Hawker class System Defense Boat:

Some planetary governments forces prefer purely system defense forces for a variety of reasons. Many governments see such ships are a statement that they will not get involved in other system’s affairs but will bite on any force that attacks. Of course, others consider that to be an empty threat. Of course another advantage is such ships are not seen as a major threat by a central government over them such as the Consortium government with regards to member worlds.

The Hawker class System Defense Boat is based on the venerable Dervish class System Defense Boat although it has been updated extensively. Of course, the design is more expensive, pushing upwards of the cost of a new destroyer without the ability to attack with the vessels. One advantage of such an updated design is that it does not post the same logistical challenge that a new ship design would. Interesting, there are also some actually upgrades to the original Dervish which make it very close to the Hawker design in terms of weapons and shields although usually the original engines are retained.

As the ship uses the same basic frame as the Dervish and in most cases it is a simple job retooling to the upgraded design. Most of the facilities making the Hawker design previously produced the Dervish and some still also make the Dervish with the Hawker the upgraded model. There are a number of extremely similar designs as well. None of the systems on the Hawker can really be considered cutting edge and in some cases older system are retained when considered capable.

The main updates include more powerful engines, stronger variable shields, heavier capital missile batteries, and tougher point defense. Even though the shields are tougher, the vessels are still considered fairly fragile and are only a bit tougher than the original Dervish design. No real effort was made to improve the vessel’s armor although newer alloys are used.

Probably the single most important upgrade is in the capital missile batteries. The battery can fire a volley of missiles that is fifty percent greater than the original battery. However, the magazine size is essentially unchanged and can fire less actual volleys. Most system defense forces do not use anti-matter warheads but instead use fusion warheads.

To give better point defense, the original defensive lasers are replaced by variable focus particle beams and the mini-missile batteries are replaced by medium range missile batteries. The medium range batteries allow the engagement of attacks at a far longer range than the mini-missile batteries. In many ways, the variable focus particle beams are the most advanced system on the defense boat.

As far as weapon systems, two original weapon systems are retained. These include the 12 cm anti-ship lasers. While not powerful enough to do significant damage to larger capital ships such as cruisers, they are able to engage frigates quite effectively. As well, the original rail guns are retained. As electromagnetic designs, they are easy to maintain compared to gravity rail guns while still being extremely effective.

The shield generators are similar to those carried on a number of different destroyer designs and are able to withstand about twenty percent greater output than the original system. No consideration was given to replacing the fusion reactor with an anti-matter reactor. However, the fusion reactor is a slightly modernized version of the original reactor of the Dervish which can go twice as long before needing to be refueled as well as producing slightly greater power needed for the more powerful shields and propulsion. Acceleration is equal to a Proctor class heavy fighter. Like virtually all system defense boats, the Hawker has no form of faster than light propulsion.

Electronics and Sensors are generally improved although many of the components are a bit dated and a surprising number are of civilian design. They are good solid systems however with the civilian components considered almost up to military specifications. The use of civilian systems in some places allows for some cost improvement. There is the secondary advantage of being easier to maintain in the field. The remaining systems are standard, not top of the line, military grade equipment. Unfortunately, the systems do not allow for any reduction in crew compliment.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: SDB-24.

Vehicle Type: System Defense Boat.

Crew: 14 (2 officers).

M.D.C. By Location:


Heavy Laser Cannons (2):

800 each


Variable Focus Particle Beam Cannon Turrets (2):

150 each


Point Defense Rail Gun Turrets (2):

150 each


Cruise Missile Battery:



Medium Range Missile Batteries (2):

450 each


[1] Bridge:



[2] Main Body:



[3] Variable Force Field:

1,000 a side (6,000 Total)


[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge 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 still injure crew members on or near the bridge.

[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the vessel out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.

[3] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (300 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.

Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 50 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1.0 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum Effective speed is Mach Two (1,522.4 mph / 2,450.1 kph), can enter an atmosphere because flight system is using contra grav.

Stardrive: The vessel carries no Stardrive.

Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. Carries only about four weeks worth of supplies on board. Life support systems are also limited to about three months.

Statistical Data:

Length:                240 feet (73.2 meters).

Height:                65 feet   (19.8 meters).

Width:                 88 feet   (26.8 meters).

Mass/Weight:      2,350 tons (2,131.9 metric tons).

Power System: Fusion with a 10 year life span (fusion is far cheaper than anti-matter). The ship normally only goes 3 years between refueling and refitting.

Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 40 tons (36.3 metric tons) of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. 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 ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.

Market Cost: 265 million credits. Other upgraded versions will range from 250 to 300 million credits and original version costs around 180 million credits.


  1. Two (2) 12 cm Heavy Laser Cannons: Laser cannons are used against frigates and against heavily reinforced targets. Each is mounted in an individual turret on either side of the ship. The weapons have standard penalties to hit fighters and small targets. The barrels can be rotated 180 degrees in all directions. Both cannons can be fired as one volley.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (25.8 km) through atmosphere and 16,000 miles (25,800 km) in space.

    Mega Damage: 2D6x100 M.D.C. each or 4D6x100 for two.

    Rate of Fire: Maximum of two (2) times per melee each laser cannon.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. Two (2) Point Defense 15 mm Electromagnetic Rail Guns: Unlike most of the rail guns used on Phase World / Three Galaxies starships, these are standard electromagnetic rail guns. They are used as an anti-starfighter and missile weapon and against targets that are impervious to energy. Each rail gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. When used in space, projectiles are fired from rail gun mounts at a significant fraction of the speed of light. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities. Rail guns use 15 mm depleted uranium projectiles.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 800 miles (1,290 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 3D6x10 M.D.C. for an 80 round burst.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: 16,000 rounds (200 bursts) each cannon.

  3. Two (2) Variable Focus Particle Beam Mounts: These particle beams are copied from those carried on the CAF Assault Shuttle and will fire a very powerful narrow beam and can fire a scatter effect that is less powerful but is capable of striking multiple targets. The weapon system is quite useful against missiles although the cone is not as wide as Tachyon cannon sprays are (Gives +2 bonus vs fast moving targets such as missiles.) Weapons are mounted in turrets that can rotate 360 and have a 180 arc of fire. Each mount can be operated by a gunner or a gunner program (+2 to strike, 3 Attacks per melee).

    Maximum Effective Range: 300 miles (480 km) in space and 3 miles (4.8 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: Single Target: 4D6x10 per blast. Wide Beam: 5D6 to all targets within a 5,000 foot (1,524 meter) diameter area. When fired as a wide beam, the cannon cannot be used on targets closer than 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) away.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  4. One (1) Cruise Missile Battery: Missiles have a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launching starship, and missile. When drive goes dead, missiles will still travel in a straight line unless preset to self destruct or receives a destruct code but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missiles when dead are at -25% to be detected.) See Modified starship rules for more details - Cruise missiles have standard penalties hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. This launcher is a standard CAF launcher and the ship could have larger batteries than the original Dervish class System Defense Boat. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Fusion multi-warheads inflict 3D6x100 M.D.C. each.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire cruise missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) cruise missiles per melee round. Launchers are reloaded on the same melee and can be fired again on the next.

    Payload: 32 cruise missiles with 3 reload of missiles (96 cruise missiles total in reloads)

  5. Two (2) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Weapon system is used for hitting enemy robots, fighters, and against incoming cruise missiles. Like other Phase world systems, weapon system range and speed has been greatly increased compared to Rifts Earth systems. Missiles have a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (Multi-warhead heavy warheads inflict 5D6x10 M.D.C. each - See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies 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 eight (8) medium range missiles per launcher.

    Payload: 160 per launcher for a total of 320 medium range missiles.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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