Veritech Alpha Fighter VF-6 (A, B, C, G, J, R, T)
|Total Length :||10.25m||8.00m||-|
|Total Depth :||-||-||5.25m|
|Total Height :||4.60m||5.72m||8.75m|
|Total Wingspan :||8.20m||-||-|
|Total Dry Weight:||16.70 tons (metric)|
|1/ shoulder(2)||8 ea.||F,G,B|
|2/ arm(4)||5 ea.||G,B|
|2/ outside of leg(4)||4 ea.||G,B|
|1/ inside of leg(2)||4 ea.||F,G,B|
|(F = Fighter, G = Guardian, B = Battloid mode)|
Note: an additional 8 Hammerheads can be stored in an optional pod on the left shoulder, and 6 260mm x 1.2m Diamondback MRMs can be stored on conformal hardpoints under the intakes.)
The armor on the Alpha series fighters 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, owing to the fact that 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. The armor stops all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provides good to excellent resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and poor to good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie's 55mm APFSDS round.
The Alpha 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 one day maximum.
The VQ-6A Vandal was the drone that preceded the first Alphas in service. These mecha are non-transformable, and have fighter-mode performance data somewhat superior to that of the VF-6. The weapons and avionics suites are similar to that on the VF-6A, with the caveat that the missile load is reduced by 36 Hammerheads, because of the lack of the arm and outer leg launchers that are not available in the Alpha's fighter mode. The piloting hardware is an improved variant of the Mark 3 Heuristic expert system used on the QF-3000E Ghost, but tactical management of multiple fighters is controlled by a ground-based C&C emplacement (usually the M-9 ACC) which communicates with the fighters via Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) radio transmission.
The VF-6A and -6B are the older versions of the Alpha, and were entirely replaced in both the REF and Southern Cross by later versions by about 2026. The VF-6A and -6B used the JG95A for the main engine (effectively identical to that on the AGACS). Likewise, the Battloid is less responsive and the fighters' ACS system a little more sluggish than the succeeding generations of Alpha. In addition, the target and threat detectors were less powerful on the -6A and -6B models, which lacked the sensor/ECM pod that would be mounted to the right shoulder of the Guardian and Battloid modes of the later Alphas.
The armor on the Vandal and VF-6A and -6B Alphas is marginally inferior to that mounted on the later VF-6 models.
The VAF series of fighter planes are perhaps the most effective air-superiority aircraft in known space. This has resulted from the commitment of the RDF to hold quality in as high or higher regard as quantity. The plane was originally conceived in 2011, in large part inspired by the newly-designed VF-4A Lightning, to serve the RDF as the main front-line light combat aircraft in its forces.
March of 2015 saw the introduction of the VAF-X-5 pilotless Alpha. This non-transformable aircraft was originally intended to test the aerodynamic capabilities of later Alpha designs. The RDF Air Force was so impressed with this vehicle, however, that it ordered it armed and ordered seven hundred of these mecha to replace the aging QF-3000E Ghost drone fighters in many of their squadrons. The armed version of the VAF-X-5 was designated the VQ-6A Vandal and saw service in the UNAF and Southern Cross from 2016 to 2030. The first fully transformable production version of the Alpha was rolled out in May of 2017, and it was designated the VF-6A. The plane had superior maneuverability and armament, and the avionics package was unmatched for its time. Several thousand of these planes were ordered by the RDF Air Force, Spacy, and Navy, the Southern Cross' Tactical Air Force, and the REF Air Force and Navy. When the Beta Fighter was conceived in 2018 and tested in 2022, it became necessary to perform extensive modifications to the Alpha fighter to accommodate its linkage with the Beta. These changes, along with a new sensor/ECM pod mounted on the right collar, constituted the VF-6C variant. Eventually, all of the Southern Cross -6As saw a similar sensor/ECM pod refit as well, without the modifications to accommodate the Beta, and their designation became the -6G.
Soon after the VF-6A's introduction, a new experimental head - optimized for atmospheric operations - was introduced, and this model was known as the VF-6B. Unfortunately, the miniaturization technologies of the time would not permit the same amount of equipment in the redesigned head as in the original, so the idea was abandoned with only a dozen or so produced, to be later resurrected for the VF-6J.
The Alpha is, above all, an air superiority fighter, but is also an excellent light ground-attack plane. It was acquired for these roles by the Southern Cross' Navy and Tactical Air Force, and the REF Air Force and Marines, and as an anti-mecha space fighter by the REF Navy. The Alpha's place in fleet defense came later, in the mid 2030's, as the Alpha/Beta "Legios" combination began to replace the venerable AF-1B Vultures, whose heavy forward-firing beam guns and heavy missiles were not particularly well suited to Invid numbers and tactics. The Alpha is not trans-atmospheric, but functions excellently in space once it is brought there. With its impressive array of short range missiles and cannon, the Alpha contains as much firepower as a squadron of older planes, and its versatility is further improved by the fact that it is a three-form Veritech. The Battloid is responsive and tough, and can easily best any other mecha, even when outnumbered.
Four versions of the Alpha were in service with the REF by the 2040's. The VF-6C was the standard REF version, and it possesses the best combat computers and fire control of all recent airborne mecha. The VF-6J is practically identical, though it saw a redesign of the head, based on the old VF-6B concept. Because many of the head's components could be substantially miniaturized by the late 2030's, the disadvantages to the experimental head redesign vanished. The revival of the old -6B's head modification placed the dual stereoscopic optics sensors further back on the head and increased the separation between them, for improved frontal stereoscopic imaging. This move also improved the field of view in the periphery of the main optical sensors. Furthermore, the head of the -6J was augmented by a small ventral vertical stabilizer for improved fighter-mode stability. In all, the improvements were conceived to improve the Alpha's performance in the atmosphere, where threat detection in Battloid mode relies more on visual acquisition and targeting than on instruments, which are more important in the blackness of space. For these reasons, the majority of the -6J production went to the REF Air Force and Marine Alpha wings. Also, field conversion kits were fabricated as early as 2042, substituting new -6J type heads for the thousands of -6C Alphas in service. However, though full conversion of the Alpha's head was planned, the sheer number in service insured that it was not until the 2050s that all remaining Alphas sported this head. The VF-6R was the REF's Reconnaissance/Wild Weasel plane, and has extensive sensory equipment, at the expense of some of the later block VF-6C's advanced avionics. Nevertheless, it was still a more than competent fighter. There was no equivalent Recon/Wild Weasel version in the Southern Cross. The VF-6T was a two-man fighter-trainer used by both the Southern Cross and REF, and was almost never used in combat. The REF's stealth version, the VF-6S, is detailed elsewhere. The VF-6H and -6I variants were created in partnership with Karbarra, and saw a redesign of the cockpit and nose section to accommodate the larger Karbarran pilots. The REF never acquired these variants, and they were exclusively produced by Karbarra under license, and used in their own military.
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Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker