The following material is an adaptation of a "side story" mecha from the original Japanese MACROSS TV series (which became Robotech here in the U.S.). Please feel free to use, copy, and distribute it as you see fit. All I ask is that you give proper credit to me and do not claim that it is your own work. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


UN Variable Fighter VF-X3 by: P. David Baughman III
Based on material translated by: Masumi
Background material from: MACROSS ONLINE COMPENDIUM


The VF-X3 “Star Crusader” is one of many interesting footnotes of the Space War. Developed to be the ultimate outer space fighter, the Star Crusader was eventually deemed a failure not because of any mechanical fault, but due to human frailty and economics. Several prototypes of the VF-X3 were constructed during late 2009 and early 2010; these machines were designed to completely outclass all enemy units, and to expand upon existing advances such as the Stampede Option defense package and the GBP-1S heavy armor system. All told, the Star Crusader possess approximately twice the armor, twice the overall power output, and an amazing thirty-two times the maximum potential firepower of the standard VF-1 Valkyrie fighter.

Despite its tremendous power, however, the Star Crusader was troubled by serious safety faults. Most severe amongst these was the fighter’s heat dissipation problem; when all of the main energy weapons were fired at once, the cockpit heat would spike severely, and in some cases repeated heat spikes caused test pilots to require hospitalization. Additionally, the inertial compensators had a great deal of difficulty adjusting to the sudden added force when the rear-mounted defensive launchers fired; the compensator would ‘snap’ back immediately after firing, sometimes causing the pilot to be struck by serious and intense g-forces.

Ultimately, it was decided that the safety flaws of the Star Crusader, as well as its tremendous cost, simply made the mecha too problematic. It was not long before the UN turned its gaze to the VF-4 Lightning III variable fighter and forgot entirely about the VF-X3. The VF-X3 never entered mass production; only a handful of prototypes were constructed. One example of this design
survived the war, and is on display in a private collection on the Banipol colony.


Vehicle Type: VF-X3
Class: Outer Space Variable Fighter

Manufacturer: Shinnakasu Heavy Industries/Rockwell International/Textron Corporation
Crew: One pilot wearing Tactical Life Support System.
    Head Laser Cannon                            30
(1) Head                                         90
    Hands (2)                                    20 each
    Arms (2)                                    180 each
    Legs (2)                                    200 each
(2) Main Body                                   300
    Wings (2)                                   150 each
    Reinforced Pilot Compartment/Escape Pod      50
    Thrusters (2)                                50 each
  1. Destroying the head of the VF-X3 will knock out the mecha's major sensor systems, including all optical systems (infrared, nightvision, and thermal). Radar and communications will be unaffected.
  2. Depleting the MDC of the main body will destroy the mecha. The pilot and cockpit section/escape pod will be automatically ejected from the doomed mecha before it explodes by the mecha's main computer.


 While not designed to operate within an atmosphere or under conditions where gravity exists, the Star Crusader could
theoretically run at speeds approaching 64 km per hour.
The VF-X3 was not designed for atmospheric operations, and cannot fly in these conditions. Short rocket-assisted
jumps in battloid mode are theoretically possible; such a jump would cover about 100 meters.
The VF-X3 was specifically designed for outer space combat, and has a respectable fuel reserve for space maneuver;
an unprecedented seventy-five liters of deuterium oxide reaction mass provides just over 4.0 kps of delta-v to this
massive aircraft. The reaction mass tankage is stored mainly in the two “backpack” thrusters (30 L each), with 15 L
being stored in a pair of smaller tanks mounted in the torso. Since the VF-X3 was designed to directly engage enemy
forces, rather than to conduct long patrol missions, the capacity for outboard ‘drop tanks’ was not incorporated; the
extra piping required for this capability would have required a reduction in the armor plating.


6.2 meters in Fighter mode, 16.7 meters in Battloid mode
9.5 meters in Fighter mode, 9.3 meters in Battloid mode
16 meters in Fighter mode, 5.4 meters in Battloid mode
32.6 metric tons
Equal to a P.S. of 60
Small compartment behind pilot's seat for personal belongings.
The power system of the VF-X3 consists of two Nakajima/P&W/Rolls Royce FF-2001 fusion turbines, augmented by two P&W +EF-2001 rocket thrusters. Ten overtechnology battery units energize the entire power system, and this hybrid power system has a life of 120 hours of continuous use before an overhaul is required. Due to the large number of energy weapons operated, heavy combat will reduce the operational life to about 40 hours..


  1. Mauser PBG-11M Particle Cannons (2): Each arm/nacelle of the Star Crusader ends with a long-barreled particle beam cannon; the PBG-11M is a modified version of the particle cannon used on the Tomahawk destroid. An improved focusing chamber, along with a more efficient power transfer system, partially make up for the weapon’s lest robust housing and energizing feed.
  2. Astra GM-12 Grenade Launchers (2): Each side of the Star Crusader’s hip assembly contains a launch rack that holds three rocket-propelled Remington H-22T grenades. This weapon system was designed for close combat, to make up for the Star Crusader’s diminished hand to hand combat capabilities.
  3. Mauser ROV-20 Laser Cannons (7): Building on the proposed “Infrared Laser Array” upgrade that was already being applied to the Macross’ VF-1 fighters, engineers designing the Star Crusader incorporated first two, then four, then six additional lasers. Three lasers are located in each arm/nacelle, replacing planned infrared sensor arrays that were considered superfluous for outer space operations. A seventh laser is mounted in the head.
  4. Armscor M-X-1 Missile Phalanx (2): The defensive missile cluster is built into the rear of each arm/nacelle and is slaved to independent fire control radar. The missiles themselves are actually a self-propelled version of the submunitions fired by Armscor’s Brimstone anti-tank missile: 6kg kinetic energy penetrators. These small missiles are automatically fired against missiles that are tracking the Star Crusader. Optionally, the KEPs could also be set to engage enemy craft that were tailing the Star Crusader. While this system showed a great deal of promise in early simulations, its combat performance was less than was hoped for, and the system never made it onto mainstream vehicles.
  5. Missile Clusters (6): The side of each arm/nacelle contains three flip-up lids that conceal dogfighting missiles; each cluster contains three HMM-02 micro-missiles.
  6. HAND TO HAND COMBAT: The VF-X3 was not designed for hand-to-hand combat, and its arm-mounted weapons are too fragile to allow for the manipulators to be used for offense. While kicking is still possible, even this activity is not recommended; when weapon systems are depleted, standard procedure was for the fighter to withdraw to base for reloading and repairs.




Note: Each time both of the particle cannons, or more than four of the lasers are fired, the VF-X3’s cockpit heat will spike dangerously. The pilot must roll below her PE score on 1d20 or else take 1d4 SDC for each laser fired that turn and 1d8 SDC for each particle cannon. For the purposes of recovery, this damage is considered to be bruise damage. Additionally, if the fighter is flying faster than Mach 1, each time either missile phalanx fires, the inertial compensator will ‘whiplash’ the pilot, causing 1d4 SDC of ‘bruise’ damage.



Design Credits:

UN Variable Fighter VF-X3 by: P. David Baughman III
Based on material translated by: Masumi
Background material from: The Macross Compendium
Additional background material from: The Robotech Reference Guide: 2060 (used with permission)
Combat system rules published by: Palladium Books

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