by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Robert Morgenstern
edited by Tim Wing Attachments:
- CBR Mark 2 reference file
- CBR Mark 2 galleries
Designation: SCAR CBR Mk. 2 Improved Tactical Armor, Plate (ITA-P)
- Type: Hard Armor
- Year Introduced: 2024
- Weight: 9 kg (Light), 13 kg (Heavy)
The United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) improved upon the CBR Mk. 1 Tactical Armor, Plate (TA-P) in the mid 2020’s in with the CBR Mk. 2 Improved Tactical Armor, Plate (ITA-P). Like the first generation CBR armor, the CBR Mk. 2 was designed by the state owned Southern Cross Armament Research (SCAR) and manufactured by a variety of sub-contractors. The Mark 2 armor provided several improvements over the original CBR Mk. 1. These improvements included a 2 kilogram reduction in weight across the range, Magnetic Interface Locking System (MILS), Motion Reclamation System, Integrated Hydration Bladder and provision for NBC and environmental under-suits (for full descriptions, see below). The CBR Mk. 2 armor came in both heavy and light variants. The new Southern Cross armors were also extremely decorative, and the armor style not only conformed to a soldier’s gender (for obvious reasons), but to their army and rank as well. Stylistically different armors were developed for the different branches of service. Among each of these army-specific types, there were divisions between male and female armors, and distinct helmet designs for unrated enlisted men, non-commissioned officers, and officers.
Because there were a multitude of distinct types of CBR armor, the designation system was extremely arcane; for example, a female ATAC officer would wear the CBR Mk 2 ITA-P (L) AVC F/O; while a male sergeant in the Tactical Corps would wear the CBR Mk 2 ITA-P (H) Type 1 TC M/NCO, and his male subordinates would wear the CBR Mk 2 ITA-P (H) Type 1 TC M/E.
The CBR-series armors were simple battle-armor, with some environmental control for comfort, but no inherent space-capabilities. An NBC suit could be worn under the armor for protection against chemical agents. Though armies wearing this armor occasionally fought in space, there was no provision for this armor to act as a spacesuit; these soldiers had to rely upon pressurized mecha cockpits and a light weight environmental suit worn underneath the armor for limited protection from the vacuum of space in the event of an emergency.
Though effective, mobile, and comfortable armor, the CBR-series was heavy and difficult to don or remove, and with the collapse of the Southern Cross and the occupation of Earth by the Invid, the Southern Cross armor vanished from the scene. By 2045, virtually all armor worn by humans fighting on Earth was the United Earth Expeditionary Force’s CVR-3. Though the conventional knowledge claims this was due to the complexity of the armor and the long time it took to put it on, this was also the case with the CVR-3 ride armor. The real reason the CVR-3 armor remained prevalent was because it was necessary the operation of the VR-series Cyclone Veritech combat cycles. Irregular forces, it seems, are just like normal soldiers in that they will only wear their personal body armor when they are forced to.
The CBR-series armors are composed of a plastic-ceramic composite for maximal resistance to penetration and thermic explosive damage for minimal weight. The armor stops most small arms fire and grenade and shell fragments, and provides poor (in the case of the light armor) to fair (in the case of the heavy armor) resistance against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round. The armor consists of separate leg, arm, torso, and helmet units, and covers the entire body.
Magnetic Interface Locking System (MILS): Powerful electromagnets to secure various hard-shell backpacks, traditional ruck-sacks and mission specific accessories such as jet packs. Optional utility belt that mounts to the waist. Backpacks include two standard storage pack designs, and a jet pack used mainly by the TC-Recon and the CDFC. The jet pack weighs 26kg, and permits flight up to 100 kph to altitudes as high as 650m for up to three hours.
Motion Reclamation System: A series of small electric motors at the knee and hip joints for harvesting regenerative energy naturally produced by the walking motion of the wearer. These motors induce an almost unnoticeable amount of resistance and provide enough power to keep the suit’s integrated lithium battery pack fully charged. When the battery is at full charge, these motors automatically shut off.
Integrated Hydration Bladder: Three liter bladder mounted by means of hook-and-pile fasteners to the inner back-plate. System is removable for washing and includes a hydration tube for drinking.
Thermal regulation system: Limited temperature control, by the use of Peltier-electric cooling units in armor, conducting heat between the thermally conducting inner and outer layers of the armor. A simple reversal of the voltage can alternate the armor from heating to cooling the pilot. Between the thermally conducting layers on all these pieces, and on the inner surfaces of all other pieces of armor, is a thin insulating layer, designed to minimize non-directed heat transfer. The Peltier-electric units are powered by small batteries in the armor units that contain them, and are designed to assist pilot comfort in hot and cold climes. The units are insufficient for protection above 45 and below -25 degrees Celsius. The Tactical Corps’ Arctic divisions employed armor that was more robust in this respect, capable of sustained -45 degrees operation, and included an air conditioning system that warmed the air for the wearer. The air conditioning and power supply for the additional sustained heating capacity were stored in a specialized backpack. Heat resistant up to 500K for brief periods
Tactical Helmet: The helmet has a removable face-shield with variable-tint photochromic polarized polycarbon eyeslits. Contrary to popular belief, the eyeslits do not have integrated night vision or IR spectrum imaging. The NVG-645 can be attached directly to the faceplate, providing both of these features.
