The Transformable version of the Ark Angel can also separate into 4 distinct ships, the Daedalus-style landing crafts that can combine into 1 larger battleship, the battle section, and the colony section.
When a suitable planet has been found, the colony section can separate and land on the planet, providing temporary housing until the colony has been built.
Once the colony has reached sufficient status to properly house the colonists, the colony section can return to the battle section to resume operating in orbit.
If a mission requiring a scout ship is needed, the dropships can be deployed. They can also be used in combat in space if needed.
The battle section remains in space except in emergencies. Without the colony section, the ship is not as fast or as powerful but is still a viable defender if needed.
I'm sharing the original version of my Robotech: Battle for Tirol video made back in 1999. Yes, 20 years ago.
And below that is the opening cinematic to a Robotech Masters video game I made back in 2005.