ROBOTECH Technical Files
by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Robert Morgenstern


Main Battle Robot MBR-08 Masamune

RDF Seal
Southern Cross Seal
REF Seal
Masamune Main Battle Robot
Mecha Separator

I. Dimensions:

Total Height: 14.9 m
Total Depth: 5.0 m
Total Breadth: 8.2 m
Weight: 23.9 metric tons (dry)
26.7 metric tons (fully loaded).

II. Type:

III. Service History:

IV. Propulsion:

Reserve Generator:
Thrusters for Space Maneuvering:

V. Performance:

VI. Electronics:

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

VII. Armament:

VIII. Armor:

The armor on the Masamune is composed of a standard Chobham laminar developed in the late 20th century and improved with the materials science advances made during the Robotech era. This armor was mainly designed to defeat projectiles and other kinetic weapons. The armor stops all small arms, heavy infantry weapons fire, and light mecha-mounted weaponry, and provides good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie's 55mm APFSDS round, and poor resistance to heavy mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the VHT's 120mm smoothbore shells.

The Masaumne 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 three days maximum.

IX. Development:

Simultaneously with the development of the MBR-04 mk IV Tomahawk, a lighter torso was being designed for the RDF Marines, who were intended to be a more mobile force than the RDF Army. The torso would also be mated with a lighter weapons "backpack" than the Tomahawkthough at this point in the design stage, the idea that the "backpacks" would be interchangeable across mecha, or at least the two MBR designs equipped for them, was still prominent in the designers' minds.

Entering service in 2007, the new torso, the MBR-08 mk I Masamune, was a limited success. Improvements in the torso's leg system led to the mk II, which replaced the mk I as early as 2009. Soon afterwards, the need for heavier firepower was seen, and a new version, the mark III, entered the RDF Marines' ranks alongside the lighter mark II, and was simply a Mark II refit with the Tomahawk weapons "jacket".

In total, relatively few Masamunes were produced. Some three hundred of this mecha served with the RDF Marines through its short lifetime, and even then, many spent their lives on loan to the other branches as aggressor mecha in training exercises. With the disbanding of the RDF Marines, the remaining thirty or so units were used as targets in weapons tests of newer mecha.

Despite their limited numbers and unremarkable history, the Masamune did see some service in the years immediately after the Zentraedi bombardment, attacking groups of Zentraedi who had survived their ships' crash to Earth. Light and fast, this mecha could get in faster than the other main battle Destroids, and was equipped with enough weapons to take on both Zentraedi footsoldiers and battlepods.

Some features of this mecha are particularly noteworthy. Its initial gunpod, the GU-10, though large and unwieldy, served as a working prototype for the lighter and more elegant GU-11 installed on the Valkyrie, and after the GU-11's introduction, the Masamune usually used this pod, or the deadlier GU-12, in lieu of its original gun, even though the capacity was lower. The central direct-fire mortar fired a 120mm shell unique to this mecha. The quad machine-gun emplacement in the head was generally underpowered, though it was useful in a police role against full-sized unarmored Zentraedi, since it was capable of incapacitating without doing lethal damage.

Even in a mixed unit of mk II and mk III units, the Masamune, however, never greatly distinguished itself, since its fast-insertion role was more adequately performed by the Valkyrie, and since it was relatively underarmed when compared to the Tomahawk. Because of this, it was not missed greatly upon its retirement, and has a place little greater than a footnote in the Robotech Wars.

See additional design notes.

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Content by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Rob Morgenstern
HTML by Robert Morgenstern (
Copyright © 2005, 1997, 1995 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker