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Iron Heart Armament Sea Leopard class Corvette:


Just before being taken over by the Coalition, Iron Heart Armament had just finished the first of a new series of small naval vessels. There were to have been seven more of the vessel to have been completed within the next two months with half of the vessels already having been ordered by Free Quebec and the rest already having prospective clients. This included the Republic of Columbia who has already sent protest to the Coalition ambassador.


When Coalition attacked the Iron Heart Industries facilities, the one completed corvette was able to escape and the boat’s location is currently unknown. However, the remaining boats were all captured by the Coalition during the attack. Since then, the Coalition has completed all of the unfinished vessels and pressed them into service with their forces.


While it does not look currently like the Coalition plans to build any similar vessels, there have been suggests among their own naval circles that these boats are considered among the most useful of the vessels operated by their fledgling navy. They often operate in lakes, especially the Great Lakes.


There is speculation that, based on the Coalition’s success operating these boats, that they would have sold quite well. It was also quite likely that they would have been comparatively inexpensive. Speculation is also that the largest customers would have various mercenary groups. The larger vessels produced by Iron Heart Industries were generally considered too expensive while their patrol boats simply did not have enough capabilities.


As one can surmise, the Sea Leopard was suppose to fill a role between that of the Triton patrol boat and the destroyer class that later became the Coalition James Bay class. With its comparatively small size and shallow draft, it can operate in far shallower waters than a frigate could, let alone a destroyer. In addition to lakes, the boat has a shallow enough draft to be able to be operated in quite a number of rivers. Even so, it is large enough that it can operate in the very stormy weather that can sometimes be found in the northern Great Lakes and in the open ocean making it quite flexible.


As far as equipment, the design of the Sea Leopard is considered to be far better balanced than the Triton class patrol boat with a better and longer ranged weapon load as well. A handful of military scholars have looked at the design and there appears to be striking similarities between it and a late Twentieth Century naval constructed in the United States for the south Pacific nation of Thailand. Built by the Tacoma Boat Building Company, the yard closed soon after the boats were completed.


Probably the most interesting part of the vessel is the propulsion system. The boat uses a fusion turbine system derived from the engine used on the Grey Falcon class attack jet. The boat’s cruising speed is considered excellent, over thirty knots, but when the engine is brought to full power, the boat can reach forty knots. It has been described like activating a fighter jet’s afterburner.


With water cooling, there was the thought that the engine could be run virtually indefinitely without overheating. However, this has not found to be the case with various internal systems overheating eventually. It can be run for far longer than the engines of the Grey Falcon however. It has been speculated that the problems with overheating would be compensated for but it was never resolved before the Coalition attacked their facilities.


As far as hull form, the Sea Leopard is considered to be relatively conventional in its basic design. It does not use the most advanced composites and alloys but is still extremely strongly built. As well, the vessel is almost immune from the effects of the environment.


In addition to recovering and then copying larger caliber cannons such as eight and five inch gun mounts, the engineers were able to recover and then copy the design of a rapid firing rapid firing three inch cannons which had been popular on a number of smaller warship designs. One of these is mounted on the bow of the vessel.


Behind this mount and on the next deck up, the vessel has a specialized interchangeable mount. It is unknown whether this mount would have become an option on other warship designs manufactured by Iron heart Industries. Available weapon system mounting include a powerful twin rail gun identical to those carried on a number of other vessel designs produced by Iron Heart Industries, a modified copy of the pre-Rifts Vulcan CIWS mount, and a twenty-four short range missile box launcher.


On each side of the ship’s superstructure are two Vulcan laser cannon mounts that are identical to those carried on the Iron Hammer class battle tank. They actually are right where the pilot house is located at. They are far shorter ranged than many of the weapon systems mounted on the boat but are extremely powerful. Power is provided directly from the fusion reactor of the vessel.


For anti-ship weaponry, the boat carries twelve long range missile tubes that are similar to the Mk 141 Harpoon missile canisters that were popular on late Twentieth Century naval vessels. Surface skimming missiles are commonly used because they are usually harder to intercept although virtually any long range missile can be fired from the missile tubes. A planned tactic for the corvette had been to operate in groups and all of the boats fire their missiles at a single larger target to overwhelm the target vessel’s defenses.


The vessel has a twelve cell box launcher for medium range missiles on the fantail of the vessel. It looks like a widened version of the Mk 29 Sea Sparrow launcher carried on a number of late Twentieth Century vessels. The box launcher is loaded from a ready magazine that contains an additional twenty-four medium range missiles as reloads. These missiles are designed to engage air targets at relatively long ranges.


