ROBOTECH Technical Files
by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker


Macross class Border Fleet Battlefortress
Macross class Super Dimensional Fortress

RDF Seal Robotech Masters
Macross-class Battlefortress
Naval Separator

Names and disposition:

The first 12 ships were built at the Tirol Orbital Shipyards and entered service from 1979 through 1983.

One half sister of this class (SDF-2 Odyssey) was built using reverse-engineering from the SDF-1 using many local components by the Terrans in the Luna base shipyards from 2005-2014.

Ship's Complement:

(Sian Macross class, c. 1995):
(SDF-1 Macross, 2011):


Length: 1210m over all
Height: for the main hull,
312m over the command tower.
Width : 339 m over all for Tirolian ships,
496m withr the added carriers for the Terran refit.
Mass : 18,000,000 metric tons, operational (typical)
Fuel Mass : 1,980,000 metric tons, maximum (typical)
Macross - Top & Bottom Views

Propulsion Systems:

Note: Due to the many different designations used (Tirolian, Terran-refit and Terran-new construction (SDF-2)) for the same components, only the Terran-new construction names and designations will be used for ease of reading. Where appropriate, the Tirolian designations will be added between brackets.

Sian Macross by Matt Willis

Endurance and mobility limits:

SDF-1 Macross in Storm Attacker Mode by Matt Willis

Weapon Systems:

(Tirolian ships)
SDF-1 Macross Missile Turrets and Destroid defense
(Terran ships)
SDF-1 Macross firing Reflex Missiles
(SDF-1 only)

Electronics Systems:

Air Group and Mecha Complement:

(Border Fleet):
SDF-1 Macross by Matt Willis
(SDF-1 Macross in 2009)

Design Notes:

Around the mid 1970s, the main ships of the Border Fleet, the Sian Dereta class battlefortresses, were requiring increasing amounts of maintenance due to the relative age of their components. Many general fleet designs were even older, but those ships operated in close proximity to repair and refit stations, and the maintenance requirements could be met. The Border Fleet required a new run of ships, preferably from an updated design. The result was the Macross class battlefortress.

The Macross-class was designed by the Tirolian design bureau also responsible for the design of the Tou Salaam exploration cruiser and the Assault Carrier. As such, the design shared several features with the former craft, but it also had a large number of unique features. Among the features the Macross battlefortresses had in common with their older brethren were the reaction engines, which were more angular looking, the micronian-sized command spaces located in a tower-structure above the main part of the vessel, and a more 'non-organic feel' to the rest of the ship. However, the basic hull morphology and internal arrangement clearly showed its descent from the Sian Dereta class that had come before it.

Macross - Side View

The Macross-class vessels were of a modular design; the ship was made from ten main sections. The central section, called the main hull, was the main connection point for the rest of the modules. Inside the main hull were the fold drives, as well as a number of main compartments: four Tirolian-sized crewdecks, four Zentraedi-sized crewdecks, and three large holds that contained machinery and cargo space. The two engine sections (aka "legs") naturally contained the reaction engines, the reaction mass supplies, Reflex furnaces and such, all stored in ten large holds, five per leg. It was also here that the manufacturing centers were located, as Border Fleet ships operated at the end of very long supply lines, and were thus required to be as self-sufficient as possible. The fabrication installations could, given sufficient raw material, construct any spare component as well as expendables and even small numbers of replacement mecha. The RDF especially benefited from this, particularly during the Pluto-Earth voyage of the Macross. However, the production lines on board were not geared for mass production, as some have speculated, and wore out very fast if used for this purpose.

Forward of the engine blocks on either side of the main hull were the main vertical thruster sections, to which the main gun sections and outboard hangar/rail gun sections attached. The main armament was built into the two forward sections of the ship. These two booms would not open up vertically, as had been the case with the original Reflex Cannons, but horizontally. The outer sections of these cannon booms remained upright during the firing maneuver, and it was in the outer hull layers of these sections that the secondary mecha launch bays of the ship were placed. The main landing bays, though, were located in the large sponsons, which also mounted the rail guns. The final section of the vessel was the command citadel, which was located on the rear dorsal of the main hull. The ships sported a command tower on top of the citadel, in which the main bridge and CIC were located; the Terran design for this tower came from the ship's computer, as the original command tower of the SDF-1 had mysteriously been ejected sometime between the death of Zor and its arrival on Earth.

The armament of the Macross-class was the heaviest ever mounted on a ship of its size. The Reflex Cannon was by far the most powerful that ever put to space. The only installation more powerful was the Terran Grand Cannon built in Alaska in the early 2000s. In addition, the Macross-class vessels carried eight heavy anti-ship cannons, more than on the larger Queadol Magdomilla. On top of these systems, two experimental weapon systems were built into the design, though more for testing purposes than for operational deployment. Four rail guns were mounted on the shoulder joints, and a medium particle cannon was installed on the most forward part of the main hull. The particle turret systems were improved on the Zentraedi Battlecruisers by mounting three cannons together in a more heavily armored housing. Sixteen of these turrets were mounted, giving the class the firepower of the far larger Thuverl Salan cruiser. The class also carried a standard torpedo and defensive missile fit.

