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VF-4 Lightning III

 

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Battroid mode

Fighter mode

GERWALK mode

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VF-4 Lightning III

 

General and Technical Data

 

Model number: VF-4
Code name: Lightning III
Unit type: mass production variable fighter
Manufacturer: Stonewell Bellcom
Operator(s): U.N. Spacy; civilians

Rollout: February AD 2012
First deployment: September AD 2012
Accommodation: pilot only, in standard canopy-style cockpit
Dimensions: overall height 5.31 meters (Fighter mode); overall length 16.8 meters (Fighter mode); wingspan 12.65 meters (Fighter mode)
Weight: empty 13.95 metric tons; max gross unknown
Armor materials: space metal material frame; SWAG energy conversion armor
Powerplant: 2 x Shinnakasu Heavy Industry/P&W/Roice FF-2011 thermonuclear reaction turbine engine, power output rating unknown; 2 x ramjet engine
Propulsion: 2 x 14,000 kg (2 x 137.34 kN); many x P&W LHP04 HMM-1A high maneuverability vernier thruster

Performance: Fighter mode: maximum level atmospheric speed at 10,000 meters: Mach 3.02; maximum level atmospheric speed at 30,000+ meters: Mach 5.15

Thrust-to-weight ratio: empty 2.01
Equipment and design features: sensors, range unknown
Fixed armaments: 2 x large beam cannon, mounted on forward engines in Fighter mode and lower arms in GERWALK/Battroid modes; 12 x long-range missile, mounted on engines and ventral fuselage; many x missile, mounted on 2 x underwing pylon
Optional fixed armaments: beam gun pod, stored under main body in Fighter mode, hand-carried in Battroid and GERWALK modes

 

Technical and Historical Notes

 

The VF-4 Lightning III was a mass production second generation variable fighter manufactured by Stonewell Bellcom for U.N. Spacy as the successor to the VF-1A Valkyrie. Its development began in 2005 prior to Space War I, but was delayed due to the total devastation of Earth's surface by the Zentradi. Development resumed after the war, and production commenced in February 2012 following test flights with the prototype VF-X-4. The VF-4 incorporated both OverTechnology and Zentradi technology, as well as a radically different three-hull structure. Because the VF-4 was optimized for space, it had mobility issues when operating in a planetary atmosphere. As a result, the VF-4 was later assigned mainly to space duty, while the VF-5000B Star Mirage became the main atmospheric variable fighter. The VF-4 featured improved fuel capacity and combat performance over the VF-1A. Its armaments included a pair of beam cannons and 12 long-range missiles, but it could also carry a standard gun pod. VF-4s were assigned to the 1st Long-Distance Emigration Fleet led by the SDF-2 Megaroad-01 that launched in September 2012. The VF-4 fully replaced the VF-1A by 2020, and its production run ended in 2022. The VF-4 was replaced by the third generation VF-11 Thunderbolt in 2030, although its service life was extended via the VF-4G, a variant equipped with improved engines.

 

Miscellaneous Information

 

Pilot: Hikaru Ichijyo
Appearances: Macross: Flashback 2012; Super Dimension Fortress Macross (game)
Original mechanical designer: Shoji Kawamori

 

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