by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
edited by Tim Wing
Designation: Quiltra Queleual-class Landing Ship and multi-purpose transport vessel, Normandie-class Terran superdimensional general passenger/cargo vessel (SAG)
Some common configurations: underway replenishment vessel, armed merchantman, landing ship, tanker or a combination such as fleet support vessel (tender, resupply vessel and troop carrier). Other roles are also possible; several Zentraedi vessels were converted into static sensor ships, tenders, vacuum mining bases and the like.
Names and Disposition:
These ships were built at the Spoltra-Shifd 18,899,550th Zentradi Fully-Automated Armory Planet and numerous other locations throughout the Robotech Mercantile Empire and entered service from 1610 through 2010. There has only been one version of the design; though subsystems such as the fold system were upgraded over time, the impacts were not major enough to warrant a new version number.
The exact number of constructed units cannot be given due to the loss of records in the Invid invasion of Tirol and the destruction of the final remnants of the Tirolian fleet over Earth. However, an estimated guess puts their number at 273,500 units.
Of this number, approx. 14,500 were destroyed prior to 2010. The Imperial Fleet contained approx. 75,000 Quiltra Queleual vessels, all sharing in the “infection” of that fleet. Of the remaining Tirolian controlled ships 132,000 were part of the Grand Fleet. After the Zentraedi Holocaust, an estimated 48,000 Quiltra Queleual-class transports remained intact or salvageable in the Zentraedi and Terran fleets. Most of these were decommissioned due to protoculture depletion prior to 2020, though five were retained in UEEF service as the Normandie class until these too were placed into reserve in 2034-2037 and mothballed on the Moon in 2046.
It must be noted that the numerical designator 18,899,550th does not indicate the number of ‘Armory Planets’ operated by the Tirolian Mercantile Empire. Indeed, the six digit number is equal parts serial number and red-herring meant to make the Masters’ empire and manufacturing resources seem even more immense to their Zentraedi slaves. Additionally, the term Armory Planet is also misleading. While the term conjures images of planet sized factories spitting out a never ending stream of space cruisers (which was likely the intent), these manufacturing facilities were all much smaller than the Robotech Factory Satellite.
- SAG-01 UES Normandie, mothballed at the Tranquillity depot.
- SAG-02 UES Titanic, destroyed, 2013.
- SAG-03 UES Lusitania, mothballed at the Tranquillity depot.
- SAG-04 UES Queen Elizabeth III, mothballed at the Tranquillity depot.
- SAG-05 UES Andrea Doria, mothballed at the Tranquillity depot.
- SAG-06 UES Fitz Roy, destroyed 2021.
(Zentraedi version, maximum troops):
- Ships’ crew (1200 men),
- Air Group (430 men),
- Ship troops (400 men),
- Embarked troops (12,000 men),
- Life support limits are for a full combat complement and about 2,000 supernumeraries (16,500 Zentraedi total). Approx. four times this number can be carried for a limited period of time.
- Ships’ crew (2300 men),
- Air Group (1100 men),
- Life support limits are for a full complement and about 3,000,000 supernumeraries and passengers (3,000,000+ men total).
- Length: 3000 meters over all.
- Height: 680 meters over all.
- Width: 660 meters over all.
- Mass: 150,000,000 metric tons operational (typical troop carrier), 210,000,000 metric tons operational (typical tanker vessel).
- Fuel mass: 56,000,000 metric tons maximum (typical troop carrier), 116,000,000 metric tons maximum (typical tanker vessel).
- Main power system: Workl-Quatafilla 489-Trafla protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace cluster. The powerplant of a Quiltra Queleual-class vessel can nominally deliver up to 117 Petawatts of power, and can operate for 75 minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates auto-shutdown.
- Maneuvering Thrusters (78): Fusion-plasma reaction thruster clusters with steerable nozzles. The Workl-Quatafilla Ts-Graldar engine blister under the nose has six forward and two ventral nozzles, fed by the engine through exhaust deflectors. The others are mounted in rows of five, two rows in the upper port and starboard bow, two rows in the lower port and starboard bow, two rows in the upper port and starboard stern, two rows in the lower port and starboard stern, one row in the port and starboard ventral stern, and one row in the port and starboard dorsal hull, also forward and aft. Additionally, the Workl-Quatafilla Ts-Glarnitsz side thrusters have dorsal and ventral exhaust deflectors.
- Reaction-mass Thrusters (11): All are fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer. Two Workl-Quatafilla Ts-Luuntrael are mounted in engine blisters in the lower part of the stern, six Workl-Quatafilla Ts-Glarnitzs in rows of three in two engine blisters to the sides of the stern, two Workl-Quatafilla Ts-Quasluun flush in the hull in the upper part of the stern, and one Workl-Quatafilla Ts-Graldar mounted in a blister under the nose. There are no forward thrusters; breaking maneuvers are made with the aft main thrusters using exhaust deflectors opening in the engine pods and through ports in the upper aft hull.
- Anti-gravity System (1): 430 Quelshe-Vazerl anti-gravity pods.
- Space Fold (1): Nolfantom-proldarlev 462 spacefold. This system generates a hull-conformal fold.
- Planetary Capabilities: The Quiltra Queleual-class has atmospheric capabilities through its reaction engines and anti-gravity systems. The hull has sufficient structural strength to make a cold landing, but the landing field requires extensive preparations to increase its carrying capacity and equalize the terrain.
- The ship will float in an ocean, but only the upper ingress/egress ports will open above the waterline, which greatly hampers access to the ship.
Endurance and mobility limits:
The numbers assume the ship’s own supplies only; often, part of the cargo for the ships consisted of dry stores for other ships, but these could of course be used for the Quiltra Queleual themselves.
The dry stores endurance is 20 months maximum; after that, the ships of this class need to restock. Water stores are recycled almost totally. If fewer or no auxiliary vessels are carried, the freed hangar space can be used to store additional consumables.
The Terran versions carried extensive hydroponic food production centers, and could provide their crew and passengers, as well as several smaller ships, with a steady supply of fresh fruits. The Normandie-class had an effective stores endurance of 15 years, if the stored supplies were not used to replenish other ships.
The mecha consumables supplies (mainly missiles) are plentiful due to the volume of the ship and the small number of the defending mecha; the Quiltra Queleual-class is able to sustain continuous combat operations for more than 30 days.
Should the Quiltra Queleual be used as a landing ship, more supplies would be carried to cater for the needs of the larger troop complement. A full troop deployment (12,000 Zentraedi) can be supplied with enough stores to sustain combat operations of average intensity for about 6 days.
The missile magazines for the ship’s own launchers are typically empty after three major space battles.
The Reflex furnace can function for about 35 years at normal usage levels before an energizer rebuild is necessary.
At full power, the main propulsion systems can nominally produce up to 3.4 Teranewtons of thrust at a minimal reaction mass efficiency profile, or as little as 65 Giganewtons of thrust at a maximum efficiency setting. At lower power levels, these thrusts are commensurately smaller.
At full power, the Quiltra Queleual can nominally achieve a maximum delta-v of 251.9 kps at the cruising acceleration of 0.1 gees, a maximum delta-v of 49.4 kps at the battle acceleration of 1.0 gees, and a delta-v of at most 15.3 kps at the flank acceleration of 2.3 gees. At lower power levels, these ranges are commensurately smaller.
Note: these numbers are for the landing ship variant. Should the Quiltra Queleual be a fully loaded tanker variant, the maximum acceleration would be 30% lower, but the delta-v capacity would be increased due to the additional reaction mass. However, using the latter would detract from the ship’s value as a tanker. In service, tankers usually operated apart from battle formations.
The fold systems were not navigationally guaranteed for any single jump beyond 10 kiloparsecs. If longer voyages were required, the ship had to conduct multiple fold jumps.
The maximum sustained atmospheric speed is Mach 4. The maximum hover time on the anti-gravity systems is limited only by the protoculture supplies and maintenance requirements.
The hull has a designed life-time (including regular refits) of approximately 640 years.
- Makral Mossil 918 combination cannon (17): For centuries this combined particle beam and laser weapon has been the standard medium cannon armament on Zentraedi vessels. The laser was originally provided for pulse firings in an atmosphere, to ‘drill’ a vacuum channel through air through which the particle beam could then travel without significant loss of impact energy to atmospheric scattering. However, the laser was upgraded to be as potent as the particle beam, so that the actual discharge medium could be chosen as the optimum for the local target and environment conditions. Because of the slow recharge time of the larger weapons, this cannon turret is the most often utilized weapon system on board Zentraedi vessels. For ground support, it is the only effective weapon as the other systems are too heavy to be used around own troops. As most Zentraedi beam weapon systems, the cannon has an effective range of 300,000 km. Each full-intensity shot has a yield of 1000 MJ, and the cannons can cycle through their firing sequence once every three seconds. The exact location of these weapons varied by building yard, but the most common scheme mounted four turrets forward, aft, to each side and to the dorsal and ventral, though most mounts had a field of fire that extended to other planes.
- Deuawhaug Rasar 89 (10): A Reloadable Silo Launch System (RSLS), or as it is better known, a torpedo tube, capable of firing large anti-ship and ground bombardment torpedoes. The tubes can reload in 3.6 seconds, and have a 40 round magazine close-by. These launchers are mounted five to port and five to starboard, on the upper bow of the ship. The missiles used are the SSA-1 Sniper (Lojredbeth Deuawhaugh) and the SSA-2 Scrapper (Letkes Deuawhaug) missiles. The former is a nuclear missile with a 326 kT reaction warhead, the latter is a conventional tipped missile with a warhead of 2.3 metric tons. Both missiles are optimized for anti-ship strikes in deep space, but can be used in orbital bombardment modes or in an atmosphere.
- Touwhaug Rasar 481 (96): A missile launcher mounted in a pop-up turret, firing anti-mecha/missile missiles, though the projectiles can guide on point-blank enemy ships. When the missiles are released they are already on their intercept vectors, or very close to them. Each turret has a reload time of 3.6 seconds and a magazine with a 100 round capacity. They are mounted for spherical coverage. The missile system used is the SAA-1 Granite (Gliquoun Touwhaug), a weapon with a conventional blast fragmentation warhead of 278 kg and an atmospheric range of 112 km at a speed of Mach 7.5.
Air group and mecha complement:
(All Zentraedi configurations):
- 250 Gnerl fighters.
(Typical Landing ship configuration):
- 6 Quel Quallie EW/assault craft,
- 12 Lieuneuatzs shuttle craft,
- 24 Frandlar Tiluvo trans-orbital transports,
- 18 Nauglar Nodral airborne tankers,
- 9450 Regult infantry mecha (four versions),
- 2400 Nousjadeul-Ger cavalry mecha,
- 150 Glaug ground/air command mecha and aerospace sleds (if available).
(Typical Fleet Support configuration):
- 3 Quel Quallie EW/assault craft,
- 6 Lieuneuatzs shuttle craft,
- 10 Frandlar Tiluvo trans-orbital transports,
- 10 Nauglar Nodral airborne tankers,
- 3150 Regult infantry mecha (four versions),
- 800 Nousjadeul-Ger cavalry mecha,
- 50 Glaug ground/air command mecha and aerospace sleds (if available).
(Normandie class, 2025):
- 3 EC-32 Raven EWACS shuttles,
- 6 Predator assault boats,
- 10 Kitsune trans-orbital transports,
- 10 ES-11 Cat’s Eye recon planes,
- 16 SC-32 Roc heavy personnel and cargo shuttles,
- 12 SVT-1 Vixens,
- 40 RC-4 Rabbit light personnel and carg shuttles.
- 148 VA-5 Condor veritech fighters,
- 148 VF/A-6 Alpha veritech fighters.
The hull of the Quiltra Queleual-class is shaped like a rectangular brick, a compromise between atmospheric capability, accessible and usable volume and ease of manufacture. There are six engine clusters in the aft section; all of which can fire forward for braking and other maneuvers; the two upper engines though ports in the upper hull, the lower four engines through forward nozzles that are closed by a hinged hatch when not in use. There is the normal number of attitude thrusters spread over the ship. The aft bulkhead has airlocks along its periphery for access to the auxiliary vessel hangars. The locks, two in the upper half and one in the lower half, are large enough to admit Frandlar Tiluvo trans-orbital transports. There are three more large hatches in the rest of the ship, one in the nose and two in the sides. These hatches cover the entrances to multiple internal decks, and can be used for voluminous cargo. The bottom of a Quiltra Queleual contains extendable elevators and ramps leading to the lower decks; cargo, or, in the troop carrier configuration, troops, can be embarked or disembarked directly onto a surface. It is not necessary for the ship to actually land on a planet in order to do this, typically the anti-gravity systems are used to keep the ship aloft while the embarkation/disembarkation takes place.
Internally, there are seven main deck levels, one half deck and several large hangars. The command center, engineering section, Reflex furnaces, fold drive systems and other related machinery are all located on the double-height center deck. Also on this deck are the quarters for the actual ship’s crew and their facilities. The Gnerl air group is housed on the half deck in the uppermost centre half of the Quiltra Queleual, and launch through chutes at the sides. The other six decks, three above and three below the central deck, can be configured as needed by installing prefabricated inner sections. These sections can be made up of cargo holds, fuel tanks, crew quarters, mecha hangars, cold and warm storage holds, ammunition magazines or other, more specialized inner hull parts. It is not necessary for all sections on different decks, or even sections on the same deck, to be of an identical type. This gives the class maximum flexibility, for each ship can be configured or reconfigured as needed to any degree desired. For instance, a ship can carry additional fuel tanks on all decks (tanker version), or supplies on several decks and troops on the other decks (landing ship version), or fuel and cargo, and this in any configuration required. However, such custom configurations were rare, the Zentraedi usually sticking to one of their standard versions. The auxiliary vessels carried by the Quiltra Queleual are hangared in the aft section, just forward of the aftmost pressure bulkhead.
