Rockwell International FA-100 Swift Aerospace Fighter (Gnerl Refit)

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Tim Wing, Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker

Attachments:

  • FA-100 Swift reference file
  • FA-100 Swift gallery

Designation: Quanitszip/Rockwell FA-100 Swift Aerospace Fighter (Refit Quanitszip Gnerl)

I. Dimensions:

  • Length: 20.6 meters
  • Width:  14.2 meters
  • Height: 14.2 meters
  • Weight (full load): 42 metric tons (FA-100A, C and E), 38 metric tons (FA-100B, D and F)

II. Type:

  • Design: Quanitszip design bureau, Rockwell International
  • Builder: Rockwell International

Variants:

  • FA-100A Swift: One man, Zentraedi size crew aerospace fighter. Minimal upgrades from the Model 3 Gnerl on which it was based.
  • FA-100B Swift: Two man, human size crew aerospace fighter. Upgrades included a full Terran avionics suite. This version retained its original Zentraedi weapons fit.
  • FA-100B+ Swift: Two man, human size crew aerospace fighter. Upgrades included a full Terran avionics suite. Upgraded version of the FA-100B. Touwhaug Gativar-9s replaced with missile launchers designed to carry Angel of Death nuclear anti-ship missiles.
  • FA-100C Swift: One man, Zentraedi size crew aerospace fighter. Upgrades included a full Terran avionics suite. This version retained its original Zentraedi weapons fit.
  • FA-100C+ Swift: One man, Zentraedi size crew aerospace fighter. Upgrades included a full Terran avionics suite. Upgraded version of the FA-100B. Touwhaug Gativar-9s replaced with missile launchers designed to carry Angel of Death nuclear anti-ship missiles.
  • FA-100D Swift: Two man, human size crew aerospace fighter. Upgrades included a full Terran avionics suite, with a larger radar than that found on the B and C variants. This necessitated the removal of the original particle beam cannons. Armament consisted of six GU9 55mm cannons (three to a side) and two missile bays for RMS-1 Angel of Death nuclear anti-ship missiles (one per side).
  • FA-100E Swift: One man, Zentraedi size crew aerospace fighter. Upgrades included a full Terran avionics suite, with a larger radar than that found on the B and C variants. This necessitated the removal of the original particle beam cannons. Armament consisted of six GU9 55mm cannons (three to a side) and two missile bays for RMS-1 Angel of Death nuclear anti-ship missiles (one per side).
  • FA-100F Swift: Two man, human size crew anti-ship aerospace fighter. Anti-starship patrol craft variant of the FA-100D. Upgrades included mission specific avionics. Four of the six GU9s were also dropped, with the extra room dedicated to reaction mass. By the late twenties, all remaining FA-100s had been upgraded to this specification.

III. Service History:

  • FA-100 Swift: Served with the UN Spacy from 2012 until 2017, with the UEDF Tactical Armored Space Corps from 2018 until 2021, with the REF/UEEF Tactical Naval Corps from 2018 until 2026 and with the Colonial Defense Forces from 2019 until 2042.

IV. Propulsion:

  • Three Varrebotzs type 49 plasma-shock expansion engines in the back. The thrusters have a maximum output of 190 kN for short periods and a sustainable output of 120 kN.
  • Three Varrebotzs type 50 plasma-shock expansion engines with vectorable nozzles (drawing their plasma from the type 49 engines), mounted in the back between the type 49 engines. These thrusters have a maximum output of 45 kN for short periods, and serve both as attitude thrusters and as boost engines for emergency accelerations.
  • Four Varrebotzs type 51 plasma-shock expansion engines (drawing their plasma from the type 49 engines) in two pairs, one to port and one to starboard, in the center of the flanks. These engines are the primary jaw and roll attitude thrusters and have vectored thrust capabilities. Each thruster has a maximum sustained output of 78 kN.
  • Four Varrebotzs type 57 plasma-shock expansion engines under the cockpit. These engines are the primary VTOL thrusters and have vectored thrust capabilities. This installation can deliver 150 kN sustained thrust per engine or 180 kN for short periods.
  • Assorted attitude thrusters, fed from the type 49 engines.
  • Fuel: 20 standard canisters of protoculture.

V. Performance:

  • Maximum speed @ sea level: 1400 kph (Mach 1.1)
  • Maximum speed @ 40,000 m: 5880 kph (Mach 4.8)
  • Stall speed @ sea level: 350 khp
  • Combat radius: total delta-v 4.7 kps (FA-100A, C, E); 15.2 kps (FA-100B, D); 18.1 kps (FA-100F)
  • Protoculture supply: average operational life 175 hours operational use (350 hours for FA-100F).

VI. Sensory Systems:

(FA-100A)

Radar tracking:

  • VFAS1-SS phased array radar with spherical coverage, for various scan/track, targeting, mapping, reconnaissance and navigation functions.

Optical tracking:

  • VFAS1-SS Multi-band digital camera system, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking.
  • VFAS1-SS Multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
  • VFAS1-SS high resolution long range optical/IIR cluster in the nose, on top of the gun armament.

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • VFAS1-SS Active sensor jammer system
  • VFAS1-SS Chaff and flare dispenser

(FA-100B and C)

Radar tracking:

  • Hughes APG-113 X-band pulse-Doppler phased array, providing spherical long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes. Equipped with special ‘stealthy’ modes.

Optical tracking:

  • Phillips AllView multi-band digital camera system, for medium range spherical 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-250(V) active sensor jammer
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares.

(FA-100D, E and F)

Radar tracking:

  • Hughes APG-114 X-band pulse-Doppler phased array, providing spherical long-range detection and tracking of targets at all altitudes. Equipped with special ‘stealthy’ modes. This radar is essentially the APG-113 with a larger and more powerful antenna.
  • All other avionics the same as FA-100B and C.

VII. Armament:

Cannons:

(FA-100A, B and C)

  • 2 x Makral PB-8 triple-barreled rotary particle beam cannons mounted in the extreme nose of the plane. The sub-barrels can each fire a particle beam of 2.5 MJ every second, all can be fired in parallel, for maximum localized damage, or in series for increased chances of a hit. Typically, Gnerl pilots fired in serial mode.
  • 1 x Makral AD-1 particle pulse cannon mounted in the extreme nose with the Makral Martszur-4 cannons. This cannons fires distinct packages of particle energy (‘annihilation discs’) at 3500 m/s in bursts of up to 1 second in duration. A maximum duration burst contains 25 MJ of particle energy, and will usually impact in a concentrated area. The Makral Rianulran 23 cannon has a recharge cycle of 8 seconds, yielding a rate of fire of 7.5 rpm.

(FA-100D, E and F)

  • 6 x Mauser GU9 55mm single barrel autocannon; cannon fires APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) and HESH-I (High Explosive Squash Head-Incendiary) rounds at 250 rounds/minute. Each cannon has an ammunition supply of 530 rounds. All cannons are side mounted, three to each side. Note that the FA-100F only mounted two GU9s with an ammunition supply of 640 each.

Missiles:

(FA-100A, B and C)

  • 3 x Touwhaug Gativar-9 missile launchers, lying flush with the skin between the engines. Each missile launcher carries two MPA-1 Mitten missiles in a ready for launch position, and four more missiles as reloads. The total load-out for the Swift is 18 missiles.

(FA-100B+, C+, D, E and F)

  • 2 x HMM-20 heavy multi missile launchers, mounted flush on the left and right sides. Each launcher carried 20 heavy missiles for a total of 40. Missiles consisted of:
  • 40 x Firebird missiles. A conventional warhead mounted on the frame of a RMS missile with a range of 234 km and a speed of Mach 6.5, guided by a combined IIR and active/passive radar seeker.
  • or 40 x RMS-1 “Angel Of Death” Nuclear Stand-off missiles. Reaction warhead (200 kT) mounted on a long range (250 km) Mach 4.0 combined multi-spectrum imager and active radar homing Reflex missiles. Customized for anti-starship operations. Maximum delta-v in space is 4 kps.

(All)

  • 1 x hardpoint on the upper pods for a Touwhaug Rasilszt-13 missile launcher. The missile launcher carries 5 MPA-4 Miff, MPA-2 Megrim or MPA-3 Morgoth missiles, or a combination of these. Due to excessive drag and limited utility this option was never used in an atmosphere.

VIII. Armor:

The armor of the Swift is composed of an advanced titanium-steel alloy. The armor stops all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provides reasonable 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 cockpit area of the human size Swift variants had additional armor. It provided excellent poor resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry.

The Swift provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a fully enclosed cockpit environment. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for four days’ maximum, and the pilot can pack sufficient food and water containers for that period, although the cockpit will be somewhat cramped. Human size crew configured Swifts had much greater endurance, with consumables adequate for up to two weeks. This was also the max endurance for the craft’s protoculture power supply.

IX. Development:

First deployed operationally in 1891, the Gnerl was the last trans-atmospheric fighter used by the Zentraedi. The UN Spacy, and later the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) and the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF), used the Gnerl after the First Robotech War as the FA-100 Swift. Several upgraded variants were fielded, some with minimal changes and some with major modifications to include full Terran sensor and weapons refit and conversion to human sized crew compartments. Theses variants saw limited use during the Sentinels Campaign, but were by and large transferred to the Colonial Defense Forces by the mid twenties.

The FA-100 Swifts were fast trans-atmospheric fighters with an egg-shaped nose housing a powerful cannon installation and three thrusters at the back. The hull also accommodated three double dual-purpose missile launchers nested between the engines. All FA-100s were based on the model 3 Gnerl with its more extensive VTOL setup. Changes common to all FA-100 variants were the addition of wheels in place of the original’s landing skids, UN Spacy style auxiliary power unit receptacles and other deck handling provisions needed for operation on human ships. Also, common to all variants was the addition of UN Spacy compatible Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) transmitters/receivers and radios.

Though the baseline FA-100A Swift only included the modifications listed above, later variants included the addition of Terran electronics and weapons systems, as well as versions converted for human size crews. All “Micronian” crew variants had the entire cockpit replaced with a two seat tandem cockpit arrangement with a transparent armored canopy. The edition of the more vulnerable traditional canopy rather than a fully enclosed virtual environment was a concession to the micronized Zentraedi pilots who would make up the majority of FA-100 crews. With all the space that was freed up by the smaller crew compartment, Rockwell was able to triple the Swift’s delta-v with the addition of larger reaction mass tanks. Increased ammunition supply and a small privy for the crew filled the rest of the available space.

Thanks to the its impressive 15.2 kps of delta-v and store of nuclear armed Angel of Death anti-ship missiles, the role in which the Swift excelled was long range patrol. For this reason, the human size crew variants stayed in service for quite a bit longer than was originally planned. Because the Colonial Defense Forces rarely had a surplus of capital ships, the FA-100 filled an important niche here. The last refit Gnerl was not retired until the early 40’s, when they were replaced by Legioss fighters.


 

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: Tim Wing; Shoji Kawamori, Miyatake Kazutaka, Haruhiko Mikimoto and Hidetaka Tenjin

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

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

Copyright © 2003, 2000, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2015, 2017 Tim Wing

 

 

 

 

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