Marathon-class Super Dimensional Transport (SAT)


ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker

edited by Tim Wing

original Illustration by Alejandro Lois


  • Marathon-class reference file
  • Marathon-class gallery

Designation: Marathon-class Super Dimensional Transport (SAT)

Names and disposition:

  • SAT-01 UES Marathon, commissioned 2025, in service
  • SAT-02 UES Tour-de-France, commissioned 2025, in service
  • SAT-03 UES Sprint, commissioned 2025, in service
  • SAT-04 UES Triathlon, commissioned 2025, in service
  • SAT-05 UES Grand Prix, commissioned 2026, in service
  • SAT-06 UES Blue Banner, commissioned 2026, in service
  • SAT-07 UES Steeplechase, commissioned 2026, in service
  • SAT-08 UES Estafette, commissioned 2026, in service
  • SAT-09 UES Indianapolis, commissioned 2027, in service
  • SAT-10 UES Elfstedentocht, commissioned 2027, in service
  • SAT-11 UES Davis Cup, commissioned 2027, in service
  • SAT-12 UES Whitebread, commissioned 2027, in service
  • SAT-13 UES Olympics, commissioned 2028, in service
  • SAT-14 UES World Cup, commissioned 2028, in service
  • SAT-15 UES Superbowl, commissioned 2028, in service

Ship’s complement:

  • Ships’ crew (57 men),
  • Passengers (up to 650 men),
  • Life support limits are for a full complement and about 450 supernumeraries (1150 men total).


  • Length: 178.7 meters main hull; 164.4 meters drive/cargo housing
  • Height: 34.7 meters main hull; 56.0 meters drive/cargo housing
  • Width: 59.4 meters main hull; 55.2 meters drive/cargo housing
  • Mass: 124,000 metric tons empty, 152,000 metric tons fully loaded
  • Fuel Mass: 30,000 metric tons, maximum (typical)

Propulsion systems:

  • Main power system: RRG Mk20 protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace. The powerplant of the Marathon-class vessel can deliver up to 276 Terawatts of power, and can operate for eighty-three minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates autoshutdown.
  • Maneuvering Thrusters (8): Flygmotor T-600 Fusion-Plasma Reaction Thrusters with steerable nozzles forward and aft halfway up the main hull.
  • Reaction-mass Thrusters (4): 3 Flygmotor T-800 fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer in the rear of the main hull and 1 Flygmotor T-1000 fusion-plasma reaction thruster with protoculture energizer in the rear of the drive/cargo housing.
  • Anti-gravity System (1): 3 RRG Atlas anti-gravity pods.
  • Space Fold (1): RRG (Robotech Research Group) Mk10a spacefold. This fold is non-conformal, but the fold radius is relatively small.
  • Planetary Capabilities: The Marathon-class has atmospheric capabilities through its reaction thrusters and anti-gravity system. The drive/cargo pod has sufficient structural strength for the ship to use it as a landing foot. Note that the ground underneath should be as firm as possible. The ship will float in an ocean, but the main access ports in the drive/cargo pod will be submerged.

Endurance and mobility limits:

The dry stores endurance is three months maximum; after that, the Marathon needs to restock. Water stores are recycled almost totally. Due to their frequent rendezvous with larger ships and stations, the Marathons are usually well-stocked with fresh foods.

The Reflex furnace can function for about 15 years at normal usage levels before an energizer rebuild is necessary. This life expectancy is less than that of the Garfish-class, which has an identical furnace, but the Marathons are easily the hardest-worked ships of the fleet, and carry out more folds than any other vessel.

At full power, the main propulsion systems can produce up to 3.8 Giganewtons of thrust at a minimal reaction mass efficiency profile, or as little as 109 Meganewtons of thrust at a maximum efficiency setting. At lower power levels, these thrusts are commensurately smaller.

At full power, the Marathon-class can achieve a maximum delta-v of 260 kps at the cruising acceleration of 0.1 gees, a maximum delta-v of 54 kps at the battle acceleration of 1.0 gees, and a delta-v of at most 15.1 kps at the flank acceleration of 2.5 gees. At lower power levels, these ranges are commensurately smaller.

The Mk10a fold system has a safe navigational limit of 10 kiloparsecs. Any larger distance requires multiple consecutive fold jumps. This system generates a spherical fold bubble and can transport 5 to 10 subluminal shuttles and a far larger number of fighters with it during a space fold operation.

