Golden Age Weaponsmiths Arleigh Burke class Destroyers:
In the Twenty-Thirties, the United States found all of their existing ships obsolete with the invention of a series of high strength alloys and composites which could take abuse which could destroy any design constructed from conventional materials. This was coupled with the invention of explosives which had many times the power of previous conventional explosives. A large portion of the United States Navy, over sixty ships, were Arleigh Burke class destroyers of various flights and the United States Navy could not afford to immediately replace all of the destroyers and decided instead of rebuilt about half of the Burke class and decommission the remaining as replacement ships were built. All of the Burke class destroyers which were rebuilt were of the Flight IIA design with a hanger. New armor was added to the destroyers and weaponry was improved. These improved Burke class destroyers served until around 2050 at which time the last of them were decommissioned and laid up in mothball status. Decommissioning involved the protecting of all sensor and weapon systems so they would be able to re-enter service quickly and as a result many of the systems were retained. When the militaries increased their forces prior to the coming of the rifts, there was a debate about preparing the ships to enter service but instead their mothball period was extended to give the navy more ships in case of an emergency.
This is the status they were sitting before the coming of the rifts and this is how Golden Age Weaponsmiths has found a good number of them with eight being able to be repaired by partially cannibalizing some of the more damaged ships. Golden Age Weaponsmiths has sold the majority of the ships they have converted to the Coalition States (six in all) but a couple have been sold to other interests (for game terms, most likely Free Quebec or Columbia).
The six ships purchased by the Coalition States form an important portion of their Naval forces and are used most often in the role of escort for convoys or one of their carriers. The six ships serving in the CS Navy are the MD-1 Revenge (ex DDG 82), MD-2 Conqueror (ex DDG 86), MD-3 Glorieux (ex DDG 80), MD-4 Victoire (ex DDG 93), MD-5 Sabre (ex DDG 104), MD-6 Samuel de Champlain (ex DDG 89). Earlier, there was a rumor that the ships would be soon decommissioned by the Coalition but since they are a better long range platform than the James Bay class, it is believed that they will be retained for the foreseeable future. Author Note: The Author suggests that this writeup is used in place of the writeup done by Palladium Books in the Coalition Navy due to being more complete and being based on better research and a better general knowledge of the United States Navy by the author.
These ships are still fairly capable even when compared to the ships constructed by post Rifts navies. Of course, they have a fraction of the capabilities of the more advanced pre-Rifts designs. Originally, the whole class was constructed from normal steel which cannot take the abuse from most advanced weapons developed in the so called “Mega-Damage” revolution. This was solved in the vessels which remained in commission by fitting the ship with high strength ceramic and plastic armors. A fairly novel approach was with the ships engines. Most governments, including the CS want their military ships to use nuclear propulsion but the ships were originally gas turbine. Instead of a complex conversion, Golden Age modified nuclear jet aircraft engines for the ship’s propulsion and simply fitted them in place of the gas turbines. This was done by the United States and several other navies before the coming of the Rifts on several classes which were originally powered, but Golden Age Weaponsmiths was the first known to have convert ships in this manner after the coming of the Rifts. The upgraded Burke class frigates were taken out of service just as the United States began replacing gas turbines in their navy with fusion turbines. As a result of the higher power of the new engines, the ship’s shafts had to be reinforced. The shafts had not been reinforced in United States Naval service when they were upgraded although they were protected against corrosion. The ship’s sensor systems have been retained but have been ungraded where needed to deal with new threats. Oirginally, the Flight IIA version of the Burke did not mount a towed array, but this was rectified when the ships were upgraded. The VLS missile launchers were designed to carry a much larger missile than the present long range missile but due to the cost involved in converting to higher payload launchers, the old Mk 41 VLS launchers have been retained and have been modified to be able to carry one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles. Originally, the flight IIA Burke class destroyers had their harpoon missile launchers deleted but when upgraded in the Twenty-Thirties, the harpoon canisters restored. The missile launchers were mounted between the superstructure and have been converted to launch standard long range missiles. These will normally carry special surface skimming missiles similar in role to the harpoon but can carry any type of long range missile. The five inch gun and torpedo tubes have been retained on all models with improved ordnance. The five inch gun can fire special extended range guided munitions. Along with the Harpoon missile tubes, the later versions of the flight IIA Burkes had their point defense mounts removed to make room for electronic warfare systems. It was assumed that ESSM missiles launched from the Mk 41 VLS would take over the close range defense role. When rebuilt, the EW systems were replaced by a smaller system which was every bit as capable but allowed for the Phalanx mounts to be restored. Some consideration was given to replacing the mount with a RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) or Sea RAM mount but the Phalanx mounts were already in existence and just needed to be upgraded. The class was decommissioning before the Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems was being introduced and the old mounts were retained when the ships were put in mothball status. On Burke class destroyers serving in the Coalition Navy, the close in weapon system was replaced by a rail gun but on the ships sold to other governments, the Vulcan cannon has been retained with ramjet rounds replacing the standard ammunition.
As all of the destroyers converted are later model Arleigh Burke destroyers, they have both a hanger and a landing pad. Two helicopters or other VTOL aircraft can be carried. The most common helicopters for ships serving in the Coalition States Navy are the Sea Storm or Sea Wasp. The main purpose of the helicopters is for anti submarine operations and they are equipped for that role but can be used to attack other surface ships or to support amphibious assaults. Due to a lack in automation compared to later United States navy vessels, these destroyers require large crews for their size.
Model Type: Modified DDG-51 Flight IIA
Class: Guided Missile Destroyer
Crew: 342 total; 23 officers, 24 chief petty officer, 294 enlisted.
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|12||SAMAS Power Armors|
|2||Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft|
M.D.C. by Location:
| Phase Array Radar Panels (4, Superstructure):||300 each|
|Forward Mk 41 Missile Launchers (32 Cell):||160|
|Aft Mk 41 Missile Launchers (64 Cell):||320|
|Mk 141 Missile Canisters (8 total, 4 on each side)||100 each|
|Medium Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):||35 each|
|Five Inch (127) Barrel (1, Turret):||80|
|Five Inch (127 mm) cannon Turret (Forward):||200|
|Phalanx Gun CIWS (2, Superstructure):||100 each|
|Chaff Launcher (2, Superstructure):||10 each|
| Main Body:||1,250|
 Destroying Phase Array radar panels will destroy the ship’s fire control systems but guns have backup systems and panels can compensate for each other.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the ship’s structural integrity, causing it to sink. There are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.
Surface: 41.5 mph (36 knots/ 66.7 kph)
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 15 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries 6 months of supplies on board.
Draft: 24.7 feet (7.5 meters) mean and 32.7 feet (9.97 meters) including sonar
Width: 66.9 feet (20.4 meters)
Length: 509.5 feet (155.3 meters)
Displacement: 6,870 tons standard and 9,440 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 200 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Originally conventional gas turbine propulsion, converted to four nuclear reactors with an average life span of 15 years.
Black Market Price: Golden Age has sold their converted destroyers for 275 million credits too outside interests but it is believed that they charged the Coalition between 200 and 250 million credits each ship.
- One (1) MK 45 Single Barrel Five Inch (127 mm) Naval Gun:
The ship mounts a five inch gun on the bow of the ship. The gun is very
reliable although it fires at a relatively slow rate (20 rounds per minute).
The gun was carried on many ship classes until well into the twenty first
century. The guns can be used against other ships, against ground targets,
and against aircraft. The weapon can use special artillery rounds, rocket
assisted rounds, and can even fire Extended Range Guided Munitions.
Maximum Effective Range: 12 miles (10.4 nautical miles/19.3 km) for standard projectiles, 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles/32.2 km) for rocket propelled rounds, and treat Extended Range Guided Munitions as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for High Explosive, 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 ft (2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for Plasma. Rocket projectiles: 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for High Explosive, 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 4 ft (1.2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for Plasma. Extended Range Guided Munitions: Treat as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Use the statistics for 105 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate).
Rate of Fire: Normal Projectiles: Five shots per cannon per melee. Extended Range Guided Munitions can be fired at the rate of one shot per melee
Payload: 600 rounds - Each Extended Range Guided Munitions round takes up space for 2 normal rounds. Ship normally carries usually carries 125 High Explosive, 125 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 100 Plasma, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 50 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds, and 50 Extended Range Guided Munitions. The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.
- Close In Weapon Systems (2): Originally removed from the
ships but mounted back when ships were upgraded by the United States Navy.
These are a last-ditch weapon system intended to destroy missiles and aircraft
that manage to get past the ships other defenses. Depending on if the ship
is serving in the Coalition Navy or an independent navy, the ships can
be fitted with two different types of CIWS. Independent ships simply have
two MK15 Phalanx Block II that uses 20 mm ramjet rounds and Coalition ships
are fitted with two CIWS C90R Gatling Rail Guns.
- MK 15 Phalanx Block II 20 mm Autocannons: These weapon are
simply the standard pre-rifts phalanx system that is using Ramjet rounds
instead of standard. The weapon systems are still quite effective at destroying
incoming missiles and are fully automated. The weapons can be used on surface
targets as well as against missiles and aircraft. Each autocannon can fire
on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missiles
and +2 to strike aircraft).
Maximum Effective Range: 5,000 feet (1,524 meters)
Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 for a burst of 60 round (2D4 for each round but gun always fires in bursts).
Rate of Fire: Six bursts per melee for each mount (Has +3 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).
Payload: 600 rounds (10 bursts) each. Ship carries an additional 12,000 rounds of ammunition in magazines. Autocannon requires 2 minutes (8 melees) to reload by properly trained personnel (Double for untrained crews).
- Coalition CIWS C90R Gatling Rail Guns: This is a close copy
of the original pre-rifts weapon system but the tracking system has been
improved and refined to have better hit probability against missiles. The
most obvious modification that the autocannon has been replaced by a six
barrel rapid fire rail gun that fires 20 mm special discarding sabot rounds.
Like the original MK 15 Phalanx, the system is unmanned and fully automated.
It is designed to have a much greater payload than the original pre-rifts
autocannon CIWS system. The weapons can be used on surface targets as well
as against missiles and aircraft. Each rail gun can fire on automatic at
up to six targets per melee (Has +4 to strike missiles and +2 to strike
Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters)
Mega-Damage: 3D4x10 for a burst of 60 round
Rate of Fire: Six bursts per melee for each mount (Has +4 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).
Payload: 6,000 rounds (100 bursts) each.
- MK 15 Phalanx Block II 20 mm Autocannons: These weapon are simply the standard pre-rifts phalanx system that is using Ramjet rounds instead of standard. The weapon systems are still quite effective at destroying incoming missiles and are fully automated. The weapons can be used on surface targets as well as against missiles and aircraft. Each autocannon can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).
- Two (2) Strategic MK 41 Vertical Launch Missile Launchers: The
forward launcher has 32 cells for missiles due to the forward gun removing
space that could have been used by the missile launchers and the aft launcher
has 64 cells for missiles. These are the longer strategic version of the
missile launcher and can carry the longer cruise missile. From the beginning,
the launchers have been found to be very flexible and adaptable. The launcher
was originally design for the Tomahawk and Standard SM-2 Missile. On Rifts
Earth, the launchers have been adapted to hold one cruise missile, two
long range missiles, or four medium range missiles per cell. Cruise missiles
are usually used against hardened fixed targets, long range missiles are
normally used against aircraft and other large targets, and medium range
missiles are normally used against closer targets such as incoming missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise, long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per cruise, long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) missiles for both launchers per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
Payload: 32 cells missiles in forward VLS launcher and 64 cells for missiles in aft VLS launcher (possible total of 192 long range missiles). One cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles may be carried per cell. Ship carries no reloads.
- Mk 141 Long Range Missile Canister Launchers (8): These launchers
are special canisters with four on each side of the ship’s superstructure.
These canisters were copied from Old United States Harpoon canister launchers.
While the launchers are reusable, they are still inexpensive and are easily
jettisoned if damages. While any long range missile type can be carried,
usually special surface skimming missiles will be carried in launchers
and are used against surface targets only.
Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (Surface skimming missiles have 25% less range than normal long range missile, 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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles (All launchers operates together.)
Payload: One missile each launcher for a grand total of eight long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads).
- Two (2) Torpedo Launchers: There is one launcher on each
side of the ship. Each torpedo launcher has 3 torpedo tubes and tubes are
12.75 in (324 mm) wide. Torpedoes are normally used against submarines
but can be targeted on surface targets as well. Ship carries 60 reloads
for torpedoes. For the most part torpedo warheads are equal to medium range
Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (32 km)
Mega Damage: By Medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or three (3) torpedoes per side, Reloading takes one full melee
Payload: Three torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of six torpedoes (Has 60 torpedoes for reloads)
- Chaff Launcher (2 - Non CS Only): Located on the superstructure
of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. Both launchers
must be operated or effects will be reduced. Rifts Earth decoys systems are
assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to
technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20%
to rolls for smart missiles) and reduce effects of launchers by 10% per launcher
not used (Add +10% to rolls per launcher not used.) Only useful against missiles,
not useful against torpedoes underwater.
Maximum Effective Range: Around Ship
Mega Damage: None
- 01-35 - Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
36-60 - Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
61-00 - No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
- SLQ-25F Nixie Towed torpedo decoy (1 - Non CS Only): A special
decoy which is towed behind the ship. The Coalition has not seen a need
for this system so has not equipped their ships with it. It generates a
sound like the ships propellers in order to confuse incoming torpedoes.
Only effective at speeds below 25 knots. Otherwise, the noise of the ship’s
systems and propellers is too powerful to mask. Rifts Earth decoy systems
are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological
Effects: The decoy has a 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart torpedoes.
Decoys have a duration of 30 minutes (120 melee rounds)
Payload: One ready to use, with three more ready to deploy. It takes three minutes (twelve melees) to reel out another decoy.
The ship has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
- SPY-1D+ Phased Array Radar: Powerful and flexible pre-rifts radar system that is comprised of four panels that each emit radar waves. Less advanced than the phased radar system fitted on the Coalition ships but still powerful. If allowed by the horizon, the system can track out to 175 nautical miles (201.4 miles / 324.1 km) and can simultaneously track and identify up to 288 targets at one time. The system controls missile launched from the long range missile launchers and the system can track and guide each individual missile to a individual target for up to 96 targets. If a target is eliminated, missiles are automatically guided to a new target. The system can also control missiles launched from other linked vessels as well and can also act as fire control for gun mounts.
- SQS-53C Hull Sonar System: Mounted under the bow of the ship. Sonar system has a range of around 16 nautical miles (18.4 miles / 29.6 km). This hull sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 16 targets at one time
- SQR-19 Towed Array Sonar: The system is basically a long and very sensitive sonar system carried behind the ship on a long cable. Sonar system has a range of around 75 nautical miles (86.3 miles/139.9 km). This towed array Sonar is a passive only sensor system. Sonar system can track up to 32 targets at one time.
- Sonar Masking System: The Ship uses water bubbles to form a barrier against sonar as well. Gives a -10% penalty to any Read Sensory Instrument rolls to detect this ship using sonar.
- Radar Defeating Profile: The ship superstructure is designed so that the radar profile of the ship is reduced. Because of this, attempts to detect the ship using radar are made with a -10% penalty to read sensor rolls when attempting to detect this ship. Go to General Detection Penalties / Bonuses for more information on penalties and bonuses to use with stealth.
- Advanced Integrated Electronic Warfare System (AIEWS): Combination of radar detection system (ESM) and an active jamming system. The system can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar. In jamming mode, causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
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Revised Burke Destroyer image drawn and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).
He has no art home page at present but many other items on my site.
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 1998 to 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.