Laika Station Star Hawk Assault Shuttle:

The Star Hawk was actually a modified pre-flash cargo shuttle design outfitted for the purposes of carrying assault troops or to act a gun ship or heavy fighter. The ships are much larger than can be expected for most normal fighter and a result suffers in maneuverability. The design is capable of trans-atmospheric flight and is aerodynamic unlike many other orbital designs. These shuttles or similar designs are manufactured by virtually all of the space stations and a version with weapon systems removed is also manufactured. The bulk of the shuttles come from Laika station as their specialty is space ships.

Because they were originally designed as cargo shuttles, they have a large amount of space available and make great assault shuttles because of this. The ship is divided into thee compartments. One compartment contains the shuttle's crew, one compartment is a passenger compartment, and the final compartment is a cargo bay. The cargo back may carry passengers by the use of special seating set up as pallets in the cargo bay. The cargo bay may also be used to carry larger robots and power armors. The ship can also carry 20 heavy power armors or robot vehicles instead of lighter power armors. In these cases, a small number of power armor or troops can still be carried.

These ships carry a good amount of weapons. The shuttle has 3 laser turrets and a large number of missiles on hard points along the bottom of the shuttle. The ship also has a chaff launcher to decoy missiles. In sensors, the shuttle has relatively good sensors but is deficient in some of the more advanced sensor systems.

This assault shuttle follows 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 shuttle's velocity.

Vehicle Type: Space, Heavy Space Fighter
Crew: 5 (Pilot, Co-pilot, 3 Gunners)
Troops: 20 soldiers or 15 light power armors pilots (typically the C.A.N. Hard Suit) with a cargo load in addition to troops. Can carry up to 120 soldiers or 80 light power armor pilots with special pallet style seating and all space used except space used for power armors.

Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:
Compliment 1:

120Soldiers in body armor with full equipment
Compliment 2:
80CAN-7V Hard Suit Power Armors or other light power armors
Compliment 3:
20Soldiers in body armor with full equipment
20Heavy Power Armors or Robot Vehicle (or Cargo)
Compliment 4:
15CAN-7V Hard Suit Power Armors or other light power armors
20Heavy Power Armors or Robot Vehicle (or Cargo)

M.D.C. By Location:

Laser Cannon Turrets (3, 2 top and 2 on bottom):350 each
Rear Grapples (5):10 each
[1] Wings (2):320 each
[2] Tail Fin:350
Landing Gear (3):20 each
[3] Fusion Pulse Engines (3):300 each
Pilot and Crew Compartment:500
Passenger and Troop Compartment:400
Cargo Bay:300
[4] Main Body:1,400 each

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the shuttle to crash if it is operating in an atmosphere. Has no effect if shuttle is operating in space.
[2] Destruction of the shuttle's rudders by the varying of power levels of the engines and vectoring thrusters but the shuttle has a penalty of -10 to dodge, and a -30% penalty to all piloting rolls if operating in an atmosphere. Has no effect if the shuttle is operating in space.
[3] The Destruction of one engine reduces the ship’s acceleration by one third. The destruction of two Ion Engines reduces the ship’s acceleration by two thirds. Destroying all three Fusion Pulse Engines means that the maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
[4] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the shuttle down completely, rendering it useless and causing the shuttle to crash if in flight in an atmosphere.

Driving on Ground: Not Possible
Flying; In atmosphere: The shuttle can achieve escape velocity (Mach 32.6 / 24,170 mph / 38,900 kph) within 15 minutes. The shuttle has a maximum acceleration of 3.5 G. When the shuttle is operating within an atmosphere, pilot will normally keep velocity below Mach 5 (3,707.3 mph / 5966.3 kph).
Flying; Space: The shuttle does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The shuttle can reach a top acceleration of 3.5 G but is normally limited to 0.5 or 1 G except when trying to escape the atmosphere.
Maximum Effective Range: Conditionally unlimited, while the fusion rector gives power for two decades of service, when the assault shuttle is operating in space, it is limited by the ships reaction mass. The reaction mass consists of mainly Deuterium (Hydrogen 2) and Helium 3. The shuttle can be refueled at ground based facilities, space stations, and star ships as long as they have the special facilities. The ship can also be refueled by fuel shuttles.
The shuttle carries 2 weeks of reaction mass for travel at 0.5 G of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for every 0.5 G of acceleration. This means the shuttle will burn 128 times faster at 3.5 G than at 0.5 G. This allow the shuttle just over 2 hours of fuel at 3.5 G. The shuttle will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the shuttle velocity. If the shuttle uses more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the shuttle will be unable to decelerate fully and the shuttle will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem. If the shuttle runs out of fuel then it must be recovered by another vehicle traveling faster or be lost.
The shuttles engine acts like the conventional engines used on other nuclear powered aircraft while operating within an atmosphere except provides more thrust to the shuttle than any engines presently on Rifts Earth and the engines do not use reaction mass while operating in an atmosphere.
The shuttle also carries supplies for pilot and crew for a period of two months days and the life support will support the pilot and crew for up to six months before needing to be recharged. If the shuttle is carrying troops, then reduce life support is severely reduce by the number of passengers (They normally carry separate food supplies)

Statistical Data:
Length: 180.5 feet (50 meters)
Height: 65.6 feet (20 meters)
Width: 114.8 feet (35 meters.)
Weight: 418.9 tons (380 metric tons)
Power System: Nuclear Fusion with average life span of 20 years
Cargo: 400 tons in main cargo bay only if troops, power armors, or robot vehicles are not carried in the cargo hold. The shuttle also has small lockers for the shuttles crew for personal items.
Market Cost: 350 million IOU


  1. Three (3) Laser Cannon Turrets: Each Laser Cannon is mounted in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Two of the turrets are on the top of the ship and one is on the bottom of the shuttle. The weapon turrets are used for missile defense, anti-fighter and power armor, and against large starships.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) through atmosphere and 48,000 feet (14,630 meters) in space.
    Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D. each
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Missile Hard Points (24): The shuttle is designed to carry missiles on hard points on the wings and main body of the shuttle. The Shuttle has eight hard points on the main body and eight hard points on each wing. Because of the limited usefulness of bombs in space operations, the shuttle is designed to carry only missile and not bombs. Each Hard Point can carry one long range missile or a mixture of lighter ordinance at the rate of two medium range missiles or four short range missiles for each long range missile. 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 but penalties exist when launching missiles beyond normal missile range. Missile launchers are normally controlled by the Co-Pilot but the pilot has emergency controls.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, assume powered range is 8 x normal in space (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types (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.
    Payload: 24 long range missiles, 48 medium range missiles, or 96 short range missiles or a mixture of different missile sizes.
  3. Rear Grapples (5): the shuttle has five grapples that are used for docking with vehicles that do not have landing bays and to grab items. The Grapples are fired at a target and uses a claw to grab the target and the grapple and cable has a breaking strain of 100 tons.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,640 feet (500 meters)
    Mega Damage: None (S.D.C. Targets will take 1D4x10 S.D.C.)
    Rate of Fire: Once per four melees rounds
    Payload: 1 shot each but may be retracted an used again
  4. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the shuttle are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth and Mutants In Orbit decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: Eight (8)

Other Systems:
The Star Hawk has all the systems standard to all Rifts Robot Vehicles with the following modifications:

[ Freedom Station TM, KLS Corporation TM, Laika Station TM, Mega-Damage TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Triax TM, and Yuro Station TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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