The maximum atmospheric speed is Mach 3, if an aerospike is deployed. If the aerospike is not used, the ship is limited to subsonic speeds. The maximum hover time on the anti-gravity systems is limited only by the protoculture supplies and maintenance requirements.

Weapon systems:

  • PL-2a Point Defense turrets (4): mounted on the sides of the hull behind movable panels, these standard REF weapons can fire 56 MJ of particle energy four times per second.

Air group and mecha complement:

  • None, although several replacement mecha can usually be found in the cargo compartments or on racks mounted externally on the hull, and pilots can often be found among the passengers.


  • The Marathon never received shadow generators or EM masking covers, due to their operational profile.

Design notes:

The Marathon-class is a variant on the Garfish-class scout cruiser. Among the changes are the removal of all weapon systems, but the addition of four point defense cannons, and the replacement of the original (and inadequate) fold drive, the refitting of the troop and internal mecha holds into passenger compartments, and the replacement of the bottom mounted hangar/engine pod with a large cargo/fold drive pod. This pod, which is rather larger than the hangar pod of the Garfish class, is the visually most striking feature of these ships.

The fold system installed in the lower pod takes up 33% of the available space there. The system is, for reasons of stability, placed in the center of the pod, with a large cargo bay both in front of and behind the fold drive. While not as powerful as the system installed in the larger fold-capable vessels, this small fold system is very reliable and still powerful enough to carry five to ten large shuttles with the transport vessel through a fold jump.


The Marathon-class fold transport was conceived at about the same time as the Montgolfier-class tender. Since the Montgolfier-class was to be deployed forward from the base stations, a ship was necessary to shuttle between the factories and the tenders, carrying new supplies and replacement mecha. In addition to these goods and mecha, there would be a number of transfers involving replacement personnel and injured crew to and from the base stations and the front lines. It would be extremely inefficient to use the high-value tenders for this; similarly, ships-of-the-line were needed on the line, and would be wasted on cargo hauling duties. Therefore, the Marathon-class transports were designed and the shipyards on board Space Station Equality started a production run of these vessels.

The entire class was named after famous sporting events or running events of the Olympic games. Blue Banner was the sole exception, being named after the banner traditionally flown from the fastest ship so far to have crossed the North Atlantic. The other events include endurance-, bicycle-, sailing- and automobile-races, team competitions and also natural-ice long distance skating.

In total, fifteen of these vessels were built. Because of the nature of their mission, the shuttling between known safe space coordinates, these vessels were not armed and they never encountered any hostile ship. They are still in service as general logistics support vessels with the Terran Navy.



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: Alejandro Lois

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 – Alejandro Lois

Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2001, 1999, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing



5 thoughts on “Marathon-class Super Dimensional Transport (SAT)

  1. The original illustrator of the image of the Marathon that you use in this page is Alejandro Lois, not Sean Newton.

    I hope you can correct this.

    1. Thanks for the catch on that! Corrected.

      Now I need to retrace my steps and see where I got that picture from… (I thought it was a carry over from the uRRG days.) I normally do not use fan-art unless I have the permission of the originator. Do you have some contact information for him?


      1. Tim,

        Alejandro Lois (The artist of the Marathon class image) was a friend of mine in the past (midle ’90s), but I lost contact with him.

        And yes, you are right, it is from the days of the old “Robotech Mailing List” (I am feeling old with this!) and the uRRG, when Peter or Pieter send a message looking for artists to draw the Marathon Class and the Montgolfier Class (and maybe another ships, but I don’t remember) then Alejandro drew this image and I scanned the picture (with a old handheld scanner – 10 cm wide!) and I sent to them, but it was not used in the website’s ship profile, but the image was in the picture section of the site.

        Thanks for the correction, I wrote to you because I wanted Alejandro get his recognition for his work.

        Keep your good work!


  2. Tim,

    Sorry to bother you (again!), but in the beggining of the text it says:

    >by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
    >edited by Tim Wing
    >original Illustration by Sean Newton

    You can correct this one too, please?


    1. Duh!

      No bother at all! I’m always glad to have some feed-back, especially when it helps me catch mistakes like this.

      Thanks Gabriel!

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