ROBOTECH Technical Files
by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen


AF-5 Pirate Space Fighter (A, T)

Southern Cross Seal
Aircraft Separator

I. Dimensions:

Total Length: 10.4 m
Total Height: 3.1 m
Total Wingspan: 10.2 m
Total Dry Weight: 7.5 metric tons

II. Type:

III. Service History:

IV. Propulsion:

V. Performance:

VI. Electronics:

While the electronics suites of these vehicles differed with their respective dates of operational service, all electronics were regularly updated, and during the Second Robotech War the following standard was in use:

Radar tracking:
Optical tracking:
Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

VII. Armament:

VIII. Armor:

The skin of the Pirate is composed of an advanced titanium-steel alloy. The skin stops all small arms fire, provides fair protection against heavier infantry weapons, such as a 12.7mm machinegun round, and poor resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round.

The Pirate provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using an overpressure cockpit environment activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere for one day maximum.

IX. Development:

The creation of two new space fleets for the Robotech Defense Forces, the REF Navy and the ASC Tactical Space Corps, led to the desire to procure a new generation of fighters to base on the capital ships. Each branch chose two classes of combat aircraft: a heavy strike fighter (the Vulture and Chimera), and a light interceptor. Where the REF Navy used the well-pedigreed Lightning, the ASC-TSC opted for a non-transformable aircraft, to save on money, and because at the time the Battloid mode was thought to be superfluous in space. Introduced in 2018, the AF-5 Pirate was a very light-weight space fighter, with limited armament of two lasers, but the craft was extremely fast, maneuverable and capable of high accelerations. It was constructed from a center body with two very large engine pods at the side. The lasers were mounted in a laser turret under the main fuselage, and the plane was, like the REF's AF-3 Bat, reminiscent of the Lightning.

The AF-5 Pirate never saw wide action, as it was employed almost entirely during peacetime. The Pirate began to be replaced as early as 2026 by the VF-8 Logan, because the of the change of heart in the ASC's Department of Aerospace Operations with regard to the utility of space-based Veritechs. Some Pirates did go up against the Masters in the earliest days of the Second Robotech War, but were completely withdrawn from service by 2030.

Some reports indicate the existence of a variant of the Pirate, of which only a single prototype existed, that sacrificed most of the plane's internal reaction mass storage for the inclusion of a Space Hargun as an escape vehicle. This prototype was reportedly used, and destroyed, during the defeat of B.D. Andrews and his unsuccessful coup and assassination attempt on Minister Donald Embry in Tokyo, just before the arrival of the Robotech Masters.

Pirate Cockpit View:Pirate Cockpit Thumbnail

See additional design notes.

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Content by Pieter Thomassen and Peter Walker
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Copyright © 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker