by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Robert Morgenstern
edited by Tim Wing
- CBR Mark 1 reference file
- CBR Mark 1 galleries
Designation: SCAR CBR Mk. 1 Tactical Armor, Plate (TA-P)
- Type: Hard Armor
- Year Introduced: 2019
- Weight: 11 kg (Light), 15 kg (Heavy)
The United Earth Defense Force (UEDF), and to a lesser extent the Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF), began to move away from the LPAS Light Personal Armor System in the early 2020’s in favor of a new full-body armor suit. The new CBR Mark 1 (CBR was a fairly awkward acronym for Combat Body armoR) was designed by the state owned Southern Cross Armament Research (SCAR) and manufactured by a variety of sub-contractors. Extremely decorative, the armor style not only conformed to a soldier’s gender (for obvious reasons), but to their army and rank as well. Stylistically different armors were developed for the each of the UEDF’s branches of service. Among each of these eleven army-specific types, there were divisions between male and female armors, and distinct helmet designs for unrated enlisted men, non-commissioned officers, and full officers. The REF decided a single armor style all of its service members, with no differentiation between officer, NCO or enlisted.
Because there were a multitude of distinct types of CBR armor, the designation system was extremely arcane; for example, a female ATAC officer would wear the CBR Mk. 1 ITA-P(L) AVC F/O; while a male sergeant in the Tactical Corps would wear the CBR Mk. 1 ITA-P(H) Type 1 TC M/NCO, and his male subordinates would wear the CBR Mk. 1 ITA-P(H) Type 1 TC M/E. Though, technically, the REF armor carried the equally cumbersome designation of CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(L) Type 4 M or F, in practice it was simply shortened to CBR Mk. 1M or CBR Mk. 1F.
The CBR-series armors were simple battle-armor, with some environmental control for comfort, but had no inherent space-capabilities.
The CBR-series armors are composed of a plastic-ceramic composite for maximal resistance to penetration and thermic explosive damage for minimal weight. The armor stops most small arms fire and grenade and shell fragments, and provides poor (in the case of the light armor) to fair (in the case of the heavy armor) resistance against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round. The armor consists of separate leg, arm, torso, and helmet units, and covers the entire body.
The CBR Mk. 1 TA-P armor was later superseded by the CBR Mk. 2, which decreased the armors weight and introduced a host of new features. By the beginning of the Second Robotech War, the Mark 2 had replaced the Mark 1 in most branches of the UEDF. Only the Civil Defense Units, the Tactical Corps Cold Weather Offensive Squads and the Tactical Corps armored vehicle crewmen still were issued Mark 1 style armor. Though these units were scheduled to receive updated Mark 2 style armor, this did not occur before the end of the war. In REF service (or United Earth Expeditionary Force as it was called later on) the CBR Mk. 1 TA-P stayed in service until the mid-thirties, by which time it was replaced in service by the CVR-series of Cyclone compatible personal armor.
The SCBA-series armors have the following features:
Thermal regulation system: Limited temperature control, by the use of Peltier-electric cooling units in armor, conducting heat between the thermally conducting inner and outer layers of the armor. A simple reversal of the voltage can alternate the armor from heating to cooling the pilot. Between the thermally conducting layers on all these pieces, and on the inner surfaces of all other pieces of armor, is a thin insulating layer, designed to minimize non-directed heat transfer. The Peltier-electric units are powered by small batteries in the armor units that contain them, and are designed to assist pilot comfort in hot and cold climes. The units are insufficient for protection above 45 and below -25 degrees Celsius. The Tactical Corps’ Arctic divisions employed armor that was more robust in this respect, capable of sustained -45 degrees operation, and included an air conditioning system that warmed the air for the wearer. The air conditioning and power supply for the additional sustained heating capacity were stored in a specialized backpack. Heat resistant up to 500K for brief periods
Tactical Helmet: The helmet has a removable face-shield with variable-tint photochromic polarized polycarbon eyeslits. Contrary to popular belief, the eyeslits do not have integrated night vision or IR spectrum imaging. The NVG-645 can be attached directly to the faceplate, providing both of these features.
