by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen
Northrop QF-3000 Ghost Drone Fighter
| Total Length: ||16.0 m
| Total Height: ||6.3 m
| Total Width: ||7.2 m
|Total Dry Weight: ||12.0 metric tons
II. Service History
- QF-3000A: Served as an unarmed experimental platform with the UNDF
Air Force in 2006.
- QF-3000B: Served as an armed experimental platform with the UNDF Air
Force in 2007.
- QF-3000C: Served with the RDF Air Force from early 2008 until
replaced by the -D.
- QF-3000D: Served with the RDF Air Force from late 2008 until
replaced by the -E.
- QF-3000E: Served with the RDF Spacy from 2009, and with the RDF Air
Force and Navy from 2012 until 2020.
- (A/B) Unmanned experimental fighter.
- (C) Unmanned fighter.
- (D) Unmanned high-altitude fighter.
- (E) Unmanned aerospace fighter.
- (-C Variant) 1 x General Electric F110 turbofan.
- (-D and -E variants) 1 x FF-2001 fusion turbine in tail section,
providing 113 kN of thrust, 226 kN in overboost.
- (all variants) 2 x Rocketdyne DRaE-3 ramjet/reaction engine in tail
section, total thrust 109 kN each.
- 8 x protoculture cell for power generation.
- (-E variants) Assorted thrusters for space maneuvering.
- Maximum speed (atmosphere): 5272 kph @ 30,000 m.
- Stall speed : 245 kph.
- Maximum climb rate : >33,000 meter/minute.
- Range (space) : Delta-v limit of 2.4 kps (-E variant only).
- Powercell endurance : Full function for 100 hours.
- Design-g limits : 20 g. Engines capable of sustained 2.1 g
Piloting Control System:
- 2 x Robotech Research Group mk3 Heuristic Expert Piloting/Combat
- Hughes AWG-20 X-band pulse-Doppler radar, providing long-range
detection and tracking
of targets at all altitudes, as well as extensive surface search,
attack, navigation, and mapping
- Thomson DOS-1900 multi-band digital camera system, for medium
UV, infra-red imaging and optical band detection and tracking
- Thomson LT-3 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator
- Zeiss TS-1D long range telescopic array for visible/IR spectrum.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):
- Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
- OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
- Westinghouse ALQ-200 active radar jammer
- Chaff dispenser
- Active missile jammers.
- 6 x GU-9 55mm single barrel autocannon; cannon
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 96 rounds. All cannons are side
mounted, three to each side.
- 2 x missile bay each capable of launching four StarStrike
missiles each. Warhead is equivalent to the one on the Stiletto
missile, and the StarStrike utilizes 'burn and drift' tactics. Delta-v
capacity 2 kps. The missile bays are recessed in the side
fuselage of the Ghost, and are revealed as armored covers slide inwards.
The armor of the Ghost is composed of an advanced titanium-steel
alloy. 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 QF-3000C Ghost drone
was designed to act as a supplement to the Valkyrie series Veritech and other
fighters of the UNDF. As such, early versions were equipped with a traditional
long range atmospheric flight, and two hybrid ramjet/reaction engines as
boosters for extra bursts of speed. The drone did
not have any wings, but instead relied on body lift to stay
The QF-3000C Ghost was acquired exclusively by the RDF Air Force,
where it served in limited numbers. Before a year had passed since they
entered service, the Air Force's -C variants were refit with a fusion
turbine for extreme altitude operations, though it was not yet space-
capable. This new variant, the -D, was purchased by both the RDF Air
Force and Navy, and was not replaced by the -E until after the Zentraedi
Holocaust. The new high-altitude variant piqued the interest of the RDF
Spacy, which immediately began to develop a space-capable version. This
variant, the -E, was immediately procured by the Spacy, and after the
return of the SDF-1 after the Holocaust, the remaining Air Force and
Navy variants were upgraded to this standard. Spacy QF-3000Es were
stationed on Macross Island in 2009, and on the Armor series orbital platforms
and on the SDF-1 itself. However,
combat experience showed that the tactical usefulness of these craft was
doubtful, due to Zentraedi tactics and technology, and they were mainly
used in an escort or defensive capacity. Most of the early runs of the Ghost
were destroyed in the Zentraedi Holocaust and the attack on Dolza's fortress.
Later on, newly built drones were based on the Armor ships that had escaped the Holocaust, but all were soon replaced by VQ-6As and decommissioned by the time the REF folded for Tirol. This being said, the Ghost was still popular with some pilots, who felt that the drones provided excellent
fire support in target-rich environments, as well as being good decoys when
the piloted planes were vastly outnumbered.
See additional design notes.
Return to UNDF Aircraft Index.
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Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker
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