Perhaps the SMS was created in order to make a statement about contemporary political affairs, or at least to mirror them. However, it doesn't make much sense.
But if you can ignore questions like these, you'll enjoy the series.
Edit: Many of the links below answer the above questions by supplying information from the episodes themselves--it pays to know Japanese or have access to subtitles I suppose. Haha.
According to what I've read, the purpose of SMS is to test-fly new variable fighters; but, they've also been brought in to deal with the new alien threat since their aircraft are the only ones capable of taking the aliens on. Still, one would expect the fleet to begin producing the new planes once testing is complete.
For a certain inquirer:
Wiki info about Macross, Robotech (TV Series):
Robotech was one of the first anime televised in the United States that attempted to include most of the complexity and drama of its original Japanese source material. Produced by Harmony Gold USA, Inc. in association with Tatsunoko Prod. Co., Ltd., Robotech is a story adapted with edited content and revised dialogue from the animation of three different mecha anime series: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada. Harmony Gold's cited reasoning for combining these unrelated series was its decision to market Macross for American weekday syndication television, which required a minimum of 65 episodes at the time (thirteen weeks at five episodes per week). Macross and the two other series each had fewer episodes than required since they originally aired in Japan as a weekly series.Robotech is the creation of Carl Macek (wiki).
Official Robotech site
More on current Macross Frontier episodes:
Macross Frontier 01 | Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
Macross Frontier 02 | Sea Slugs! Anime Blog
AstroNerdBoy's Anime & Manga Blog: Macross Frontier 02
AstroNerdBoy's Anime & Manga Blog: Macross Frontier 03
Anime Blog ga Arimasu » Blog Archive » Macross Frontier 03
Wakaranai » Macross Frontier 3 - 28 Deaths Later
Macross Frontier - 04 | Random Curiosity
Macross Frontier Mecha/Technology Thread *Read 1st post* - Macross ...
Macross Frontier Images
Macross Frontier - Forum - Anime News Network
Macross Mecha Manual