CDSF Standard Frigate:

The Standard class frigate is the first class of large warship to be designed and built by the Ceres shipyards. The design is based upon the frame of the De Ruyter class destroyer, but is less heavily armored, carries less weapons, and most importantly, the rotating Crew section is gone! The space this has freed is filled up by a curved (main) hull section which fits smoothly in the place of the old rotating section. Also the hangar bays have been widened, and extended towards the axis of the ship, flowing into the curved hull section. Each hangar bay now has four side doors, in addition to the aft door. This increase in hangar space means that the frigates can now carry 24 SF-70 Star Talon fighters and eight assault shuttles, as opposed to none and four respectively for the De Ruyter destroyer. In effect the Frigates double as light carriers.

The Standard frigates will be the standard warship type for the CSDF for many years to come. Of course, this is also where the class got its name. The ships will combine a good weaponry with excellent mobility and the ability to act as a fighter platform. As soon as the first of these ships enters service the EDSF will start with refitting the De Ruyter with the updated Ion pulse CIWS and a new magnetic shield generator system. when this is done the De Ruyter will be fully operational for the first time in decades. After that the EDSF plans to refit the Washington with the new CIWS, and do a general overhaul of all its systems. Each of the standard frigates will take between five and eight years to complete, while the overhauls of the Washington and the De Ruyter will each take about a year. At current the plans of the EDSF call for the construction of five of the standard frigates, with the first keel to be laid down within the next ten months.

The ship is propelled by six pulse fusion engines. This allows for both fast accelerations and for long distance operations. The engine uses reaction mass in the form of deuterium and helium 3. Most of the fuel is carried in a frozen form to increase the storage ability of the ship. This gives the ship a five month endurance. The fuel for the seventh pulse engine which was deleted is now used for fighter operations, meaning that a large amount of fighter operations will be less detrimental to the range of the ship. Because the ship`s mass is less, it still retains the acceleration and the range of the De Ruyter destroyer.

The ship is well armed. For the ships main non missile weaponry, it has two heavy Ion Pulse cannon forward. These cannon are smaller versions of the cannons carried on the Washington cruiser, but because the ship retains the large fusion reactor of the De Ruyter, the recharge rate for the cannons is faster, allowing them to fire three times per melee. The frigates have 6 Railgun turrets for both support of the Ion cannons and to be used against fighters, power armors, and missiles. The ship also has eight automated ion pulse close in weapon systems that normally act as the ships point defense but can be designated on other targets if needed. These guns are a new design which will be retrofitted to the Washington Cruiser and the De Ruyter Destroyer. The ship carries four long range missile launchers for both anti-ship and anti-fighter use. Located in the place the seventh thruster once held are now two medium range missile launchers to give the ship a better rear defense. The ship also has an automated mini-missile launching system that is used as inner anti-missile point defense.

The main reason that the new ships carry no laser weapons is that the Ceres colony has a shortage of certain elements necessary for the manufacture of laser cores. Also it is easier to manufacture solid state magnets (used in the lenses for ion weapons) than fragile laser lenses. To top this of, for heavier weapons railguns are preferable, because they are less easy to defend against.

This ship is also equipment with the most sophisticated ECM systems better than any other system belonging to any human culture on Rifts Earth (Kittani equipment is more advanced than this system). The computer systems are designed with double hardened systems to prevent either jamming or EMP from damaging the ship’s system or any systems of equipment inside the ship. The ship also carries four defensive chaff launchers. The radar system on the ship is very sophisticated and uses four domes all equipped with phased array systems. This system is used for both tracking and fire control. The systems partially cover each other so the loss of one dome will only cause minimal loss of tracking and targeting. The domes are located close to the railgun turrets. Finally, while the ship does not have a force field, the ship has a special magnetic shield that reduces the effectiveness of particle beams. This shield is modeled after that on the Washington cruiser, and if it functions properly, is the same kind of design will be used to replace the defective magnetic shield on the De Ruyter.

This ship is not laid down like a traditional ship. All sections except rotating crew work out sections have the floors towards the rear of the ship. This means that while the ship is accelerating or decelerating (The ship simply flips to decelerate) the crew have the comfort of the appearance of some gravity and the forces of acceleration will not be striking the crew members sideways. This means the crew can do most jobs at full efficiency though some jobs would seem to be done sideways when compared to traditional naval ships. The control center is also laid out in a novel way to take advantage of the ships design. As opposed to its ancestor, The De Ruyter, these ships do not have a large rotating section in which the crew is housed. Instead the frigates have two counter-rotating "ferriswheel" like constructions inside the main hull in which gravity is simulated. All crew members are required to work out in the ferris wheels at least one hour a day.

The ship has an hydroponic section to extend the ships supplies and to help augment the life support. Special plants have been engineered for the hydroponic section that provide all the nutritional needs of the crew but the hydroponics section does not grow enough food so that the ship must carry food supplies as well.

The ship carries power armors, which are used both for shipboard defense and for assault purposes. The Hangar bays have large doors that open backward, and more doors which open sideways. Since the hangar bays are considerably larger than the old design, it is now possible to carry twenty four Star Talon fighters and eight Hercules assault shuttles. When the hanger bay is not being used for flight operations, it is pressurized and all doors are closed. When the hanger bay is being used for flight operations, the hanger bay is a vacuum and airlocks prevent air loss from the rest of the ship. Fighters and assault/cargo shuttles land in the hanger bays by approaching the bay from the rear. They are caught by hooks bars that are mounted on both the top and bottom of the hanger bay. These hooks ride in electromagnetic rails and the hook bar will be gradually slowed down by electromagnetic force. Vehicles can land without need of the electromagnetic rails but they make vehicle operations quicker. Although each of the hangar bays also has room for eighteen Star Talon fighters, normally only twelve are carried, in order to be able to take up some slack in case one of the bays gets damaged. Fighters can leave the hanger bays under their own power but are normally launched by electromagnetic catapults. This is done so the fighters clear out of the landing path of other incoming vehicles without the fighters engines doing damage to the hanger areas. The fighters are hooked to a harness that is then accelerated along an electromagnetic bar. Four fighters can be launched from each bay at one time using the catapults. The catapults launch the fighters out of the side doors.

The Standard Frigates follow theoretical information about starships operating non chemical propulsion in space. This has meant much greater speeds and accelerations. Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the Frigate`s velocity and distance traveled:

Because the revised starship rules may not be desirable by all groups, vehicle statistics have been listed in standard Rifts levels as well. Using standard Rifts level, the starship’s performance is only a fraction of listed performances for the revised writeup.

Vehicle Type: Space, Heavy Frigate
Crew: 460 (21 officers and 439 Enlisted) standard
Troops: 600 Assault troops, 40 Specialized shuttle crew members, 30 Fighter pilots, and ship can carry up to 100 additional passengers

Vehicles and Power Armors:
Power Armors:

480Space Predator Power Armors
24SF-70 Star Talon Fighters
Other Vehicles:
8Assault/Cargo Shuttles
4Fuel Shuttles

M.D.C. By Location:

Ion Pulse Cannons (2 forward):300 each
Rail Gun Turrets(6):250 each
Ion Pulse CIWS Turrets (8):130 each
Long Range Missile Launchers (4):250 each
Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):200 each
Anti-Missile Mini Missile Launchers (4):80 each
Defensive Chaff Throwers (4):50 each
[1] Main Body:11,000
Hull Per 40 ft Area :200
[2] Control Center:2,000
[3] Sensor domes (4):800 each
Hanger Bays (2):5,500 each
Rear Hanger Bays doors (2 Rear):1,200 each
Side Hanger Bays doors (4 left, 4 right):700 each
Fusion Pulse Thrusters (6):900 each
Fuel Tanks (6):1,100 each

[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the Destroyer out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[2] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the control center through the ships armor. This ship does not have an auxiliary control center. Even if the control center is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but the ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[3] The destruction of one sensor dome will cause a 20% reduction in sensor effectiveness. The destruction of two sensor domes will cause a 40% reduction in sensor effectiveness. The destruction of three sensor domes will cause a 80% reduction in sensor effectiveness. The destruction of all four sensor domes will effectively blind the ship except using fire control systems as sensors.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Space Propulsion: The starship does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The Destroyer can reach a top acceleration of 4 G but due to high fuel consumption and extra strain on the engines, the ship will normally travel at 0.5 G for any extended trips. Top acceleration is only meant for emergencies and combat maneuvers.
Because the Frigate is mostly unshielded from the effects of radiation and hypervelocity atomic particles (It is not completely unshielded), the Frigate is not operated at speeds exceeding 20% of the speed of light.
[ For gamers who do not wish to use revised rules, assume the ships engine is combination of a plasma drive with a top speed of Mach 9 and a traction drive. Note: If consider the ship this way, the ship cannot operate fighters or power armors at high traction drive speeds].
Planet Bound: The ship cannot operate within an atmosphere and if the ship was to ever enter an atmosphere, the ship would crash into the planet.
Maximum Range: Conditionally unlimited, while the fusion reactor gives power for over two decades of service, the ship’s propulsion is limited by the ships reaction mass. The reaction mass consists of mainly Deuterium (Hydrogen 2) and Helium 3. The ship can be refueled at ground based (asteroid) facilities, space stations, and other star ships as long as they have the special facilities. The ship can also be refueled by fuel shuttles.
The frigate carries five months of reaction mass for travel at 0.5 G of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for 1 G of acceleration and double the consumption again for every 1 G of acceleration beyond 1 G. this means the ship will burn the fuel 16 times faster at maximum thrust than at 0.5 G of acceleration. The ship will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the ship’s velocity. If the ship uses more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the ship will be unable to decelerate fully and the ship will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem. If the ship runs out of fuel then it must be refueled by another vehicle traveling faster or be lost.
The ship has a hydroponic section and with ships stores and the hydroponic ship is capable of operating for fourteen months without resupply.
[ For gamers who do not wish to use revised rules, assume the Frigates duration is effectively unlimited by drive systems]

Statistical Data:
Length: 2,000 feet (600 meters)
Height: 867 feet (260 meters)
Width: 700 feet (210 meters)
Weight: 213,000 tons (192,000 metric tons) fully loaded. The ship carries 68,000 tons (61,500 metric tons) of deuterium and helium three for fuel. Without fuel the ship weighs 145,000 tons (130,500 metric tons)
Main Engine: The ship is powered by fusion reactors that will theoretically operate for 15 years and can provide effectively unlimited electrical power. However, it was recommended that the drive and power system have routine maintenance every 5 years. Also, the ship only carries about a six month supply of reaction mass.
Cargo: Ship has six small cargo holds that are each 18 x 18 x 20 feet (5.4 x 5.4 x 6 meter) in dimensions. The ship has a total of 38,880 cubic feet (1,050 cubic meters). Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, engine, reaction mass, equipment, and hydroponics.
Cost: Any station in orbit would spend billions of IOU to purchase this ship.


  1. Two (2) Heavy Ion Pulse Cannons: Two heavy ion pulse cannons are mounted forward in place of the original four plasma cannons. Each cannon has an arc of fire of 30 degrees so they can be aimed without changing the position of the ship. These weapons are a slightly less powerful version of the cannons carried on the Washington class cruiser. The advantage is that they are faster firing than those cannons. Cannons can be fired together or individually. Cannons have standard penalties for heavy starship weaponry.
    Maximum Effective Range: 160 miles (256 km) in space and 8 miles (12.8 km) if fired into an atmosphere [Non revised rules, cut space ranges by 3/4].
    Mega-Damage: 6D6x10 each (Forward cannons can be combined for up to 1D6x100 + 200)
    Rate of Fire: 3 pulses per cannon per melee (a total of 6 pulses can be fired per melee)
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  2. Six (6) Rail Guns Turrets: One turret is mounted on top of the ship, one is mounted on the bottom, and two turrets are located on each side. Each rail gun turret can rotate 360 degrees and has a 180 degree arc of fire. These weapons are used against full size starships, against fighters, and an anti-missile point defense. The rail guns normally fire discarding sabot rounds that increases the damage per round.
    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (25.6 km) in space and 2 miles (3.2 lm) if fired into an atmosphere.[Non revised rules, cut space ranges by 3/4]
    Mega-Damage: Normal Ammo: 3D4x10 for a 40 round burst. Discarding Sabot Rounds: 3D6x10 for a 40 round burst
    Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 40,000 round (100 bursts) per rail gun turret
  3. Eight (8) Pulse Ion Cannons CIWS: These weapons are similar to the ones used in the Ceres Defense stations, and will soon be retrofitted to both the Washington cruiser and the De Ruyter destroyer. The gun consists of a pulse cannon similar to that found on the Star Talon, but with a modified magnetic lens system. The lens system "flickers", breaking up the Ion burst into smaller pulses which are slightly dispersed for a better chance to hit. Each system is automated and fires ion pulses at missiles and attacking fighters. The targeting system can be overridden and be used to target larger targets. The system uses radar to track incoming targets (Has +5 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft).
    Maximum Effective Range: 6 miles (9.6 km) in space and 4,000 ft (1,220 m) if fired into an atmosphere. [Non revised rules, cut space ranges by 3/4]
    Mega-Damage: 1D4x10 per burst. No single shots.
    Rate of Fire: automated 6 times per melee OR gunners hand to hand(Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively unlimited.
  4. Four (4) Long Range Missile batteries: Two of these launchers are mounted on the top of the ship, and two of the launchers are mounted on the bottom of the ship, all in the front part of the ship. These launcher are both used to launch anti-ship strikes and to launch against starfighters. Missile are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself. Each of these launchers can be targeted and fired at multiple targets. The missiles normally used are Smart Missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile type, long range missiles (Powered range is x eight in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with long missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per launcher (64 total).
    Payload: 96 Total with 24 each launcher. The ship has an additional 192 missile in storage
  5. Two (2) Medium Range Missile Launchers: The two launchers are mounted in the rear of the ship, in the place of the De Ruyters middle fusion pulse thruster. These launchers are designed to intercept missiles and are also useful against starfighters. They are meant to provide the ships with a better rear defense. Weapon system can be used against larger targets as well. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles. Each of these launchers can be targeted and fired at multiple targets. The missiles normally used are Smart Missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile type, medium range missiles (Powered Range is x8 in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per launcher (64 total).
    Payload: 128 Total with 64 each launcher. The ship has an additional 256 missile in storage
  6. Four (4) Anti-Missile Mini Missile Launchers: One of these launchers is located on top of the ship, another on the bottom, and one on each side. The system is an automated system that launches twelve fragmentation or plasma mini missiles at a volley of enemy missiles. If the volley is tightly clustered, then the mini missile will automatically destroy the volley, but if the volley is widely separated, then the mini missile will target two mini missiles at each incoming missile and will target up six incoming missiles per launcher. Each system has 6 individual laser targeting systems to guide missiles. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space.
    Maximum Effective Range: Powered range is 8 miles (12.8 km) in space (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: fragmentation mini-missile do 1D4x10 and plasma mini-missile do 2D4x10. If fired at a single missile or single tightly clustered missile volley, the target will be destroyed. If the missiles are targeted at a widely spaced missile volley, roll for each missile to strike (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire up to three (3) times per melee round.
    Payload: 72 missiles (six shots), but can be reloaded at the rate of twelve missiles per melee round (carries 720 mini-missiles as reloads).
  7. Four (4) Chaff Throwers: This system launches clouds of chaff around the ship. The chaff are canisters of thousands of small highly reflective aluminum strips. The chaff will remain around the ship for a period of time unless the ship accelerates, decelerates, or changes course which will take ship out of the chaff cloud within one melee. All launchers must launch or ship will only have partial effects. Each reduction of a launcher will reduce effects by 25%. Rifts Earth and Mutants In Orbit decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
    Mega-Damage: any vehicle flying through take 2D6 M.D.C.
    1. Has a 50% chance of confusing or deflecting ordinary missiles,
    2. Disguises ships radar signature
    3. Defuse and reflect laser fire so that lasers do half damage
    As long as the ship does not accelerates, decelerates, or changes course the chaff will take five melees to disburse. If the ship accelerates, decelerates, or changes course, the ship will leave the chaff cloud in one melee.
    Maximum Effective Range: Protects Ship
    Rate of Fire: Once (1) Per Melee (Uses 4 canisters each time used)
    Payload: 200 Cylinders of chaff (50 per launcher).

Other Systems:

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Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa.)

Minor revisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1998 & 2001, Mischa. All rights reserved.