Naval Electronic Warfare Equipment:
There are various electronic warfare systems available for naval ships. This includes jamming and various countermeasures. These countermeasures can be used against missiles and torpedoes. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies guidance and targeting systems due to technological differences. In addition, missile decoy systems are not designed to decoy underwater threats and torpedo decoys are not designed to decoy aerial threats such as missiles.
Ship based Naval Electronics:
Active Phased Array Radar: A large number, although not all naval radar systems on Rifts Earth are active phased array type radar. Effectively the same as AESA / Active Electronically Scanned Array type radar systems on aircraft. Radar is more flexible than a conventional radar system with the system able to rapidly jump across frequencies in a pseudo-random pattern. They tend to be longer ranged than conventional radar systems. As well, most can track and target multiple targets. In addition, the radar system both is harder to jam and harder to detect. Older detection gear may be unable to detect the radar at all. In addition, the radar can actually be used to jam another radar system. As well, the beam can be highly focused so that it cannot be detected except where the radar is being focused.
Bonuses: There is a -20% penalty to read sensory system rolls to detect the radar system as well as a +20% bonus when using the active phased array against a target which is jamming. Also can be used as a focused jammer which the target has a -20% penalty against other radar systems and creates a -4 penalty against radar guided missiles when jamming them. Missiles with AESA type radars will only suffer a -2 penalty.
Advanced Electronic Warfare Suites: These suites might be considered the effective equivalent of an active phased array radar in the electronic warfare realm. They generally work both against radar and radar communications although most have fairly limited ranges with regard to jamming.
These systems can be used to detect other radar systems at around 125% of the range of the transmitting radar and are usually subject to the radar horizon in the same manner as radar systems are. Cannot detect radar systems past the radar horizon except under some unusual circumstances. They also will still suffer penalties against active phased array / active electronically scanned array radar systems. They can also be used for wide area jamming with causes -25% to detection and -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons. When used in a wide area jamming, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Some missiles also have AESA type radars themselves and/or have backup infra-red sensors. Missiles with AESA type radars will only suffer a -2 penalty.
Where these systems have an advantage is that they can be used directionally and at specific frequencies, making them far harder to detect by other electronic warfare suites. They can be focused on a specific target and only targets extremely close will pick up the jamming signal. The number of actual targets the system can jam varies with more powerful and flexible radars requiring a stronger and more wide spectrum jamming.
Aircraft based Naval Electronics:
Magnetic Anomaly Detector: Often abbreviate as “M.A.D.” and is special equipment that has the ability to detect metal objects and even electromagnetic fields. Extended behind the aircraft in order to not have the aircraft interfere with its operations. Useful to detect submarines that are relatively shallow. In addition, most modern submarines are made from non magnetic alloys. In such cases, reduce ranges by half both in depth able to be detected and distance to each side of vessel. Rough seas and areas of high magnetic field also may interfere with the system. Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters) to either side of aircraft. For practical purposes assume a maximum depth of 656 feet (200 meters).
These can be launched from a variety of launchers including the chaff and flare launcher / mortars carried on most naval vessels. They can also be launched as rockets or have their own enclosed launchers.
Mortar Launched Missile Decoys: These have similar effect as chaff and flare against missiles but instead fire a single active decoy to trick missiles. Pre-Rifts examples of this system include the Mk 53 Nulka and the Mk 251 Sea Gnat decoys. For missile decoys, 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 if not all are used (Add +10% to rolls per launcher not used.)
Range: Around Ship.
Mega Damage: None.
Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
Payload: Varies - As per launcher.
Mortar Launched Acoustical Torpedo Decoys: Normally fired from the same launchers as chaff and other missile decoy systems. They form a pattern of noise makers several hundred meters around the vessel and are designed to confuse torpedoes.
Range: Around Ship.
Mega Damage: None.
Effects: 50% chance of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% chance of decoying smart torpedoes. Reduce effects by 5% for each decoy launcher not firing torpedo decoys if all are not used.
Payload: Varies - As per launcher.
Sonar buoys are devices designed to detect underwater noise that are usually air dropped. There are active, passive, and combinational sonar buoys. Modern sonar buoys also give range and direction of the contact. In addition to standard type sonar buoys, there are a number of special purpose sonar buoys. These include search and rescue, underwater communication, and bathythermal.
As sonar buoys are battery powered, they have a limited duration. Most operate for around eight hours before running out of power. When they run out of power, they are designed to sink themselves. This is to make them harder to retrieve later by an enemy.
Sonar buoys are usually carried by helicopter and other VTOL aircraft although may be carried by other aircraft as well. Drones may also carry sonar buoys and mini sonar buoys may be carried by power armors in the Rifts Earth setting. In order to hunt targets, usually submarines, sonar buoys are generally dropped in patterns.
Signals from sonar buoys are sent to aircraft and naval vessels where further signal processing is usually done. Most have limited ability to process data internally. They transmit information through relatively low powered radio signals.
Normal sonar buoys are relatively small. While sonar buoys may vary slightly in size, standard size is approximately five inch (13 cm) wide, three feet (91 cm) long, and around 16 lbs (7.3 kg) in weight. Most aircraft will carry a large number of sonar buoys. As suggested previously, there are special mini sonar buoys.
Active Sonar Buoys: Maximum Range: 13.8 miles (12 nautical miles / 22.2 kilometers). Duration: 8 hours maximum
Passive Sonar Buoys: Maximum Range: 4.6 miles (4 nautical miles / 7.4 kilometers). Duration: 8 hours maximum.
Combination Sonar Buoy: Maximum Range: 3.5 miles (3 nautical miles / 5.6 kilometers) active and 2.3 miles (2 nautical miles / 3.7 kilometers) passive. Duration: 8 hours maximum.
Special Purpose Buoys:
Bathythermal: These buoys relay bathythermographic and / or salinity readings at various depths.
Search and Rescue: These buoys are designed to operate as a floating beacon. They are used to assist in marking the location of an aircraft crash site, a sunken ship, and/or survivors at sea.
Underwater Communication: They buoys are designed for use as a means of communication between an aircraft and a submarine, or between a ship and a submarine.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune)
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