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By AARON SKETCHLEY ( Ver 1.0 2012.11.25

Great Mechanics.DX 12: MPM Vol.1 VF Option Packs
Hoshi, Keisuke. "MPM Vol 1: VF Option Packs." Great Mechanics.DX 12. Tokyo: Futabashi Co., Mar. 2010.

Table of Contents

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A new project!
MPM - Macross Pinpoint Mechanics, a short-term concentrated serialization

Vol.1 VF Option Packs
MPM (Macross Pinpoint Mechanics), which starts from this issue, is a new section that takes note of the sub-mechanics that appear in the "Macross" world. This first time features Option Packs, the flourish of a VF's silhouette.

Increased Speed Options
The option parts that extend the cruising range and increase speed, which are the eternal challenges of a VF, are the most important option parts prepared for the majority of VFs. However, the handling varies to a certain extent depending on the VF, and conversely speaking, by assessing the increased speed options, it's possible to guess that VF's characteristics.

VF-0 Ghost Booster
A Ghost was installed on the fuselage of the VF-0 in order to improve its manoeuvrability. Although it was given the name "Ghost Booster", it's not an original specification, but something that was hurriedly produced on the spot. More tricky manoeuvrability could be carried out by jointly using the Ghost's variable nozzle, to say nothing of the simple improvement in speed. However, coupled with the nervous control of the base VF-0, the Ghost Booster demanded strong skills in the pilot.

SV-51 Twin Boosters
With two large supplemental boosters installed on the upper part of the SV-51's main wings, it was also possible to install missile pods on the wing-tip hard-points at the same time. Although it won in engine output compared to the VF-0, there was also the nuance that there was an increase in fuel that could be used for dog fights and extending the cruising range.

VF-1 Super Packs
Although the VF-1 uses a thermonuclear jet engine to its heart's desire, the thrust attained by the first engines put into practical use was still small. Also, because the size in Battroid too closely matched that of the Zentraadi people, it's size as a fighter (space fighter) became, frankly, too small and the space for loading propellant also decreased. The Super Packs are option parts that compensate for the problems such as speed and cruising range, and it can be said that in outer space, when equipped with this Super Pack, only the flight abilities are those of the "VF-1 itself". Moreover, the idea of supplementing insufficient factors with option packs became a standard one in the development of the successor VFs.


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VF-11 Super Packs
The VF-11 is the successor craft to the VF-1, and it also has Super Packs installed in a way close to that of the VF-1. However, the VF-11's option packs attempt to more closely match the fuselage, compared to the VF-1's, which were enlarged to an unnatural degree. In other words, although the changes from the Super Parts were necessary to add as much as the Super Parts do, those changes were small, and can be seen as evidence that an optimization of the base airframe concept was attempted, rather than any benefit from the technical side.

The Specifications that Go Against Tradition
The VF-11 that participated in the YF-21's evaluation test had rocket boosters installed on the top and bottom of the fuselage in order to follow the YF-21. However, even with the rocket boosters they were not able to follow the YF-21, which didn't have any optional equipment. The difference showed how much the YF-21's mobility stood out from the VF-11's.

VF-17 Super Packs
In the age where active stealth technology hadn't been established, the VF-17 was an aircraft that pursued passive stealth with the fuselage's shape. For that reason, optional equipment that reduced the passive stealthiness due to changes in the aircraft's shape were basically held back. It is possible to improve the VF-17's performance by improving the interior of the fuselage, as there is surplus space within the aircraft; which is what possibly ties it to the development of the VF-171.

YF-19 FAST Packs
Because the YF-19 has a very high manoeuvrability to begin with, the FAST packs were ones that provided a degree of increase. However, two large Booster Units were installed on the top of the fuselage in the subsequent VF-19S, and they were the usual style of option pack. The YF-19's dangerous degree of mobility was restrained when it was made into the mass-production VF-19. The VF-19's booster units may have been made because of the voices of those who were dissatisfied thinking about those restraints.

YF-21 FAST Packs
The YF-21's FAST Packs are similar to the YF-19's compact ones, and they have a particular method of mounting, which is akin to covering the airframe's underside. Therefore, the upper surface of the aircraft doesn't change from the normal specification, and it's possible to install a fold booster there, too (the fold booster is also the same as the YF-19's). Because the manoeuvres of the normal specification can produce Gs that exceed even the limits of a Zentraadi body, the role of the FAST Packs are mainly as increases that extend the cruising range.

VF-25 Super Packs
The Super Packs differ from the Super Parts of the VF series until now (the formal name for the VF-25's are not FAST Packs, but Super Packs), and they feature an outward appearance that takes the form of being mounted on the main wings. As optional equipment, the boosters in the VF-25's Super Parts attempt to solve the problem of becoming dead-weight after their propellant is used up, by requiring them to be disposable with a simple structure. Despite that, each part in the Super Pack has a degree of bullet-resistance, and the VF-25's survival rate has been improved with them. Moreover, by using the energy of the thermonuclear engines, which are the VF-25's main engines, the Super Parts attain a performance that's greater than that of a normal chemical rocket, and they can be used for a longer time for jet propulsion.

Caption: An acceleration rate near that of 30 G's is realized when the aircraft is at its lightest, just before the propellant is used up.


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Additional Armour System Options
Even though fire power and defensive capabilities have been improved, the Armoured Equipment loses the merits of a "Variable" Fighter. At first, armour systems can be assessed as having the prerequisite that they be purged after firing and exhausting their ammunition. However, the VF-25's armour is compatible with the transformation mechanism, and as it strengthens the VF-25's functions, purging was no longer necessary with it. However, the VF-25's Armour Pack chooses the user, in addition to having an extremely large cost.

VF-0 Reactive Armour
Even though the VF-0 was equipped with Energy Conversion Armour from the start, Reactive Armour was prepared for it as a physical armour increase. Only Battroid form can be equipped with it (at first), and it's possible to say that the Reactive Armour materialized so that Battroid form, which wasn't able to take evasive actions like the fighter form, was able to handle land warfare armaments.

Caption: Strengthened the Fire Power

VF-1 Armoured Pack
Although the basic lines of the Armour Pack can only be installed in Battroid form, just like the VF-0, the VF-1's Armour Pack displays an even greater increase on the firepower side, starting with the shoulder micro-missiles. Although the reactive armour feature was discontinued in the VF-1's Armour Pack, this can be considered a reflection of the VF-0 not having that great a usefulness to begin with.

Caption: Made into something even more heavily armed

VF-11 Armoured Pack
The VF-11 Armoured Pack has such things as two, 2-barrel beam guns, in addition to micro-missiles. Besides the expected improvements in firepower, it's defensive capabilities are also improved by using a shield, which wasn't on the VF-0. In addition, revived reactive armour functions were incorporated into this shield. It is a complete change when compared to the stylishness of the VF-11's FAST Packs, and even among the successive generations of VFs, the VF-11's Armour Pack is an especially heavily armed and heavily armoured specification.

Caption: Made with a high performance up to the limits of the pilot.

VF-25 Armoured Pack
Being able to transform while equipped with armoured parts is the part that has evolved the largest from the Armoured Packs up until now. Moreover, it has an extremely high defensive capability because it has a large energy capacitor that enables the use of the pinpoint barrier in not only Battroid form, but also GERWALK and Fighter forms. However, as it's amount of great features come at a great cost of money, only some pilots are permitted to operate it.

Balanced styles that are prepared for both flight and attack
The VF-1 Strike Pack was made to unite the great-acceleration and high speed of the Super Parts with a strengthening of the armaments with a high-powered shooting weapon. One can say that the VF-1's successors, the VF-25 Tornado Pack and VF-171EX, also have this concept. Additionally, something that such specifications as the Strike and Tornado Packs have in common is their extremely high price. It might be due to that reason that there are few VFs that use such packs.

Captions: VF-1 Strike Pack, VF-25 Tornado Pack, VF-171EX


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Fold Boosters
One of the requirements of the AVF Project was for VF's to be capable of making a fold independently. The option to implement that requirement is the Fold Booster. It was an evolution that demanded greater range, safety and highly precise fold capabilities in the fold booster.

VF-17 Fold Booster
Even though the VF-17 is an aircraft from before the AVF Project, after it was given updates, it was able to make a fold. Although the way the booster is installed on the upper surface of the airframe greatly harms the passive stealthiness of the VF-17, it hardly became a problem, because after fold-out, the booster is purged (the fold is conducted from a safe zone).

YF-19 Fold Booster
A booster for acquiring the fold function that originated in the AVF Project. Due to miniaturization, it's functions are limited, and even though it cannot make a long-range fold like a space ship (it's limited to about 20 light years), it is still an epoch-making option that greatly enlarged the operations and tactics of the VFs. In addition, the YF-21, which was the opponent in the [AVF] competition, also had an identical fold booster unit installed on it. Reliability and stability were improved in the following VF-19 era.

Caption: Overcoming Fold Faults

VF-25 Fold Booster
It is able to clear the Fold Faults that obstruct folds. In addition, it is a next-generation fold booster that doesn't produce a time difference before and after the fold. It's very likely that the fold booster is an original technology from the Frontier Fleet (L.A.I. Co. is the manufacturer), and the booster isn't equipment that's generally available at the present time. VFs aren't the only craft that operate it; and it is equipment that has the potential of causing a reform to space emigration itself.

The Aegis Pack, which is pretty much exclusively used equipment
The Early-Warning Aegis Pack has existed since the age of the VF-1. As specialized avionics disposed to early-warning are prepared in the VF and as it is also necessary for the pilot to be skilled in the equipment's operation, the Aegis Pack equipment is fundamentally fixed equipment, even though it has been given the name "Pack".

Acoustical Options
There were many times when music caused an effect (in the history of Macross), beginning with such aliens as the Zentraadi and the Protodevilun. However, the published history of the use of acoustical equipment as proactive items of VF optional equipment is unexpectedly shallow. The technical level is likely to become a problem in improving such things as the method of and conversion efficiency in transforming song into "energy".

VF-17 Sound Booster, VF-11MAXL Kai Sound Booster, VF-19Kai Sound Booster
These are options that were able to be made by observing the great effect that music had against the Protodevilun. They have the function of converting the power of song and emitting it as Song Energy. Because of this, song is "heard" even within a vacuum. The Sound Boosters were mainly installed on the custom VFs that the members of "Sound Force" board (however, the members didn't appear to consider them to be "armaments"). In addition, it was also possible to have both a Sound Booster and Fold Booster installed at the same time.

VF-25 Fold Speakers
The speakers are installed on the hard-points of the main wings. Although they appear to be normal speakers, they convert song into fold waves that they emit. Because of this, they have the function where even opponents who are in places without atmosphere or at ranges that a normal speaker cannot reach are able to hear the "song". Also, they can project images in the air.


© Aaron Sketchley