Sketchley's Statistics MRG - play stats here ABOUT LINKS logo_macross30th (4K) MAIN INDEX
By AARON SKETCHLEY ( Ver 2.5 2016.02.11

Official Setting information is in darkgreen. Extended Universe information is in steelblue.



The VF-4 is a developed model of VF. Its full-blown development is indicated as taking place at the same time as the VF-X-3, and in the form of the VF-X-4. Because of the investment of Zentraadi-series technological know-how on top of existing OTM, the VF-X-4 consisted of an airframe style considerably different from the VF-1. With the goal of shortening the development period, parts sharing with the VF-1 was promoted. The prototype number one craft, the VF-X-4V1, achieved a sharing of 35% with the VF-1. Even though this ratio fell down to about 25% in the VF-4A-0, an additional prototype, the VF-4 was judged to have a fighting strength 40% better than the VF-1. This was based on the result of trials within the examination program, which included simulated dogfights* with the VF-1.
Externally, the VF-4 has adopted a three-hull form. Stored within the twin engine nacelles are propellant tanks and armaments. The three-hull style also increased the fuselage volume, which increased the propellant capacity, armament loading ability, and so on. Due to it's characteristic shape with the nose block arranged in the center, it received the pet name of "arrow" from pilots.
Unlike the VF-1, which mainly depends on hard points and a gun pod, the VF-4 depends on fixed particle beam guns and semi-conformal long-range guided missiles. In exchange for the flexibility of the VF-1, the VF-4 enjoys greater stealth, speed, cruising performance and an extension in the effective range. In a clean state with no FAST Packs (maintaining its stealth nature), the VF-4 Lightning III was judged to have a 40% improvement over a FAST Pack equipped VF-1 in space, during immitation battle testing; a result of measuring the results of missile range, accuracy of fire, acceleration, space mobility (at the time in Fighter), and so on.
Production began from February, 2012, and the VF-4 force was deployed just in time to the Megaroad that departed in September the same year. However, because the construction of production facilities for parts and so forth within the Megaroad had started before the official adoption of the VF-4, the Megaroad was able to carry out the maintenance of parts supply and the like after the VF-4's deployment.
As the manueverability and low-altitude flight characteristics at maximum speed and acceleration in an atmosphere are inferior to the VF-1, the VF-4 Lightning III was not the perfect replacement. The VF-5000 Star Mirage, which succeeded the VF-1 in atmospheric use due to it's excellent mobility in atmosphere, became the new UN atmospheric main fighter in the late 2020s in conjunction with the VF-4. The perfect successor to the flexibility of the VF-1 had to wait until the 2030's, in the VF-11 Thunderbolt. The VF-14 is the inheritor of the VF-4's attributes. A grand total of 8,245 VF-4 were produced for the UN Spacy between 2012 and 2022; when production ceased.

In order to maintain the VF-4 fighters ability to compete with other, relatively newer designs in the fleet, an upgrade programme was implemented in the mid-2020s on the VF-4 in the fleet. The programme included new engines, avionics and an anti-aircraft laser. This upgrade, called the VF-4G, extended the life span of the VF-4 considerably.

Real world trivia:
For the first few years after it was designed, the VF-4 Lightning III was only called "Lightning". III was added based on the connection with the actual fighter of the same name, the twin-engine WWII era P-38 Lightning. At the beginning of the operational suitability testing of the F-22 Raptor, the YF-23 was refered to as Lightening II. Shouji Kawamori has also commented that the name "Lightning" is connected with "electricity" in English. Although the F-35 was later named the Lightening II, it's naming is unrelated, as the name of the VF-4 was determined a long time before. The VF-4 has been referred to as the Lightning III since 1995 in various games and (other) media.
The setup for the VF-X-4 has details that sharply differ with the trial production, actual proof machines. Both of the names for the VF-4, Siren and Lightning (without III), are seen. Macross II, where Siren is used regularly, is said to have changed the name of the Metal Siren, because of the VF-4's naming.


Vehicle Type: Tactical Variable Fighter
Class: Variable Vehicles
Crew: one pilot wearing Tactical Life Support System (B model has two pilots.)
Manufacturer: Stonewell Bellcom
Government: Unified Government

Customer: UN Spacy and UN Marines

Design Features: trimaran-type blended-wing body, vertical-axis thrust vectoring for the thermonuclear reaction turbine engines, ram-wing engines, rocket engines, inward-canted vertical stabilizers, canard forward wings, nose-mounted ventral fin, two large beam cannons. Landing Gear: Retractable tricycle undercarriage. Two steerable nose wheels retract inward into nose and twin coupled main wheels inward into fuselage.



Location MDC Location MDC
(1) Head
(2) Head Mounted Laser
Hands (2)
Arms/Beam Cannons (2)
(3) Shoulders/Engine Nacelles (2)
(4) Legs/Main Thrusters (2)
25 each
60 each
75 each
135 each
(5) Main Body
Canard Forward Wings (2)
Main Wings (2)
Tails (4)
(6) Reinforced Pilot's Cockpit
(7) GU-11 Gun Pod
30 each
70 each
30 each


  • (1) Destroying the head of the VF will knock out the mecha's major sensor systems, including all of the optics systems (infrared, nightvision, thermal). Radar and communications will be unaffected.
  • (2) VF-4G only.
  • (3) Destroying the shoulders/engine nacelles will severely reduce the VF-4's propellant fuel supply. In addition, with the loss of one or both engine nacelles, the VF-4 will lose one or both of its rocket thrusters.
  • (4) Destroying the legs/thrusters will severely damage the VF-4's engines. Destruction of either leg will reduce speeds by 50%. However, if the engine nacelles are undamaged, the pilot has the option of using them to maintain propulsion. If both main engines and one of the engine nacelles are destroyed, the Lightning will have insufficient thrust to remain airborne and must land. If all four engines are destroyed the variable fighter will lose main power and the pilot will have to make a controlled crash attempt (or be sent adrift on its last heading if in space powered only by the manoeuvring rockets.)
  • (5) Destruction of the main body will completely destroy the mecha.
  • (6) The listed 150 MDC is only in Battroid and/or when the blast shield is lowered over the cockpit. Otherwise, 50 MDC for the canopy and 100 MDC for the remainder of the cockpit. Requires a called shot to hit the canopy.
  • (7) Optional. Not standard issue during its initial deployment.


    RUNNING: 160 kmph (Battroid), 100 kmph (GERWALK)
    LEAPING: 9 m high or 15.2 m long, without thrusters (Battroid)

    FLYING: Mach 3.02 at 10,000 m, Mach 5.15 at 30,000 m.
    The VF-4G is Mach 3.25+ at 10,000 m; mach 5.33+ at 30,000 m.
    VTOL: max hovering time using 13,000 kg x2 thrust: 70 seconds; using 11,500 kg x2 thrust: 420 seconds (GERWALK & Battroid modes)

    G limit: +7 (in space)
    Maximum rate of ascent: ? m/minute (Fighter)
    Climbing Limit: 35,000 m (there is no zoom rise effect)
    The VF-4 is fully transatmospheric and can attain orbital velocity above an Earth-type planet under its own power. This is achieved by using either the ramjets, rocket engines, or both. The thermonuclear turbine engines are capable of flight to orbit, however they will burn through virtually all of the VF-4's fuel load to reach orbit over an Earth sized planet. Thereafter, the VF-4 is ineffective for fuel-consumption heavy combat manoeuvres. The VF-4 should proceed to a refuelling station as soon as possible.

    Operational Underwater Depth: 100 m (Battroid & GERWALK modes).


    Battroid: under investigation
    GERWALK: under investigation
    Fighter: 5.31 m

    Battroid: under investigation
    GERWALK & Fighter: 12.65 m

    Battroid: under investigation
    GERWALK: under investigation
    Fighter: 16.8 m

    EMPTY MASS: 13,950 kg

    PHYSICAL STRENGTH: equal to a PS of 50.
    CARGO: small compartment behind pilot's seat for personal belongings.

    POWER PLANT: two 14,000 kg class Shinnakasu/P&W/Royce FF-2011 thermonuclear turbine engines with horizontal thrust-vectoring nozzles, two rocket engines, and two ramjet engines in the wings. Several P&W HMM-1A high-manoeuvrability vernier thrusters at key locations along the VF-4's hull for added mobility.
    The VF-4G has 16,500 kg class Shinnakasu/P&W/Roice FF-2011(+) thermonuclear turbine engines.


    Note: Refer to the VF-1 Valkyrie for stats unless otherwise noted herein:



    3. IDECM (Integrated Defensive Electronic CounterMeasures)





    Note: the weapons mounted on the tops of the engine nacelles can be replaced with large boosters.


    Large particle beam guns are built into the upper block of the engine nacelles (that correspond to the arms in Battroid). It is also possible to detach this block, and it is also possible to operate the VF-4 with unfixed lightweight equipment used within the atmosphere. The particle beam guns, which cannot be easily influenced by temperature change, number of bullets remaining, and discharge speed (in space), are standard equipment for the VF-4 Lightning III. Due to their excellent accuracy and great range, they are the prefered weapon of use in space; forecluding the need of a gun pod mounted on the space-used VF-4 Lightning III. The cannons can be fired individually or together, and are fed directly from the power generated by the FF-2011 engines.

    1a. 6-BARREL 30 mm GATLING GUNS

    Both engine nacelle particle beam guns can be replaced with 6 barrel 30 mm Fatling guns. This configuration is standard for the D type and S types, which are used exclusively in the atmosphere, and optional for other models. Gatling guns are preferred for atmospheric use due to their greater flexibility and lack of significant performance loss due to the extremes of space.


    The VF-4 is equipped with twelve half-embedded style, fixed hard points for missile loads and other ordinance. The twelve hardpoints are mounted on the central fuselage and engine nacelles.

    3. (Optional) GU-11 55mm MULTIPURPOSE GUN POD

    The VF-4 is capable of carrying a gun pod, but it doesn't normally due so outside of atmosphere because of the effectiveness of the particle beam guns and the reduction in stealthiness. A GU-11 gun pod is standard for the D and S, as well as standard optional equipment for other types that get used in an atmosphere. The gun pod increases the VF-4 Lightning III's flexibility greatly in atmospheric environs.

    Later era gun pods can also be mounted, but the GU-11 is preferred because of the punch of its bullets. (Author's note: though these stats don't reflect it, a 55 mm bullet contains a lot more power (kinetic energy, etc.) than a 30 mm bullet.) Spare clips cannot be carried by the VF-4. The GU-11 is mechanically preset to fire in burst of either 10 or 25 rounds, or until the pilot releases the trigger or the magazine is emptied.

    4. Wing Hard Points (6)

    The VF-4 is also equipped with six fixed hard points for missile loads and other ordinance. Two hardpoints are on each wing of the aircraft, and two are in the fuselage between the pilot compartment and the engine nacelles. Each hardpoint is capable of carrying missiles, bombs, large anti-ship reaction missiles, or micro-missile pods. For alternatives to the following, refer to the Hardpoint and Missile Details. In general, the same type of munitions are mounted on all the hardpoints.

    Note: the standard Unified Forces tactic is for wing mounted ordinance to be fired within the first few passes of an attack.
    The hardpoints between the engine nacelles are automatically dropped when the fighter is transformed to any other mode.
    GM's option: due to the design of the VF-4, it is recommended that ordinance is automatically ejected from the wing hardpoints as well.


    VF-4G only! Mounted on the head when in Battroid, or located on the upper fuselage when in GERWALK and Fighter. In Battroid, the laser has a 360º horizontal rotation and a 90º vertical arc of fire. In Fighter and GERWALK, the RÖV-20 is limited to firing only on targets either directly behind or overhead of the VF-4.


    If necessary, the pilot of the VF-4 can engage in melee combat rather than use a weapon. The Lightning is extremely agile and can execute most typical hand to hand combat moves, such as punches, jump kicks, leap attacks, rolling with impacts, etc..



    The large boosters are akin to the Super Ostrich FAST packs. They replace the entire upper structure of the engine nacelles when employed; replacing both the VF-4's rocket engines and propellant system, as well as the shoulders, arms, hands, beam guns and the four (4) long-range missiles located there.
    The large boosters are usually only used in space and suffer full penalties when used in an atmosphere due to their lack of aerodynamics.


    The boosters carry a large supply of rocket fuel inside of them. This allows fighters equipped with these boosters to have greatly increased range in space; which is useful for patrols, long-range interception, and extended combat training, which consumes lots of fuel. The packs carry no armament.


    Due to the inate abilities of the VF-4, other Super Parts are not required. It is possible to mount other option packs on the VF-4, but it is only possible with drastic modifications to both the parts and the VF-4. If mounted, they can only be done so in Fighter, and must be ejected prior to transformation.


    Note: Refer to the VF-1 Valkyrie for stats unless otherwise noted herein:


    Note: Refer to the VF-1 Valkyrie for stats unless otherwise noted herein:


    In space, the VF-4 has a +1 bonus to initiative, strike, parry, dodge and roll.
    The VF-4B has a +2 to strike air-to-ground, and +15% to bombing skill rolls.

    If the VF-4 has dorsal boosters, they provide the following bonuses:


    Basic training for non-pilot military personnel.


    Advanced training for pilots specializing in the VF-4 Lightning III.

  • Palladium Books Game Engine and MDC Rules
  • Based off of the Steelfalcon VF-4 Lightning III stats.
  • Macross Compendium VF-4 article
  • The ライトニングIII (マクロスシリーズ) Wikipedia Article
  • Macross: Flashback 2012
  • Macross Flashback 2012 Graffiti: Pg. 20, 25, 32, 33, 54-56
  • Macross Digital Mission VF-X
  • Macross Digital Missions VF-X
  • Great Mechanics.DX 9
  • Shoji Kawamori Macross Design Works

  • © Aaron Sketchley