Click Images For Larger View

VF-0S in Battroid mode


VF-0S in Fighter mode


GPU-9 35mm Gun Pod
(drawn by Jeff Sorley)


GPU-9 35mm Gun Pod - low contrast background
(drawn by Jeff Sorley)

Northrop Grumman/Stonewell/Shinsei VF-0S Phoenix

Technical Data

Equipment Type: developmental variable fighter
Government: U.N. Forces
Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman/Stonewell/Shinsei
Introduction: 2004
Operational Deployment: September 2008
Accommodation: pilot only
Dimensions:
  • Battroid Mode: height 16.25 meters (*see SPECIAL NOTE below)
  • Fighter Mode: length 18.69 meters
  • Mass: empty 16.191 metric tons
    Structure: space metal material frame; titanium/carbon composite outer shell; AWAG/RA 105 SWAG energy conversion armor; surplus power triples Fighter armor strength in Battroid mode, majority of engine output is dedicated to flight so energy converting armor is not functional during Fighter mode; in GERWALK mode the energy conversion armor has a defensive power-equivalent to an attack helicopter; although armor strength in GERWALK-mode is 4~5 times greater than in fighter mode, it is still inferior compared to Battroid mode which is 10 times greater than fighter mode
    Power Plant: two EGF-127 custom overtuned conventional turbofan jet engines (power output unknown); due to its less efficient engines, the VF-0 has considerably shorter range, more delicate handling and a longer airframe compared to the VF-1 Valkyrie (engine nacelles are comparatively longer to accommodate the earlier engine design)
    Propulsion: 91.08 kN x 2; 148.9 kN x 2 afterburner; 3 x Shinnakasu ARR-2 maneuvering rocket motors (for use in GERWALK/Battroid modes)
    Thrust-to-weight ratio: (empty) 1.87
    Performance:
  • Fighter Mode: at 11,000 m Mach 2.74; cruising range (with standard dorsal conformal tanks) 2,075 km; service ceiling 25,000 m
  • g limit: unknown
    Design Features: 3-mode variable transformation; two-dimensional thrust-vectoring engine nozzles; standard auxillary conformal fuel drop tanks (mounted on dorsal main body in Fighter mode, upper torso in Battroid mode); rectangular underfuselage air intake with semi-retractable slit-style shutters for Battroid mode/space use; triple-system digital fly-by-wire flight control system (FCS) in fighter mode; swing wing; air brake; 1 x AN/ALE 55 flare and chaff dispenser system; AN/ALQ 220A IDECM. ASS/PS 110 active stealth system; retractable shield canopy (Battroid mode); underwater capable in silent mode for up to several minutes using the electricity of the capacitors (max operational depth limit is 20 meters); option of reactive armor system or 2 x regular external atmospheric combat super parts (mounted one on each leg/engine nacelle); large energy capacitor installed in VF-0A for "mighty-wing mode" in which energy conversion armor can be used effectively for a short time in fighter mode. This mechanism, exclusive to the VF-0 and not seen is subsequent VFs, harnesses the electricity generating abilities of the EGF-127. In Battroid mode, 10% of full power is sufficient for land combat while the remaining 90% is used for energy conversion armor; aerial combat is possible in Battroid mode, but due to the leg turbines, activity is limited to 20 minutes; head unit has high-definition TV camera, night-vision, infrared laser pointer, laser-range finder, IFF-I data link and ultra-sonic motion sensor; VF-0A features compound eye system where 2 are arranged on the top and bottom of the head, unlike the VF-1 Valkyrie
    - Armament -
    Guns:
  • 2 x Mauler laser cannons (mounted on head turret)
  • 1 x Howard three-barrel GPU-9 35mm gatling gun pod featuring adjustable rate-of-fire for 60/1,250/2,500 rounds-per-minute, driven by a 90-horsepower electric motor, muzzle velocity 1,100 m/s (550 rounds total, capable of utilizing heavy armor-piercing or AHEAD ammunition)
  • Bombs & Missiles:
  • 4 x underwing variable pylon hard points for 12 x standard Raytheon Bifors AIM-200A AMRAAM 2 I/ALH-guided medium-range air-to-air missiles (three-missile racks, 1/point)
  • or 4 x GH-28A 8-tube general-purpose micro missile launchers (capable of firing 3 volleys)
  • or 2 x HAIM-95A medium-range maneuverability missile launcher pods originally used in attack craft equipment (special attack/assault specification)
  • or a combination of above load-outs
  • Optional Armament:
  • 2 x external atmospheric combat super parts/conformal fuel tank FAST Pack with 24 x Raytheon Erlikon GH-30B I/IR-guided micro-missiles each (mounted one per leg/engine nacelle); 1 x standard gun pod spare magazine stored in super part
  • 2 x augmentative pylons welded to the conformal fuel tanks of craft's dorsal surface for optional special attack/assault specification
  • 1 x QF-2200A Ghost unmanned fighter equipped with five micro-missile launchers

