The Sturmvogel is the updated version of the YF-21 prototype. It uses a conventional control interface rather than the flawed Brain Direct Image (BDI) system that causes mental feedback to pilots, which can result in psychological problems. It retains the active stealth technology and inertia vector control system of the prototype.
A legacy of the YF-21 design is its odd, heavily framed cockpit canopy, compared to the clean bubble canopy of the VF-19.
The VF-22 design was transmitted to the Macross 7 colonization fleet and authorization was given to build two of these fighters for the fleet's special forces. The first two VF-22s were piloted by the Macross 7 fleet commander, Captain Maximilian Jenius, and his wife, City 7 mayor Milia Fallyna Jenius. A third one was piloted by the Diamond Force leader, Lieutenant Gamlin Kizaki, in the OVA Macross Dynamite 7.
The VF-22 shares the distinction with the Octos, Variable Glaug, Neo Glaug, VB-6 König Monster, Fz-109 Elgerzorene, Az-130 Panzerzorene, and FBz-99 Saubergeran as being among the only variable vehicles given a non-English name.
This design is loosely based on the real-life YF-23 prototype fighter built for the United States Air Force in the Advance Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition that lost to the YF-22 (that eventually became the current F-22 Raptor), although it took the F-22's numeric designation leading some to believe that it was based on the F-22.
Unlike Kawamori's other Variable Fighter designs, the VF-22's legs are not its thrusters; instead, they are stored in the undercarriage of the fuselage in fighter mode. As General Galaxy has employees of Zentradi origin as majority of their workforce, the Battroid mode shows a slight resemblance to the female Zentran power armor Queadluun-Rau.
Kawamori named the vehicle after the Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Sturmvogel. Sturmvogel is the German word for petrel, and is a combination of the words "sturm" meaning "storm" and "vogel" meaning "bird".
- Macross Plus VF Hi-Metal 1/100 YF-21 (2010, not yet released)
- A fully transformable replica of the YF-21.
- Macross Plus 1/72 YF-21 (2000)
- Like the YF-19, this diecast metal replica of the YF-21 was based on a resin kit originally released by Studio HalfEye.
- A second version was released in 2002 with FAST Pack parts, two telescoping Gun Pods and a Guld Goa Bowman figure, as well as numerous design changes. The legs were slightly retooled to allow a slimmer profile in Fighter mode. The ratchet joints on the hips and ankles were replaced with ball joints. Also included in this release were additional hands to hold the Gun Pod and landing gear that attached to the FAST Pack undercarriage armor. This second edition was painted in a purplish tint in contrast to the original Navy blue color.
- Macross Plus 1/60 YF-21 (2008)
- Like the YF-19 of the same scale, the 1/60 YF-21 was designed around fighter mode, resulting in a more proportionally accurate replica. Comes with Gun Pods, FAST Pack and clamps for the Fold Booster (sold separately).
- This figure was reissued in mid-2010, sans the extra accessories.
- Macross Plus GN-U Dou YF-21 (2008)
- A non-transforming action figure of the YF-21 in Battroid mode. Features extensive poseability not found in any of its transformable counterparts.
- Yamato Toys released upgrade parts for the YF-21 figure in mid-2009. The set includes the FAST Pack (plus new skirt armor and tail fin forearm panels), a Gun Pod and a redesigned torso frame for improved waist and hip articulation.
- Macross Dynamite 7 1/60 VF-22S Sturmvogel II Gamlin Custom (2009)
- A dark gray repaint of the YF-21 with a VF-22S head, canopy, and ventral fuselage.
- Macross 7 1/60 VF-22S Sturmvogel II Millia Custom (2009)
- A repaint of the VF-22S in the familiar red and white colors of Milia Fallyna Jenius.
- Macross 7 1/60 VF-22S Sturmvogel II Max Custom (2009)
- A repaint of the VF-22S in the familiar blue and white colors of Maximilian Jenius.
- Macross Plus 1/60 Fold Booster and FAST Pack Accessory Kit for YF-19 and YF-21 (2010)
- A reissue of the 2007 add-on kit for the standard 1/60 YF-19, but with the addition of parts for the YF-21, which were omitted in that unit's reissue package. Comes with Fold Booster with clamps for both units, YF-19 parts (shoulder armor, leg armor and rear seat with Yang Neumann figure) and YF-21 parts (Gun Pods and armor plates). The Fold Booster, which requires three LR44 watch batteries to operate, emits various light effects. It also includes a separate display stand.
- Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 054 YF-21 (2008)
- A non-transforming action figure of the YF-21 in Battroid mode from the Revoltech line. Designed and sculpted by Katsuhisa Yamaguchi. Unlike the Yamato GN-U Dou version, this figure displays a more anime-style look. Using Revoltech's proprietary revolving joint system, this figure is more poseable and comes with an array of accessories such as extra hands, FAST Pack Parts, two Gun Pods, Pinpoint Barrier effect parts and a display stand. The Revoltech figure is made of flexible PVC plastic, as opposed to the hard ABS plastic used on the GNU-Dou.
- Macross Plus 1/144 YF-21 (2001)
- A non-transforming diecast replica of the YF-21 in Fighter mode. Measures at 13 cm (5 inches) long. Features variable geometry wings which can be folded up or down.
- Macross Plus 1/72 YF-21 (2003)
- A non-transforming model kit of the YF-21 in Fighter mode. Requires glue and paint to assemble.
- Macross 7 1/72 VF-22S Sturmvogel II (2007)
- A repaint of the YF-21 kit with VF-22S parts. Requires glue and paint to assemble.
- Macross 1/72 VF-22S Sturmvogel II "SVF-124 Moon Shooters" (2008)
- A repaint of the VF-22S kit meant to be colored in low-visibility gray camouflage. Requires glue and paint to assemble.