Tactical Radio: Narrow band, short range tactical radio for communication at the platoon level. The microphone and speakers are built into the helmet. This communication system will also wirelessly synch with longer range tactical radios, both dismounted and vehicle mounted.
Optional armored shield: Different designs existed for the various armies and ranks. The GMP-EC, TAF, and CDFC tended to use shields not much larger than the forearm. The TC, ATAC, CDU, TC-Arctic, and TC-Desert use large shields as tall as the pilot’s arm is long. The other armies using the SCBA-series armor do not use shields. The GMP shield also serves as scabbard for a 50,000 Volt stun-baton that was standard issue with the armor.
Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection: The CBR Mk. 1 had no built in NBC protection. A standard issue NBC protective mask could be worn underneath the helmet, but the faceplate could not be worn with the gas mask on. The armor itself provided limited chemical protection, but was not air-tight. In situations where extreme chemical or biological contamination was present, a rubber Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) suit could be worn over the armor, but the suit itself was heavy and severely degraded the wearer’s mobility.
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P variants:
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(H) Type 1: Tactical Armor, Plate, Heavy, Type 1. Introduced in April 2019. Issued to most combat troops in the UEDF Tactical Corps. Armor was typically painted medium earth brown with dark brown trim. Replaced by the CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(H) Type 1 in 2025.
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(L) Type 2 AVC1: Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Armor Vehicle Crewman One. Introduced July 2019. Issued to Veritech Hover Tank pilots and other vehicle crewmen in the Alpha Tactical Armored Cavalry. Armor was typically painted medium earth brown and white or medium earth brown overall. Replaced by the CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(L) AVC in 2026.
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(L) Type 3 AVC2: Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Armor Vehicle Crewman Two. Introduced in August 2019. Issued to armored vehicle crewmen in the UEDF Tactical Corps. Armor was typically painted medium earth brown with dark brown trim.
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(L) Type 4: Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Type 4. Introduced in May 2020. Issued to infantrymen in the REF/UEEF Marine Corps and Tactical Corps. Armor was typically painted medium blue with dark blue trim or medium earth brown with dark brown trim. Replaced by the CVR-series of armor starting in 2033.
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(L) Type 5 CWS: Tactical Armor, Plate, Heavy, Cold Weather System. Introduced November 2020. Issued to the elite infantry troops of the Tactical Corps’ Cold Weather Offensive Squads. Special features included improved environmental control system with increased heating capacity and liquid waste reclamation system capable of recycling the wearer’s urine at a 70% rate of efficiency. Armor was typically painted white with lavender trim, or sage green overall.
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(H) Type 9 HW1: Tactical Armor, Plate, Heavy, Hot Weather Type 1. Introduced November 2020. Issued to the elite infantry troops of the Tactical Corps’ Desert Squads. Special features included better sealing at the joints to help keep out desert sand and grit, improved environmental control system with extra heat sinks, integrated filtration systems for the mask and liquid waste reclamation system capable of recycling the wearer’s urine at a 70% rate of efficiency. Armor was typically painted desert tan and white, or desert tan overall. Replaced by the CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(H) HW1 in 2024. (Note: vehicle crewmen in the Desert Squad were typically issued CBR Mk. 1 TA-P (L) Armored Vehicle Crewman armor.)
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(L) Type 10: Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Type 10. Introduced September 2021. Issued to the Global Military Police, this armor was typically painted black and white, trimmed in colors corresponding to specific units. Replaced by the CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(L) Type 2 in 2026.
CBR Mk. 1 TA-P(L) Type 12: Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Type 12. Introduced in January 2022. Issued to the Civil Defense Units. This armor was typically painted grey and white with red and black trim.
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),
Robotech New Generation Sourcebook (November 2011), The Robotech RPG Book Four: Southern Cross (September 1987)
Content by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Rob Morgenstern, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen; 2016 Tim Wing