At the end of the First Robotech War, weapon designers returned to investigating the possibilities with automated defense systems. In principle, these systems freed from human pilots could out perform manned units in all respects. The first major unmanned offensive system was the QF-3000 "Ghost". 512 QF-3000 were built between 2007 and 2012; however, their combat effectiveness was questionable. First and foremost, the QF-3000 MK3 Artificial Intelligence had developmental difficulties. The computer in mass combat would accidentally hit friendly units with its missiles. As a result until the QF-3000 were upgraded to the Block 'E' version in 2012, none of the QF-3000 units were loaded with missiles in combat situations.
After the Zentraedi "Rain of Death" and the subsequent RDF rebuilding, an upgrade to the Ghost was proposed. The QF-9IE would possess an upgraded artificial intelligence (AI). The RRG MK4-AI system is a substantial upgrade over the MK3 system found on the QF-3000 "Ghost" fighter. The MK4 system allows the Phantom to mount a substantial missile load. This is because the MK4 system provides greater protection against friendly fire incidents projecting the flight path of the missiles and compensating for potential friendly intercepts.
The Phantom "smarts" were not only upgraded, but the weaponry and armor as well. The main body and weapons arms were armored with the same Chobam composite armor found on the VF-6 "Alpha". Long range fire power is supplied from two 35mm Gauss rifles mounted underneath. For short range defense, four GU-11C are mounted two on each side. Four weapon arms are mounted radially around the central body. Four Boeing MM-12 missile launchers were added for a total capacity of 48 Starbursts short range missiles. On each of the weapon arms, a single PB-3 particle beam cannon capable of firing 6 MJ bursts up to 36 times per minute was added.
Two hundred units were produced from 2014 until 2017. All of the units were brought with the REF. The Phantom was first deployed against the Invid Regent once the SDF-3 defolded into Tirol. Fifty-Seven of the units were destroyed during initial assault and subsequent follow up attacks against the occupational forces. After the liberation of Tirol, the remaining units were placed in reserve guarding initially the REF fleet and later the rebuilt orbiting shipyards. All of the remaining 127 units were captured by Edwards and his faction during the REF rebellion of 2039-2040. These units were subsequently destroyed in July 2040 once the loyalist forces reconquered the planet.
Although no additional QF-9IE were produced during the Sentinel era, the design had profound impact on later events. The successful combat record of the QF-9IE proved to weapon designers that unmanned units could provide substantial support to the always outnumbered REF forces. The Vandal VQ-6S shadow drone's advanced Mk83 Neural Net Learning System CPU was a further improvement on the MK-4 system incorporating many of the lessons learned from the QF-9IE unit. [Source: RobotechResearch]
You can download this papercraft template here: Robotech Macross - QF-9IE Ghost II "Phantom" Free Papercraft Download [Box] [Gavitex]