|VHT-1 Veritech Hover Tank|
|Affiliation:||Army of the Southern Cross|
|Armaments:|| 1 x |
single barrel 105mm high-velocity
projectile cannon with 60 shells
1 x 28mm beam cannon
The VHT-1 Veritech Hover Tank was a heavy ground mecha designed for civil-defense and urban-combat roles by the Army of the Southern Cross (ASC) in the period leading up to the departure of the SDF-3.
The Southern Cross anticipated any future conflicts would be brought to Earth and developed its weapon systems with that sort of combat in mind. For that reason, while mecha loaded onto the SDF-3 carried heavy payloads of missiles, ASC mecha favored energy and projectile weapons less likely to cause collateral damage in the urban centers of humanity's still-rebuilding civilization. The VHT embodied these principles.
A Southern Cross hovertank could reach up to 160.9 kph in Transport mode without consideration of the terrain, then reconfigure to Gladiator mode (occasionally called "Guardian") to engage land or ground targets with both a heavy cannon and a tri-barrelled autocannon. For any hostile mecha that might survive its firepower, the VHT also featured a battloid mode smaller, faster, and more nimble than any destroid from the previous war.
In combat, the hovertank suffered from a configuration that left its pilot exposed to enemy fire in both Transport and Gladiator modes (though the pilot was protected in Battloid configuration), and more than a few pilots were lost to direct injury while their mecha remained intact. Late in the Second Robotech War, when the Southern Cross transitioned to fleet operations and took the fight to the Robotech Masters, the familiar hovertank was redesigned for space combat, featuring an enclosed cockpit. The same redesign saw the incorporation of hardware and software derived from Louie Nichols' Visual Trace Firing System (VTFS), or "pupil pistol," enhancing the potential for a one-shot kill.
Although the hovertank was designed specifically for the Southern Cross, Colonel Jonathan Wolfe was so impressed with the capabilities of the design that he requested and obtained approval to bring several dozen of these mecha as part of the SDF-3 ground forces. Many of these hovertanks were destroyed in combat on Tirol and during the Sentinels campaign. Ironically, those that remained on the SDF-3 at the time of the end of the Third Robotech War might well have been the only ones left intact, the Southern Cross' own forces having been defeated and hunted down during the Invid invasion of Earth.