Tou Redir class Picket, Patrol and Reconnaissance Frigates

Tou Redir class Picket, Patrol and Reconnaissance Frigates 1

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Pieter Thomassen

edited by Tim Wing


  • Tou Redir reference file
  • Tou Redir gallery
  • Zentraedi Space Weapons gallery

Designation: Tou Redir class Picket, Patrol and Reconnaissance Frigates

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 Tou Redir frigate a ‘reconnaissance sloop’, ‘tactical scout’ or ‘picket ship’. Some alien races classified these ships as ‘battlecruisers’ as they were roughly comparable in firepower to their own ships, but the Tou Redir was not a capital ship in Zentraedi or Tirolian (or, by extension, Terran) eyes.

Name and disposition:

These ships were built at numerous locations throughout the Robotech Mercantile Empire and entered service from 1243 through 2010 in at least seven consecutive versions, with older ships upgraded to the latest standard as they came in for refits. An 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 5,100,000 units.

Of this number, approx. 350,000 were destroyed or scrapped due to advanced age prior to 2010. The Ci’Vonian defection (1519) included approx. 250,000 Tou Redir sloops of which 225,000 were confirmed as destroyed during subsequent offensives and skirmishes. The fate of the remaining vessels is unknown. The Imperial Fleet contained approx. 500,000 Tou Redir-class vessels all sharing in the “infection” of that fleet. Of the remaining Tirolian controlled ships 3,440,000 were part of the Grand Fleet (of which they made up 80% of the total number). After the Zentraedi Holocaust, an estimated 670,000 Tou Redir ships remained intact or salvageable in the Zentraedi fleets and a 58 in the UN Spacy Zentraedi fleet. Most of these latter were decommissioned due to protoculture depletion.

Ship’s complement:

  • Ships’ crew: 70 men
  • Air Group: 80 men
  • Troops: 40 men
  • Life support limits are for a full combat complement and about 60 supernumaries (250 Zentraedi total). A fourfold of this can be carried for a limited period of time.


  • Length: 498 meters overall
  • Height: 355 meters overall
  • Width: 178 meters overall
  • Mass: 1,525,000 metric tons operational (typical)
  • Fuel mass: 650,000 metric tons maximum (typical).

Propulsion systems:

  • Main power system: Zorlev-247-Trafla protoculture-fueled Reflex furnace cluster. The powerplant of a Tou Redir class vessel can nominally deliver up to 1.5 Petawatts of power, and can operate for 75 minutes at maximum power before overheat initiates auto-shutdown.
  • Maneuvering Thrusters (39): fusion-plasma reaction thruster clusters with steerable nozzles. Sixteen encircle each upper engine sponsons forward of the engine proper, three are located to the sides and ventral hull before the lower engine, and four are located around the nose of the ship.
  • Reaction-mass Thrusters (3): 2 Varelev Ts-S25 fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer mounted in the rear of the two upper sponsons, and one Varelev Ts-S26 fusion-plasma reaction thruster with protoculture energizer mounted in a pod at the rear of the lower bulge.
  • Secondary Reaction Thruster (8): 6 Varelev Ts-F23 fusion-plasma reaction thrusters with protoculture energizer mounted on the dorsal and ventral of the upper engines and to the side of the lower engine, 1 Varre’lev Ts-F22 thruster facing forward under the ‘chin’ of the craft, 2 Varre’lev Ts-F19 thrusters facing forward between the upper and lower engines, and 1 Varre’lev Ts-F17 thruster on the dorsal of the main hull facing aft.
  • Anti-gravity System (1): 3 Rastraz anti-gravity pods.
  • Space Fold (1): Nolfantom-proldarc’lev 298 spacefold. This system generates a hull-conformal fold.
  • Planetary Capabilities: Planetary Capabilities: The Tou Redir class has atmospheric capabilities through its reaction engines and anti-gravity systems. While the hull has sufficient structural strength, a cold landing without extensive site preparation is not advised due its irregular shape. 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 10.5 months maximum; after that, the Tou Redir needs to restock. Water stores are recycled almost totally. If the Quel Quallie scout vessel is not carried, its hangar can be used to store additional consumables.

The mecha consumables supplies (mainly missiles) are roomy due to the size required by the Zentraedi crew and the low number of mecha; the Tou Redir is able to sustain continuous combat operations for more than 12 days. The missile magazines for the ship’s own launchers are typically empty after two major space battles.

The Reflex furnace could function for about 35 years at normal usage levels before before an energizer rebuild was necessary.

At full power, the main propulsion systems can nominally produce up to 41.85 Giganewtons of thrust at a minimal reaction mass efficiency profile, or as little as 0.83 Giganewtons of thrust at a maximum efficiency setting. At lower power levels, these thrusts are commensurately smaller.

At full power, the Tou Redir class can nominally achieve a maximum delta-v of 351.5 kps at the cruising acceleration of 0.1 gees, a maximum delta-v of 70.2 kps at the battle acceleration of 1.0 gees, and a delta-v of at most 21.8 kps at the flank acceleration of 2.8 gees. At lower power levels, these ranges are commensurately smaller.

The fold systems were not navigational 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 limited to Mach 4. A higher speed could be attained while accelerating to orbit, or in emergencies, but this stressed the engines to above their sustainable heat tolerances. The maximum hover time on the anti-gravity systems was limited only by the protoculture supplies and maintenance requirements.

The hull has a designed life-time (including regular refits) of approx. 6.4 centuries.

Weapon systems (Zentraedi names included):

Note: only the types carried by the last three versions are mentioned. All older versions of the Tou Redir were refitted with these systems.

  • Nupetiet-Vergnitzs Flagship Exterior Views 37MMakral Mossil 918 particle cannon (14): For centuries this particle beam weapon has been the standard medium cannon armament on Zentraedi vessels. 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 to heavy to be used around own troops. The cannon, as most Zentraedi beam weapon systems, 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 version and occasionaly by building yard. The final configuration to which all Tou Redirs were to be upgraded mounted seven of these weapons around the nose, four on the dorsal and ventral main engines and three forward of amidships. The Zentraedi yards did not manage to complete this upgrade program, however, before the destruction of most of the class in 2010.
  • 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 torpedos. The tubes can reload in five to ten seconds, and have a 40 round magazine close-by. These launchers are mounted five to a side in the forward groove between the upper and lower hull. The missiles used are the SSA-1 Sniper (Lojredbeth Deuawhaug) 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.
  • Touwhaugras 481 (24): 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 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:

  • 1 Quel Quallie theatre scout,
  • 1 Lieuneuatzs shuttlecraft,
  • 50 Gnerl fighters.


  • The Tou Redir mounts extensive flush EM receiver arrays, mostly on the forward upper engine blisters and the forward lower hull.

Tou Redir class Picket, Patrol and Reconnaissance Frigates 2Design notes:

The Tou Redir class frigate is the smallest of all Zentraedi vessels, but by far the most numerous. This is a direct consequence of the vastness of even interplanetary space, in which it is relatively simple even for large ships to hide from active or passive sensor arrays. The Tou Redir is the recon vessel of the Zentraedi fleets, and carries a more extensive EM sensor suite than mostly larger vessels, for both active and passive sensor sweeps. The usual position for these ships was on the perimeter of a Zentraedi flotilla or combat action, extending the sensor coverage of the Zentraedi battlegroup into as much volume of space as possible. This task required numbers in addition to good sensors, and so the Tou Redir was designed to be small and cheap to produce and use.

The design of the Tou Redir features a main hull with four decks in the ‘upper’ part of the ship. These four decks are the main living spaces for the crew. Aft in the upper main hull are two blisters which contain the main reaction engines, and a great number of the attitude thrusters. Five secondary thrusters are spread over the upper hull and the upper side sponsons. The forward part of the sponsons contain the two largest EM sensor arrays. In the back of the ship, between the two upper thrusters, is the large access door to the Quel Quallie hangar. This hangar projects for 25% of the ship’s length into the hull proper, a requirement to store the large auxiliary scout. Tou Redir ships constructed before the Quel Quallie entered service had probe launch facilities and an additional shuttle hangar in this location, but all Tou Redir ships were converted to the later standard.

Forward and under the main hangar is a third main EM sensor array. Further forward still one finds the fighter launch and recovery bays. Two forward facing secondary thrusters are mounted to the sides and below of the main hangar, and it is not advisable to launch fighters when these thrusters are firing. An additional forward thruster is located under the main hull, forward of the fighter hangar. Aft of the lower sensor bay is the pod for the lower main engine.

Because of the numerical requirements and limited size, and because of the expected operational profiles, the Tou Redir carried a strictly limited armament. There are no large anti-ship cannons, and the medium particle beam battery is puny compared to other Zentraedi ships. The heaviest weapons on board are torpedo’s, launched by ten standard Zentraedi torpedo tubes mounted in the nose of the ship. Only the self-defense missile launchers have a satisfactory density. The Tou Redir does not carry troops as these are not required for its standard taskings, and only 50 fighters are carried for defensive purposes. However, the armament suffices the Tou Redir for its intended purpose.


The first Tou Redir was launched in 1243 as the first purpose-built scout for the fast growing Zentraedi fleets. As stated above, it was intended to be a cheap, mass-produced class with excellent sensor performance for service on the fringes of battles and capital ship formations, extending sensor coverage to find the enemy and thus bring him to battle, or preclude surprise attacks. At the time, an initial production run of 50,000 ships was envisaged. However, the expanding Empire and later the losses due to the Ci’Vonian disaster and the following battles with the Disciples of Zor, as well as the requirement to cover planets from Invid depravations caused an enormous increase in the number of vessels authorized and built.

Tou Redir class Picket, Patrol and Reconnaissance Frigates 3As time went on, improved sensor arrays were fielded, and rather than design and commission a new class the Tou Redir design was upgraded with the new technology, which was then also retrofitted into the already extant vessels. The fact that even after seven and a half centuries the Tou Redir was still in mass-production speaks volumes about the soundness and adaptability of the original design.

The largest adaptation was the provision for a hangar that could house one Quel Quallie armed recon and assault craft, a small ship a fifth the length of the Tou Redir. This immensely expanded the scope of possible taskings for the Tou Redir; apart from its designed task as a sensor picket ship, the Tou Redir could now also function as a forward scout and small raider. With the Quel Quallie landed, the large hangar could be used to house mecha strike teams, intelligence specialist teams, or, most commonly, high value low-volume cargo for transport to or from larger Zentraedi ships.

The Tou Redir was never intended for battleline duties; the ship was designed to remain out of the line of fire of larger ships. As time progressed, however, the Tou Redir did find itself in a number of combat taskings. The Disciples of Zor used their captured Tou Redir class ships as commerce raiders, in which profession they had great success at first. The Tou Redirs could generally spot any enemy force capable of defeating it before the ship got too close to make its escape. Likewise, commercial ships stood little chance of escaping the sensitive eyes and ears of the sensor arrays. Also, the relative small size, high speed, common profile and (for micronians) sizable internal space made it a near perfect planetary raider, delivering a sizeable number of troops on lightly defended outposts and bases. The Tirolian forces used their Tou Redirs to guard their merchant convoys from the Disciples of Zor; they would generally spot enemy ships while still far enough away to make an escape. This lead to numerous battles between Tou Redirs of the belligerent forces. After Breetai had taken the main offensive Zentraedi fleet to Earth and subsequently became infected with its culture, Dolza had insufficient capital ships left to ensure his destruction. To stave off another Ci’Va catastrophe, he mustered most of the still fold capable Tou Redirs and assigned them to his Grand Fleet, boosting its numbers in order to overwhelm the Imperial fleet with quantitative superiority.

After the Zentraedi Holocaust an estimated 550,000 Tou Redirs remained in the service of the Robotech Masters, either incapable of spacefold or as guardships over strategic targets. However, most of these ships fell prey to protoculture depletion within a few years at the most after the Zentraedi Holocaust destroyed the majority of the class. A total of 70 surviving and captured Tou Redirs were part of the Combined human-Zentraedi fleet immediately after the Holocaust, but these too lost power within the next few years and were stored in solar orbit, to be wrecked by the Robotech Masters at the outset of the Second Robotech War.

Tou Redir class Picket, Patrol and Reconnaissance Frigates 4



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. 

Images Courtesy of Chad Wilson (Marchly) and the Macross Mecha Manual. Chad Wilson is given all credit for all images from the Macross Mecha Manual that have 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, edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2004, 1998 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen; 2016 Tim Wing