Golden Age Weaponsmiths PCF IV “Swift” class Patrol Boat:
Golden Age has made a major industry out of refitting surviving Pre-Rifts military vehicles along with the building of new vehicles such as trucks, jeeps, and similar types. The Company has a number of factories for this purpose. They do manufacture a light armored vehicle based on Pre-Rifts designs. Finally, the company manufacture a number of small boat designs even though many know them more for refitting larger naval vessels especially for the Coalition States. The reality is that the smaller patrol boats sell in much greater numbers and are seen much more commonly, patrolling the Great Lakes, the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, and the various rivers. They are operated by mercenaries and small governments.
The designs for the Swift class Patrol Boat appear to have been ancient even before the coming of the Rifts. Original in service with the United States Navy, all had been retired from that service before the coming of the Rifts. The design schematics were found, with a number of other designs, in what appears to have been an ancient pre-Rifts naval library. Golden Age produces a larger vessel known as an “Osprey” and a smaller design which is known as a “PBR” Each has a stripped down version without any weapon system. Some are later armed while others are operated in this stripped condition as fast cargo boats.
As with the other vessels, there are a number of upgraded versions available. Many replace the weaponry with more powerful weapons such as rail guns. Another common upgrade is the replacement of the diesel power plant with either a pure electrical propulsion system or a fusion reactor. Most upgraded versions of the vessel are still far cheaper than competing designs.
The original “Swift” boats were made from aluminum with select areas reinforced with fiberglass. Golden Age versions replace this with high strength alloys and composites. These boats cannot be considered heavily armored although the materials give the boat at least some protection against modern weaponry. As with most Golden Age products, the boat lacks a full environmental system. This is partially compensated by the fact that most crews wear environmental body armor especially while in combat.
The engines originally in the Swift Boat would have been expensive to copy and far less efficient than modern engines. As such, Golden Age decided to use their own power plant designs. These engines give about eighty percent better power and give a top speed of thirty-six knots. As well as being more powerful, the engines are lighter and more fuel efficient. Range at economical speed is about twelve hundred nautical miles. Unlike the Osprey, the Swift is not really effective at operating in open water.
These vessels require a much smaller crew than the Osprey class with a crew of about six. Often one crew will be an officer. There is berthing aboard the vessel although no proper messing facilities. About a half a dozen additional personal can be embarked although in extremely cramped conditions. There is no provisions for power armors aboard. Electronics are fairly primitive with a short range radar system and a number of night vision optics. There is a depth finder so that the vessel does not run aground although the vessel does not mount a full sonar system.
For weaponry, the boat is reasonably well armed even though of relatively low tech designs. In a midships mount above the pilot house is a twin .50 caliber machine gun mount. A saving feature is the massive payload of around 20,000 rounds of ammunition. In addition, the boat has in the after deck a mount which is a combination of an 81 mm mortar and a single .50 caliber. The mortar is useful for support roles while the machine gun is useful for self defense of the gun crew. On the forward part of the boat, a Mk 19 Automatic grenade launcher can be fitted. Standard manning does not support this weapon. In most cases, the crew have a variety of small arms as well.
The general upgrades to the weapon include replacing the machine guns with rail guns with Northern Gun designs being quite popular. As well, the old Mk 19 style grenade launcher, if carried, is often replaced by a Wellington automatic grenade launcher with longer ammunition belts. Finally, a pair of Wellington four shot mini-missile launchers are often fitted on either side. These fire directly forward and can be extremely effective at both bombard and anti-boat roles.
Model Type: PCF IV “Swift” class Light Patrol Boat
Vehicle Type: River & Waterway, Light Patrol Craft
Crew: Six (6); 1 Junior Officer / Petty Officer, 5 Enlisted
Troops / Passengers: Maximum of Six (6) - Extremely cramped.
M.D.C. by Location:
|Bridge / Pilot House:||100|
| Spotlight (4):||20 each|
|M2HB 12.7 mm (.50 cal) Twin turret (Pilot House):||60|
|81 mm Mortar Mount (After Deck):||40|
|12.7 mm M2HB Heavy Machine Gun (with 81 mm Mortar):||20|
|40 mm Mk 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher (Optional - bow):||30|
| Short Range Radar Array:||25|
| Main Body:||280|
 These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
 If radar is destroyed, all long range tracking ability is lost. There is no backup tracking system on the weapon mount themselves.
 Destroying the main body causes the vessel to lose structural integrity, causing the vessel to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the boat.
Surface: 41.46 mph (36 knots/ 66.72 kph)
Range: 1,381.9 miles (1,200 nautical miles / 2,223.9 kilometers.) Vessel carries about two week of supplies on board.
Length: 51 feet 6 inches (15.70 meters) overall
Draft: 3 feet 10 inches (1.17 meters) fully loaded
Width: 13 feet 8 inches (4.19 meters)
Displacement: 17.5 tons empty and 22.6 tons fully loaded
Cargo: Can carry 2,000 lbs (907 kilograms) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Most of the vessel's spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Conventional, Twin Diesel (800 hp each)
Black Market Cost: 8 million credits. Bow mounted Mk 19 Grenade Launchers adds 50,000 credits to cost of vessel. Stripped version costs 1.2 million credits.
- Midships Twin M2HB 12.7 millimeter Machine Guns (1 Mount):
Above the pilot house of the boat, the vessel has a pair of machine guns
which are linked together. There is also a shield to give protection to
the gunner controlling the weapon system. Weapon fires Wellington WI-20
Heavy Ramjet ammunition for greater damage and penetration. Many crews
replace this with a heavy rail gun for greater damage.
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
Mega Damage: Single shot inflicts 1D4 and 40 round burst inflicts 5D6. Both barrels can be fire linked together to fire both weapons to inflict 1D6x10 (40 round burst from each)
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: 20,000 rounds total, 10,000 rounds per gun (250 bursts each)
- After Weapon Mount (81 mm Mortar / 12.7 mm Machine Gun):
The after weapon mount combines a M245 81 mm Mortar with a 12.7 mm M2HB
Heavy Machine Gun. The machine-gun acts as a self defense mount for the
gun crew. The mortar is smooth bore and barrel loaded, It is operated by
a crew of three (although can be operated by one at a reduced firing rate)
and is hand loaded. It is extremely useful in the short range indirect
fire roll. Range is less that true artillery but is still extremely effective
in indirect fire rolls. There are special guided rounds available although
rare. See Battlefield
Mortars for Rifts for more details on the mortar.
Maximum Effective Range: 81 mm Mortar: 1,390 feet (425 meters) to 19,360 feet (5,900 meters) depending on number of charges used. Minimum range is 230 feet (70 meters) to 3,120 feet (950 meters) depending on charges used. M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
Mega-Damage: 81 mm Mortar: By mortar round type (See mortar table for details: Fragmentation 1D6x10, High Explosive 2D4x10, Armor Piercing 2D6x10, Plasma 2D6x10, and has a vast number of other type of rounds as well). M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
Rate of Fire: 81 mm Mortar: 20 to 30 rounds per minute depending on number of charges (5 to 7.5 per melee) for two minutes, 10 to 20 rounds per minute after two minutes of fire depending on number of charges (2.5 to 5 per melee) M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: 81 mm Mortar: 96 rounds total (24 ready rounds.) M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: 5,000 rounds - 125 burst (200 ready rounds - 5 bursts)
- Bow Mounted 40 millimeter Mk 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher (Optional):
Weapon mount is optionally carried on the bow of the vessel. Not
as advanced as the later grenade launcher designs including the Wellington
weapon system. Weapon can fire single shot or short burst of ten rounds.
Ammunition cans of 32 or 48 rounds can be used for weapon mount. More modern
replacements usually use longer belts for a greater effective payload.
Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
Mega-Damage: 3D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft and 5D6 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, burst of 10 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft and 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft. Other special rounds are available.
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner - Single Shot or Ten round bursts.
Payload: Usually uses a 48 round magazine (has ten magazines standard ready to use) but can use 32 round magazines as well.
- Nightvision Optics: Range: 2,000 ft (609 meters). Uses light amplification to make a picture. Emits no light but will not work in absolute darkness. System can be dazzled by sudden bright lights but does not physically blind the pilot.
- Thermo-Imager: Range: 2,000 feet (609 meters). Finds the infra-red radiations of things that are warm. Also enables pilot to see in smoke, shadows and darkness.
- Short Range Radar: Power Armor is equipped with a short range radar. Radar system has a range of 10 miles (16 km) and can identify and track up to 24 targets.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.