Finally, the corvette has twin torpedo tubes mounted together in a semi-trainable launcher on either side. Their primary purpose is for use against submarines although can be used against surface vessels as well. Interceptor torpedoes may also be fired from the tubes if required.


Radar and sonar systems on the Sea Leopard are generally less powerful and shorter ranged than those mounted on larger vessels such as the Sea King class cruiser and the design that became the Coalition James Bay class destroyer. They are however longer ranged and more powerful than those mounted on the Triton patrol boat. Many of the systems are more or less those mounted on giant robot vehicles. However, the boat does mount a relatively long range radar and a hull sonar.


It was expected that later vessels might replace the original radar system with a phased array system with greater tracking ability. With the Coalition attacking Iron Heart Industries, this was never realized. Coalition beats mount the same radar systems as the prototype boat. It was decided not to fit a towed array sonar system due the shallow waters that the vessel often operates in.


The corvette’s standard crew is thirty-four crew members, with three officers and three chief petty officers, as well as sixteen soldiers in power armors. Most often flying power armors such as the SAMAS, Flying Titan, or TRIAX Predator are embarked. One criticism compared to larger designs is that the boat has no space to carry a helicopter or VTOL aircraft. The Sea Leopard normally only carries two or three officers and about the same in chief petty officers.


Model Type: IH-MFL-20 Sea Leopard Corvette.

Vehicle Type: Ocean & Waterway, Corvette (Light Frigate).

Crew: 34; 3 officers, 3 chief petty officers, and 28 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation).

Troops: 16 pilots for flying power armors.


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

 

16

Flight Capable Power Armors (Most often SAMAS, Flying Titan, or TRIAX Predator).


M.D.C. by Location:

 

Modular Heavy Weapon Mounts (Optional):

 

 

 

Optional: Rail Gun Turrets (1, behind 3 inch gun mount):

150.

 

 

Optional: Short Range Missile (1, behind 3 inch gun mount):

180.

 

 

Optional: Phalanx Gun CIWS (1, behind 3 inch gun mount):

100.

 

I.H. /OTO-Melara 3 inch (76-mm)/62-cal DP Mk 75 (1, forward):

180.

 

IH-44L Vulcan Laser Turrets (2, sides of bridge):

75 each.

 

Long Range Missile Canisters (12 total, 6 on sides behind bridge):

80 each.

 

Medium Range Missile Box Launcher (fantail):

250.

 

Dual 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):

50 each.

 

Bridge (superstructure):

300.

 

[1] Radar System (superstructure):

80.

 

[2] Main Body:

1,000.


Notes:

[1] Destroying radar tower will destroy the ship’s main fire control systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors).

[2] Destroying the main body causes the boat to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the vessel.


Speed:

Surface: Maximum cruise is 36.8 mph (32 knots /59.3 kph) which can be sustained indefinitely, can travel at 41.4 mph (36 knots / 66.7 kph) for 20 hours before engines overheat, and can travel at a maximum of 46 mph (40 knots / 74.1 kph) for 6 hours before engines overheat.

Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 10 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries 4 months of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:

Length:  279.53 feet (85.2 meters) overall.

Draft:    7.87 feet (2.4 meters) hull and 15.42 (4.7 meters) including sonar dome.

Width:   34.12 feet (10.4 meters).

Displacement: 995 tons normal and 1,180 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 35 tons (31.75 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Vessel’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the vessel’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.

Power System: Nuclear Reactor, average life span is 10 years.

Market Cost: The vessels were being marketed at 320 million credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. One (1) Iron Heart /OTO-Melara 3 inch (76-mm) 62-cal DP Mk 75 Naval Gun: The vessel mounts a rapid fire three inch gun on the front of the vessel. The gun is very reliable and fires very rapidly (About 85 rounds per minute). The main weaknesses of the gun are its relatively short range and the fact it cannot use rocket assisted projectiles. The gun was carried on many ship classes around the world until well into the twenty first century. The guns can be used against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft.

    Maximum Effective Range: 4.9 miles (4.3 nautical miles/8.0 km) for standard projectiles.