One of the most remarkable features of the Macross class was that they could reconfigure their layout. The engine sections could telescope outward to the rear, the cannon booms could rotate to the sides, and originally the main hull could rotate 90 degrees downward. This was designed so as to make maximum use of the modularity, as it simplified repairs immensely because of the better accessibility of the various sections, and it also made it possible to replace entire sections if needed. However, it soon became clear that the 90 degree main hull rotation would leave the structural strength of the ship suspect. Originally this was acceptable, since the transformation was only meant for spacedock, but later it was decided that field-repairs and refits should be possible, and the hull was refitted to rotate 180 degrees, and reconnect to the engines for increased power and stability in repair configuration. Because of the loss of the fold-system in the Terran refit Macross, and the associated loss of conduit connecting the main guns to the engines, this configuration, redubbed as the 'Attack mode', was maintained for most of her operational life.


The Sian Macross class was designed as the new backbone ship class of the Border Fleet squadrons, and was the most modern (and also last) design in the Zentraedi and Border Fleet lineages.

The first vessel of the class, the Macross, was completed on schedule in August 1979. As originally planned, this class would have twelve prototype vessels by 1983, and be in full series production in 1988. An initial run of 25,000 ships was planned. However, as the Robotech Empire became more and more drained of protoculture resources, the plans for series production had to be put off indefinitely. Consequently, the twelve prototypes have remained the only Tirolian ships of this class, and the program never moved out of its experimental phase, with the ships never reaching the intended users.

Some prototype ships were then given to VIPs for use as their personal craft, and also some special forces combat groups made use of one of these rare vessels. In 1982 the class suffered its first loss, when a Tirolian diplomatic flotilla was attacked and destroyed completely by unidentified forces, although the Disciples of Zor were the (usual) suspects. A Tirolian Governor had been traveling in the Lugmor, and the ship was lost in the engagement. The Aippa was lost next, after being hit by a kinetic projectile fired from a mass-driver on the moon of an indentured planet. While the ship did survive, it was considered a constructional total loss. The records do not reveal the fate of the race responsible.

Then came the greatest blow to the Empire. By 1995 the name vessel of the class, the Macross, had been converted into a vessel specially suited for Zor's seeding attempts on other planets, seedings that were the only source of protoculture for the Empire. Consequently, a large Zentraedi force had been assigned to guard Zor and his ship, which carried the last fertile seeds of the Flower of Life in existence. However, Zor had managed to modify his ship, replacing much of the Tirolian crew, apart from a Bioroid and Clone soldier detachment specially assigned to guard him and a skeleton crew, with Zentraedi. Using their gullibility towards advanced technological items, he had also placed the AI computer Eve (also sometimes rendered as Ih'va) on board, disguised as the ship's main computer. This gave him almost total control over the ship. By means unknown and for reasons unknown he had located the homeworld of the Terragen races (Earth) and instructed the computer to travel there -- without him or his crew.

Macross-class Battlefortress

During an Invid raid in 1999, Zor was killed, taking the secrets of protoculture replenishment with him to the grave. The Macross, controlled by Eve, mysteriously ejected the command tower and folded for parts unknown to the Masters. A faint fold trace detected by the hyperspace sensors on one of the Motherships could only give the roughest indication of distance and direction, but a huge Zentraedi armada was sent after it, or more precisely, after its seeds and secrets, as soon as possible. As is widely known, the Macross did make it to Earth, where it crash-landed. Because Zor's Tirolian escort died with him, there were no Bioroids or Assault Carriers on board the wreck, and these weapons would therefore give the Southern Cross a nasty shock 30 years later. The exploits of the SDF-1, as the ship was later named, are well known, as is its destruction on the eighth of January, 2014.

In 2005, The Nezium went missing after a standard fold operation. Nothing has ever been heard of her since. The Nasices was cannibalized for protoculture in 2015 by the fleet of the Masters, prior to their sublight trip to Earth. Efforts to locate the completely undamaged hulk have so far proven fruitless, but it is known that she is somewhere in a radius of 23 lightyears from Earth. In the early 2020s, the prototypes started running out of protoculture. The Ronarak crashed on a remote planet, and most of her mass was vaporized during atmospheric entry, while the rest fell into an acidic ocean and was soon dissolved. More spectacular was the fall of the Eicass, which crashed on an inhabited alien planet, but unlike the SDF-1 was destroyed. The Badeval went missing under circumstances like the Nezium's, but the educated guess is that her generators failed in mid-fold. The five of the remaining ships, Noziroh, Splaney, Baslits and Raflawem were destroyed during the Invid advances into the Tirolian Empire. They fell to the Invid in systems close to the Empire's core, after their fold engines had become inoperable due to low generator performance.

The Terrans, in an attempt to increase their fleets, designed another Macross-class vessel, based upon their reconstructions of the Macross. Construction started on Earth's moon, and in 2014 the ship was completed and transferred to Earth orbit to take on crew and supplies. However, in Khyron's surprise attack both Terran SDFs were destroyed, the SDF-2 by a surprise attack while in orbit over Macross City.

See additional design notes.

Return to Tirolian Naval index.

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Content by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker
3D Artwork by Matt Willis
HTML by Robert Morgenstern (
Copyright © 2003, 1999 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker