REEF FFL-1 Tarantula Corvette:

This Corvette (Light Frigate) was produced by Southern Cross Manufacturing for both their own militaries use and for export to other nations. So far, a small number of these ships have been sold to Columbia after the destruction of Iron Heart Armament. The REEF have two vessels completed with four more vessels under construction. The plan for a dozen are planned although these plans are under review. There are several companies which produce similar classes of vessels so sales have been comparatively modest even though the vessel can be considered superior to the Iron Heart Armament "Triton" Hydrofoil Patrol Boat due to being better balanced as far as weaponry.

The Florida group themselves are considering replacing the Tarantula with a more advanced design. The military has studied a New German Republic Surface Effect Ship design. The vessel is faster, able to operate in shallower waters, and features radar reducing materials. There are a large number of rivers and shallow lakes in what was once called Florida which the Tarantula is unable to operate in.

The vessel design is loosely based on the old Pre-Rifts Soviet Tarantul class corvette from the late Twentieth century. There was a museum vessel which they were able to salvage and then use as a template for building more vessels even though the boat itself was deemed to not be worth rebuilding. In many ways, the boat is a first effort from the company to build a ship not just refitting an old Pre-Rifts ship.

The ship can operate in relatively shallow waters such as lakes although cannot be considered truly a shallow water craft. It is larger enough that it can operate in deeper waters and even capable of crossing oceans. Unlike the Triton, the Tarantula is a conventional hull design. It is also designed for modular construction for more rapid building. Top speed is slightly less with a top speed of around forty-five knots with a pair of variable pitch propellers. The vessel can go from a full stop to full speed ahead almost instantly. As well, the engines can be quickly reversed. Range is virtually indefinite because of a pair of aircraft type fusion reactor powering the vessel. Because they are water cooled, they do not overheat.

The boat is designed as a fast strike boat although in service they operate more as patrol vessels than in their designed role. Mounted on the bow of the vessel is a Flack Cannon which is derived from the weapon mounted on the Triax Hunter (Yager) class robot vehicle. Originally they were armed with an automatic grenade launcher copied from the Wellington Design on the fantail although this has not been replaced by a combined mount which contains the grenade launcher but also adds an 81 mm Electromagnetic Mortar.

For close range missile defense, the vessel mounts a pair of laser mounts with one mounted on the forward superstructure and the second mounted on the after part of the superstructure. Each are close copies of the K-1000 Spider Defense Mount although they are fixed mounts instead of mobile and pull power directly from the vessel. Supplementing this is a short range missile launchers mounted behind radar mast. The luancher has a total of thirty-six short range missiles ready to fire. The better range means that it engages missiles and aircraft before the point defense mounts can engage.

For the vessel's main strike ability, the Tarantula mounts disposable missile tubes with two sets of four on each side of the vessel. This gives the vessel a total of sixteen long range missiles that it can carry. While they can be used to engage air targets, their purpose is more to engage large surface targets. For this purpose, usually the heaviest warheads are carried. The launchers are similar in external appearance to the Pre-Rifts Harpoon canister style launchers for the Harpoon missile.

The vessel does have limited anti-submarine warfare capability with two torpedo tubes on either side of the hull. These tubes are manually loaded which gives a limited rate of fire and the ship has a grand total of twenty-four torpedoes for reloads. These can be fired at other surface ships as well and decoy and interceptor torpedoes can also be fire from the torpedo tubes.

Electronic systems are based on Pre-Rifts systems which they were able to copy and miniaturize. The radar is based on the SPS-49 radar system. It is pretty long ranged although is not a phased array type or even a three dimensional radar type. As such, the system does not have the tracking ability of more advanced systems. Some consideration has been given towards replacing it with a more sophisticated even if shorter ranged system. In addition, the vessel has both a long ranged hull and towed array sonar systems. Hull sonar is based on the SQS-56 sonar, which is a bit short ranged but still quite effective, while the towed array is based on the much longer ranged SQR-19 sonar system. The vessel mounts a sophisticate electronic warfare system which combines both a radar intercept system and a powerful electronic jamming system.

The boat mounts a number of self defense feature which while older systems, they are surprisingly capable. Against missiles, the craft has a pair of chaff and flare defensive system. For protection against torpedoes, the vessel mounts a towed decoy system. To reduce the sonar signature of the vessel, it has a bubble masker as part of both the hull and the propellers. The vessel does not feature any radar cross signature reduction though.

Standard crew is twenty-five with two officers and three senior petty officers. The two officers share a single stateroom with the three senior petty officers also sharing a stateroom. Otherwise, the boat has two ten man staterooms. The boat is fairly cramped although not any worse than most small types of vessels. Vessel is designed to operate for several months although rarely operates for long periods away from their home base. The vessel also has the ability to embark twelve power armors. Usually, REEF vessels have six troops embarked due to shortages of power armor troopers. Standard REEF power armors are the Katana SAMAS power armor and the vessel usually embarks one underwater power armor.

Model Type: FFL-1 Class Corvette (Light Frigate)
Vehicle Type: Ocean & Waterway, Corvette (Light Frigate)
Crew: 25; 2 officers, 3 Chief Petty officers, and 20 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation)
Troops: 12 Power Armor Troops (6 pilots for Katana SAMAS Power Armors in REEF Vessels)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

12Flying Power Armors (6 Katana SAMAS Power Armors in REEF Vessels)
1Aqua-Tech LEA-50

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Radar System (Superstructure):100
Missile Canisters (16 total, 8 each side):100 each
Short Range Missile Launchers (1, Rear):150
Torpedo Launchers (2, Sides):50 each
Flack Cannon Turret (Forward):225
Combination Electromagnetic Mortar / Grenade Launcher (Rear):100
[2] Light Point Defense Systems (2, Superstructure):50 each
[2] Chaff Launcher (2, Superstructure):10 each
[3] Main Body:800

[1] Destroying Search Radar Tower will eliminate long range radar system but the vessel still has backup fire control sensors.
[2] 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.
[3] Destroying the main body causes the vessel to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the vessel.

Surface: 52 mph (45 knots/ 83 kph)
Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 10 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries two months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 190.3 feet (58 meters) overall
Draft: 8.2 feet (2.5 meters)
Width: 39.4 feet (12 meters)
Displacement: 500 tons standard and 580 tons fully loaded.
Cargo: Can carry 20 tons (18.14 metric 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: Nuclear Reactor, average life span is 10 years
Market Cost: The REEF in an effort to sell more of them sells them keeps the at a relatively low price of 150 million credits.


  1. One (1) Recoilless Anti-Aircraft Flack Cannon (Bow): The cannon is mounted in a protective turret in the front of the ship is a single barrel cannon system that is identical to the TX-862FC with the exception that the weapon's ammunition bins are larger. The cannon turret can rotate 360 and the barrel can tilt up to 90 degrees. It is normally used for Anti-Aircraft purposes but also works as excellent but fairly short range artillery.
    Maximum Effective Range: 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).
    Mega Damage: Single round 4D6 M.D., two rounds 1D6x10 M.D., or a rapid fire volley of six rounds 3D6 x 10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire:Equal to the gunners combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6.)
    Payload: Total 1200 for each gun. That is 200 volleys of 6 rounds, or 600 two round volleys.
    Special Feature: The flack cannon has both and independent power supply and its own laser targeting and radar tracking system (especial useful if radar system is destroyed). Sensor has a range of 11,000 feet (3353 meters). The system can also be set on automatic which gives it +1 to strike and three attacks per melee and will fire two round burst. Gives +2 when fired by gunner.
  2. One (1) Combination Electromagnetic Mortar / Automatic Grenade Launcher: Mounted on the rear of the ship just aft of the short range missile launchers. The Mortar is a MI-EMM-80 81 mm Electromagnetic Mortar and the Grenade Launcher is a WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher mounted in a turret. The mount has 360 degree rotation. Mortar is used for indirect fire while the grenade launcher is used for protecting the crew. See Battlefield Mortars for Rifts for more details on Mortars.
    Maximum Effective Range: Electromagnetic Mortar: 20,000 feet (7,620 meters) [Minimum range of 250 feet (76.2 meters)] Automatic Grenade Launcher: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
    Mega-Damage: Electromagnetic Mortar: 1D6x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 25 feet (7.6 meters), 2D4x10 for High Explosive with a blast area of 15 feet (4.6 meters), 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 5 feet (1.5 meters), and 2D6x10 for plasma rounds with a blast area of 25 feet (7.6 meters). The launcher can also fire smoke, illumination, and chemical rounds. Automatic Grenade Launcher: 4D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 feet (3.7 meters) and 1D4x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 feet (0.9 meters), burst of 10 rounds does 2D6x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 feet (12.2 meters) and 3D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 feet (2.4 meters).
    Rate of Fire: Both Weapons: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 5 or 6.)
    Payload: Electromagnetic Mortar: 120 rounds ready to fire (240 rounds ready to fire) Automatic Grenade Launcher: 800 rounds ready to fire (1,600 rounds in ship’s magazine)
  3. Two (2) Light Point Defense Systems: Based on the K-1000 Spider Defense Systems. Fully automatic defense system. One is located on the Forward Superstructure and the other is located on the aft superstructure. The systems are connected to the ships power supply so that it has unlimited shots. Weapon system normally is used as an anti-missile defense. Weapon system also has 4 smoke grenades although of limited use.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) for light blasts, 3,000 feet (915 meters) for heavy blasts, 20 feet (6 meters) for electrical current, 100 feet (30.5 meters) for smoke grenades
    Mega Damage: 4D6 for light blasts, 1D4x10 for heavy blasts, 3D6 S.D.C. for electrical current
    Rate of Fire: On automatic has Six (6) Attacks per melee (+2 to strike)
    Payload: Effective Unlimited (has 4 smoke grenades each)
  4. Sixteen (16) Long Range Missile Launchers: These launchers are special canisters that are located on each side of the vessel in two sets of four on each side. These canisters were copied from Old United States Harpoon canister launchers. While the launchers are reusable, they are still inexpensive and are easily jettisoned. 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, Go to 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), eight (8), or sixteen (16) missiles. All launcher operates together.
    Payload: One missiles each launcher for a grand total of sixteen (16) long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads).
  5. One (1) Short Range Missile Launching Systems: Launcher has a 36 Short Range Missiles and fills a similar role to the Pre-Rifts RAM missile launcher. This launchers primary purpose is to shoot incoming missiles. The missile launcher is mounted just forward of the automatic grenade launcher / mortar mount. Missiles are usually 50% AP and 50% Plasma.
    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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), six (6), or twelve (12) missiles.
    Payload: 36 missiles in launcher (Has 72 missiles for reloads kept in storage)
  6. Two (2) Torpedo Launchers: There is one launcher on each side of the ship behind the long range missile launchers. Each torpedo launcher has two torpedo tubes instead of three launchers on either side like the Wolverine and the Tiger class Frigates. The primary purpose is for use against submarines but may be fired against surface targets as well. Interceptor and decoy torpedoes can also be used in the launcher. 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 torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) torpedoes per side, Reloading takes one full melee.
    Payload: Two (2) torpedo each launcher for a grand total of Four (4) torpedoes (Has 24 torpedoes for reloads.)
  7. Two (2) Chaff Launcher: 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.
    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.
    Payload: Four (4) each for a total of eight (8).
  8. One (1) SLQ-25F Nixie Towed torpedo decoy: 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 difference.
    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 one more ready to deploy. It takes three minutes (twelve melees) to reel out another decoy.

Special Systems:

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

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Picture by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1998 to 2001, & 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.