by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker, Chris Meadows and Robert Morgenstern
edited by Tim Wing
- RL-1 reference file
- RL-1 gallery
Designation: Bofors RL-1 60mm Light Anti-Armor Weapon
- Year Introduced: 2007
- Acquiring Military: UN Spacy
- Capacity: 4 round magazine, with one in the tube
- Rate of Fire: semi-automatic
- Weight: 4.5 kg (unloaded), 6.8 kg (loaded)
- Length: 68cm
Because of the nature of the war the UN Spacy and the rest of the Unified Forces expected to fight—that is, against alien humanoids greater than six times human height—the need was seen for a weapon usable by an individual infantryman against these giants. While no completely ideal solution was found, the creation of a magazine-fed Light Anti-Tank Weapon was one of the most credible. Built with the ergonomics of a submachine-gun in mind, the RL-1 became standard issue among Valkyrie and Destroid pilots, to use in self-defense should the pilot be forced to flee his mecha. Against the Zentraedi, the RL-1’s M821 HEAT projectile delivered the equivalent damage of an exploding .45 caliber round would on a human-sized target—making it very effective in stopping the individual soldier.
Nonetheless, the RL-1 was never seen as a 100% satisfactory solution to the David-vs-Goliath problem. As compact as it was, it was still a bulky, unwieldy weapon for a pilot to carry around—but in order to be sufficiently small for an individual pilot to carry at all, it sacrificed the power to take on greater threats as an unarmored Zentraedi soldier. It was less effective against a Zentraedi in body armor, and against even relatively flimsy mecha such as the Reguld battlepod it was completely ineffective (barring a lucky hit on a joint or armor seam). Although the RL-1 was better than nothing, the best solution to defeating a Zentraedi outside of one’s mecha was never to be caught outside of one’s mecha.
Although a small complement of RL-1s was carried by the REF on the Pioneer mission, they never saw widespread use after the first Robotech war. They were replaced in the REF’s arsenal by the heavy single-shot RL-2 and the light magazine-fed RL-6 rocket launchers, whose projectiles were specifically designed to defeat small mecha rather than giant aliens.
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 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 (1983)
Content by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Chris Meadows and Rob Morgenstern, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2006, 1999, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing