VAF-7A Shadow Alpha
The Shadow Fighter is like the other Alpha Fighters in general shape, design, speed, function and armaments. Other than stylistic and colour differences, the "SF-7", a nickname, is identical to its brothers. There are only three items that make it different and more lethal.
The Shadow Fighter derives its name from a newly developed cloaking device which obscures it from radar, sonar, and most sensors other than enhanced optics. This means the enemy will not see the SF-7 coming on radar or by use of conventional detection systems. Thus, one minute the sky is empty and peaceful, the next moment, a black and grey fighter jet is streaking into view (normal sight or telescopically enhanced) with weapons blazing. The opponent rarely has time to react let alone attack. It's like a sneak or prowl attack at Mach 2 speeds. The opponent doesn't know what hit him until it's too late. Unless somebody sees the Shadow Fighter coming, the SF-7 always has the initiative.
The "Shadow Cloaking Device" was initially created to combat Invid. It was discovered, after some initial encounters with the REF, that the Invid did not have the same kind of sensors or optics that humans used. Instead, the Invid had protoculture sensors that instantly and accurately alerted them to the presence of protoculture energy. To make matters worse, the Invid Mecha all possessed protoculture targeting systems that can lock in on the source of protoculture emanations like heat seeking missile locks in on and homes in on a heat source. This made sneak attacks impossible and escape difficult. the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) suddenly found themselves betrayed by their own weapons. The solution was to find an alternative energy source, which was impossible considering the circumstances, or to find some way to cloak the energy. Fortunately, Doctor Lang and Cabell were able to do just that. Soon the Shadow Fighters were invisible to protoculture sensors of any kind, as well as conventional detection systems. This development would ultimately give REF the edge they needed in their battles with the Invid Regent.
Another device that is exclusive to the Shadow Fighter Alpha and VF-IV Vindicator is a powerful energy weapon called a "Destabalizer". The Destabalizer is another invention specifically designed to thwart the Invid. Mounted on the shoulder and drawing on the additional energy of the Veritech, it can unleash an energy bolt that will disrupt the Invid's, otherwise invincible, force fields. The disruption punches a huge hole in a force field, allowing troops to enter. The weapon can also be used as a hand held weapon like the GU series gun pods, only more powerful.