Lockheed VFH-10 Auroran AGACS Veritech Fighter Helicopter

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker, with Rob Morgenstern

edited by Tim Wing

Attachments:

Designation: Lockheed VFH-10 Auroran Veritech Fighter Helicopter (a.k.a. Aerospace Ground Attack/Combat Support – AGACS)

I. Dimensions:

Fighter “Crusader” mode

  • Total Length: 9.0 meters
  • Total Height: 3.0 meters
  • Total Wingspan: 6.9 meters

Helicopter mode

  • Total Length: 9.0 meters
  • Total Height: 3.2 meters
  • Total Wingspan: 6.9 meters
  • Rotor Diameter: 7.1 meters

Battloid

  • Total Depth: 2.5 meters
  • Total Height: 8.9 meters
  • Total Breadth: 2.8 meters
  • Total Wingspan: 6.9 meters
  • Rotor Diameter: 7.1 meters

General

  • Total Dry Weight: 16.8 metric tons

II. Type:

  • XV/H-1: Technology demonstrator, experimental aerospace combat mecha; three-form Veritech.
  • YVFH-10: Prototype single seat, all-weather, aerospace combat mecha; three-form Veritech.
  • VHF-12: Single seat, all-weather, aerospace combat mecha; three-form Veritech.

III. Service History:

  • XV/H-1: Lockheed independently funded technology demonstrator. First flight in 2023.
  • YVFH-10A: Pre-production test and evaluation aircraft, served with the Tactical Corps in 2028 to 2030 in small numbers.
  • YVFH-10B: Pre-production test and evaluation aircraft, served with the Tactical Armored Space Corps in 2029 and 2030 in small numbers.
  • VFH-10A: Intended to serve with the Tactical Corps from 2030, however, following the outbreak of the Second Robotech War, all A models were assigned to the Tactical Armored Space Corps. After the end of the war, these A variants (along with new build examples) were repatriated to the Tactical Corps, where they served in their originally intended role until the Invid invasion. All VFH-10As were built by subcontractor Liège Industries Lourd.
  • VFH-10B: Served with the Tactical Armored Space Corps from 2030 until the Invid invasion. All VFH-10Bs were built by Lockheed.

IV. Propulsion: (All)

  • Engines (main): 2 x Pratt & Whitney JG95B MPL fusion intermix engines, Max. output, 118 kN each. The engines are mounted along the sides in Battloid mode, with the nozzles pointing toward the feet. In Helicopter mode, they point aftwards, and are located just below the rotor assembly. In Fighter mode, they are located above and before the upper wings (former rotors) and on the upper edge of the fuselage over the wings. These engines also provide 4700 kW to the counter rotating rotors through a heavy duty gear box.
  • Engines (aux): 3 x Nakajima NBS-2 high-thrust plasma-shock expansion boosters in the tail, with a fixed output of 50 kN each.
  • Maneuvering thrusters (main): 4 x Turbo-Union ABB-3 boosters in the back of the calves in Battloid mode, and in the inside of the lower fuselage, thrusting aft from between the funnel formed by the legs in Fighter and Helicopter mode.
  • Maneuvering system (aux): small gyroscopes internally, and numerous exhausts spread over the surface of the mecha and the rotor blades. The most pronounced at the pair on each arm, the ones at the end of each rotor and the pair on the chest. The auxiliary thrusters bleed off exhaust from the large maneuvering boosters and main engines.
  • Powerplant: 1 x Monument Propulsion RRL-2R Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer.

Fuel Capacity:

  • 24 Standard Canisters of Protoculture
  • 10.8 lit. D2O for the fusion engines.
  • Assorted small reaction thrusters and gyroscopes for all-environment maneuvers, attitude adjustment, and stability.

V. Performance: (All)

Fighter “Crusader” Mode:

  • Max level speed (sea level): 1000 kph
  • Max level speed (18000m): 2000 kph (Mach 1.6)
  • Stall speed: 163 kph
  • Initial climb rate: over 20000m per minute
  • Service ceiling: 28000m

Helicopter Mode:

  • Max level helicopter speed (sea level): 386kph
  • Max level fixed rotor speed (10000m): 1660 kph (Mach 1.3)
  • Initial climb rate: over 5500m per minute
  • Service ceiling, helicopter: 7000m

Battloid Mode:

  • Max running speed: 56 kph
  • Max flying speed: 300 kph
  • Service ceiling: 3050m (unboosted)

General:

  • Combat radius (space): Total delta-v 4.6 kps, with internal reaction mass only. An extra tank for 2.5 kps delta-v can be attached under the centerline of the craft.
  • This tank however must be ejected prior to transformation to Battloid mode.
  • Design G limits: +11.5/-5.0 (Computer overrides at 9.5g)
  • Protoculture supply: 370 hours operational use

VI. Electronics:

Radar tracking: (All)

  • Westinghouse APG-145 X-band spherical pulse-doppler long-range radar.

Optical tracking:

VFH-10A:

  • Phillips AllView II multi-band omni-directional digital camera system, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking
  • Thomson LT-5 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.

VFH-10B:

  • Zeiss high-sensitive long range IIR/LLLTV/UV telescope system in the nose. This system has a high angular resolution and is optimized to detect possible targets in vacuum conditions.
  • Phillips AllView II multi-band omni-directional digital camera system, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking.
  • Thomson LT-5 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS): (All)

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Selena SkyWarrior active/passive sensor jammers
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares.

VII. Armament:

Cannons:

(All)

Two hardpoints (one on each arm):

  • 2 x Bofors IWS-40 40mm ion pulse weapon. The IWS-40 is a pulse ion system capable of a 10 MJ laser pulse up to 80 times per minute. It is available in all flight modes.
  • or 2 x Mauser EU-22 double barreled pulse laser. The larger EU-22 gunpod fires either a lower-power laser pulse of 6 MJ up to 160 times per minute, or a 12 MJ pulse up to 80 times per minute.
  • Normally, both arms have a gunpod mounted of the same type, but it is possible to mount different pods on both arms.

(VFH-10B only)

  • 1 x General Electric EU-23 laser cannon in the nose in front of the cockpit, delivering 9 MJ of laser energy every second. Available in helicopter and fighter modes.

Missiles:

  • 2 x TLM-1A semi-fixed Missile launchers, firing medium-range multiple warhead 260mm x 1.2m Lightning or Ragnarok (Californium tactical nuclear) missiles. Each launch tube contains three missiles, with three additional missiles stowed in the bin above it for a total of 6 MRMs. Guidance is standard active radar/home-on-jam and thermo-imager, range up to 40 kilometers. The external dimensions of the missiles are identical to those of the standard medium-range Diamondback missile, and these missiles are compatible with the TLM-1A launcher. However, though their range is larger, the lethality of these missiles is far inferior. This launcher is mainly used by space-borne VFH-10A AGACS with the TASC.
  • or 2 x TLM-1B semi-fixed Missile launchers, firing short-range (8 km) Mach 3.0 combined infra-red imager and active radar homing 190mm Hammerhead missiles. Each launch tube contains five missiles, with ten additional missiles stowed in the bin above it, for a total of 15 SRMs. This launcher is mainly used by AirCav VHF-12B AGACS with the TC.

VIII. Armor:

The armor on the AGACS is a new development in low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating that became the standard for all Terran mecha after its application to the VQ-6A Vandal. Aside from the respectable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor is also resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns, owing to the fact that the armor can flake off and evaporate in layers under fire from such high-energy weapons, taking much of the weapon’s energy and converting it into the latent heat of sublimation in the armor. The armor stops all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provides good resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and poor resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round.

The AGACS provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for one day maximum.

IX. Development:

The Lockheed VFH-10 Auroran, much more commonly known by the acronym Aerospace Ground Attack/Combat Support (AGACS), or colloquially the Ajax, was developed to serve as a variable attack helicopter for the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) Tactical Corps (TC). Later, it was successfully adapted by Lockheed to serve as a variable space fighter for the UEDF Tactical Armored Space Corps (TASC).

Because there was a pressing need to replace the aging fleet of Sikorsky AH-68 Comanchero attack helicopters, Lockheed’s undoubtedly bizarre XV/H-1 Veritech Helicopter demonstrator of the early twenties was developed into the VFH-10 Auroran AGACS.  Because it was meant to serve as a close air support aircraft, the AGACS was not required to reach high Mach numbers, and more time could be devoted to improving the slow-speed near-ground flight characteristics. The modest Mach 1.6 it could reach sufficed to engage its intended enemies. The missile armaments were specially designed for this task; the AGACS could be equipped with the most lethal medium-range missiles developed to date, the Lightning missiles, in addition to the more conventional Hammerhead and Diamondback. The Lightning released cluster warheads near their target, and is capable of taking out several battlepods or power armors per missile. The UEDF hoped that this would offset the numerical advantage the Zentraedi (and the Soviets) were thought to have. After the missiles had been fired, the AGACS were supposed to use their impressive mobility and their powerful laser to destroy the remaining mecha. Ironically, the Tactical Corps usually fitted other missiles to the mecha, when it found out that the Tirolians were often engaged inside Earth’s cities and installations. Later, Invid mecha were more often engaged at close range with smaller missiles than at long range with cluster warheads, for the maneuverable Invid were more adept at scattering (and cluster-defeating) tactics than the Zentraedi or the Tirolians.

Lockheed adapted the AGACS with minimal modifications to operate in space. In space, the AGACS offered a small, maneuverable target which was difficult to hit. In this theatre the advanced missiles would also be very effective, and the laser, unhindered by any atmospheric conditions, would offer long range in addition to a high rate of fire, the latter to both increase delivered damage and to increase the chances of a hit.

Unlike its Logan contemporary, the AGACS’ intermediate form was that of a helicopter. The helicopter capabilities were equal to those of the GERWALK mode, however it was able to loiter indefinitely. This was due to the fact that a Veritech operating at low speeds in GERWALK mode had a somewhat limited loiter time before heat build-up would cause engine failure. This situation was alleviated by a pair of counter rotating helicopter blades. Additionally, the transformation sequence required only minimal modifications from the Fighter mode increased the internal space. The extra room was used to increase the number of quad-protoculture cell energizers installed to three, and the extra power allowed a substantial increase in the delta-v by boosting the engines’ magnetic bottling so as to increase engine temperature and reaction-mass-to-thrust efficiency. The additional power was also employed by the laser, which eliminated any ammunition problems and vastly increased the rate of fire. This was significant, because neither launcher package carried near as many missiles as other weapons platforms.

Due to certain minor differences in the required sensor and electronics fittings of the AGACS between the TASC and the TC, two different versions were procured: the TC’s VFH-10A and the TASC’s VFH-10B. Additionally, the TC’s VFH-10A did not mount Vernier thrusters, though the mounting points were present and this variant could easily be fitted with them. Indeed, almost all VFH-10A TC AGACS were pressed into TASC service in the latter stages of the Second Robotech War. The differences were mainly the deletion in the VFH-10A of the nose-mounted high-definition, narrow-angle IIR sensor, which was of dubious advantage on Earth given the relatively closer ranges at which it would be fighting. Instead, the VFH-10A mounted another laser cannon in that space. Further minor differences concerned the Veritech’s climate control system, which was more geared towards atmospheric operation in the VFH-10A, though still quite capable in a vacuum, and in other environment-specific systems such as a more robust brake system for the more common unarrested landings.

The UEDF was very impressed with the first series of pre-production YFH-10 procured for operational testing. While the designated TASC squadrons were evaluating the space performance of the AGACS in 2029, the Tirolian invasion fleet arrived near Luna. A battle immediately ensued, and the AGACS performed quite well in its baptism of combat. Immediately after this first clash with Bioroids, the AGACS was ordered into full war production. Unfortunately, setting up the production lines took more effort than expected, and it was not until over a year later that the AGACS was introduced to the Armies of the Southern Cross in large numbers, with first priority being assigned to the VFH-10B for the hard-pressed TASC.

Thousands of AGACS were produced during and after the Second Robotech War and deployed against the Tirolian and Invid forces. This mecha was initially mostly used in space, where the maneuvering thrusters in the helicopter blades gave the AGACS somewhat more agility than the VF-8 Logans it was replacing. The heavy missiles especially came in very handy against the Masters’ mecha, which were far more heavily armored than those of the Zentraedi, the envisioned opponents against which the AGACS never saw action.

 


 

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; Greg Lane

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. 

Content by Pieter Thomassen, and Peter Walker with Rob Morgenstern; edited by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2000, 1999, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2017 Tim Wing

 

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