Coalition Death’s Head Transport Mark II:
Many mercenary soldiers who have fought the Coalition talk with each other about what in the Coalition that they have fought scares them the most. Not all but a surprising number of them fear the Death’s Head Transport more than anything else. It is fast, heavily armed and can carry about two companies of troops. It could be considered a combination between an assault transport and a gun ship. A good analogy of it is that it is the Rifts Earth version of the late Twentieth Century C-130 Hercules transport with its ability to fill multiple roles. The Death’s Head Transport is quite versatile and has be used as a cargo transport, a command post, a radar platform, and as an aerial hospital in addition to it normal role.
When the Coalition began fielding their new army, they came up with heavy hover transports to replace or augment the Death’s Head Transports. The Death Bringer APC is much smaller and is not as heavily armed and cannot carry more than a fraction of what can be carried in the Death’s Head Transport. The Sky Lifter can carry heavier loads but is only lightly armed. Neither of the New designs is heavily enough armed and armored to deal with assaults on well protected targets. For this reason, senior officers decided that they would upgrade the standard Death’s Head Transport instead of replacing them. These modified transports have begun appearing in the field and have been found to be even more effective in combat than the original Death’s Head Transport.
With the new alloys available, it was possible to greatly increase the protection of the Death’s Head Transport. With the replacement of the armor, it was also decided that the aerodynamics would be improved. The front eyes are no longer indented as deeply and lines defining the skull structure was reduced and most of the other projections have been smoothed to further decrease air resistance. This includes rounding the bottom of the skull's bottom jaw and filling in the indentations of the sides where the laser turrets were mounted. They have been replaced by six bubble style turrets on the sides of the transport. The same general skull design is painted on the front so the modified Death’s Head Transport has a recognizable visage when compared to the original.
The Death’s Head Transport was always considered well armed but the Mark II is much heavier armed than the original. The front rail gun was replaced by the same rail gun that was used on many Iron Heart Armament' vessels and is used in several of the Coalitions as well. The laser turrets on the sides are also of an Iron Heart Armament design. The Coalition copied the Vulcan Laser Cannons from the Air Castle Bomber. Finally, the medium range missile payload was increased from 10 missiles to 50 missiles. One of the largest problems the transports had was dealing with properly used fighters and the medium range missile launcher's payload was increased to deal with that even though it cut slightly into troop capacity. The troop compliment is only slightly reduced compared to the original model and retains the special compartment for the Spider Skull Walker. While most sensors were retained unmodified, both radar and nap of the earth tracking has been improved. While the radar makes the transport a more effective combatant, it also gives them better ability to act in the battlefield control roll.
There is a new modified version of the Mark II Death’s Head Transport that has been encountered. This design is actually inspired by an enemy using a captured that was converted into a missile launching platform. The converted Death’s Head Transport was so effective that the Coalition decided to copy the idea. This idea is also very similar to a late Twentieth Century design that would have converted a passenger airliner design into a cruise missile platform. The Coalition missile platform has the two side rear doors enlarged and missiles are fired from theses two launchers. All of the troop and equipment space is converted into missile storage and the huge aircraft can carry 200 long range missiles. All other systems are retained. This long range missile launching Death’s Head Transport variant does not close with the battlefield but will instead fire volleys of long range missiles while standing off from the target.
|Model Type:||AFC-050A||Death’s Head Transport (Original, Rifts main book starting on page 199)|
|AFC-050B||Death’s Head Transport Mark II (Modified Version)|
|BFC-050C||Death’s Head Missile Platform (Replaces troops with long range missiles)|
|Vehicle Type:||AFC-050B||Air Armored Troop Carrier|
|BFC-050C||Air Standoff Missile Platform|
|Crew:||AFC-050B||15 (Pilot, copilot, 8 gunners, 2 com. engineers, and 3 technical officers)|
|BFC-050C||15 (Pilot, copilot, 9 gunners, 2 com. engineers, and 3 technical officers)|
Troops & Equipment (AFC-050B Only):
up to 140 tons of cargo (280,000 lbs / 127,000 kg)
Common Load 1:
|2||Mark V APC (with normal compliment) / Mark IX Missile Launcher Vehicle|
|2||UAR-1 Enforcer Robots (or smaller giant robots)|
|1||Spider Skull Walker (Special Compartment)|
|92||Infantry Soldiers (up to half can be in Standard / Smiling Jack SAMAS)|
|1||Spider Skull Walker (Special Compartment)|
|380||Infantry Soldiers (up to half can be in Standard / Smiling Jack SAMAS)|
M.D.C. by Location:
|Forward Observation Windows (2, eye shaped):||200 each|
| Eye Sliding Metal Covers (2, as needed):||300 each|
|C-266 Forward Twin Rail Gun Turret (1):||300|
|CV-288T Side Mounted Vulcan Laser Turrets (6):||150 each|
|CR-51B Concealed Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):||100 each|
| Tail Fin:||225|
| Lower Saucer||800|
| Lower Saucer Jets (4):||200 each|
| Rear Jets (3):||300 each|
|Side Bay Doors (2, 1 per side)||200 each|
|Giant Bay Doors (1, Front Skull Mouth):||350|
|Reinforced Crew Compartment:||200|
| Main Body:||1950|
 Eye sliding covers protect the main observation windows and the vehicle has cameras that allow full visibility.
 Destruction of the rudder will still allow the transport to be controlled by the varying of power levels of the engines but has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls.
 Destruction of saucer jets will increase minimum speed by 50 mph (80.5 kph), gives -2 to dodge, and will give a -10% penalty to quick 360 degree rotations for each engine lost. Destruction of all four jets will prevent quick 360 rotations. Destruction of lower saucer will increase minimum speed to 200 mph (321.9 kph), give a -8 to dodge, and will prevent quick 360 rotations.
 The destruction of one engine will reduce the transports top speed by one third and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a 8% penalty to piloting. The destruction of additional engines will give cumulative penalties. Destruction of all three engines will cause the platform to only be able to hover.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the transport down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight. The Death’s Head Transport's crew must eject to survive.
Driving on Ground: Not possible but may travel in hover mode as low as 10 feet (3.05 meters) due to improved avionics.
Flying: The rocket propulsion enables the Death’s Head Transport to hover stationary up to 2000 feet (610 meters) or fly. Maximum flying speed is Mach 1 (741.5 mph / 1,193.3 kph) but cruising speed is about 350 mph (563.3 kph). Maximum altitude is limited to about 40,000 feet (12,192.0 meters)
Flying Range: The nuclear power supply gives the transport decades of life but the jet rockets get hot and need to cool after a maximum of 20 hours of continuous flight at speeds above cruising. It can fly indefinitely at cruising speeds and/or with rest stops every few hours.
Water: The Death’s Head Transport can hover across the surface of water at a speed of 200 mph (321.9 kph). It can submerge underwater up to an ocean depth of 2000 feet (609.6 meters) with a maximum underwater of 35 mph (30.4 knots / 56.3 kph). Vehicle cannot open any of the bay doors without flooding and sinking.
Height: 76 feet (23.2 meters)
Width: 104 feet (31.7 meters)
Length: 240 feet (73.2 meters)
Weight: 1350 tons (1,224.7 metric tons) fully loaded
Cargo: Cargo Bay can carry a total of about 140 tons of cargo (In place of vehicles or long range missiles depending on model). Crew compartment supplies include a dozen first aid kits (including RMK Robot Medical Kits), rations and water to accommodate 280 soldiers for 2 weeks, 144 C-12/CP-40 Laser Rifles, 48 C-10 Laser Rifles, 96 C-14/CP-50 Assault Rifles, 48 C-27/C-29 Plasma Rifles, 24 Rocket Launchers (144 Mini-Missiles), and 1440 Standard E-Clips
Power System: Nuclear, average Death’s Head Transport's energy life is 20 years.
Black Market Cost: No Death’s Head Transports have been sold on the Black Market. CS Manufacturing Cost is estimated to be 350 million for AFC-050B and 400 million for BFC-050C.
