The Tau-Detrel-class Heavy Cruiser was a streamlined, rocket and anti-gravity propelled transorbital atmosphere/space combat vehicle of the Robotech Masters, and it was featured in the series Robotech: The Masters.
Though not through deliberate intent, the Tau-Detrel was a ship that seemed to radiate toughness and strength. Ton for ton, this impression was correct, for the Taul Detrel was among the most heavily armed small combatants yet designed.
The Tau-Detrel hull had three distinct sections: the narrow forward section with the four antenna-like bombardment cannons, the main section which thickens out the center of the ship, and the aft section contains the main propulsion systems, including the fold drive.The forward hull was narrow compared with the main section of the ship. It sprouted the command cupola, three forward thrusters, and the four antenna-like barrels for the two main weapon systems forward, and the two main docking ports more to the rear. The central hull was a flattened cylinder, with the curved section in the horizontal plane. The four ventral engines are housed in the lower part of this section. The tapering aft section houses the main engines.
Internally, there were ten deck levels running throughout the bow and central sections. The aft section was mostly filled with the engines and several fuel tanks, and did not have a deck structure as such; rather, it had several access tunnels for engine maintenance and repair. The forward upper decks housed the command facilities; below this, behind the forward sensor array, were the storage chambers for the bombardment gun ammunition supply. The lower part of the forward hull houses several major stores holds. The central section had three of its upper deck levels combined into one large mecha deck. This deck was partitioned into four sections, each section of course three deck levels high. Below and above the hangar deck were the crew quarters; below the lower crew quarters are the dorsal engines and their fuel tanks. A small shuttle hangar is located behind these engines, forward of the rear engine.
The Tau-Detrel class of destroyers was a direct descendent of the frigate classes built in the first days of the Robotech Empire as escorts and general duty protection vessels. Those craft were designed to be maneuverable and small, yet to pack a respectable punch as their main task was the protection of Tirol's merchant fleets.
In addition to the particle armament needed for their anti-shipping roles, the Tau-Detrel class mounted four anti-matter bombardment cannons. It had been hoped that these weapons could serve as a light-weight, low priming power, yet hard hitting main weapon system; however, the system fired too slowly to be of much use in a space battle unless utilized against very large targets. As a consequence it was a given that targets of the 'correct' size would be capable of destroying the smaller Tau-Detrel before it had had a chance to lock on and fire its main armament. However, as a bombardment weapon against stationary targets, the system had its uses. Unfortunately for the Tirolians, though, the fuel for the weapon could only be created through an energy-wasteful particle transmutation process, as well as requiring extremely strict storage conditions. Consequently, when needed most, over Earth, the anti-matter was hardly ever available in any quantity, rendering the main weapons powerless.