Human players have access to the Patrocross variable unit, which charges its wave cannon in fighter form, but strangely enough, doesn't lose its charge when it's in robot form. If your Patrocross will end its movement near the fog of war or in the enemy's weapon range, transform it into the robot form at the end of the turn to "save" the cannon charge. If your Patrocross survives the enemy attack, transform it at the start of your next turn, then fire the wave cannon.
Unlock the following pictures at the "Gallery" menu by performing the corresponding tasks:
PICTURE - HOW TO UNLOCK Picture 30 (Last Dancer) - Complete all missions (Earth Side and Bydo), then beat 10 missions again. Picture 31 (Earth Side) - Complete all missions (Earth Side and Bydo), then beat 20 missions again. Picture 32 (Bydo Side) - Complete all missions (Earth Side and Bydo), then beat 30 missions again.
Experience with your pilots can make or break future battles. Aside from replaying earlier stages to bring pilot skills back up (after they are defeated in a previous battle), you can rapidly increase a pilot's skill by assigning them to fly the POW Armor. Just refuel another friendly craft to increase their skill level easily. Simply reassign these pilots into your fighting R-types for your next mission and you'll have a reliable roster of Aces!