The AB-01 Beta Fighter was a mass produced transformable veritech fighter used by the Robotech Expeditionary Force, and was featured in Robotech: The New Generation. The Beta Fighter was unique in that it could act as a booster and additional armaments-pack to the veritech Alpha Fighter series.
Curiously enough, the Veritech Beta Fighter owed its creation to the union of two independent projects, both of which were intended to compensate for the deficiencies of the Alpha prototypes. The first such project was centered around the need to create a booster rocket that could propel the Alpha into space, and to give it greater thrust and power in extra-atmospheric operations. This booster would be aerodynamic in the atmosphere and reusable, and the Alpha could transform to Battloid without detaching from the new booster. The second project began when the need for a heavy fighter-bomber and heavy combat mecha was realized. The proposed craft would be half again the height of the Alpha in Battloid mode, and in fighter mode, the wingspan would be over twice as great. The fighter-bomber would carry heavier armaments than the Alpha, which mainly relied upon short-range weapons. In late 2032, the two projects were merged, and the existing Beta fighter was born. However, the Beta's development was fraught with setbacks, and eventually a competitor design to the Beta Fighter, the AF-03 Condor, was selected for production, with the Beta prototypes remaining as test-beds.
It was not until 2036, when the Beta became of particular interest again. The redesign of the Beta Fighter rectified all that designs' faults, and expanded upon it with such items as reloads for the internal missile launchers, and increased reaction-mass tankage. The fighter entered mass production late in 2038.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
Most significant of the Beta's abilities were its heavy armament and excellent thrust to mass ratio. These combined to make the Beta an excellent ground-attack plane, but its lack of maneuverability made it a poor dogfighter. In addition, the vehicle was relatively unaerodynamical, and energy use in supersonic flight was very high. The Beta possessed transatmospheric capability when it fires its boosters, and it can easily lift itself and an Alpha fighter into and out of orbit of a planetary gravitational field. The Battloid mode could withstand enormous amounts of punishment, and is equipped with the powerful EU-35 beam cannons, located in the Battloid's forearms.
The Beta and Alpha could dock in less than one minute, and they could separate almost instantly. Combined with the Alpha, this fighter demonstrated incredible firepower and speed, and makes for an exceptional piece of military hardware.
The armor on the Beta was a new development in low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating that became the standard for all Terran mecha. Aside from the respectable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor was also resistant to plasma globes annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns, owing to the fact that the armor can flake off and evaporate in layers under fire from such high-energy weapons, taking much of the weapon's energy and converting it into the latent heat of sublimation in the armor. The armor stops all small arms, heavy infantry weapons fire, and light mecha-mounted weaponry, and provided fair to good resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie's 55mm APFSDS round.
The armor on the Battloid's forearms was more formidable, being half again as thick as that elsewhere on the Beta (and comparable to the armor on the Veritech Hover Tank), allowing the pilot to use the Battloid's arms as parrying shields in close quarters.
The Beta provided full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a sealed 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.