by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Robert Morgenstern
Designation: Southern Cross Armaments Research (SCAR) Lightning Medium Range, All Mode Anti-Mecha/Surface/Ship Missile
- Type: Medium range, all mode anti-mecha/surface/ship missile.
- Service history: 2027-2031, UEDF TASC.
- Length: 120 cm.
- Diameter: 25 cm.
- Weight: 113 kg.
- Warhead: AP cluster warhead with optimizable dispersal pattern.
- Weight/yield: 30×1 kg self-propelled, IIR guided bomblet.
- Propulsion: Hybrid rocket engine.
- Guidance: Combined IIR and active radar/home-on-jam.
- Max speed: Mach 3.1.
- Range: 40 km.
- Platforms: VFH-10 Auroran Veritech Fighter/Helicopter
The Lightning missile was designed by the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) for use against multiple light-to-medium armored targets, but could also be used in some fashion against more heavily armored targets. The Lightning carried, rather than a standard high explosive or plasma warhead, a large number of self-propelled bomblets with armor piercing n-Fulleride payloads. These were a new development and marked the return of cluster projectiles to the armories, from which they had been deleted after it was found that the earlier weapons (mostly gravity dispensers) could not penetrate newer armor materials. However, the Lightning bomblets were themselves small rockets, and rather than dispersing in an oval ‘footprint’, a computer on board the missile fed them a trajectory to the target(s) before their dispersal. After this dispersal, the bomblets followed their trajectories until their on board guidance acquired their target, then guided themselves into it. It was also possible to target the bomblets on several targets in close proximity, and thus kill several hostiles with one missile. The warheads they carried could not break through the heaviest armor, but a large percentage of the bomblets would strike the target, and normally sufficient bomblets hit weaker areas to destroy it. Another possibility was to program the bomblets to converge on one point of a larger target (such as a Tirolian Assault Carrier) and break the armor down on that point by the repeated strikes. While this was not as efficient as a single warhead, it was sufficient to break through the Assault Carrier’s armor in over 60% of the Registered hits.
The missile itself was built from a Diamondback airframe and internal systems, with the engine section shortened in order to free up space and weight for the larger warhead. This meant that the Lightning launchers could also fire Diamondbacks (and Diamondback launchers, after some software upgrades, could fire Lightnings), but also that the Lightning had a shorter range than the Diamondback. The Lightning was produced from 2027 to the beginning of the Invid Invasion, and the technology is used in the latest version of the Diamondback, the Diamondback G. Although very useful weapons, they were hard to find under the Invid occupation.
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
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