The armament is limited, as the Quiltra Queleual-class was not designed to stand in the battle-line. There are ten torpedo tubes forward of the Gnerl launch bays. As the Tou Redir-sized vessels the Quiltra Queleual was designed to hold off cannot mount as extensive anti-torpedo batteries as larger ships, this number of launchers sufficed. The cannon armament does not follow the normal Zentraedi lay-out of heavy fire forward and medium fire on the other arcs, rather, the turrets are mounted, like the defensive missile system, for spherical coverage.
After their home had been bombarded by the loyal Zentraedi armada, the surviving Ci’Vonians and their allies declared war on the Robotech Mercantile Empire. As part of their efforts, small flotillas of Tou Redir ships were sent into the Empire to raid the interstellar commerce which provided the Tirolian treasury a large part of its wealth. The first Tirolian counter against this form of warfare was a system of convoys escorted by loyal Zentraedi ships, but while effective, the inevitable delays lowered the volume of transported goods by around 40%. Clearly, a more effective counter was required. This came in the form of the Quiltra Queleual armed merchant, which carried sufficient armament to hold Tou Redir sized ships off long enough to effect an escape. The threat of larger ships remained, but the required number of Zentraedi escort vessels was far less than with smaller, unarmed cargo ships.
The Quiltra Queleual was not a privately owned ship, but a military vessel with a Zentraedi crew. Officially licensed transport companies could rent volume and mass on these large vessels, which kept up a regular service between the Empire’s planets. As the threat of the Disciples of Zor waned and more Quiltra Queleual-class ships became available, other uses were found for voluminous ships. From the start, a Zentraedi troop transport function had been foreseen, but within two centuries the Quiltra Queleual became the exclusive supply ship for the Zentraedi fleets as well. As the depredations of the Disciples had become mere minor nuisances by the 1880’s, the civilian transport services were stopped and all Quiltra Queleual-class vessels were incorporated into the Zentraedi fleets as landing ships and underway replenishment vessels.
As a tanker, the Quiltra Queleual-class carried more than twice its normal fuel load, and could refuel numerous reconnaissance frigates, several heavy cruisers, or one force or fleet flagship. However, as it was very unusual for Zentraedi ships to burn their fuel tanks dry (standard procedures called for a minimum supply of 65% maximum capacity), one tanker usually sufficed to refuel a normal Zentraedi flotilla. The landing ship configuration could carry 12,000 troops, their weapons and supplies, and the means to land these on a planet; however, this number of troops was rarely needed save for planetary invasions. Usually, troops were added to the tender/underway replenishment combination; the resulting fleet support configuration could carry 4000 troops and their weapons and surface transports, sufficient stores to supply a normal Zentraedi deployment through several battles, and serve as a tender to the smaller Tou Redir scouts and the various auxiliary ships in the flotilla. Thus, a normal Zentraedi fleet deployment included two to four Quiltra Queleual-class vessels, divided equally between the fleet support and the tanker version.
Most of the Quiltra Queleual-class was brought to the Sol system with either the Imperial fleet or the Grand Fleet, for both forces expected massive ammunition and fuel expenditures and thus needed large fleet trains to resupply them. As a result, most of the class was destroyed in the Zentraedi Holocaust over Earth, with the survivors rapidly losing power due to protoculture depletion.
The UN Spacy used six of the former Zentraedi vessels to transport the bulk of the supplies, assembly lines, dismantled production centers and dependents of the early Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF, later renamed United Earth Expeditionary Force). They were also used extensively during the settling of the near Earth colonies of Liberté, Gloire and Eden. These ships, known as the Normandy-class, had their upper two decks converted into comfortable micronian sized housing areas. Their middle decks were dedicated to stores and prefabricated parts, and their lower decks contained additional reaction mass tanks to refuel the REF combat ships. The four surviving Normandy-class vessels (one was destroyed shortly after conversion) returned to the Sol system in 2046 and immediately entered the Tranquillity reserve depot on the Moon.
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: Miyatake Kazutaka
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.
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 Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2004, 2003, 1999 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing