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Sulendil Ang

"Laser" Technology in Macross Universe

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One more random comment on beam/laser weapons in Macross: realism aside, they don't fire and hit at the same moment of time. If anything, there are many times that they have appeared the same as fired bullets.

Yes, there are some laser or ray guns that appear to shoot and hit (or miss) at the same moment, such as the Ghost X-9 in M+.

Anyhow... me thinks the gun pod works best because it is an independant weapon, with it's own internal power supply and ammunition. If worse comes to worse, it can also be dropped. Perhaps for these factors, as well as other ones mentioned, it is the "main weapon".

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Reason for Gunpods

1. A hand held weapon can be used by any valk. So if one valk is empty and his buddy gets cannonfoddered he can grab the still intact gunpod from the wreackage and continue to fight.

2. The technology has to be insanely cheap and reliable by 2050. Don't fix what isn't broken.

3. The physics of dense mass hitting something at high speed can never really be fully protected against.

4. Energy weapons on the other hand can be shield against and or disapaited

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To add into the confusion, the only VF that are truly dedicated to "laser" weaponry is VF-4, and no other VF was built with that concept ever since.

So, what happened? Does "laser" techs are more inefficient than what we have think of?

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I though it was an unspoken rule that when we're discussing directed-energy weapons versus fiction, we're discussing practical, field usable weapons like those in Macross, not the impractical versions we have today. Yes, we have lasers and particle beams today, but they can't work like those of a Valkyrie. Again, this is not to say they don't have any disadvantages AT ALL, only that fictional laser/beam weapons of Macross are just advanced enough to attain practicality over current technology.

Also, if real life concerns aren't an issue analyzing "fictional" Macross laser/beam weapons, why are some holding Macross ballistics to a different standard? If laser/beam weapons are held to a standard, so must ballistics and more importantly, ballistics must be afforded equal suspension of disbelief. There is no analytical standard that applies to one weapon type without applying to the other.

Like I said, if ballistic weapons are still viable in Macross (which they are, based on continued use), it's obviously because laser/beam weapons are NOT superior in every performance benchmark. That should go without saying. Perhaps some magical, Star Trek/Star Wars-like energy weapons are superior in every way to ballistic weapons (that would explain why they don't use ballistics). But this is Macross, where laser/beam weapons obviously don't enjoy such deus ex machina.

In Macross, analysis begins from the point at which ballistics and energy weapons are equally practical weapons. Same thing with Fold drives or transforming valkyries. We work from the assumption that these technologies exist, are viable and practical. This doesn't make them magically deficient from any draw back, it only sets a POINT OF PLAUSIBILITY. We start from there and attempt to describe WHY they work. Banging our heads against the fictional laws of Macross world gets us nowhere, IMO. If we don't accept the point of plausbility, then we simply demolish the foundations of the Macross fiction. At that point we cease explaining why it DOES work and instead explain why it DOESN'T work. For my part, I'm not interested in why the Macross fiction doesn't work; I already know that. I'm interested in imagining why it does work and reconciling the fiction within itself.

Edited by Mr March

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For a starting point, let us analysis VF-4, the only VF that is dedicated to the beam weaponry. Since no VF produced after VF-4 used the same concept as VF-4, I think we can start to research why UNS stopped producing similiar VF. Perhaps VF-4 had underperformed and "laser" tech is actually less useful in combat then UNS previously thought. Perhaps VF-4 that carries the old GU-11 gunpod of VF-1 can performed even better than those VF-4 who didn't bring one. :p

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I've often thought about that and my own personal theory why big beam weapons were not embraced was due to prohibitive weight.

The VF-4 Lightning III is a beast at some 13.95 tons, the heaviest main variable fighter ever (afaik). I think it's likely they abandoned large beam weapons because they were too heavy. The variable fighter that ended up replacing the VF-4 Lightning III was the VF-5000 Star Mirage, a very light weight fighter by comparison (8.3 tons) and without beam weapons. After the VF-5000 Star Mirage, the designers stayed with light weight variable craft and the VF-11 Thunderbolt was built weighing only 9.0 tons, again without beam weapons. The YF-19/VF-19 Excalibur and YF-21/VF-22 Sturmvogel II lines also followed suit weighing 8.75 tons and 9.55 tons, respectively (it's also important to note that the YF-21/VF-22 uses larger beam cannons in the arms). The VF-17 Nightmare is the one exception to light weight fighters, weighing 11.85 tons and it's considered a "heavy" battroid/fighter.

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I've often thought about that

Yeah, me too. Guess great minds thinks alike. :p

The way I see it, I guess VF-4 maybe is a good example why no heavy beam weaponry was adopted in the later production. It may just proved to be too cumbersome to use, and its kill ratio probably almost as same, if not worse, than VF-1's GU-11 gunpod, which VF-4 can used. I just hope we can see VF-4 in action, even if it's only on the Zero version of All That VF.

BTW, when you say "without beam weapon", I take it as in "no other beam weapons except the obvious head turret", since all VF, including VF-11 and VF-5000, carry at least one beam weapon. The only exception is VA-3, but looking at its primary function as an attacker, I think it did no harm to VA-3 for not carrying a single beam weapon. :)

EDIT: Wow, I felt like opening this topic is just like having opened a big forbidden can of worms... :p

Edited by Sulendil Ang

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I don't see why beams are particularly heavy in Macross though.

For instance, the valkyries still have the beam cannon turrets. Sometimes even four of them. The Ghost X-9 is small, extremely agile, packs a full load of micromissiles and has 6 laser cannons as the primary armament. Both the YF-19 and the YF-21 have the root lasers (and are shown using them... this is one instance in M+ where lasers are shown like lasers). And then there's the compact laser cannon that's optional for the VF-17. Much of it is the capacitors and even that isn't that large.

I still think it's a matter of versatility. Valkyries are the epitome of that and since gunpods are self-contained units it doesn't really hurt too much to include them. Valkyries have external hardpoints anyway and it's only a few valkyries like the 17 and the 21/22 that have internally stored gunpods.

Edited by ChronoReverse

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In Macross, the creators always distinguish between "Laser Cannon" and "Beam Gun", so when I say "Beam Weapon" I'm talking strickly about non-Laser directed-energy weapons. The most popular type of "beam weapon" in Macross seems to be the converging energy beam gun.

Sulendil Ang

I suppose the VF-4 Lightining III isn't the best example since it is a variable fighter without head cannons :)

Still, this is good discussion. It helps me collect my thoughts about the Macross fiction.

ChronoReverse

Make sure to read my note above.

I agree with your point 100%. I do beleive the Valkyries utilize the the ballistic/energy/missile armament simply because it's incredibly versatile. While each weapon can be equally lethal to the majority of targets, it's likely each weapon is designed for use in an environment/situation where it is more advantageous than the other weapons.

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Anti-Vajra E.S.A. Munitions

Specialized projectiles that improve the penetrating power of the standard Valkyrie against heavy armor. These munitions were first utilized by the SMS Forces just prior to the second major engagement with the Vajra in 2059 as a measure against the nearly invulnerable energy converting armor of the large Vajra units. The acronym E.S.A. stands for Electronic Safe and Arm.

At first I thought: "where did I skip that?", but after some research I see you just used an existing RL acronym for initials whose meaning is yet undefined. Sorry, but I don't think these missiles defeated Vajra only because they had superior fuzes :p

I though it was an unspoken rule that when we're discussing directed-energy weapons versus fiction, we're discussing practical, field usable weapons like those in Macross, not the impractical versions we have today. Yes, we have lasers and particle beams today, but they can't work like those of a Valkyrie. Again, this is not to say they don't have any disadvantages AT ALL, only that fictional laser/beam weapons of Macross are just advanced enough to attain practicality over current technology.

Another thing to consider is that in Macross there is technology that maybe not have a RL equivalent. Probably Valkyries have countermeasures against heat based weapons. After all they can reentry athmosphere on their own.

As for RL current progress to utilize as a benchmark, here is what Wikipedia says about the AirBorn Laser:

The ABL does not burn through or disintegrate its target. It heats the missile skin, weakening it, causing failure from high speed flight stress.

Somehow that makes Valkyries' lasers more impressive, for the moment :lol:

FV

Edited by Final Vegeta

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At first I thought: "where did I skip that?", but after some research I see you just used an existing RL acronym for initials whose meaning is yet undefined. Sorry, but I don't think these missiles defeated Vajra only because they had superior fuzes :p

I didn't make it up; it's a translation. Whether or not it's accurate, I don't know. I'm at the mercy of the subtitles like most everyone else.

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I've often thought about that and my own personal theory why big beam weapons were not embraced was due to prohibitive weight.

The VF-4 Lightning III is a beast at some 13.95 tons, the heaviest main variable fighter ever (afaik). I think it's likely they abandoned large beam weapons because they were too heavy. The variable fighter that ended up replacing the VF-4 Lightning III was the VF-5000 Star Mirage, a very light weight fighter by comparison (8.3 tons) and without beam weapons. After the VF-5000 Star Mirage, the designers stayed with light weight variable craft and the VF-11 Thunderbolt was built weighing only 9.0 tons, again without beam weapons. The YF-19/VF-19 Excalibur and YF-21/VF-22 Sturmvogel II lines also followed suit weighing 8.75 tons and 9.55 tons, respectively (it's also important to note that the YF-21/VF-22 uses larger beam cannons in the arms). The VF-17 Nightmare is the one exception to light weight fighters, weighing 11.85 tons and it's considered a "heavy" battroid/fighter.

you're making a big assumption that the weight is due solely on the beam weapons... there's a correlation but no evidence of causality.

Anyways, you guys are missing one huge advantage a laser main weapon affords... staying power. With unlimited ammunition, a valks time on the battlefield isn't limited to the valk's ability to deliver ordinance but on the pilot's endurance. This makes actions like sending in a squad behind enemy lines much more feasible since they don't have to worry as much about conserving ammunition or attempting to resupply.

As for not giving ballistics the benefit of the doubt... who says I'm not? I completely accept the fact that the ammunition in macross can be reconfigured in the span of a couple of days to be able to become 100% effective against armor/materials that they were 0% effective against earlier. I even accept that they have some sort of magic auto calibration system that works 100% of the time they mount and unmount the gunpod (the phantom's gunpod was magnificently inaccurate at first)... remember, given the distances involved, something like .05 degree off alignment could have a HUGE effect on the trajectory of the rounds, spray or no spray... And I still fail to see how any spray at point of origin is going to mean a better chance to hit the target at range, as a tiny deviation at the start of the trajectory would mean that the round travels meters off target.

given a valk's ability to remain light weight and carry shield emiiters which have been shown to be energy intensive and be able to use those PPB for extended duration, I see no reason why a similarly lightweight power source couldn't be used for beam weaponry. And who says a laser weapon can't be in the form of a gunpod? All you need is a power coupling in the grip or better, an onboard power source.

Also, if you want to talk about versitility, a laser weapon that can dynamically shift its frequency would be very useful for burning down different targets.

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I think the *real* reason that the VF-4 is so heavy, is it's built in rocket boosters. Them, and their fuel probably weigh something much.

But it is interesting that after the VF-4, beam weapons have been returned to secondary weapon statis. I think those mentioning power consumption are on the right track for explaining why.

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I didn't make it up; it's a translation. Whether or not it's accurate, I don't know. I'm at the mercy of the subtitles like most everyone else.

Subtitles? Of which group? I downloaded gattai for ep. 06.

"Anti-ESA" is mentioned at 18:14. It is recognizable in the dialogue amidst Japanese words. No explanation for the acronym is given neither in the dialogue nor in the screen.

Also, now that I think better... these are anti-ESA ammo, so it's anti-Electronic Safe and Arm. Now you can see how it sounds silly.

You can ask translators to help you check this thing, but I advise you not to expect something different from what I told you.

FV

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I even accept that they have some sort of magic auto calibration system that works 100% of the time they mount and unmount the gunpod (the phantom's gunpod was magnificently inaccurate at first)... remember, given the distances involved, something like .05 degree off alignment could have a HUGE effect on the trajectory of the rounds, spray or no spray... And I still fail to see how any spray at point of origin is going to mean a better chance to hit the target at range, as a tiny deviation at the start of the trajectory would mean that the round travels meters off target.

Wikipedia can give you some useful information in the page of the ABL:

The ABL system uses infrared sensors for initial missile detection. After initial detection, three low power tracking lasers calculate missile course, speed, an aimpoint, and air turbulence. Air turbulence deflects and distorts the laser beam. The ABL adaptive optics use the turbulence measurement to compensate for atmospheric errors.

Fact: not even a laser can fire without adjustments.

FV

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That's only because real-life lasers can't sustain fire or fire repeatedly quickly. Thus the first pulse is the only pulse you get and you BETTER hit.

With Macross lasers which are fired really really fast, you just swing the laser a bit if it's off-target.

Plus if you're in space, that doesn't even apply.

Also, if you have a powerful enough laser, it could pretty much evict the air between it and its target.

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That's only because real-life lasers can't sustain fire or fire repeatedly quickly. Thus the first pulse is the only pulse you get and you BETTER hit.

Read the page I gave you, at least :p

The main laser, located in a turret on the aircraft nose, is fired for 3 to 5 seconds.

Current plans call for each 747 to carry enough laser fuel for about 20 shots, or perhaps as many as 40 low-power shots against fragile TBMs

With Macross lasers which are fired really really fast, you just swing the laser a bit if it's off-target.

Isn't this the same thing you do with the gunpod? :rolleyes:

Wasn't the aim and instant shot down the advantage of the laser over the gunpod? :rolleyes:

Also, if you have a powerful enough laser, it could pretty much evict the air between it and its target.

The athmosphere always weakens every kind of beam. I still haven't heard of a way to make air disappear.

FV

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eugimon

Good, that means the point got through :)

Regarding the VF-4 weight, believe me, I’ve considered it. But additional engine weight doesn’t track, at least IMO.

The Macross valkyries follow real world aircraft specifications much like the Gundams follow real world tank specifications. Turbofans weigh around 2-4 tons each, so that’d be an extra 4-8 tons of weight. Even if Valkyrie engines are half or one-third the weight of real world engines, the math still doesn’t work (at 13.95 tons, the VF-4 is only 700 kilograms heavier than the VF-1 at 13.25 tons). We also know that the VF-4 is 35% VF-1 parts, meaning weight ratios for the VF-1 and VF-4 would be similar more often than not.

Most likely, the two upper VF-4 engines are Battroid mode thrusters, similar to the VF-1 Battroid tri-thruster “backpack” (an assumption that agrees with the placement of those two thrusters, found on the “back” of the VF-4 Battroid).

Now, I agree it’s possible all valkyrie engines might weigh under one-third of a ton, but I think it’s more likely the upper two engines on the VF-4 serve the same function as the VF-1 backpack thrusters. I also find it unlikely that valkyrie main engines weigh as much as the average refrigerator. I think Kawamori probably had real turbofans in mind when he wrote statistics for the VF-1 Valkyrie.

So I figured the more likely component on the VF-4 that would account for the weight is the beam cannons, all other factors being equal (excluding the lack of heads lasers, of course).

Final Vegeta

Shinsen subs.

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Read the page I gave you, at least :p

The main laser, located in a turret on the aircraft nose, is fired for 3 to 5 seconds.

Current plans call for each 747 to carry enough laser fuel for about 20 shots, or perhaps as many as 40 low-power shots against fragile TBMs

Isn't this the same thing you do with the gunpod? :rolleyes:

Wasn't the aim and instant shot down the advantage of the laser over the gunpod? :rolleyes:

The athmosphere always weakens every kind of beam. I still haven't heard of a way to make air disappear.

FV

A 747 mounted laser isn't exactly the best place to start comparisons is it? Industrial lasers can continuously cut steel too ;)

3-5 seconds isn't a very long pulse in any sense when it's not like our lasers can punch through things like they can in Macross. Besides 20 shots or 40 shots isn't anything to write home about when it takes a 747.

Besides, the ranging functions is precisely what allows the laser to hit its target accurately immediately. Even with ranging, it's not necessarily possible with a ballistic projectile since there's travel time for a shell. If the ranging is performed milliseconds before the main laser fires, the conditions in between doesn't have enough time to fluctuate.

Furthermore, dragging a laser to paint a target is far more unavoidable than a stream of shells highlighted by tracers.

Nonetheless I'll say point taken.

Edited by ChronoReverse

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What about YF-19 optional weapon?

(Stolen from Mr.March M3 ^^)

yf-19-weapon_small.gif

1 x special YF-19 prototype heavy weapons cluster featuring the following: 1 x double-barrel beam cannon, 1 x large-bore cannon, 5 x missiles (mounted on right arm in Battroid mode)

The module have beam cannon and large bore cannon. I always assuming large bore cannon is laser/plasma type since I saw in M7 opening one of the Elgerzorene is firing the bore cannon like a flamethrower.

And about the differences between laser and beam cannon, the lasers are typically for the head turrets while beam cannon (particle beam or converging beam cannon?) are mostly use in heavier mecha. If the head turret is laser type than it would be an radiation type attack while the (particle) beam cannon are hybrid of kinetic and radiation.

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Well we do see Alto lock on before firing his gun in episode 4. Perhaps the VF-25s fire control and fly-by-wire systems can work in sync to "lock" the gunpod onto the target. And speaking of mixed ammunition types, I'm wondering if not only do they carry a different types of rounds but they also might be able to switch ammo types on the fly - we've already seen Klan do it in episode 4 where she switches from paint rounds to regular rounds when the Vajra comes in, it's possible "modern" (as of 2059) valk gunpods can do this as well.

As for being able to switch ammo in flight it could be done and is done on some of today's infantry fighting vehicles, however I don't that it would be easy to do in something the size of a VF's gun pod. Ans as for Klan's Q-Rea, it looks as if she is using the cannons mounted on the chest in her fight with Alto and when the Vajra attack she goes to the arm guns. So I don't think that she switched rounds so much as switches weapons.

EDIT - Hey look, I'm not cannon folder anymore!

Edited by hobbes221

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As for being able to switch ammo in flight it could be done and is done on some of today's infantry fighting vehicles, however I don't that it would be easy to do in something the size of a VF's gun pod. Ans as for Klan's Q-Rea, it looks as if she is using the cannons mounted on the chest in her fight with Alto and when the Vajra attack she goes to the arm guns. So I don't think that she switched rounds so much as switches weapons.

Klan used her arms guns against Alto at around 15:51.

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you're making a big assumption that the weight is due solely on the beam weapons... there's a correlation but no evidence of causality.

Anyways, you guys are missing one huge advantage a laser main weapon affords... staying power. With unlimited ammunition, a valks time on the battlefield isn't limited to the valk's ability to deliver ordinance but on the pilot's endurance. This makes actions like sending in a squad behind enemy lines much more feasible since they don't have to worry as much about conserving ammunition or attempting to resupply.

As for not giving ballistics the benefit of the doubt... who says I'm not? I completely accept the fact that the ammunition in macross can be reconfigured in the span of a couple of days to be able to become 100% effective against armor/materials that they were 0% effective against earlier. I even accept that they have some sort of magic auto calibration system that works 100% of the time they mount and unmount the gunpod (the phantom's gunpod was magnificently inaccurate at first)... remember, given the distances involved, something like .05 degree off alignment could have a HUGE effect on the trajectory of the rounds, spray or no spray... And I still fail to see how any spray at point of origin is going to mean a better chance to hit the target at range, as a tiny deviation at the start of the trajectory would mean that the round travels meters off target.

given a valk's ability to remain light weight and carry shield emiiters which have been shown to be energy intensive and be able to use those PPB for extended duration, I see no reason why a similarly lightweight power source couldn't be used for beam weaponry. And who says a laser weapon can't be in the form of a gunpod? All you need is a power coupling in the grip or better, an onboard power source.

Also, if you want to talk about versitility, a laser weapon that can dynamically shift its frequency would be very useful for burning down different targets.

Yes but staying power is only one aspect of the equation. The other side, probably the more important question is economics and maintenance, and we know the VF-4 was pulled from frontline service and replaced with the VF-5000 precisely because it was too expensive. If thats the case, its almost certain the VF-4 was a very complex beast, which likely required significant maintenance to keep flying. In the VF-4's case the "newest" system it carries is the lasers, which are its primary armament. Everything else could have been replaced or upgraded: engines, rocket packs, avionics ect. Now yes Strike Valks carried the RO-X2A Beam Cannon, but its not the primary weapon system of the fighter. If the Beam Cannon failed on the Strike Valk, a pilot has the gunpod, head lasers and many micro missiles. The VF-4 is far more dependent on its lasers; Beside the conformal medium range missiles, thats its only weapon. That suggests to me that the laser was likely very expensive and difficult to maintain, compared to other fighters systems.

If I'm right, then this explains why the VF-4 wasn't well received. Colony missions required relatively low maintenance aircraft: they have limited resources once they leave Earth and the Factory satellite. Its nice if the VF-4 can stay on the battlefield for a long time; it doesn't matter squat if the thing is a hangar queen, and not able to fly for a mission on the day its needed because its requiring maintenance. With VF-4 squadrons too expensive to keep flying, UN Spacyswitched over to the VF-5000 or stayed with the VF-1 until the VF-11 came online. Note that also the VF-11 and VF-5000 is a direct descendent of the VF-1, in terms of weapon loadout; they use gunpods, fast packs and a barrage of reaction warheads.

This to me suggests there were significant problems with operating large scale beam weapons on fighters, and the VF-4's design ideas were deemed to be unsuitable for the needs of the UN Spacy.

Edited by Noyhauser

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Just keep in mind that Correlation does not mean Causation. It can just as easily be that the lasers and the high cost of the VF4 was coincidental.

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Yes but staying power is only one aspect of the equation. The other side, probably the more important question is economics and maintenance, and we know the VF-4 was pulled from frontline service and replaced with the VF-5000 precisely because it was too expensive.

The VF-4 was never pulled from duty by the VF-5000. "Complement" is a much better word.

In Egan's words:

The VF-4 and the VF-5000 both assumed the role of main fighter of the UN Forces (not UN Spacy) in the 2020s. The VF-4 was intended as the main fighter of all the branches from 2020 onward, but the VF-5000, with its lower cost and superb atmospheric maneuverability, assumed the role for several of its branches during the later half of the 2020s. The VF-11 took over from the VF-4 in the UN Spacy and eventually the rest of the UN Forces. Again, this is all detailed in This Is Animation Special: Macross Plus.

http://macrossworld.com/mwf/index.php?show...st&p=447171

Now I would say that the VF-4 was well received since more than 8000 were made. But you know, price tag...or sweetness? Price tag? Or sweetness? The kids at UNS probably fulfilled their wet dream with the VF-4 until UN HQ saw their budget and decided to make some cutbacks.

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Just keep in mind that Correlation does not mean Causation. It can just as easily be that the lasers and the high cost of the VF4 was coincidental.

Nice use of the social sciences, but we have much corroborating evidence to show that the lasers were the problem. March has already made a conclusive case above that the lasers were the cause of the fighter's very large weight increase, indicating it was a significant part of fighter's design, requiring a vast increase in weight. The Cost of the fighter was seen as exceptionally high, requiring two new fighters to supplement it: the VF-5000 and the VF-9, before its full replacement, the VF-11 arrives.The next point, and this is the clincher, none of the mainline fighters after the VF-4, use the same weapon loadout. The major difference between the VF-4 and the VF-5000 is that its not carrying a large laser. The same goes for the VF-11. The only fighters that do use laser weaponry as its main armament are the VF-14 and the VF-27. However neither are UN Spacy's mainline fighter. I think much of the evidence indicates the laser systems were problematic for the UN Spacy.

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The VF-4 was never pulled from duty by the VF-5000. "Complement" is a much better word.

In Egan's words:

http://macrossworld.com/mwf/index.php?show...st&p=447171

Now I would say that the VF-4 was well received since more than 8000 were made. But you know, price tag...or sweetness? Price tag? Or sweetness? The kids at UNS probably fulfilled their wet dream with the VF-4 until UN HQ saw their budget and decided to make some cutbacks.

Yeah, I meant to reedit that... It was strong a wording. However I don't think it invalidates my argument. As for your second point I don't think its at all clear that the VF-4 was "sweetness." Having big guns isn't all that, thats a very simplistic view of fighter design, or what the airforce looks for. Just because something is big and heavy and carries a big gun does not make it a better fighter; there is a whole range of issues that are involved that makes it a good fighter, issues like; how much maintenance does a fighter require (serviceability, and sortie rate), its maneuverability, number of fighters for given price, observability. With the exception of the last category (and maybe the first category), we can make fairly good assertions about the VF-4 vs other fighters. You can see an illuminating parallel to US Airforce thinking prior and post vietnam. Prior to vietnam you had a lot of heavy fighters with heavy missile loads, essentially interceptors. Afterwards you had a push for cheaper, faster, lightweight fighters like the F-16 and YF-17/F/A-18.The same thoughts probably followed round the VF-4 vs the VF-5000, VF-9 and the VF-11. No fighter except the VF-14 vampire, the ONLY other fighter to use lasers as its primary armament is as heavy as the VF-4 (Extrapolating from the FZ-109's weight). Every fighter afterwards are far lighter and apparently more maneuverable.

Edit: I should also say that I'm not entirely sure about all of this, its merely one extrapolation based on the best evidence available. Like March I find it interesting from a personal standpoint, since its interesting to track what sort of defence management decisions UN Spacy made on production and operations, given the situation they faced.

Edited by Noyhauser

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Nice use of the social sciences, but we have much corroborating evidence to show that the lasers were the problem. March has already made a conclusive case above that the lasers were the cause of the fighter's very large weight increase, indicating it was a significant part of fighter's design, requiring a vast increase in weight. The Cost of the fighter was seen as exceptionally high, requiring two new fighters to supplement it: the VF-5000 and the VF-9, before its full replacement, the VF-11 arrives.The next point, and this is the clincher, none of the mainline fighters after the VF-4, use the same weapon loadout. The major difference between the VF-4 and the VF-5000 is that its not carrying a large laser. The same goes for the VF-11. The only fighters that do use laser weaponry as its main armament are the VF-14 and the VF-27. However neither are UN Spacy's mainline fighter. I think much of the evidence indicates the laser systems were problematic for the UN Spacy.

Are you talking about Laser or Energy Converging weapons?

Because as counterpoint to all that, we have the abundance of laser weaponry (in the "as deadly as gunpods" class) on modern VF's and drones. Consider the extreme power of the X-9's lasers and that it had SIX of them as the primary amament. The YF-21 carries BOTH a gunpod and lasers (in the arms á la QRaus) as primary armaments.

For the lower powered variety, the turret laser still exists. Many modern VF's also have wing-root lasers. In Macross 7, Max had to avoid laser cannon placements there were physically quite small in the narrow cave tunnel he flew down to drop the reaction warhead.

Then we have the beam weaponry in orbit around Earth. A lot of them were quite small yet were able to fire repeatedly with high damage. More importantly the numbers were massive to say the least.

Finally there's the optional high-power beam cannon seen with the VF-17 in M7. The unit isn't that large and a significant portion of it was actually the capacitor that powered its single shot.

In the end, it's ignoring a lot just to make a point. And using one data point to try to prove causation. You tried to divert that by saying "Nice use of social sciences" but the maxim is crux to pure sciences.

There's ample evidence that lasers in Macross are commonplace, compact and powerful. Now the particular beam cannons on the VF-4 probably were heavy and they look large, but there's no indication that it's a problem with lasers in general. You also have to keep in mind that the VF-5000 was designed to be lightweight AND came later than the VF-4. There's far too much discrepancy in the two designs to simply say that it's only because of the beam cannons.

Edited by ChronoReverse

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Just to note, there is technically no way to "conclusively" determine the reason for the VF-4's greater weight over that of the VF-1. We'd need Shoji Kawamori or the Macross creative teams to officially publish trivia agreeing with that theory in order for it be true. All we fans can do is speculate on what is the "most likely" reason for that weight increase, once we've considered all the trivia facts that are known about the VF-4. I'm going with beam weapons as the "most likely" reason the VF-4 is heavier, but that's just my own personal theory.

azrael

WHOA! That's some important information about the VF-4/VF-5000/VF-11.

I've written revisions to the VF-4, VF-5000 and VF-11 profiles (and the FAQ) and uploaded them. Thanks for sharing that trivia.

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I have a question, some people have said that the fact that the X-9 Ghost had six lasers is a plus for the weapon, that it shows that they work well. But if they were so great, why did they have to put six on it. I think that had the Ghost been put into use the lasers would have been fired in rotation with two or four going at once and with the others brought online as needed. In WWII some pilots would only arm and use four of the six .50 cals in combat and once they ran out of ammo they would arm the last two in order to get them home.

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I said the X-9 had six to show that it was compact.

I said that lasers are powerful because even a single beam from the X-9 did massive damage.

From memory, the Ghost X-9 fired its lasers both in an "Alpha Strike" configuration and individually. I'm guessing that it's for versatility? A Massive Deadly Blast for normal purposes. Chain Fired Death for tougher targets like Guld in a YF-21

Edited by ChronoReverse

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Was it ever stated explicitly that the Ghost X-9 used "lasers", or did it use "beam guns"?

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Read the page I gave you, at least :p

The main laser, located in a turret on the aircraft nose, is fired for 3 to 5 seconds.

Current plans call for each 747 to carry enough laser fuel for about 20 shots, or perhaps as many as 40 low-power shots against fragile TBMs

Isn't this the same thing you do with the gunpod? :rolleyes:

Wasn't the aim and instant shot down the advantage of the laser over the gunpod? :rolleyes:

FV

Well, considering we don't have anything even remotely similar to airplanes that can crash through bridges intact, let alone transform into bipedal war machines, I think we can safely say that if we can figure stuff out with just our puny human technology, overtechnology would make smaller more powerful laser possible. :rolleyes:

And again... what is harder, predicting where a target WILL BE, or shooting where the target is INSTANTANEOUSLY? If a target is dodging around in your line of sight, and you're trying to either predict where he will be, or chasing him around with your targeting recticle... do you think that takes more time, or less time then if you hit fire button whenever the target is in front of you, knowing that the millisecond you hit that trigger, a fiery hot beam of death is going to hit the target?

Or... let's play a game of laser tag, only I get the laser gun and you get a nerf gun. I bet I can hit you more often then you can hit me.

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Hmm, I don't think it has been stated what the beams are.

Incidentally, I've taken a closer look at the Ghost X-9 and I have to retract one of my comments. The Ghost X-9 seems to only have five "lasers so I'm an idiot for saying six all this time =X

Edited by ChronoReverse

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