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Background (as per uRRG)
Vf7sylphide1


After the failure of the VF-4 project to deliver an advanced, capable and affordable veritech fighter to replace the obsolete VF-1 Valkyrie, even though it did see some production and enter service for a time, two lighter veritech design projects were started, with the intention that the winner would be chosen as the RDF-wide general-use medium transformable fighter. The two designs became the VF-6 Alpha and the VF-7 Sylphid.

However, while the expeditionary forces elected to produce the VF-6 Alpha in large numbers, the Earth-bound Tactical Air Force disagreed with the choice of this design. Specifically, the TAF cited the VF-6 Alpha's lack of hardpoints and resulting loss of the ability to mount heavier ground attack missiles, and it's general reliance on short range missiles (implying other mecha with longer ranged missiles were also required). Finally a longer battle-turnaround time for the VF-6 Alpha was expected due to the use of an ammunition-fed gun pod and numerous internal missile holders where the Sylphid had only four hardpoints to load with new missile containers. In the end, the TAF decided to acquire the VF-7 Sylphid for its forces rather than the VF-6 Alpha. Sylphid Cockpit

The Sylphid shows distinct VF-1 influences in its forward hull, and the combined engine block/arm sections were reminiscent of the relatively unsuccessful VF-4. Compared to its predecessor, the famous VF-1, the VF-7 can carry its missile armament with it through all speed regimes, unlike the elder plane, whose missiles would be torn off their mounts long before it reached its maximum speed. Additionally, the Sylphid no longer carried a gun pod, or even ammunition dependent weapons. On the debit side, the Sylphid can only fire its missiles in Fighter mode or in certain flight regimes in Guardian mode, when the engines are pointing aft.

The Sylphid entered service with the Tactical Air Force in 2021, and remained in service with this unit until the Invid invasion. It became the primary tactical airborne veritech mecha of the Southern Cross' Tactical Air Force. Over the years the electronics were regularly updated, and in 2026 a new version with two more cannons and more powerful engines replaced the earlier one on the production lines, with older models being refitted to the new standard within two years. The two variants can be distinguished by the cannons on the arms and the fact that the FF-3001 fit had three sub-nozzles per engine, and the FF-3031 had four. Slated for replacement in 2034, the Second Robotech War interfered with the development of the X-34 project, the Sylphid's intended successor design. Development was stopped during the war both to concentrate on the rapid production of the existing veritech, and to later evaluate all combat lessons learned and incorporate them into the new design. However, the Invid Invasion in 2031 ended this project in its infancy.

This plane was shown to be less than successful against the Robotech Masters, partly because its bases kept getting shot up, but mainly because as a fighter it was completely overclassed by the Assault Carrier, against which it could not mount heavy enough weapons to be fully effective. Against the Invid, the remaining Sylphid were moderately effective during the initial invasion, but soon all support bases had been destroyed and keeping the remaining Sylphids active proved to be almost impossible.


Model Type - Variable/Veritech Fighter

Class - VF-7 Sylphide

Crew - 1


MDC By Location

Main Body - 375

Arms - 175

Legs/Engines - 225

Wings - 125

Arm Guns - 75 ea

Head guns - 50 ea

Head - 120

AR - 15

Armour - Stops upto and including standard 20mm rounds.


Speed

Running - 140kph

Leaping - 20ft

Flying in Jet Mode - Mach 1.45 in atmosphere @ sea level, Mach 2.6 in atmosphere @ 10000m, Mach 4.1 in atmosphere @ 20000m, Mach 8.2 in space.

Flying in Gaurdian/Gerwalk Mode - 650kph in atmosphere, Mach 8.2 in space.

Flying in Battloid/Battroid Mode - 241kph in atmosphere, Mach 8.2 in space.

Altitude - 40000m maximum

Range - 2500km in space due to need of reaction mass. Efectively unlimited in atmosphere. Operates for 165 hours of continuous use on 16 protoculture canisters


Statistics

Height - 3.5m in Fighter, 7.7m in Gaurdian/Gerwalk, 10.7m in Battloid/Battroid

Length - 12.8m in Fighter, 11m in Gaurdian/gerwalk, 4m in Battloid/Battroid

Width - 12.2m in Fighter, 12.2m in Gaurdian/Gerwalk, 6.5m in Battloid/Battroid

Weight - 11.8 tons dry. 18 tons typical operating weight

PS - Robotic 40 Lift - 20 tons, Carry - 10 tons

Cargo - minimal pilot equipment and survival gear

Power System - 2 x RRL-2P Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer

Cost - millions


Weapons
Spectre sketch by leelf-d4w8dd3

Weapon Type - Ion pulse Gun (2, wingroots, useable in Fighter and Gaurdian mode)

Primary Purpose - Anti-fighter

Range - 2000m

Damage - 1d4x10 per gun.  Can be fired together.