  • Description and History

    The VF-0S was a variant of the VF-0 built to be utilized by the more experienced commanders of flight groups. While largely identical to the standard VF-0, the "S" variant featured a new head unit with two Mauler laser cannons rather than a single cannon on the "A" variant. In addition, the VF-0S removed the integrated control system's limiters by default allowing skilled pilots to maximize their control of the VF-0S in all modes. Renowned ace pilot Roy Focker piloted a VF-0S during the events surrounding the island of Mayan in 2008. Although only an estimated 4 units of the VF-0S were manufactured, the variable fighter was utilized in a number of sorties and Focker himself piloted several modified variants including a FAST Pack equipped version and the VF-0S Reactive Armor unit.

    NOTE: During development of the Macross game for the Playstation 2, when the VF-0 was being considered for inclusion, it was named "Phoenix" (ultimately, the VF-0 was not included in the game). This "pet name" was then dropped only to reappear in 2008 on the official Macross Frontier website. The Macross Chronicle (2008) has since made the name "Phoenix" official.

    *SPECIAL NOTE: The VF-0 Phoenix and SV-51 lack any comprehensive physical dimensions, only the length of each craft in fighter mode is known (18.69 meters and 22.77 meters respectively). Almost a decade after the Macross Zero animated series (2002-2004), the Macross Chronicle 2E Mechanic Sheet ALL 02A in 2014 published a basic size comparison chart, depicting the VF-0 Battroid as 14.0 meters tall. However, examination of the printed booklet schematics in the Hasegawa 1/72 VF-0 Phoenix plastic model kit reveals that a fighter 18.69 meters long transforms into a battroid roughly 16.25 meters tall. Furthermore, examination of the computer models of the VF-0 Phoenix confirm a similar figure of roughly 16-16.4 meters. The physicial proportions of the VF-0 do not allow for a Battroid below 16 meters tall even assuming the most strict clearances for all joints (neck, hips, knees and feet). The 14.0 meter figure is clearly a very poor guess. Although unofficial, the VF-0 is listed here as 16.25 meters tall until more accurate official trivia is available.

    Production Notes

    Debut: Macross Zero, Episode 1
    Pilot(s): Roy Focker
    Other Appearances: none
    Original mechanical designer: Shoji Kawamori, Junya Ishigaki (cockpit)

    Line Art

  • VF-0S Phoenix head unit details
  • fighter mode interior/exterior cockpit
  • fighter-to-battroid mode interior cockpit
  • battroid mode cockpit details
  • fighter mode cockpit and ejection seat details
  • Information Courtesy of the Macross Compendium: www.macross.anime.net/wiki/Main_Page
    Images From - Macross Zero booklet (from Macross Zero Blu-Ray Set, 2008) and other macross books
    C. Wilson - Writer, Editor and Colorist