    Mega-Damage: High Explosive: 1D4x10 M.D.C. with 10 foot (3 meters) blast radius per single shot and 3D4x10 M.D.C. with 20 foot (6.1 meters) blast radius for three round burst. High Explosive Armor Piercing: 1D6x10 M.D.C. with 4 foot (1.2 meters) blast radius per single shot and 3D6x10 M.D.C. with 8 foot (2.4 meter) blast radius for three round burst. Plasma: 2D4x10 M.D.C. with 12 foot (3.7 m) blast radius per single shot and 6D4x10 M.D.C. with 25 foot (7.6 meter) blast radius for three round burst.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (Three round bursts count as one attack.)

    Payload: 150 rounds. Vessel normally carries usually carries 60 High Explosive, 60 High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 30 Plasma.

  2. One (1) Interchangeable Weapon Mount: This mount is behind where the three-inch gun mount is fitted and is one deck higher to have an unrestricted forward and side arc of fire. Three different weapon systems can be mounted in this position and it requires only about four hours to remove one mount and replace it with another system.

    1. Long-Range Automatic Rail Gun Turret: The rail gun is a heavy weapons designed to knock down missiles and enemy aircraft, as well as to engage other seagoing vessels and land targets at a distance. The weapons can be used on surface targets as well as against missiles and aircraft. Not considered as effective as the Phalanx system against missiles however.

      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 round.

      Payload: 8,000 rounds (200 bursts).

    2. MK 15 Phalanx Block II 20 mm Autocannon: This weapon is 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. The 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 mount (Has +3 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).

      Payload: 600 rounds (10 bursts). Vessel carries an additional 600 rounds of ammunition in magazines. Autocannon requires 2 minutes (8 melees) to reload by properly trained personnel (Double for untrained crews).

    3. Short Range Missile Launching System: Launcher has the ability to launch twelve short range missiles and automatically reloads every time a missile or missiles are fired. Primary role is close range missile defense for vessel. The launcher is fitted with multiple fire control systems and can target missiles on multiple targets. Normal missile mixture is 50% Armor Piercing Missiles and 50% Plasma missiles.

      Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Mega Damage: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Rate of Fire: Can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), six (6), or twelve (12) short range missiles.

      Payload: Forty-eight (48) short range missiles total.

  3. Two (2) IH-44L Vulcan Laser Mounts: These weapons are in secondary turrets mounted on the sides of the vessel’s superstructure. The weapon consists of six rotating laser cannons, cycling through bursts of six blasts per second! The weapon is very effective at devastating both naval ships and aircraft.

    Weight: 1,200 lbs. (540 kg).

    Maximum Effective Range: 4000 feet (1200 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 3D4 x 10 M.D. per instantaneous burst (counts as one blast/attack).

    Rate of Fire: Can shoot up to six times per melee per mount.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  4. Twelve (12) Long Range Missile Canister Launchers: These launchers are special canisters with six on each side of the vessel’s superstructure. These canisters were copied from old United States Mk 141 Harpoon canister launchers although designed to be lighter weight. 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 missiles, 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 volley of two (2), four (4), or six (6) long range missiles. All missiles launchers are designed to operate together.

    Payload: One long range missile each launcher for a grand total of twelve (12) long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads.)

  5. One (1) Medium Range Missile Box Launcher): The launcher is located on the aft of the vessel behind the long range missile launchers and is in the form of a twelve cell box launcher similar to a widened version of the Pre-Rifts Mk 29 Sea Sparrow box launcher. The systems can launch up to 12 simultaneously each and automatically reloads the launcher after each firing. This acts as the vessel’s main point defense and is normally used to engage incoming air targets and missiles. Launcher looks like a box launcher similar to the Pre-Rifts Sea Sparrow launchers but has more actually launchers and tilts down to accept reloads.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega Damage: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire medium range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) medium range missiles.

    Payload: Twelve (12) medium range missiles in launcher with twenty-four (24) medium range missiles for reloads.

  6. Two (2) Dual 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers: There is one launcher on each side of the vessel on deck under the long range missile launching tubes. The torpedo tubes are 12.75 in (324 mm) wide each but each torpedo launcher has two torpedo tubes instead of three launchers on either side common to many larger naval vessels. The primary purpose is for use against submarines but may be fired against surface targets as well. Vessel carries 24 reloads for torpedoes. Treat warheads as medium range missile warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (32.2 km)

    Mega Damage: By Medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire medium torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) medium torpedoes per side. Reloading is manual and requires one full melee round per tube.

    Payload: Two (2) torpedo each launcher for a grand total of four (4) torpedoes [Has sixteen (16) torpedoes for reloads.]

Special Systems:

The vessel has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:



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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 © 2000, 2001, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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