Tactical Radio: Narrow band, short range tactical radio for communication at the platoon level. The microphone and speakers are built into the helmet. This communication system will also wirelessly synch with longer range tactical radios, both dismounted and vehicle mounted.
Optional armored shield: Different designs existed for the various armies and ranks. The GMP-EC, TAF, and CDFC tended to use shields not much larger than the forearm. The TC, ATAC, CDU, TC-Arctic, and TC-Desert use large shields as tall as the pilot’s arm is long. The other armies using the SCBA-series armor do not use shields. The GMP shield also serves as scabbard for a 50,000 Volt stun-baton that was standard issue with the armor.
Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protection: The armor itself is coated with Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC). Additionally, an NBC Protective Under-Suit (N-PUS) can be used in place of the standard under-suit when a chemical environment is anticipated. The N-PUS includes a balaclava with integrated NBC filters. These filters are mounted flush to the cheeks and can be replaced one at a time while in a contaminated environment without having to break the balaclava’s seal. This suit is almost universally referred to as the ‘pussy suit’ by UEDF personnel.
Environmental Protection Under-Suit (EPUS): The CBR Mark 2 was also designed to be used with an Environmental Protection Under-Suit. The EPUS was a thin, light weight pressure unisuit designed to be worn under the armor in place of the normal base layer. The unisuit had a standard neck ring that sealed to a balaclava fitted with a low profile breathing apparatus. Though this under-suit was fully pressurized and suitable for use in space for short periods of time, it was really designed for use on low atmosphere planets such as Mars. While the EPUS was fully pressurized and provided oxygen for extended periods of time, it did not have sufficient shielding to protect the wearer from the hard radiation of space.
CBR Mk. 2 ITA-P variants:
CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(H) HW1: Improved Tactical Armor, Plate, Heavy, Hot Weather Type 1. Introduced November 2024. Issued to the elite infantry troops of the Tactical Corps’ Desert Squads. Special features included better sealing at the joints to help keep out desert sand and grit, improved environmental control system with extra heat sinks, integrated filtration systems for the mask and liquid waste reclamation system capable of recycling the wearer’s urine at a 70% rate of efficiency. Armor was typically painted desert tan and white, or desert tan overall. (Note: vehicle crewmen in the Desert Squad were typically issued CBR Mk. 1 TA-P (L) Armored Vehicle Crewman armor.)
CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(L) HW2: Improved Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Hot Weather Type 2. Introduced July 2025. Issued to the special purpose troops of the Tactical Corps’ Forest Offensive Squads. Armor was typically painted dark green with white trim, or dark green overall.
CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(L) MNT: Improved Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Mountaineer. Introduced August 2025. Issued to the elite mountain infantry troops of the Tactical Corps’ Mountain Offensive Squads. The armor was equipped with multiple lugs and carabiners for climbing. Armor was typically painted earth brown and white, or medium earth brown overall.
CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(H) Type 1: Improved Tactical Armor, Plate, Heavy, Type 1. Introduced December 2025. Issued to most combat troops in the UEDF Tactical Corps. Armor was typically painted medium earth brown with dark brown trim.
CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(L) AVC: Improved Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Armor Vehicle Crewman. Introduced June 2026. Issued to Veritech Hover Tank pilots and other vehicle crewmen in the Alpha Tactical Armored Cavalry. Armor was typically painted blue and white for male soldiers or red and white for female soldiers. (These paint schemes were typical for the Capital Region of Monuments City. Units further away from the flag-pole tended to be issued armor finished in more subdued tones.)
CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(L) Type 2: Improved Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Type 2. Introduced September 2026. Issued to the Global Military Police, this armor was typically painted black and white, trimmed in colors corresponding to specific units.
CBR Mk 2 ITA-P(L) Type 9: Improved Tactical Armor, Plate, Light, Type 9. Introduced October 2028. Issued to the special purpose troops of the Tactical Corps’ Marsh Squads. Features included attachable extra-wide foots plates for better distribution of weight in marshy environments. These armors did not have the Motion Reclamation System. Armor was typically painted light earth brown and white, or overall medium earth brown.
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; Brian Manning
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, Robotech Masters Saga Sourcebook (March 2009), Robotech New Generation Sourcebook (November 2011), The Robotech RPG Book Four: Southern Cross (September 1987)
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