Before the development of the VF-4, Stonewell/Bellcom built the VF-X-4 trial-production variable fighter as a prototype for the Lightning III. Development started in 2005 and eventually test flights were conducted in which some VF-X-4 flights were flown by Space War I veteran Hikaru Ichijo. The trial-produced VF-X-4 featured most of the key design features that would be included in the final VF-4 Lightning III design, but was initially built using 35% VF-1 Valkyrie parts (notably, the nose and forward fuselage of the VF-1 fighter). Hikaru Ichijo had a scale model of the VF-X-4 in his house in Macross City on Earth.

Type UNS/UNSM main variable fighter prototype
Manufacturer Stonewell/Bellcom
Introduction January 2012
First Deployment January 2012
Accommodation Pilot only
  • Battroid Mode: unknown
  • Fighter Mode: wingspan 14.28 meters; height 3.72 meters; length 14.92 meters
  • GERWALK Mode: unknown
Mass Empty 13.95 metric tons
Structure Space metal frame, energy converting armor
Power Plant Two Shinnakasu/P&W/Roice FF-2011 thermonuclear turbine engines.
Propulsion 14,000 kg [x g] x 2 (137.34 kN x 2); P&W HMM-1A high-maneuverability vernier thrusters
Thrust-to-weight ratio Empty 2.01 (rating for turbine engine thrust ONLY)
  • Fighter Mode: at 10,000 m Mach 3.02; at 30,000+ m Mach 5.15
G Limit Unknown
Design Features 3-mode variable transformation; wing-mounted engines; inward-canted vertical stabilizers; nose-mounted ventral fin; two-dimensional thrust vectoring.
Transformation Unknown


  • 2 x large beam cannons (mounted in forward engine nacelles/lower arms in GERWALK and Battroid modes)

Bombs & Missiles

  • 6 (with a maximum of 12) x semi-recessed long range missiles (mounted on engine nacelles and ventral fuselage)
  • 2 x underwing pylons for missiles

Optional Armament

  • 1 x Howard GU-11 55 mm three-barrel Gatling gun pod with 200 rds fired at 1200 rds/min