Rate Of Fire - semi-automatic, equal to pilots attacks

Payload - unlimited

Bonuses - +1 strike


Weapon Type - Dual Ion Pulse Gun (2, 1 per arm useable in Gaurdian and Battroid mode)

Primary Purpose - Anti-fighter/mecha

Range - 2000m

Damage - 1d4x10 per gun, can be fired together

Rate Of Fire - semi-automatic equal to pilots attacks

Payload - unlimited

Bonuses - +1 strike


Weapon Type - Ion pulse Gun (2, head, useable in all modes)

Primary Purpose - Anti-fighter

Range - 2000m

Damage - 5d6 per gun, can be fired together and with the Heavy Ion Gun for a total of 2d4x10+20 per single blast.  Can also be fired in conjunction with the wing root Ion guns in fighter and gaurdian modes for a total of 4d4x10+20.

Rate Of Fire - semi-automatic equal to pilots attacks

Payload - unlimited

Bonuses - +1 strike


Weapon Type - Heavy Ion Pulse Gun

Primary Purpose - Anti-fighter/Mecha

Range - 2000m

Damage - 1d4x10, can be fired with the Ion Pulse Guns for a total of 2d4x10+20 per single blast.  Can also be fired in conjunction with the wing root Ion guns in fighter and gaurdian modes for a total of 4d4x10+20

Rate Of Fire - semi-automatic equal to pilots attacks

Payload - unlimited

Bonuses - +1 strike


Weapon Type - Hardpoints (8, 2 per wing, for on main mody. Main body points must be empty to transform)

Primary Purpose - Anti-fighter/mecha

Range - varies by missile type

Damage - varies by missile type

Rate Of Fire - 1 at a time or volleys of 2, 4, 6, 8 hardpoints

Payload - Each hardpoint can carry 1 of the following: Light H.E. Air to Air Missile, H.E. Air to Air Missile, Light H.E. Air to Ground Missile, H.E. Air to Ground Missile, H.E. Bomb, Micro-Missile Canister (Damage - 2d4x10, Range 8km, Payload - 12, RoF - 3 at a time maximum per cannister)

Bonuses - +1 strike


Combat Bonuses/Penalties

Use Robot/Vehicle Combat Elite along with the following bonuses:

+1 attack at level 1, 8 and 12

+1 disarm

+2 pull punch

+1 parry/dodge at level 4 and 8

+1 autododge at level 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12

+1 strike ranged at level 3

+1 strike hand to hand level 5

+15% to piloting rolls

Punch - 4d6

Restrained Punch - 8d6sdc

Kick - 6d6

Body block/tackle - 2d6


Systems of Note

Fly By Light System - Due to the complexity of the fighters systems a Fly By Light system is used to fly and maneuver. If the fighter takes more than 80% damage to the main body, or more than 50% in one attack the system fails causing the fighter to become extremely difficult to fly. All piloting rolls are made at -45% and must be made at least once per minute if just trying to keep it going or anytime any kind of action is taken (attacks, parries and dodges as well as any kind of special maneuvers)

Limited Electronic Coutnermeasures Capability - With a Electronic Countermeasures skill roll (or Sensor operations at -20%) the pilot/crew can impose a penalty of -1 to strike and a -15% to all sensor skill rolls of any opponents within radar range depending on terrain.

Advanced Infra-Red Imager – Forward looking infa-red imager that detects and identifies targets based on their heat signatures. Range – same as Radar.

Combat Computer - Calculates, stores and transmits data onto the cockpit computer screen or Head Up Display (H.U.D.). Patches in with targeting computer. Also has an integral IFF system and can identify upto 250 different enemy target types. (300 on -E model and later)

Motion Detector and Collision Warning System - Close range: 200ft (61m); sounds alarm and red light warns pilot of impending collision and/or immediate target.

External Audio Pickup - Sound amplification listening system. Range: 600ft (180m)

Loudspeaker - Loudspeaker system that can amplify the pilot's voice up to 100 decibels.

External Video Surveillance System - A video camera relays images to a cockpit monitor. 360 degree rotation. Range: 400ft (120m). Telescopic capabilities: 8x magnification.

Telescopic Optical Enhancement- Range: 2000ft (610m). Field of vision: 140 degrees

Shoulder/Head Spotlights - Range: 1000ft (305m)

Ejector Seat - In case of emergencies the pilot seat can be instantly ejected.

Self-Destruct - A last ditch effort to prevent capture of the Veritech unit (usually preceded by the pilot's ejecting from the Veritech). Explosive damage is fairly contained — 40ft radius (12m); does 2d6x10.

Heat/Radiation Shield and Independent Oxygen/Circulatory Systems.

Distress Beacon - range of 300 miles (480km). 10 times that in space.

Chaff and Flare Dispensers- Each has 12 charges. 75% chance to fool radar or heat guided missiles. 45% chance to fool smart missiles. If successful missile lose their lock and fly off.

Smoke Dispensers- 24 charges that each create a 60ft wide cloud of smoke behind the fighter.

Radar - Range 400km, can track up to 480 targets simultaneously.