- C-266 Long-Range Automatic Rail Gun Turret: Mounted on the
top of the transport near the front and replaces the original rail gun.
This weapon is a copy of the rail guns carried on the Sea King cruiser
and Triton patrol boat. The rail gun is a heavy weapons designed to knock
down missiles and enemy aircraft, as well as to engage seagoing vessels
and land targets at a distance.
Maximum Effective Range: 11,000 feet (about two miles / 3.2 km).
Mega-Damage: A burst is 40 rounds and inflicts 3D4 x 10 M.D.; can only fire bursts.
Rate of Fire: Six bursts per melee.
Payload: 8000 rounds (200 bursts).
- CV-288 Vulcan Laser Turrets (6): Mounted on the sides of
the transport and replace the original twin turrets. Each mount can rotate
360 degrees and has a 90-degree arc of fire. Unlike original laser cannons,
these Vulcan lasers are mounted in ball turrets and are not recessed. Vulcan
laser cannons are copied from the Iron Hear Industries' Air Castle bomber.
Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (6,828.8 meters).
Mega-Damage: 2D4 x 10 M.D. per burst.
Rate of Fire: Six bursts per melee.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
- CR-51B Medium-Range Missile Launchers (2): The Death’s Head
carries two medium range missile launchers concealed in the forehead of
the skull-like front section. Panels slide open when missiles are fired.
The launchers can be controlled by the pilot, Copilot, and/or Gunners.
They are usually outfitted with High-Explosive, Fragmentary or Plasma missiles
and the missiles are normally smart missiles. This weapon system uses an
automatic loading system and carries additional missiles for reloads.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles.
Payload: 25 missiles each with a total of 50 missiles for both.
- Launch Long Range Missile Launchers (2 - BFC-050C Only): The
stand off long range missile launching variant of the Death’s Head Transport
has two long range missile launchers with one on either side of the fuselage
of the transport. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including
surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) Long range missiles
are normally used against large targets and aircraft / missiles. About
half of all missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are
normally smart missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or ten (10) long range missiles per launcher per melee. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee.
Payload: 200 Long Range Missiles Total.
- Smoke Dispensers (2): a smoke dispenser is mounted on each
side of the transport. The unit can release a cloud of smoke that will
cover an 80 foot (24 meter) area in front of it. They can also release
Payload: 12 each for a total of 24, usual mix is 16 smoke and 8 tear gas.
The Death’s Head Transport has all the standard features of a standard aircraft (same as standard robot including loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed..
- Thermo-Imager: A special optical heat sensor that allows the infrared radiation of warm objects to be converted into a visible image. Enables the pilot to see in the dark, in shadows, and through smoke. Range: 2000 feet (610 in).
- Infrared and Ultraviolet Optics: This optical system projects a beam of infrared light that is invisible to the normal eye. The infrared beam enables the pilot to see in the dark and to see other infrared beams. The ultraviolet system enables the pilot to see into the ultraviolet spectrum of light and is mostly used to detect the light beams of ultraviolet detection systems. Note: The infrared light beam can be seen by anybody who also has infrared optics, and the beam can be traced back to its source. Smoke impairs the infrared beam, making it impossible to see.
- Infrared Searchlights: Built into the face of the Death’s Head are a pair of headlights that also serve as infrared searchlights. The lights can be used to scan an area at night using the invisible light to avoid detection. Only somebody who can also see infrared light will see the beams. Range: 500 feet (152 m).
- Radar: Range 500 miles (804.7 km), can identify and track up to 96 targets simultaneously. With Combat & Targeting Computer, the Deaths Head MK II can fire missiles at up to twelve four targets at the same time. It is also capable of Terrain Following for low altitude flight.
- ESM: Can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar.
- + 1 to dodge when flying at cruising speeds and
+ 2 to dodge when flying over 300 mph.
Trained CS pilots get an additional + 10% to pilot the Coalition transport. Note that city maneuvering/combat usually requires piloting rolls.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2000 & 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.