by Tim Wing
- VHR-2 Myrmidon reference file
- VHR-2 Myrmidon gallery
Designation: Bofors VHR-2 Myrmidon Variable Light Hover Recon Vehicle
- Length: 5.7 meters
- Height: 1.06 meters
- Width: 1.7 meters
- Length: 5.4 meters
- Height: 3.7 meters
- Width: 1.8 meter
- Depth: 2.0 meters
- Height: 4.8 meters
- Breadth: 2.7 meters
- Weight: 14 metric tons.
II. Origin and type:
- Design: Bofors, McDonnell Douglas Land Systems.
- Builder: Bofors.
- Type: One person, all weather, three form force reconnaissance mecha.
III. Service History
VH-X Eurotas: Veritech Hovertank test bed, developed by McDonnell Douglas Land Systems, tested from 2011 to 2013.
VHR-2: Served with the United Earth Defense Force’s (UEDF’s) Tactical Corps (TC) and Recon Patrol (RP) from 2022 until 2033, and with the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) from 2031 until 2044.
VHR-2A1: Served with the UEDF-TC and UEDF-RP from 2030 until the Invid invasion, and with the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) from 2031 until 2044.
VHR-2S1: Shadow cloaking device equipped Myrmidon, served with the UEEF from 2043 until 2051.
- 4 x P&W HJ-800 hover jets, max. output 71 kN of ground-effect thrust each. Peak hovering performance at 1.2 meter altitude.
- Multiple gyroscopes for stability and attitude adjustment in zero gees.
- Powerplant: 2 x New Macross Land Systems RRL-2 Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer
- 8 Standard Canisters of Protoculture.
- Max speed: 240 kph
- Max sustained hover height: 6.1 meters
- Max speed: 24 kph
- Max speed: 88 kph
- Typical cell endurance: 240 hours continuous use.
- Westinghouse TPG-144 X-band pulse-doppler phased array medium-range radar with battlefield surveillance mode
- Zeiss Multi-Band optical digital cameras, for medium range all attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking in Battloid mode.
- IBM on-board automatic data interpretation system
- Thomson LT-8 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):
- Selenia GroundWarrior active/passive sensor jammers
- Westinghouse ALQ-309 electro-optical/IR “dazzlers” (i.e. active infrared jammer) and active sensor spoofing suite
- Radar Absorbing Material (RAM) coating, providing passive multi-spectrum radar absorption
- IR signature reduction heat shielding
- Noise abatement shielding on hover jets.
- 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.
- 2 x Oerlikon MIW-20 triple-barrel 20mm Ion Pulse Cannons (arm mounted, available in all modes). The weapon fires bursts of plasma annihilation discs, the typical energy expended in a burst is 5 MJ. Enough energy for ten bursts is stored in a capacitor, and the mecha can generate 20 seconds worth of sustained fire per minute. The cannon is powered directly from the protoculture cells of the vehicle.
Optional Gun Pod:
- 1 x Mauser EU-11 28mm Laser Gun Pod (hand-held in Battloid mode, not available in transport or tank modes). This gun pod fires laser pulses of up to 12.5 MJ energy per blast. The pod can fire up to 110 pulses/minute.
The armor on the Myrmidon 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. This is because 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. These qualities are hampered somewhat by the Myrmidon’s RAM coating. The multi-spectrum absorbing nature of the material exacerbates the energy transference of laser beams and other directed energy weapons, decreasing the armor’s overall effectiveness.
The armor stops all small arms fire, provides good protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round, and fair resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round.
The armored pilot compartment on the -2A1 model is proof against all shrapnel and environmental hazards but cannot withstand any strikes by shells (at non-perpendicular angles) larger than 12.7mm. Unfortunately, severe performance and reliability problems with the VR systems caused the pilot compartment to be removed from the tanks, even in combat.
When equipped with the armored pilot compartment, the VHT 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 eight hours maximum.
The VHR-2 Myrmidon was an outgrowth of the same VH-X Eurotas prototype which lead to the development of the Veritech Hovertank. This test bed, developed by McDonnell Douglas Land Systems and tested from 2011 to 2013, demonstrated the viability of the light scout tank concept. But while McDonnell Douglas’ VHT-1 added armor and armament, subcontractor Bofors’ design added lightness. This resulted in the VHR-2.
The VHR-2 was developed to serve as a force reconnaissance vehicle. The Myrmidon entered the test and development phase around the same time that the VHT-1 was entering full scale production. Since most of the heavy lifting had already been accomplished by McDonnell Douglas, Bofors was able to quickly develop the VHR-2 over a three-year time span. First deliveries of the VHR-2 to the United Earth Defense Force’s (UEDF’s) Tactical Corps (TC) and Recon Patrol (RP) started in October of 2022, with the type achieving initial operational capability the following year.
The VHR-2 had the same operational modes as the VHT-1, consisting of transport, tank and battloid configurations. However, due to the nature of the type’s mission, tank and battloid mode were rarely utilized. Because of this, it was later decided that the Myrmidon was technological overkill for the scout mission. Vehicle such as the HC-2 Light Tactical Hover Vehicle were able to accomplish the same mission at a fraction of the price. Because of this, production was cut short in 2026 with only 50% of the original order delivered.
The Myrmidon used the same engines as the VHT-1 Spartas but weighed only 14,000 kg versus the 26,400 kg weight of its combat-oriented sibling. Because of this, the VHR-2 boasted superior performance. It had a max cross-country speed of 240 kph and could sustain flight at over six meters. This was especially useful in the scout role because it could “pop-up” over the tree-tops and ridgelines in much the same way as scout helicopters from a generation ago. It also had speed similar to a scout helicopter, but far greater endurance.
The VHR-2 shared many of the same faults as the VHT-1, most importantly the open cockpit. But while this was a severe detriment to a combat mecha like the Spartas, it was of little concern in the scout role. Because of its speed and mobility, the VHR-2 rarely had to contend with sustained combat. This was fortunate, as the Myrmidon’s light armor and armament left it severely over-matched when compared to both conventional armored vehicles of the time and when compared to the Robotech Master’s Bioroids. Its light armor was made even less effective by the addition of Radar Absorbing Material (RAM) coating. RAM is designed to lower a vehicle’s radar signature by absorbing radar waves. RAM also works great at absorbing laser energy! This would lead to greater energy transference to the vehicle’s armor. Still, this was of little concern since the Myrmidon rarely engaged in sustained fire fights.
Due to the Myrmidon’s success during the Second Robotech War, it briefly re-entered production during this period. Several functional improvements were made, to include the option of an enclosed cockpit. The VHR-2A1 served with the UEDF-TC and UEDF-RP from 2030 up until the Invid invasion. A substantial number of these were also taken for use by the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) by the UES Marcus Antonius evacuation mission.
During the Invid Occupation, the Myrmidon truly came into its own. Protoculture signature aside, the VHR-2’s active and passive stealth features enabled it to evade Invid sensor detection far better than almost any other contemporary mecha with the acceptation of the VR-series Cyclone. Additionally, the Myrmidon’s armor and weapons systems were well suited to combat with Invid mecha. This combined with great availability due to the number of examples that survived the Second Robotech War lead to the VHR-2 being a common sight within resistance fighter circles. Most of the examples taken to Tirol by the UES Marcus Antonius evacuation mission were later repatriated to Earth during the many UEEF liberation attempts.
In 2043, all remaining Myrmidons in UEEF service were rebuilt to VHR-2S1 specification. This added the RRG PSS-001 Shadow Cloaking Device, a four-dimensional distortion field generator which downshifts and dampens protoculture radiation. The VHR-2S1 also replaced the original RAM material with the new RRG developed EM-absorbing skin cover. This new RAM more strongly absorbed EM radiation from radio through ultra-violet wavelengths while being less apt to transfer laser energy to the vehicle’s armor. This was accomplished by the new RAM having a low energy absorption threshold. What this means is that at a certain Kilojoule load (such as a strike from a high energy weapon such as a laser) the RAM will quickly sublimate off, dispersing the energy before it can be completely transferred to the vehicle. The VHR-2S1 was susceptible to the same issues as all RRG PSS-001 Shadow Cloaking Device equipped mecha discovered during the Haydonite Pseudo War. Because of this, most VHR-2S1s had the device removed from 2045 onwards.
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
Content by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2018 Tim Wing