It was designed originally to serve as a more lightly armored and faster form of mecha when compared to the general issue version. The Bartley proved to be a successful design with a number of variant models being produced that culminated in the VR-038 version. These models lacked any built-in weaponry though were able to be outfitted with such armaments on the forearms. Similar to all Cyclones, the pilots were required to wear the CVR-3 armor in order to interface with the mecha in Battloid mode.
These mecha were actively used throughout the 2030's and saw use during the Third Robotech War. In that time, they served a vital role as scouts, anti-armor specialists and forward observers. Rook Bartley made use of a Cyclone of this model during the resistance against the Invid.