Maxwell Dynamics VF/A-6 Multi-role Veritech Fighter

Block 44+ VF/A-6ZS Shadow Veritech Fighter

by Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen, and Rob Morgenstern

edited by Tim Wing

Attachments:

Designation: Maxwell Dynamics VF/A-6 Alpha Multi-role Veritech Fighter

I. Dimensions:

Single-seat Versions

Fighter

  • Total Length: 10.25m
  • Total Height: 4.60m
  • Total Wingspan: 8.20m
Block 40 VF/A-6H Alpha Veritech Fighter

GERWALK

  • Total Length: 8.00m
  • Total Height: 5.72m
  • Total Breadth: 4.84m

Battloid

  • Total Depth: 5.25m
  • Total Height: 8.75m
  • Total Breadth: 4.84m

General

  • Total Dry Weight: 16.85 tons (Block 10-19), 17.05 tons (Block 20-29), 16.70 tons (Block 30-45), 17.15 tons (Block 50-52)

Two-seat Versions

Fighter

  • Total Length: 12.5m
  • Total Height: 4.60m
  • Total Wingspan: 8.20m

GERWALK

  • Total Length: 10.25m
  • Total Height: 5.72m
  • Total Breadth: 4.84m

Battloid

  • Total Depth: 5.50m
  • Total Height: 9.00m
  • Total Breadth: 4.84m

General

  • Total Dry Weight: 17.60 tons (Block 16-19); 18.35 tons (Block 30-45)

II. Types:

(Block 01)

  • YF-6A Thunderbolt III: Prototype, single seat, aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech.

(Block 10-14)

  • VF/A-6A Thunderbolt III: Single seat, aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VAF-6B Thunderbolt III: Single seat, space-optimized aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6C Thunderbolt III: Single seat, atmosphere-optimized aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech.

(Block 15)

  • YF-6B (AFC-01B) Legioss Alpha: Prototype, single seat, aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech for use with the YF-9A (AB-01) Legioss Beta prototype.

(Block 16-19)

  • VF/A-6D Thunderbolt III: Two seat, aerospace combat/Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), three-form Veritech.
  • VF-6N Thunderbolt III: Single seat, naval-optimized aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VT-6A Thunderbolt III: Two seat, aerospace trainer, three-form Veritech.
  • VE-6D Lightning Bolt: Two seat, aerospace electronic warfare, three-form Veritech.

(Block 20-29)

  • VF/A-6E Thunderbolt III: Single seat, aerospace superiority mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6F Thunderbolt III: Single seat, aerospace strike mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6G Thunderbolt III: Two seat, aerospace combat/Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), three-form Veritech.
Block 36 VF/A-6H Alpha Veritech Fighter

(Block 30-45)

  • VF/A-6H (AFC-01H) Alpha: Single seat, aerospace superiority mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6I (AFC-01I) Alpha: Single seat, aerospace strike mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6J (AFC-01J) Alpha: Two seat, aerospace combat/Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6Z (AFC-01Z) Alpha: Single seat, atmosphere-optimized aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VT-6B Alpha: Two seat, aerospace trainer, three-form Veritech.
  • VE-6J Lightning Bolt: Two seat, aerospace electronic warfare, three-form Veritech.

(Block 50-52)

  • VF/A-6X (AFC-01X) Shadow: Single seat, stealth aerospace superiority mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6Y (AFC-01Y) Shadow: Single seat, stealth aerospace strike mecha, three-form Veritech.
  • VF/A-6ZS (AFC-01ZS) Shadow: Single seat, atmosphere-optimized stealth aerospace combat mecha, three-form Veritech.

(FAST Packs and armored variants)

  • AFC/1 FAST Pack: Ground and space combat protection system with additional missiles and booster packs. Armor system does not allow for utilization of fighter or GERWALK mode, but may be jettisoned.
  • GSA-2 Armored Interceptor: Space combat protection system with heavy beam cannon and shield. Non-transformable and non-jettison-able. Still allows for the Alpha to attach to a VF/B-9 Beta.
  • AFC/3-B Legioss Additional Armor: Ground and space combat protection system. Substitutes torso module for a non-transformable unit.

III. Service History:

  • YF-6A Thunderbolt III: Served as a test and evaluation aircraft from 2018 to 2019.
  • VF/A-6A Thunderbolt III: Served with the Reconnaissance Expeditionary Forces (REF) from 2020 to 2027.
  • VAF-6B Thunderbolt III: Served with the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) Tactical Armored Space Corps (TASC) from 2020 to 2025 and with the REF from 2025 to 2027.
  • VF/A-6C Thunderbolt III: Served with the UEDF Tactical Air Force (TAF) from 2020 to 2025 and with the REF from 2025 to 2027.
  • YF-6B (AFC-01B) Legioss Alpha: Served as a test and evaluation aircraft from 2021 to 2022.
  • VF/A-6D Thunderbolt III: Served with the UEDF-TAF from 2023 to 2025 and with the REF from 2025 to 2027.
  • VF-6N Thunderbolt III: Served with the UEDF Naval Air Operations Corps (NAOC) from 2023 to 2025 and with the REF from 2025 to 2027.
  • VT-6A Thunderbolt III: Served with the UEDF-TASC, TAF and NAOC from 2023 to 2025 and with the REF from 2023 to 2040.
  • VE-6D Lightning Bolt: Served with the UEDF-TASC from 2023 to 2025 and with the REF from 2023 to 2038.
  • VF/A-6E Thunderbolt III: Served with the United Earth Expeditionary Forces (UEEF) from 2026 to 2035 and the first Earth Reclamation Force.
  • VF/A-6F Thunderbolt III: Served with the UEEF from 2026 to 2035 and the first Earth Reclamation Force.
  • VF/A-6G Thunderbolt III: Served with the UEEF from 2026 to 2035 and the first Earth Reclamation Force.
  • Block 38 VE-6J Lightning Bolt ELINT Veritech

    VF/A-6H Alpha: Served with the UEEF from 2034 to 2047.

  • VF/A-6I Alpha: Served with the UEEF from 2034 to 2047.
  • VF/A-6J Alpha: Served with the UEEF from 2034 to 2047.
  • VF/A-6Z Alpha: Served with the UEEF from 2034 to 2047.
  • VT-6B Alpha: Served with the UEEF from 2036 to 2055.
  • VE-6J Lightning Bolt: Served with the UEEF from 2037 to 2047.
  • VF/A-6X Shadow: Served with the UEEF from 2043 to 2055.
  • VF/A-6Y Shadow: Served with the UEEF from 2044 to 2055.
  • VF/A-6ZS Shadow: Served with the UEEF from 2044 to 2055.

IV. Propulsion:

Engines:

(Block 10-29)

  • 2 x Pratt & Whitney JG95A [Main] fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Max thrust, 118 kN ea.
  • 4 x Turbo-Union ATF 401 [Auxiliary] miniaturized fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Two are mounted on the upper rear (jet mode), and two as VTOL thrusters on the lower fuselage. Each engine is rated to 46.9 kN standard thrust, max overboost to 91.1 kN each.

(Block 10-19 VF/A-6C and VF-6N Models)

  • 2 x Pratt & Whitney JG98 [Main] fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Max thrust, 129 kN ea.
  • 4 x Turbo-Union ATF 401 [Auxiliary] miniaturized fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Two are mounted on the upper rear (jet mode), and two as VTOL thrusters on the lower fuselage. Each engine is rated to 49.8 kN standard thrust, max overboost to 91.1 kN each.

(Block 30-45, 50-52)

  • 2 x Pratt & Whitney JG97M [Main] fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Max thrust, 137 kN ea.
  • 4 x Turbo-Union ATF 401 [Auxiliary] miniaturized fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Two are mounted on the upper rear (jet mode), and two as VTOL thrusters on the lower fuselage. Each engine is rated to 46.9 kN standard thrust, max overboost to 91.1 kN each.

    Block 50 VF/A-6X Shadow Veritech Stealth Fighter

(Block 30-45, 50-52 VF/A-6Z Model)

  • 2 x Pratt & Whitney JG99 [Main] fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Max thrust, 153 kN ea.
  • 4 x Turbo-Union ATF 412 [Auxiliary] miniaturized fusion plasma-air/reaction mass intermix turbines. Two are mounted on the upper rear (jet mode), and two as VTOL thrusters on the lower fuselage. Each engine is rated to 49.8 kN standard thrust, max overboost to 96.5 kN each.

(All Models)

  • 2 x Pratt & Whitney FE-97A first-stage intake fans, providing pressurized airflow to main, auxiliary, and VTOL engines.
  • Assorted small reaction thrusters and gyroscopes for all-environment maneuvers, attitude adjustment, and stability.
  • Powerplant: 2 x RRL-2P Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer

Fuel Capacity:

  • 16 Standard Canisters of Protoculture,
  • 1 dedicated canister for each EP-13/EU-13 gun pod (if applicable),
  • 9.8 lit. D2O reactant for fusion engines.

V. Performance:

Fighter mode:

(Block 10-29)

  • Max level speed: (@ 18km) 1890 kph (Mach 2.1), (@ sea level) 970 kph
  • Stall speed: 182 kph (VTOL rectification possible)
  • Initial climb rate: over 20000m per minute
  • Unboosted service ceiling: 26 km

(Block 10-14 VF/A-6C, VF-6N)

  • Max level speed: (@ 18km) 2160 kph (Mach 2.4), (@ sea level) 1150 kph (~Mach 1.2)
  • Stall speed: 182 kph (VTOL rectification possible)
  • Initial climb rate: over 20000m per minute
  • Unboosted service ceiling: 26 km

(Block 16-29 VF/A-6D, -6G)

  • Max level speed: (@ 18km) 1845 kph (Mach 2.05), (@ sea level) 920 kph
  • Stall speed: 182 kph (VTOL rectification possible)
  • Initial climb rate: over 20000m per minute
  • Unboosted service ceiling: 26 km

(Block 30-45 and 50-52 VF/A-6H, -6I, -6X)

  • Max level speed: (@ 18km) 3000 kph (Mach 2.4), (@ 10km) 1900 kph (Mach 1.55), (@ sea level) 1100 kph (~Mach 1.05)
  • Stall speed: 182 kph (VTOL rectification possible)
  • Initial climb rate: over 20000m per minute
  • Unboosted service ceiling: 26 km

(Block 30-45 VF/A-6J)

  • Max level speed: (@ 18km) 2025 kph (Mach 2.25), (@ sea level) 1050 kph (~Mach 1.0)
  • Stall speed: 182 kph (VTOL rectification possible)
  • Initial climb rate: over 20000m per minute
  • Unboosted service ceiling: 26 km

(Block 30-45 VF/A-6Z)

  • Max level speed: (@ 18km) 2250 kph (Mach 2.5), (@ sea level) 1200 kph (~Mach 1.3)
  • Stall speed: 182 kph (VTOL rectification possible)
  • Initial climb rate: over 20000m per minute
  • Unboosted service ceiling: 26 km

B. Guardian Mode:

(Block 10-29)

  • Max level speed: (@ 10m) 665 kph
  • Stall speed: None (VTOL)
  • Service ceiling: 15km

(Block 10-14 VF/A-6C, VF-6N)

  • Max level speed: (@ 10m) 750 kph
  • Stall speed: None (VTOL)
  • Service ceiling: 15km
Block 32 VF/A-6I Alpha Veritech Fighter

(Block 16-29 VF/A-6D, -6G)

  • Max level speed: (@ 10m) 650 kph
  • Stall speed: None (VTOL)
  • Service ceiling: 15km

(Block 30-45 and 50-52 VF/A-6H, -6I, -6X)

  • Max level speed: (@ 10m) 680 kph
  • Stall speed: None (VTOL)
  • Service ceiling: 15km

(Block 30-45 VF/A-6J)

  • Max level speed: (@ 10m) 670 kph
  • Stall speed: None (VTOL)
  • Service ceiling: 15km

(Block 30-45 VF/A-6Z)

  • Max level speed: (@ 10m) 775 kph
  • Stall speed: None (VTOL)
  • Service ceiling: 15km

C. Battloid Mode:

(Block 10-29)

  • Max running speed: 110 kph
  • Max flying speed: (@ 10m) 304 kph
  • Service ceiling: 200m

(Block 10-14 VF/A-6C, VF-6N)

  • Max running speed: 125 kph
  • Max flying speed: (@ 10m) 345 kph
  • Service ceiling: 300m

(Block 16-29 VF/A-6D, -6G)

  • Max running speed: 110 kph
  • Max flying speed: (@ 10m) 300 kph
  • Service ceiling: 200m

(Block 30-45 and 50-52 VF/A-6H, -6I, -6X)

  • Max running speed: 120 kph
  • Max flying speed: (@ 10m) 312 kph
  • Service ceiling: 200m

(Block 30-45 VF/A-6J)

  • Max running speed: 120 kph
  • Max flying speed: (@ 10m) 310 kph
  • Service ceiling: 200m

(Block 30-45 VF/A-6Z)

  • Max running speed: 140 kph
  • Max flying speed: (@ 10m) 368kph
  • Service ceiling: 300m

D. General:

(Aerospace Models)

  • Combat radius: (space) total delta-v 1.8 kps, with internal reaction mass only. One extra tank for 4.1 kps delta-v can be attached externally.
  • Protoculture supply: 250 hours operational use.
  • Design G limits: +11.5/-5.0 (Computer overrides at 9.5g)

(Air-Optimized Models VF/A-6C,-6Z and VF-6N)

  • Combat radius (space): 1.0 kps
  • Protoculture supply: 250 hours operational use.
  • Design G limits: +11.5/-5.0 (Computer overrides at 9.5g)

VI. Electronics:

Typical early-model (Block 10-19) suite:

Radar tracking:

  • Hughes APG-101 X-band spherical pulse-Doppler, providing medium-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes.

Optical tracking:

  • Phillips AllView multi-band 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):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-242(V) limited capability active sensor jammer
  • Chaff and smoke dispensers
  • Flares.

VF/A-6D SEAD/Wild Weasel variant carries a Hollandse Signaal reconnaissance package which includes:

  • Hughes APG-106 S-band spherical pulse-Doppler, providing long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes.
  • Texas Instruments APG-134 Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Zeiss Multi-Band optical digital cameras
  • IBM on-board automatic data interpretation system.

Typical mid-model (Block 20-29) suite:

Radar tracking:

  • Hughes APG-107 X-band spherical pulse-Doppler, providing long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes.

Optical tracking:

  • Phillips AllView multi-band 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):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-246(V) active sensor jammer
  • Chaff and smoke dispensers
  • Flares.

VF/A-6G (SEAD/Wild Weasel variant) carries a Hollandse Signaal reconnaissance package which includes:

  • Texas Instruments APG-137 Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Zeiss Multi-Band optical digital cameras
  • Thomson radiation and motion sensors
  • Hewlett-Packard on-board automatic data interpretation system.

    Block 34 VF/A-6I Alpha Veritech Fighter head unit

Typical late-model (Block 30-45) suite:

Radar tracking:

  • Hughes APG-111 X-band spherical pulse-Doppler, providing long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes.

Optical tracking:

  • Phillips AllView multi-band digital camera system, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking
  • Thomson LT-6 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
Block 30 VF/A-6H Alpha Veritech Fighter cockpit

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-250(V) active sensor jammer
  • Chaff and smoke dispensers
  • Flares.

VF/A-6J (SEAD/Wild Weasel variant) carries a Hollandse Signaal reconnaissance package which includes:

  • Texas Instruments APG-139 Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Zeiss Multi-Band optical digital cameras
  • Thomson radiation and motion sensors
  • Hewlett-Packard on-board automatic data interpretation system.

Typical stealth-model (Block 50-52) suite:

Radar tracking:

  • Hughes APG-115 UWB pulse-Doppler phased array, providing spherical long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes. Equipped with special ‘stealthy’ and passive modes.

Optical tracking:

  • Phillips AllView multi-band digital camera system, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking
  • Thomson LT-6 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
Block 52 VF/A-6X Shadow Veritech Stealth Fighter cockpit

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Westinghouse ALQ-250(V) active sensor jammer
  • Chaff and smoke dispensers
  • Flares.

Electronic Masking Systems:

  • RRG PSS-001 Shadow Cloaking Device: four-dimensional distortion field generator (downshifts and dampens protoculture radiation)
  • RRG developed EM-absorbing skin cover, strongly absorbing EM radiation from radio through ultra-violet wavelengths, and emitting only weakly in these wavebands.
RRG PSS-001 Shadow Cloaking Device diagram

VII. Armament:

Cannons:

  • 1 (or 2) x Hughes GU-13 three-barreled 35mm gun pod, firing 2000 rounds per minute, 600 round capacity, stored in the pod itself, and in a non-detachable ‘magazine’. Ammunition is a mix of Tungsten-coated depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Spin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APSSDS), High Explosive Armor Piercing (HEAP) and tracer rounds. This weapon was most common with the early period VF-6A, -6B, -6C and -6D Alphas. The weapon is stored under the wing root in fighter mode, and in the hand in Guardian and Battloid modes.
  • (or) 1 (or 2) x Hughes EU-13 three-barreled 80mm particle gun pod, firing 170 rounds per minute in full automatic mode, also capable of firing all three barrels simultaneously in semiautomatic mode at approximately one shot per second. This weapon fires 8.2 MJ pulses per barrel in each mode, with its own dedicated protoculture cell and capacitor banks in the ‘magazine’. This weapon, built into an external shell identical to that of the GU-13, was developed in 2025 by the EF, but didn’t see wide use until 2026. By 2031, the EP-13 had almost completely replaced the GU-13 as the main cannon of Alphas in the EF’s inventory. The weapon is stored under the wing root in fighter mode, and in the hand in Guardian and Battloid modes.
  • (or) 1 x RRG EU-15 Destabilizer (after 2043), sub-nuclear particle beam gun with output of 36 MJ, can fire up to 30 times/minute. The gun pod draws power from its own dedicated protoculture canister, but can by fired using the plane’s own power, and is stored in fighter mode between the upper reserve engine/missile pylons. The particles have a specific, disrupting effect on force fields, and will short out a low power field completely, while high power fields may temporarily and locally cease to function.

    Block 51 VF/A-6X Shadow Veritech Stealth Fighter

(Block 30-45 and 50-52)

  • 2 x General Electric LWS-12 laser cannons mounted in the nose. These lasers can only be fired in Fighter and GERWALK modes. Max effective range in an Earth like atmosphere is 600 meters, under optimal atmospheric conditions.

Missiles:

  • 1 x MM-60 Alpha Integral Multi-missile system. 60 inboard variable warhead, short range (8.2 km) Mach 3.0 combined infra-red imager and active radar homing 190mm x 540mm Hammerhead missiles. Location of missiles and modes available: 2 x shoulder launchers with 8 missiles each (F,G,B), 4 x arm launchers with 5 missiles each (G,B), 4 x outer leg launchers with 4 missiles each (G,B) and 2 x inner leg launchers with 4 missiles each (F,G,B).

(Block 20-45, except VF/A-6Z)

  • 2 x MMDS-8, a two-tube rocket launcher built into the sides of the head. Each launcher holds two 76mm x 180mm Tarantula LLLTV- and radar-guided missiles for a total of four. Each tube can fire once per second. The missiles use Thermite warheads, and have a range of 1.1 km. These missiles were available in all modes. This emplacement was often used as a last-ditch defense.

1 Hardpoint located on the left shoulder capable of mounting:

  • 1 x SRL-8 eight-tube Hammerhead launcher available in all modes. Use of this optional launcher prohibits mounting of the EU-15 Destabilizer.
  • or 1 x Cyclone storage pod
  • or 1 x Other mission-related pods could also be mounted on this hardpoint.

2 x conformal Hardpoints located under the intakes, each capable of mounting:

  • 1 x triple MER launcher for 260mm x 1.2m Diamondback MRMs. The MER launchers prevent transformation to battloid and must be ejected before battloid can be achieved.
  • or 1 x a single 430mm x 2.05m/2.45m Derringer LRM. The Derringer mounting restricts the Alpha to fighter mode until launched.
  • or 1 x Bomb rack
  • or 1 x Misc. EW or sensor pods

VIII. Armor:

The armor on the Alpha series fighters 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 to excellent resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and poor to good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round.

The armor on the early Block 10-19 VF/A-6s is marginally inferior to that mounted on the later Block models.

The Alpha provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a sealed 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 Maxwell Dynamics VF-6 series of fighter planes were, for their time, perhaps the most cost-effective air-superiority aircraft in known space. This resulted from the commitment of the United Earth Defense Forces (UEDF) to hold quality in as high or higher regard as quantity. The plane was based on the failed VFA-X-5 Vector of the teens, which had lost the competition for the defense force’s light weight Veritach Fighter to the XVFA-8 Logan. Once the failure of Rockwell Bell’s VF-4 Lightning III became apparent, the larger and improved YF-6 Thunderbolt III emerged as a private venture by Maxwell Dynamics in a bid to serve the UEDF and Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF) as their main front-line general-purpose combat aircraft in its forces.

Legioss Fighter with a VF/A-6H and VF/B-9A

March of 2018 saw the introduction of the YF/A-6 Thunderbolt III. After a two year test and evaluation period, both the UEDF and the REF were so impressed with this vehicle that it ordered it en-mass to supplement and eventually replace the VF-4 Lightning III, as well as the late production VF-1X/P Valkyries. The first variant to enter service was actually the VQ-6A Vandal armed fighter drone. The Vandal saw service in the UEDF from 2019 to 2031, and with the Expeditionary Forces from 2019 to 2062! The first manned version, the VF/A-6A Thunderbolt III, was rolled out in May of 2020 for the REF. The plane had superior maneuverability and armament, and the avionics package was matched only by the VF-4. Several thousand of these planes were ordered by the UEDF and the REF.

The VF/A-6 is, above all, an air superiority fighter, but is also an excellent general-purpose ground-attack plane. It was acquired for these roles by the REF, and by the various branches of the UEDF. The VF/A-6’s place in fleet defense came later, in the mid 2030’s, as the Alpha/Beta “Legioss” combination began to replace the venerable FA-101 Vultures and SDP-1 Stampedes, whose heavy forward-firing beam guns and heavy missiles were not particularly well suited to Invid numbers and tactics. It was when the Legioss capable Block 30 on-wards VF/A-6s came out that the Thunderbolt III name was officially dropped in favor of the name Alpha. The Alpha is not trans-atmospheric, but functions excellently in space once it is brought there. With its impressive array of short range missiles and cannon, the Alpha contains as much firepower as a squadron of older planes, and its versatility is further improved by the fact that it is a three-form Veritech. The Battloid is responsive and tough, and can easily best any other mecha, even when outnumbered.

VAF-6B Thunderbolt III Veritech Fighter

The Block 10-19 VF/A-6A, -6B, -6C, and -6D are the older versions of the Alpha, and were entirely replaced by later versions by about 2026. Many of these versions served in the UEDF until they were laterally transferred to the REF in exchange for the Expeditionary Force’s VF/A-8 Logans. This was done in large part to simplify the both services’ parts pipelines since the Logan’s manufacturing facilities were on Earth and the Alpha’s were on the Robotech Factory Satellite, which was then co-located with the REF. The VF/A-6A, -6B, -6C, and -6D used the JG95A for the main engine. Likewise, the Battloid is less responsive and the fighters’ ACS system was a little more sluggish than the succeeding generations of Alpha. In addition, the target and threat detectors were less powerful on the early models, which lacked the advanced sensor/ECM pod that would be mounted to the right shoulder of the GERWALK and Battloid modes of the later Alphas.

Soon after the VF/A-6’s introduction, a variant optimized for atmospheric operations was introduced. These variants were designated the VF/A-6C for the UEDF Tactical Air Force (TAF) and the VF-6N for the UEDF Naval Air Operations Corps (NAOC). This model also sacrificed a significant portion of the reaction mass fuel storage to accommodate a set of engines optimized for atmospheric use. Unfortunately, the miniaturization technologies of the time would not permit the same amount of equipment in the redesigned head as in the original, so the idea was abandoned until the Block 30-45 VF/A-6Z resurrected the concept.

Later, a new sensor/ECM pod was mounted on the right collar and better armor utilized to constitute the Block 20-29 VF/A-6E, -6F and -6G variants. Additional improvements were made to the basic electronics suite as well.

Block 45 VF/A-6H Alpha Veritech Fighter pilot ejection

When the Legioss fighter concept was conceived in 2018 and tested in 2021 through 2022, it became necessary to perform extensive modifications to prototype YF/A-6B Legioss Alpha fighters to accommodate its linkage with the VF/X-7 Legioss Beta. Later, when the Beta reached production as the VF/B-9, the VF/A-6H, and -6I were introduced to include these linkages. By this time, Maxwell Dynamics had been shuttered in the wake of the invasion of Earth by the Invid, and its assets had been absorbed by Shimada Enterprises. Five versions of the Alpha were still in service with the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) by the 2040’s. The VF/A-6I was the most prolific version, and it possesses some of the best combat computers and fire control of all recent airborne mecha. It also included the JG97 engines for improved performance and reduced weight. The VF-6H was the aerospace supremacy version, lacking many of the specialized ground attack sensors of the VF/A-6I. The VF/A-6Z is practically identical, though it saw a redesign of the head, based on the old VF/A-6C, and included an engine upgrade. Because many of the head’s components could be substantially miniaturized by the late 2030’s, the disadvantages to the experimental head redesign vanished. The revival of the old -6C’s head modification placed the dual stereoscopic optics sensors further back on the head and increased the separation between them, for improved frontal stereoscopic imaging. This move also improved the field of view in the periphery of the main optical sensors. Furthermore, the head of the -6Z was augmented by a small ventral control surface for improved maneuverability in the horizontal axis. This feature was also present on the VF/A-6I, since that type’s role included low level penetration. In all, the improvements were conceived to improve the Alpha’s performance in the atmosphere, where threat detection in Battloid mode relies more on visual acquisition and targeting than on instruments, which are more important in the blackness of space. For these reasons, the majority of the -6Z production went to the UEEF’s planetary squadrons.

Block 40 VF/A-6H Alpha Veritech Fighter undercarriage

Later, as Block 30-45 Alphas were being upgraded to Block 50-52 Shadow standard, the VF/A-6Z head was substituted for the H and I models heads. This variant was the VF/A-6ZS Shadow. Though full conversion of the Block 30-45 Alphas was planned, the sheer number in service insured that it was not until the 2050s that all remaining Alphas sported this head.

The VF/A-6D, -6G, and -6J models were the two seat variants of their respective production blocks. These models were also used in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD), or Wild Weasel role. They had extensive sensory equipment, at the expense of additional weight and commensurate loss of maneuverability. Nevertheless, it was still a more than competent fighter. The two seat airframe also included trainer variants in the form of the VT-6, as well as electronic warfare variants in the form of the VE-6 Lightning Bolt.

Block 51 VF/A-6X Shadow Veritech Stealth Fighter

The last model is a stealth version referred to as the VF/A-6X Shadow. This model was an update to the venerable VF/A-6 design, incorporating shadow technology to shield the protoculture emissions from Invid sensors as well as designs to reduce the thermal signature rendering the fighter almost invisible to Invid except at extremely close range. Sensor systems were also updated to reduce emissions and detectability. Visible differences include 3-fingered claws in places of the 5-fingered hands of earlier models, a lack of the groin thruster, and a reshaped main engine intake.


 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (R) is the property of Fuji Television, Artmic Studio and Tatsunoko Production. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Yoshitaka Amano, Shinji Aramaki and Hideki Kakinuma

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. http://ptn.home.xs4all.nl/robotech.html

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

Copyright © 2001, 1999, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

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