreled smoothbore rotary gun pod; has a 500 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 Rheinmetall GU-12 single smoothbore barrel gun pod. Fires 100mm APFSDS and HEAP (High Explosive Armor Piercing) semi-combustible case munitions at 110 rounds/minute. Ammunition supply is 60 rounds.
- or 1 x MER for three optical, IIR, and active radar-guided Derringer missiles, with a range of 70km and a speed of Mach 3.0. Note however that because of the proximity of the hardpoints only one MER can be carried on the inner hardpoints; the outer hardpoints will have to remain unused in this case.
- or any other military cargo such as a reconnaissance pod, missile or cargo pod.
The skin of the Conbat is composed of an advanced titanium-steel alloy. The armored skin 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. The total protection marginally better than that on the Valkyrie. The Bat 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.
In the 2030s the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) started replacing the anti-spaceship mecha of the Tactical Naval Corps with newly designed models incorporating the lessons of the Sentinels Campaign. By this time, legacy mecha such as the VF-1 Super Valkyrie, the FA-101 Vulture and the less than successful VF-4 Lightning III were in need of replacement. The first replacement for the Valkyrie was the VFA-6 Thunderbolt III in the air superiority role. This mecha was more than capable of taking over the Valkyrie’s air superiority and ground support roles, but was incapable of assuming the role of strike mecha due to its limited armament options compared to the Super Valkyrie. The Tactical Naval Corps first planned to replace their strike-tasked Valkyries by a project called VA-X which would have delivered a Veritech attack mecha. However, budgetary realities killed this project after a year. The Tactical Naval Corps then tried to procure an improved version of the VF-4 Lightning III, which was finally made to be reasonably reliable but was still the most expensive mecha ever fielded by the defense forces. This was also not acceptable to the Treasury Department. At about that time, however, the government began an investigation into the replacement of some of the expensive Veritechs with non-transformable planes. Since it was decided that a full-up Veritech was not required for the anti-spaceship and strike role, a request was sent to Rockwell Textron (soon to merger with Shinnakasu Heavy Industries to form Shimada Enterprises) for a true non-transformable variant of the VF-4 Lightning III. The result was the SFA-5 Conbat.
The shape of the SFA-5 was very similar to the Lightning III; essentially it was a completely new airframe designed around the proven engines and avionics of the parent Veritech. The four engines were mounted in large engine pods on the wings. From there, relatively small wings led to the main hull, which contained the reaction mass tankage, the cockpit and electronics. Two high powered lasers in the fuselage replaced the Lightning III’s particle beam cannons. The missile hardpoints were mounted under the inner wings. With the complete deletion of all transformation related subsystems, the Conbat was less than a quarter of the price of the overly complex VF-4 but was superior in most performance categories. Compared with the VF-4, the Bat had a higher acceleration and top speed, and nearly the same effective weapons load. The Conbat was originally procured in two versions: the SFA-5A, the basic combat aircraft, and the SFA-5D, a combat-capable trainer. After two years newly delivered single seat aircraft were of the SFA-5B version, which had mainly minor improvements along with the introduction of VFA-6 style internal bays for Hammerhead and Diamondback missiles were added to the upper nacelles, to allow for a greater defensive capability. All remaining SFA-5A and D models were subsequently refitted up to SFA-5B standards, minus the missile bays.
As the Sentinels’ War rapped up, the Conbat proved to be the ideal weapon against Invid capital ships. The RMS missiles were more than capable of destroying a Hive or an Invid Mollusk troopcarrier, and the cluster weapons were welcome for their ability to thin out ranks of Invid mecha in space, or on the ground. However, as the Beta Fighter came into ever wider service, it was realized that a pair of Alpha/Beta Legios fighters were quite capable of doing the same job, and just at the time the Conbat began to suffer its worst attrition in the field, it was also made a victim of the UEEF’s perceived need for logistical simplicity and standardization. Most of the remaining Conbats were transferred to the Colonial Defense Forces.
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (R) is the property of Fuji Television, Artmic Studio and Tatsunoko Production. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Yoshitaka Amano, Shinji Aramaki and Hideki Kakinuma
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, Variable Fighter Master File VF-1 Valkyrie, Macross Mecha Manual
Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015 Tim Wing