Thuverl Dalem class Cruiser


ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Pieter Thomassen

edited by Tim Wing


  • Thuverl Dalem reference file
  • Thuverl Dalem gallery
  • Zentraedi Space Weapons gallery

Designation: Thuverl Dalem class Cruiser

Note: While Zentraedi ships have been assigned Terran naval/space type designators, it must be stressed that their size and armaments placed them in a class of their own, matched only by contemporary Tirolian and modern Terran construction of like designations. As such, their designations must be viewed as indicators of intent and use rather than absolute strength.

In addition, the proper translation of the Zentraedi vessel designations into English was never completely agreed upon; for instance, some texts call the Thuverl Dalem-class cruiser a ‘frigate’ or ‘light general purpose warship’.

Name and disposition:

These ships were built at numerous locations throughout the Robotech Mercantile Empire and entered service from 1363 through 1565 in three major versions. All older ships were upgraded to the newer version as they came in for refits, and the final configuration only is described here. The number of constructed units is 116,588.

Of this number, approx. 60,300 were destroyed or scrapped prior to 2010. The Ci’Vonian defection (1519) included 43,119 Thuverl Dalem ships of which approx. 41,990 were confirmed as destroyed (this number includes units with action damaged assessed to be so heavy to become probable total losses) during subsequent offensives and skirmishes. The fate of the remaining vessels is unknown. Of the remaining Tirolian controlled ships approx. 6,650 were part of the Grand Fleet. No ships of this class were part of the Imperial Class Fleet. After the Zentraedi Holocaust, an estimated 600 Thuverl Dalem-class ships remained intact or salvageable in the Zentraedi fleet and left Earthspace. Most of these failed or were decommissioned due to protoculture depletion prior to 2020.

Ship’s complement:

  • Ships’ crew (420 men)
  • Air Group (195 men)
  • Troops (1000 men)
  • Life support limits are for a full combat complement and about 900 supernumeraries (2500 Zentraedi total). Approx. four times this number can be carried for a limited period of time.


  • Length: 1851 meters overall
  • Height: 280 meters overall
  • Width: 590 meters overall
  • Mass: 26,100,000 metric tons operational (typical)
  • Fuel mass: 11,800,000 metric tons maximum (typical).

Propulsion systems:

  • Main power system: Zorrelev-117-Trafla protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace cluster. The powerplant of a Thuverl Dalem class vessel can nominally deliver up to 28.9 Petawatts of power, and can operate for 45 minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates auto-shutdown.
  • Maneuvering Thrusters (68): fusion-plasma reaction thruster clusters with steerable nozzles. Twelve large single thrusters are mounted four to each side and the ventral surface in blisters, eight single small clusters are mounted around the nose on the sides, dorsal, ventral and forward plane each, and sixteen single small clusters are mounted on the dorsal hull surrounding the superstructure.
  • Reaction-mass Thrusters (2): Two Varrelev Pralstrom fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer mounted aft, to both sides of the hull extending into the side engine blisters. There are no secondary thrusters.
  • Anti-gravity System (1): 60 Domaron anti-gravity pods.
  • Space Fold (1): Nolfantom-proldarlev 187 spacefold. This system generates a hull-conformal fold.
  • Planetary Capabilities: The Thuverl Dalem class has atmospheric capabilities through its reaction engines and anti-gravity systems. The hull has sufficient structural strength to make a cold landing. 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 dry stores endurance is 13 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 mecha consumables supplies (mainly missiles) are plentiful due to the volume of the ship; the Thuverl Dalem-class is able to sustain continuous combat operations for more than 15 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 716.2 Giganewtons of thrust at a minimal reaction mass efficiency profile, or as little as 14.3 Giganewtons of thrust at a maximum efficiency setting. At lower power levels, these thrusts are commensurately smaller.

At full power, the Thuverl Dalem’s can nominally achieve a maximum delta-v of 339.8 kps at the cruising acceleration of 0.1 gees, a maximum delta-v of 68.6 kps at the battle acceleration of 1.0 gees, and a delta-v of at most 19.1 kps at the flank acceleration of 2.8 gees. At lower power levels, these ranges are commensurately smaller.

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.

Including regular refits, the hull is designed to have an anticipated lifetime of 640 years.

Weapon systems (Zentraedi names included):

(Note: only the types carried by the last version are mentioned. All older versions of the Thuverl Dalem were refitted with these systems).

  • Makral Nabrilla 253 particle cannon (1): The main anti-ship weapon is one large variable-frequency laser cannon mounted in the forward part of the superstructure. The laser beam has an effective range of 300,000 km and a full power discharge of 0.9 terajoules, equivalent to 180 tons of TNT. Although the cannon could be fired at lower power settings (with commensurate increases in the rate of fire) the highest power setting was typical in combat. The rate of fire at this setting was approximately six salvos per minute. Nupetiet-Vergnitzs Flagship Exterior Views 37M2
  • Makral Mossil 918 particle cannon (30): For centuries this combined particle beam and laser weapon has been the standard medium cannon armament on Zentraedi vessels. Two different beam weapons (variable frequency laser and particle beam cannon) are provided on one mount so that the discharge medium can be chosen as the optimum for the local target and environment conditions. Both weapons have the same yield at the muzzle. The laser can be fired in a low power mode directly before the particle beam fires, this setting is typically used to burn a vacuum path for the particles through an atmosphere. Because of the slow recharge time of the larger weapons, and the flexibility inherent in the double mount, this cannon turret is the weapon system most often utilized on board Zentraedi vessels. For ground support, it is the only effective weapon as the other systems are to heavy to be used around own troops. As with 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 ten of the turrets in the forward section of the hull, another four in the forward section of each side blister, and the remaining twelve mounted in the sectors the forward weapons did not cover. Sniper and Scrapper Torpedoes
  • Deuawhaug Rasar 89 (17): 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 between the upper and lower hull shells in the nose 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.
  • Nupetiet-Vergnitzs Flagship Exterior Views 37A1Touwhaug Rasar 481 (42): 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 75 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:

  • 1 Quel Quallie EW/assault craft,
  • 4 Liewneuatzs shuttle craft,
  • 4 Frandlar Tiluvo trans-orbital transports,
  • 4 Nauglar Nodral airborne tankers,
  • 500 Regult infantry mecha (four versions),
  • 150 Nousjadeul-Ger cavalry mecha,
  • 24 Glaug ground/air command mecha and aerospace sleds (when available),
  • 120 Gnerl fighters.

Design notes:

The Thuverl Dalem was the most common Zentraedi warship prior to the Ci’Va disaster. Shortly after the defections, the class was replaced in the yards with the Thuverl Salan class.

The central hull of the Thuverl Salan and the Thuverl Dalem had the same basic shape, although the Thuverl Dalem-class did not have the raft-mounted forward sensor platform of the Thuverl Salan or its transom stern. The superstructure mounted the main armament, in this case a heavy, variable-frequency pulse laser cannon. The engines were not in the small side blisters completely, but also extended to within the hull proper. The ventral and side attitude thrusters were significantly larger that on other Zentraedi ships, but this added control did not contribute significantly to the ship’s superiority over enemy vessels and the feature was deleted from subsequent classes and sub- versions of older designs. The troop release hatch was mounted in the ventral hull, forward of the large attitude thrusters.

The armament included the standard Zentraedi weapons, although in the case of the Thuverl Dalem-class the heavy anti-ship cannon was not a large particle beam but an older laser design. It was mounted in the superstructure and fired in the forward dorsal plane. The rest of the armament was typical for Zentraedi vessels, with multiple medium cannon batteries, large offensive torpedo launchers and an extensive defensive missile suite. The old design age of the ship made her inefficient in the use of her internal spaces, and the torpedo racks had only 75% of the capacity of larger Zentraedi designs.

As with most Zentraedi ships, the Thuverl Dalem also carried a sizeable troop contingent for mecha defence and planetary raids. The troop numbers were not really large enough to make much difference in an invasion, however.

Internally, there were six deck levels, with the lowermost deck level dedicated to the troop mecha hangars and the air group launch and maintenance bays. The command deck, in marked contrast with other Zentraedi ship designs, was mounted in the superstructure. The deck levels between those carried the ships’ equipment, crew quarters and installations. The aft-mounted engines were decidedly inferior in power and fuel efficiency when compared to newer designs as installed in newer ships or retrofitted into older ships such as the earlier versions of the Tou Redir. Although this could have been rectified during the regular refits it was never carried out, as the expense was not considered to be worthwhile.


The Thuverl Dalem was the predecessor of the famous Thuverl Salan cruiser design, and the class filled many of the functions of that large class before the latter were constructed. As such, the class was the mainstay of the Zentraedi fleets prior to and immediately following the Ci’Va disaster. As the most voluminous exploration effort mounted by the Tirolians took place before this event, the Thuverl Dalem was for many races the first Zentraedi ship type encountered. The Thuverl Dalem was based on an older, Tirolian sized cruiser design known as the Thuverl Rilstaedir (the last of which retired from service approximately seven centuries ago), but was of necessity much larger as the full-sized Zentraedi required far more internal space than was available in the older design.

As a reliable, relatively cheap combat vessel design the Thuverl Dalem was a success, and for almost two centuries the class was in continued series production. The Thuverl Dalem-class was one of the first designs to incorporate a reasonably sized troop contingent in her standard complement, a development carried much farther by successive designs. During this time, the intensity of the conflicts fought by the Thuverl Dalem was low enough that the classes’ weak, by modern standards, weapons array, sufficed. However, as time went on the class was more and more outmatched by later designs.

The final straw in this process was the Ci’Va defection disaster. Many of the defecting ships were Thuverl Dalem cruisers, and thus a complete match for the first-line combat vessels of the Tirolian Mercantile Empire, which very often were Thuverl Dalem vessels as well. Shortly afterwards, the class was examined for upgrading, with most of the effort devoted to upgrading the engines and weapons. While it would have been possible to refit the ships with newer, more efficient engines, and use the thus freed mass for additional and more modern weapon systems, the edge thus gained was not significant enough for the Tirolian Masters. In addition, although produced in large numbers, the Thuverl Dalem was, not as simple to build as would have been the case had the ship been designed for this from the outset. As a result, the Thuverl Dalem was replaced in the building docks by the Thuverl Salan cruiser, which carried more than twice the troops and effectively more than thrice the armament on a hull weight less than double that of the Thuverl Dalem. In addition, the Thuverl Salan cruiser was far simpler to construct (although the larger size actually increased the individual unit building time).

The Thuverl Dalem ships were not retired en masse, as one would expect, but were kept in service until their hulls reached their designed operational lifetimes, after which the vessels were retired on an individual basis. At the time of the Zentraedi Holocaust, the total number of Thuverl Dalem vessels was not much higher than 13,000, half of which fought in the Grand Fleet. Afterwards, the remaining vessels either reached the end of their designed life soon thereafter or, most commonly, fell prey to the lack of protoculture that took the Empire in its grip at about the same time.



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 Pieter Thomassen, edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2004, 1999 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing