From Macross Compendium

The EX-Gear (Extender-Gear) is a special suit designed as both a reinforced-exoskeleton powered suit as well as an ejection seat/emergency unit for new variable fighters. It is even capable of flight on its own, with its miniature hybrid jet/rocket engine and large variable-geometry wings.

The students who wish to become variable fighter pilots use training EX-Gears in the Mihoshi Academy's high school pilot training course. Their equipment has been simplified, but because the basic functionality remains the same with the military version, they can connect with the new variable fighters' cockpits as is.


EX-Gear (read ex-gear by abbreviating Extender Gear) is a multifunctional reinforced suit (powered suit) put into practical used in the 2050s. It was introduced mainly as a reinforced suit but the idea where EX-Gear differs from conventional reinforced suits greatly as it is part of the cockpit mechanism for the variable fighter (VF) called the "EX-Gear System".

EX-Gear, for military and private sectors (for training), is fundamentally the same structure adopting a form of exoskeleton-type unit over a personal innerwear. The exoskeleton-type unit is not a model that covers the entire body; the focus is the expanding and contracting spine portion with servo motors arranged in the arms and legs. With the assistance of the servo-motors, it traces the equipped individual and amplifies the strength.

Although it functions the same as other powered suits, the greatest feature of EX-Gear is to form the previously mentioned cockpit system and that is the point where accompanying function is adopted. In particular, the folding-type winged flight unit which raises the survivability at time of escape serves as a symbolic trait of the EX-Gear while serving as the origin of the name "Ejection seat". As the traveling speed on ground is improved, standard gliding wheels on the soles generate a synthetic wind during takeoff projecting mobility as personal equipment. In addition, it has a visor with telephoto and electromagnetic wave sensing capabilities, communications equipment, emergency rescue transmitter, and comprehensive performance exceeding the realm of a mere powered suit. However, in order to increase the wearer's strength considerably, besides the degree of difficulty, the wearer must be able to withstand the recoil of the power amplification equal to handling the difficult surface. Therefore, general use is rare, limiting it to a specialty of variable fighter pilots and people who receive special training.


EX-Gear had been developed partially for the cockpit system of a VF and it is basically for military-use. Although the model currently used by civilians as tool for pilot training exists, it is suppose to be equivalent to the military version in respect to basic functions except in output. In addition, EX-Gear has been used in the Frontier Fleet mainly because enhancement of physical performance by implants is forbidden; has factored into research and development of the "mechanically-enhanced soldier".

If the attachment feature with the VF is excluded, EX-Gear tends to be considered as "a powered suit that can fly", but there is more equipment and it is extremely multifunctional. Often overlooked is the running ability due to the small wheels on the soles of the feet but also the functions necessary for gathering various information such as the communications facilities and the sensors installed. Moreover, since exoskeleton portion is power-assisted, works with G, withstands impacts and collisions, it is characterized as a feature.

Although military and civilian training is based around an inner-wear, it can also be equipped over ordinary clothes.

EX-Gear motor-gliding flight unit connected to the back consists of folding-type wing and two chemical rocket engines. Although horsepower and output of the military version is higher, the version for training can also demonstrate advanced flight performance with a similar structure. It has flight performance sufficient not only for the inside of the Island, which is a low-gravity environment, but also Earth-like planets. If it is inside the island of a 0.75G environment, flight while holding a human is possible. With the motor glider in the back, the flight capability which can reach the ceiling of an Island is demonstrated.

Control of the amplified power, especially for fine work, is difficult and requires specialized training. With the servomotor built-in to the exo-skeleton, a wearer's strength is greatly enhanced. Movement of the wearer is traced, a wearer's hand is stored in the Gear forearm with the 5-finger manipulator where only the hand section is independent.

It has a total of 4 wheels (built-in wheel motor) on both feet, and high-speed movement is possible. Gliding wheels for running are installed in the sole to ensure a artificial wind during jumping, and lift-off when dashing by the amplified strength. During turns, center-of-gravity movement is used during running. Although it often accelerates with a catapult, leg wheels, etc., vertical secession is possible when escaping from a cockpit.

There are also many Extender cases for transportation storage, linear-type catapult launcher and many peripheral devices.

Besides the fact that information is projected on the headgear's visor, telephoto images can be displayed. It has various auxiliary functions, such as a rescue signal transmitter and fatigue recovery function to G-proof pill case and an inner suit. The headgear is especially multifunctional, telephoto extension functions, communication facilities, and electromagnetic-wave sensing functions are incorporated.

EX-Gear System

EX-Gear (Extender Gear) is known as a type of powered suit, enables the comprehensive ability magnification of the wearer not only by power assisted flight (space flight)/traveling unit but also with night-vision, telephoto features, communication features, and data retrieval functions. However, this is only one side of EX-Gear. A more special function is that it forms the core of the cockpit system "EX-Gear System" for the VF is the point. EX-Gear is part of the cockpit mechanism for new VF, "EX-Gear System", transforms into a G-proof seat in the cockpit and the surrounding equipment (the control stick and foot pedals) serves as the interface that connects the VF and pilot. The VF-25 Messiah is the typical fuselage which corresponds to this system and was adopted in other variable units such as the VF-171 Nightmare Plus.

The EX-Gear's driving force is that the exoskeleton has a transformation function to a G-resistant seat for VF cockpits. In addition, control sticks are built into the forearm exoskeleton in addition to foot pedals built into the leg exoskeleton functioning as the man-machine interface that directly controls the VF. However, it does not mean that merely a powered exoskeleton function is incorporated with a VF interface. A pilot's habits are memorized by the self-learning function and it can control with the feeling of "wearing" the VF like wearing EX-gear by reflecting in the operation program of the VF. If skilled with EX-Gear, operation of a VF system with a corresponding type is possible (Alto Saotome, who was a civilian, boarded a VF-25 for the first time, largely depended on this feature).

Although G-proof functions are mentioned as an important function of the EX-Gear System, it differs from the operation system; when the EX-Gear transforms, it is attained by becoming a G-proof seat. The G-resistant seat is intended to automatically adjust so that the burden on the pilot is reduced and these G-proof seats are said to be a feature which harnesses the EX-Gear's drive characteristics and the transformation mechanism.

Moreover, the high-maneuverability powered suit functions of the EX-Gear is also used as part of the escape systems. Thus, the EX-Gear system with the conventional cockpit VF, is becoming popular as a device with incomparable versatility.


When connected with a VF, EX-Gear transforms into a G-proof seat where the control sticks and foot pedals are attached (consoles are arranged in the VF cockpit). Therefore, the pilot in the cockpit is lightly dressed equipped with only inner-wear and a helmet for the EX-Gear and moves easily compared to a usual pilot suit.

The pilot's head, when the head cover of the EX-Gear moves to the seat's rear, is only equipped with the usual helmet. The head cover's base is the head rest.

The chest, shoulder and renal sections are freed from the main frame of the EX-Gear and serve as a G-proof seat with a flexible range of motion. Parts that restrain the pilot are not seen.

After ejection, the flight unit, which is used for the EX-Gear's independent movement, the central thruster module is arranged at the rear of the seat and the wings are arranged at the seat between the arm rests.

The arms of the EX-Gear unfolds and becomes an armrest. The interface built into the forearm section functions as the control stick and throttle lever.

The leg cavity section cover unfolds and a foot rest forms. In addition, the foot pedal built into the bottom of the cavity section is exposed.

Functions of the EX-Gear System

Combine a VF with the "EX-Gear System", it is possible to say it is the essential shape of the EX-Gear. The VF cockpit which adopts the EX-Gear system gains some new functions and the functionality which exceeds the conventional VF cockpit.

Escape mechanism

EX-Gear with flight function is assumed to be an escape mechanism. Ejection from the airframe is performed by the rocket motor of the EX-Gear support frame. During supersonic flight in atmosphere, the shock wave generating board under the seat is ejected and the pilot is protected. The canopy is separated before the escape. It functions as a space suit and for military use, the survival time is about 3 days or around 1 week is possible in suspended animation mode.

Remote operation outside the airframe

The system which operates the VF outside the airframe is registered to an EX-Gear beforehand. Although in combat is considered to be difficult, simple operation is possible and performing transformation and movement according to motions of the EX-Gear. Through the support A.I. that simple operation is presumed.

External control connection

It can control a machine equipped with an EX-Gear System by connecting other EX-Gears from the outside. Control, including firearms-use, is possible through the connected EX-Gear without transforming into the seat. When the pilot is incapacitated, it can be used for rescue.

Improvement of Gunner Kit and shooting accuracy

Equipping EX-Gear with the Gunner Kit option, it links with the FCS precision fire-control booster, FCF-21b. A Gunner Kit learns the shooting timing of the shooter improving the shooting ability by communicating to the booster.

Adoption of EX-Gear in VF

In order to optimize the operation system, the EX-Gear system was regarded as been equipped initially with the YF-24 Evolution, was inherited by the VF-25 and VF-27, which used the YF-24 as a basis. Conventional type VFs are examples where the goal of enhancement is observed when equipped.

VF-25 Messiah

Under the technical cooperation of the LAI Corporation, the developmental type of the YF-24 which Shinsei Industry's Macross Frontier Arsenal developed alone. It is capable of various duties with optional equipment. Through the combination of ISC and EX-Gear, acquired G-resistance performance is remarkable. Maneuverability did not deteriorate at high outputs, comparatively.

VB-6 König Monster

Destroid Monster prototype which is a Variable bomber. Usually a flight crew of 3 are needed, but in S.M.S, deployment by 1 person is possible by equipping of the EX-Gear system. Although seated for 3, it is possible to control with one person through EX-Gear.

VF-27 Lucifer

VF originally developed by the Macross Galaxy Variable Fighter Development Arsenal based on the YF-24 design. Although the powerful fuselage assumed that a cyborg pilot was a pre-requisite, it is also equipped with EX-Gear. The inside of the cockpit is an image within the brain of the cyborg pilot. Therefore, EX-Gear is not visible.

VF-171EX Nightmare Plus EX

With the VF-171 unit modified completely for the Vajra, EX-Gear system is equipped for the performance improvement. It seems it is to handle the high-maneuverability of the FF-2550F thermonuclear turbine engine. The undergarment design is the UN pilot suit system. It is considered that the EX-Gear itself is the same as the other models.

EX-Gear EG-01M/MP

EX-Gear (EG-01M/MP) was put into use in the 2050s as equipment for VF cockpit functions and as a multipurpose reinforced suit (Power suit). EX-Gear was developed with the goal of improving of survivability when escaping by improving the interface of a VF, a standard feature for the VF-25 Messiah, and adopted by the military as equipment for VF-171 Nightmare Plus. But within in the Frontier fleet, research and development of "Mechanically-Reinforced Soldier", which enhances the body by implants, is prohibited -- units in use by military service providers and civilian-standard types used for pilot training have been spotted. Furthermore, there is no big difference on output and basic function except for armament between the basic structure of the EX-Gears, a exoskeleton unit over a personal inner-wear, for standard military specifications and the standard for civilians.

Military EX-Gear (EGP-03/05)

  • Development: Shinsei Industries/L.A.I. Corporation
  • Affiliation: New U.N. Spacey/S.M.S., others

The military EX-Gear (military specification EGP-03/05), evolved as a multipurpose reinforced suit from the popular mechanism known as "a light, powered-suit for work" in the public sector. Various devices like the leg-section hover unit and the exclusive head gear are fully-dedicated, while the output is about 200% greater and operation time is extended compared to private/civilian sector version. Additionally, an advanced self-learning function to interface with a variable fighter allows for the sensation of "wearing" a variable fighter by allowing the operating program to memorize data and reflect the habits of the operating pilot, allowing for high-speed precision control.

For the military-use powered-suit, EX-Gear is also versatile and has several options available. Mostly difficult for ordinary human-use, large-size firearms and accelerator equipment for takeoff are unique to the EX-Gear. In addition, those who received special education also tended to be accident prone, and since it had the danger that it could be used to cause a crime, a special clause for management was also prepared.

For the VF pilot. The occupant area of the protector is large, enhancement of various equipment, and equipped with a hover unit on the leg section are prominent. It has been adopted by the New UN Forces as well as the private military provider, S.M.S For flight, the EX-Gear adds on the form of head gear on the helmet.

Design Features

Larger area of protection for occupant and legs. Leg section hover units. Exclusive headgear mounts over normal helmet during flight. Powered hands. It is one size bigger than private sector/civilian unit. Motor glider-type flight unit connected to the back. Folding wings. Four gliding wheels with built-in motors similar to private/civilian unit. Machine gun (called a linear rifle) with 2 helical-type magazines and an under-barreled grenade launcher is equipped. It is installed in the cockpit of the VF.

Main Power/Engine

  • Two or possibly three HR-3UTG Hyper-Eneloop fuel cells
  • Two L.A.I. Corporation VSR-02A chemical rockets engines for high-level flight performance.


  • Maximum airspeed: about 500 km/h (in atmosphere)
  • 55km/h on level ground with gliding wheels


  • Hand-carried machine gun with under-barrel grenade launcher.
  • Survival knife


  • Height: 150~225cm (extension options are possible)
  • Overall Weight: about 75kg (fully loaded)

Special Forces EX-Gear

  • Affiliation: New UN Spacy Special Operations Department

Variation of Military EX-Gear for special operations such as infiltration and sabotage operations. Existence of this type is not public knowledge.

Design Features

Enhanced optic and acoustic sensors. Heavy use of composite materials used to improve maneuverability and reduce weight. Operational noise significantly reduced due to improvements in swivel joints, actuators. Custom-made, noise-dampening parts used in Hovering unit and gliding wheels. Mission-specific camouflage stickers can be applied. Flight speed improved due to reduced weight. High cost of equipment doubles the overall cost compared to standard military EX-Gear.

Main Power/Engine

  • Two or possibly three HR-3UTG Hyper-Eneloop fuel cells


  • Maximum airspeed: about 550 km/h (in atmosphere)


  • Submachine gun.
  • Anti-Cyborg rifle. Standard rifle enhanced to counter cyborg soldiers. Bullets are special coated to increase penetration. Under slung grenade launcher and harpoon launcher. Harpoon launcher based on implant technology to suppress cyborg soldier movement.
  • Survival knife


  • Height: 150~225cm (extension options are possible)

Civilian EX-Gear (PS/ML-21)

  • Affiliation: Mihoshi Academy pilot training course, others

The standard, versatile, utility-type PS/ML-21 EX-Gear is for private/civilian-use and is compatible with the military standard. It is therefore possible to connect with a VF and is used by private/civilian training schools like Mihoshi Academy. However, since high-quality parts are used, it is very expensive. The standard civilian-use PS/ML-21 EX-Gear is manufactured by several space work/space-flight machine manufacturers but there is no big difference in the basic design besides coloring and options.

There are private enterprise/civilian EX-Gear models exclusively for ground sports which are cheap and lightweight for mobility and flight models that are specialize for flight. Most generally sold currently for sports are simplified further.

For training-use in pilot training courses. Although there are fewer exoskeleton parts, it is possible to connect to a VF cockpit; it has performance which is not inferior to the military version, possessing strength amplification, flight capability, etc.

Design Features

Powered hands and legs differ from military-use. Inner suit is exposed more compared to military version. Flight pack and survival kit are lighter than military version but basic function is similar. ExSuitcase for EX-Gear storage and transport with security command panel on the case side. Motor glider-type flight unit for high-performance flight similar to military version but of a different design. Three-stage folding wings.

Main Power/Engine

  • Two or possibly three HR-4UTG Hyper-Eneloop fuel cells.
  • Chemical rockets engines.


  • Maximum airspeed: about 280 km/h (in atmosphere)


  • Survival knife


  • Height: 150~225cm (extension options are possible)
  • Overall Weight: about 50~55 kg (fully loaded)




  • In real-life, Eneloop is a rechargeable battery brand from Sanyo Component Europe GmbH.

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