ROBOTECH Technical Files
by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Rob Morgenstern


Banshee class Destroyer (SDD)
Gremlin class Guided Missile Destroyer (SDG)

Southern Cross Seal REF Seal
Banshee - Side View
Gremlin - Oblique View
Naval Separator

Names and Disposition:

Banshee Bridge

Ship's Complement:


Length: 195.1 m over all.
Height: 32.8 m over the main hull.
41.4 m from the launch chute to the antennas.
Width : 51.4 m over the main hull.
Mass : 39,600 metric tons (Banshee class).
42,340 metric tons (Gremlin class).
Fuel Mass : 7,500 metric tons, maximum (typical).

Propulsion System:

Banshee launching from ALuCE

Endurance and mobility limits:

Weapon Systems:

Banshee vessels completed 2013-2015:
This armament fit was replaced on the production line from 2016 onwards, and existing ships were refitted to the following configuration:
All ships from commisioned from 2016 onwards:
(Expeditionary Force and Southern Cross pre-refit vessels)
(Southern Cross post-refit vessels):
Banshee Mecha Bay with PD-2

Air Group and Mecha Complement:

(Banshee class)
(Gremlin class)

Note: The Banshee can accommodate 12 additional fighters by using the launch bay as an additional hangar, with the mecha tied down for storage rather than in stalls. However, this was universally unpopular with the pilots as recovery of the additional fighters was not possible, unless a loss rate of 33% was exceeded. Adverse effects on morale effectively killed the method.
The Southern Cross occasionally used Veritech Hovertanks if other, more usual space combat mecha were in short supply.

Design Notes:

Gremlin Squadron firing

These ships were jacks-of-all-trades. As the smallest major combatants available, they aid larger ships with mecha defense and add their anti-ship firepower to that of the larger ships. There were two versions of the same basic design. The Banshee class is a general purpose destroyer, the Gremlin class mounts additional missiles, replacing half the mecha complement in compensation.

Banshee's had a hull form resembling a Second World War submarine, as with the hulls of their larger contemporaries. However, there was no conning tower, but a raised deck at the back, the front of which housed the main bridge. Beginning at about half length, there were also two side sponsons that housed the main engines. The Banshees and Gremlins featured a two level fighter hangar amidships. In the Banshee, a large release chute is built into the lower nose, protruding slightly below the keel. In the Gremlin, the mecha release chute was mounted in a bottom-mounted sponson, which made the Gremlin incapable of belly landings without crushing this chute without proper ground bracing to accommodate the chute protrusion.

The armament was mounted to cover all arcs, with priority given to the upper forward sector. In a refit that was ongoing throughout the second Robotech War, the Southern Cross modified the main engines to the RT-80Q standard, which was more efficient in its fuel use. In addition, an additional two particle beam turrets were installed in the side sponsons, and all turrets were upgraded to the more reliable PB-4b system, and one turret was replaced with a PB-5 turret, although the new turrets were not yet available in quantity at the beginning of the 2nd Robotech War and some craft temporarily mounted 7 PB-4 turrets instead. All ships mounted three or five Spacelord anti-ship missile systems.


Banshee - Oblique Rear View

After the Zentraedi Holocaust and the Malcontent Uprisings, the Robotech Defense Forces started rebuilding the Terrestrial defenses and assembling the Expeditionary Force. During this period, two almost identical requirements surfaced; one for a medium destroyer capable of engaging a Tou Redir sized and armed ship and one for a medium destroyer with additional missile armament to support larger anti-ship patrols. The Defense department therefore combined these requirements and the results were the Banshee and Gremlin classes, the first one being built in larger numbers. Relatively few compromises were required, as the different requirements could be addressed by designing two slightly different versions of the same ship. In a later refit (to which new units were built from 2028 onward), the Armies of the Southern Cross expanded the particle beam firepower of its ships by upgrading the existing cannons, adding two more and replacing one with a doubled version. The Expeditionary Forces did not use the Gremlin class, as the Banshee, with its larger mecha complement, provided more flexibility.

Although designed to fight the Zentraedi, the destroyers' most important and best known battles were waged against the Robotech Masters and later against the Invid. The comparable vessel in the Tirolian Forces was the Tirolian Assault Carrier, a vessel far superior in mobility and versatility to the Terran design. However, the destroyers were part of mixed battlegroups, and relatively few exclusively Assault Carrier vs. destroyer encounters were fought, usually with regrettable results for the Earth forces. Against the heavier Tirolian ships such as destroyers and the Motherships themselves the results of Banshee/Gremlin actions were usually disastrous for the Terran destroyers.

After the heavy losses of the Second Robotech War (in which 70% of all destroyers were lost), the classes had little resistance to offer against the Invid, whose numerical tactics were ill-suited to the Banshees and Gremlins anyway. A number of these ships were in the outer reaches of the system and thus escaped destruction (10 vessels) or managed to flee the Invid assault (5 vessels) by folding into interplanetary space. However, as their supplies dwindled, these fifteen ships were forced to alight at the Saturn or Lunar bases, which had sufficient life support capability to last the crews for decades. Before these ships were shut down to avoid attracting Invid attention, though, they were used to evacuate the Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Jupiter outposts, which were not sufficiently self-supportive. As a result, no personnel of these bases were present when the life support in the bases ran out of resources.

The few remaining vessels with the Expeditionary Force were no longer considered front line vessels, and served as guard vessels for the Factory Satellites or as command vessels for planetary raids. All surviving vessels were laid up immediately after the war.

See Image Gallery.

See additional design notes.

Return to Southern Cross naval index.
Return to REF naval index.

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Content by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker and Rob Morgenstern
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