Developed as a gunship, the Pegasus was acquired in large numbers by both the Tactical Space Corps and the Pioneer Mission. While for a small duration it looked as if a common design could be produced, the vastly different requirements eventually created two separate classes, each capable of carrying a small attack force (8 mecha or an Infantry platoon) to their battlefields. The Southern Cross commissioned the Pegasus Assault Shuttle, a mecha transport that mostly relied on its small size and large numbers; The Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) built the larger, abler and heavier Predator Assault Dropship, which had far better performance, but was almost half again as heavy and twice as expensive. Still, occasionally in the first years after the Zentraedi Holocaust, insufficient Predators were available and Pegasi were substituted, albeit only as intra-ship craft and not as orbital transports.The Southern Cross needed little more than an armed space shuttle that had to carry its cargo into Earth or Lunar orbit. As all launches would be from permanent bases, no expensive terrestrial-gravity VTOL capability was necessary (though a lighter VTOL system was needed for lunar landings because of the lack of an atmosphere), and a liquid fuel booster package could be used as well. The result was the simple, reliable and light Pegasus shuttle. Several hundreds of these craft were built by the Southern Cross during the interwar years, and many were lost fighting the heavily armored and armed vessels of the Robotech Masters. The Pegasus was intended to be used against Zentraedi Fighter pods as they descended into the atmosphere; while the larger Southern Cross ships were to engage the Zentraedi Battlecruisers, the shuttles were to ascend to orbit and deliver their mecha payloads, which they would then support against the Fighter and Re-entry pods. For this, the Pegasus was adequate, but as so often happens, the design did not see combat against its intended foes.
Instead, the shuttles were used to carry mecha up to the orbiting Motherships of the Robotech Masters, an enemy far deadlier to the shuttles than the Zentraedi were thought to be. Few Pegasus ships survived their Phyrric victories, and fewer still the Southern Cross' many defeats.
Technology and Combat CharacteristicsEdit
Like all shuttles produced after the end of the First Robotech War, the Pegasus has both an ion main engine and anti-gravity drive. In addition a reusable booster could be utilized to save on reaction mass as well as reduce the signature of an ascending ship. It was capable of extreme full solar transit thanks to its anti-gravity drive.
Capable of carrying up to six small mecha on its own, the Pegasus escorted formations of fighters during fleet combat operations.
These ships suffered serious losses during the Second Robotech War to Bioroid and Assault Craft formations. A number of surviving units were used in the evacuation of civilian and military personnel to the Moon during the Invid Invasion.