Radar Warning receiver - Detects when an opposing radar attempt to identify or lock on to the VF-6. Range - 400km

Radio/Video Communications Systems - Wide band and directional, radio and video telecast capabilities. Range is 600 miles (965.4km) or can be boosted indefinitely via satellite relay.

Laser targeting System - Range: 400km and can target upto 24 targets at once, +1 to strike in ranged combat



Alternate Background

With the rollout of the final VF-1 in 2015, the United Earth Forces were left without a successor model to the Valkyrie. The Advanced Veritech Program had failed to deliver the proposed VF-4 on budget and therefore was considered a setback. Neither the VA-5 Condor nor the VFA-6 Alpha were suited to the task of blunting an enemy force by engaging them at stand-off ranges. What was needed was a powerful multi-role platform that could primarily act as an Interceptor capable of going exo-atmospheric under its own power but still able fulfill Air Superiority, Anti-Spacecraft and Ground Support missions. Thus the VF-7 Sylphide was born.

The single greatest challenge facing the design team was the radical nature of the transformation sequence. It was only because of advances in materials technology that allowed for the airframe to withstand the stress of the rather intricate variable configuration. Unlike previous fighters, the leg/arm positions are reversed from the norm in Fighter mode, so that the legs formed the top nacelle while the arms formed the bottom. Taking elements of both the Valkyrie and Alpha, the Sylphide combined the transformation styles of both to come up with a rather unique variability. Micronized energy weaponry allowed this fighter to be outfitted with beam weaponry to the exclusion of the earlier slug-throwing types.

Since its an Interceptor, the Veritech has powerful engines capable of propelling the mecha at high MACH speeds intra-atmospheric. In Fighter Mode, the Sylphide truly has no equal among variable fighters in terms of a balance between speed, agility and weaponry. The engines can thrust-vector, allowing it to perform gravity defying feats of aerial acrobatics. This agility makes the Sylphide hard to kill in a dogfight situation. It is capable of engaging an enemy with beyond visual range missiles or closing in and going to beam cannons for dog fighting. With its conformal hard points, the fighter can engage in missile combat even at higher MACH speed, an improvement over the pivoting wing hardpoints of the Valkyrie.

Like the Valkyrie and Alpha, the Sylphide’s Guardian Mode is useful in situations where VTOL capability is needed, such as the constricted terrain of a city. Hovering or flying, the mecha can engage in combat thanks to the beam weapons built into the nose or the forearms as well as the head unit under the main fuselage. It also allows for the pilot to quickly land in a situation where he is needed on the ground. Also like both the Valkyrie and Alpha, the Sylphide has an unofficial fourth mode referred to as VTOL mode, a sort of half-Guardian with only the legs deployed.

The Battloid Mode of the Sylphide is another area where the mecha performs admirably. With ablative armor and dual beam weapons in its forearms as well as the triple battery of beam cannons mounted in the head, the pilot can call upon a fearsome arsenal in a Close Quarters Battle situation. As a last resort, the pilot can engage in hand-to-hand combat, something anticipated in case the Zentraedi ever attacked the Earth again.

The conformal hard points along the engine nacelles serve the fighter better than internal weapons bays like those found on the Condor and Alpha. Like many of its contemporary fighters, the Sylphide usually mounts medium range multipurpose missiles. A total of ten of these weapon stations cover the fighter, making for a truly impressive amount of ordnance it can carry. Improved energy weaponry allows for a total of nine mounted beam cannons, thus negating the need for a hand-carried gun pod in Guardian or Battloid modes. This makes for greater combat endurance as well as reducing turn-around time and decreasing maintenance on an incredibly complex fighter. It also allows the Sylphide to bring a truly staggering amount of firepower to bear in any combat situation.

Unlike its close cousin, the Alpha, the Sylphide does not utilize the low mass composite laminar that most mecha of their generation. Instead, like the Logan, it utilizes the same light weight alloys that the Valkyrie was built with. This was done not only to reduce the procurement cost of an already expensive fighter, but also to facilitate the high MACH speed the fighter was required to achieve. It is only considered, therefore, a marginal improvement over the armor plating of its antecedant.

Sadly, most Sylphides in the UEF arsenal during the 2nd Robotech War were pitted against Bioroid Assault Frigates whose armor plating withstood all but capital ship scale weaponry. The attrition rate among the Air Force’s most sophisticated machines and pilots was untold. The InterWar and Invid Invasion saw the pilots and their mecha return to their place of prominence before the UEF was overwhelmed by the battle hungry Invid. Few of these remaining Veritechs survived the Occupation, due to the amount of maintenance necessary to keep them in the field.


References Used

Rabid Southern Cross Fan/Brooklyn Red Leg - large majority of information is from a thread on the palladium books forums. I adjusted the game stats accordingly to fit how my stats are done and his background is the alternate one at the end of the entry. Also it is through RSCF/BRL that the image for the entry was acquired.

Robotech.com

Macross Mecha Manual

Robotech Reference Guide - main background information as well as some technical information.

Sketch art by LeElf - http://leelf.deviantart.com/