Australian Farncomb Nuclear Fast Attack Submarine:
Beginning in the middle of the Twenty-First Century, the threat of the New Soviet Navy, the Chinese Navy, and the Indian nation was a serious concern by many of the Pacific Oceans. This caused the Australian government to form an unofficial alliance with the POMA (Pacific Ocean Military Alliance), comprised of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in 2053. Mutual defense and combined fleet operations were major points of the agreement, and Australia was forced to create a truly offensive naval force as a result.
At the time of the treaty, Australia had a submarine force consisting of five conventional submarines. These submarines were laid down in the later Twenty-Thirties as replacements for the Collins class submarines built around the beginning on the Twenty-First Century. The class were combination Diesel-Electric and Fuel Cell and were relatively new and used high strength alloys and composites. Still, the submarines had limited range and were no as flexible as nuclear submarine designs. There was some consideration given to cutting the submarines in half and replacing the conventional power plant with a small fusion reactor but instead it was decided to replace the entire class.
The first of the new class was laid down in 2056 with another following in 2058. After that, the submarines were laid down at the rate of one per year and the first submarines of the class required about six years to construct with later vessels requiring about four years each. The conventional submarines remained in service until the first four of the Farncomb class were commissioned and then were decommissioned and sold to foreign powers. Two were sold to New Zealand but the remained three were sold to various South American nations who retained them to the coming of the Rifts. The sales of the conventional submarines partially financed an additional three Farncomb class submarines for a total force of seven submarines with the last being commissioned in 2077. After a three year delay, five more submarines were laid down at the rate of one per year. The last was completed in only three years and was commissioned in 2088. There was consideration to build an additional four submarines but the additional submarine program was dropped. Still, the class served the Australian Navy well although they did not have the capabilities of American or British submarines commissioned during the same time frame.
In 2097, a new class of Australian nuclear submarines which were larger and would have carried more weapons, especially missiles, were laid down but none were completed before the coming of the Rifts. There were plans for six of these new submarines but there were no plans to remove the Farncomb class from service. The new submarines would have carried forty-eight cruise missiles and one of the roles considered for the new submarines would have been to perform a nuclear deterrent role by carrying nuclear warheads.
One submarine of the Farncomb class is known to have survived the coming of the Rifts and joined the New Navy. The Australian submarine is retained as a training boat by the New Navy and the crew has long amalgamated with the personnel of the New Navy. The status of the other submarines is unknown with three having been in port at the time of the coming of the Rifts.
The HMAS Farncomb is named after Rear Admiral Harold Bruce Farncomb. He was in the first class in the Royal Australian Naval College. He commanded the HMAS Australia during the Battle of Coral Sea and Guadalcanal, the escort carrier HMS Attacker during landings in southern France. He later became commander of the Australian Squadron with the HMAS Australia as his flagship when Commodore Collins was injured. His squadron supported landings in the Philippines among other battles. Commodore Farncomb was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1947 with Commodore Collins and they were the first Royal Australian Naval College graduates to attain flag rank.
Instead of developing a new fusion reactor for the Farncomb class, the Australian Navy opted to purchase an already developed German design. Top speed was around thirty-six knots, a bit slower than American and British submarines from the same period but still considered adequate. The power from the power plant was transferred using an electrical transmission and the propulsion was incredibly quiet. As well, the submarines uses a shrouded pump jet. The hull form was a tear drop style shape and was similar in size and shape to the old American Skipjack class submarines. This makes the submarine relatively small compared to British and American submarines built around the same period as the Farncomb. The high strength composites and alloys allow the submarine to dive to incredible depths compared to older submarines. The superstructure / sail was more similar to those on British submarines but around the same time as the Farncomb than American submarines from the same period. The submarine's planes were located in the superstructure like previous Australian submarine classes. Like most advanced submarine designs, the hull was covered by an sonar defeating rubber coating to reduce submarine noise. Various sonar suites were considered but eventually a German hull sonar and towed array were chosen. American and British installations were considered but most of the systems were too large to fit into the small hull of the Farncomb.
Weaponry on the Farncomb class primarily consists of six torpedo tubes and twelve vertical launch cruise missile launchers. The torpedo tubes are located under the main sail and were standard 21 inch tubes but had a special automatic loading system designed for ultra-quiet operation. The submarine carries fewer reloads than most larger submarines with a total of only thirty-six torpedoes. The cruise missile launchers are located outside of the pressure hull and a total of twelve cruise missiles could be carried. Missiles are launched in special canisters and can be fired down to six hundred feet. While rarely carried, the Australian Navy suggested that one or more of their submarines were carrying nuclear warheads to be used against land targets as a nuclear deterrent. In addition to torpedoes and missiles, the submarines carries a pulse laser on the after part of the sail. These was designed as a defense against both torpedoes and missiles. Like most submarines, an extensive decoy system was also carried.
The crew of the Farncomb consists of fifty four enlisted, eight chief petty officers, and six officers with a commander usually the senior officer of the boat. Still, the relatively small crew meant for more space per crew member although the boats were still very cramped compared to surface vessels. The boats carry extensive automation to reduce crew requirements and safety systems were very extensive as well. The vessels do not have quarters for marines and were not used for special operations like American attack submarines. This fact did not stop the theoretical idea from being proposed and one idea was to reduce the number of torpedoes carried and carry marines in the torpedo compartment.
Model Type: Farncomb class
Class: Fast Attack Submarine
Crew: 68; 6 Officers, 8 Chief Petty Officers, and 54 Enlisted (Has a high degree of automation)
Troop Capacity: None
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
M.D.C. by Location:
|Pop-Up Laser Turret (mounted on aft of sail):||100|
|21 Inch (533 mm) Torpedo Tubes (6, Sides of submarine):||125 each|
|Vertical Cruise Missile Launchers (12, Bow of Submarine):||150 each|
|Laser Cannon Turret (1, forward of Sail):||125|
| Sail Planes (2, Sail):||180 each|
| Pump Jet Propulsor (1):||375|
| Main Body:||2,000|
 Destroying the submarines bow planes will reduce the submarine's ability to change depths but will not eliminate it. It also makes it difficult for the submarine's crew to control the submarine giving a penalty of -25% to all piloting rolls.
 Destroying the submarines Pump Jet Propulsor causes serious problems. The submarine will no longer be able to use forward momentum and the bow planes to keep the submarine level. It is recommended that ballast takes are immediately blown so submarine comes to surface.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the submarine's structural integrity, causing it to sink. If the submarine is underwater, the entire crew will die unless protected by environmental armors that can withstand the pressure that the submarine is under. If on the surface, there are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.
Surface: 25.3 mph (22 knots/ 40.8 kph)
Underwater: 41.5 mph (36 knots /66.7 mph)
Maximum Depth: 1.3 miles (2.1 km)
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries 4 months of supplies on board.
Length: 284 feet (86.6 meters)
Beam: 33.5 feet (10.2 meters)
Draft: 27.5 feet (8.4 meters)
Displacement: 3,600 tons surfaced / 4,050 tons submerged
Cargo: 8 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 boat's spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear; average energy life of 20 years. Normally refuels every 15 years
Market Cost: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions of credits for a new and undamaged Farncomb class Submarine.
- Retractable Laser Cannon Turret (1): This cannon is mounted
on the aft part of the sail and is fully retractable so that it does not
disrupt water flow at high speeds or add to the noise of the submarine.
The laser cannon is useful both on the surface and underwater at low speeds
(5 knots or less). The weapon system is used mainly as close defense and
against aircraft when on the surface. It can also be used to engage incoming
torpedoes. The mount is controlled by a separate gunner and can rotate
360 degrees and had a 90 degree arc of fire.
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
Mega-Damage: 6D6 M.D. per single blast.
Rate of Fire: Equal to Gunner's Hand to Hand attacks.
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
- Six (6) Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the sides of the submarine
are six torpedo tubes. Tubes are 21 inches (533 mm) wide and torpedoes
can be used against both surface ships and submarines. Torpedo launchers
have a special automated reloading system to reduce noise. For warheads,
heavy torpedoes should be treated as having long range missile warheads.
Along with standard torpedoes, the launcher can also fire missiles (long
or cruise) in special canisters and rocket boosted ASW torpedoes. Submarine
carries 36 reloads for torpedoes (in addition to four torpedoes in the
tubes) and can carry up to 72 mines in place of torpedoes.
Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (64 km)
Mega Damage: By Heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details), can fire missiles (Long Range or Cruise) in special canisters as well (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), or six (6) torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee.
Payload: 6 Total (Has 36 torpedoes for reloads)
- Twelve (12) Vertical Launch Cruise Missile Launchers: In
the front of the submarine but behind the sonar dome, the submarine has
vertical launch system for launching cruise missiles. Launchers are outside
of the pressure hull. Missiles are launched in special canisters that enable
the missiles to be used in depths down to 600 feet (182 meters). Most missiles
normally carried are fusion (Also smart missiles). The launchers can fire
all standard cruise range missiles including the hypersonic Fasthawk in
both its sea skimming anti ship and semi ballistic land attack guises.
Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: As per cruise 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 twelve (12) missiles and can be fired at multiple target at the same time.
Payload: 12 cruise missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads
- Advanced Decoys (4): The submarine carries four advanced
decoy drones. These were small automated vehicles that created a false
sonar image designed to mimic the submarines sonar signature. It has a
small propulsion system that can simulate movement (had a top speed of
10 knots) and maneuvres. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered
and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against
Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
Effects: The decoy has an 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 25% 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)
Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
Rate of Fire: Ship can launch one drone per melee.
Payload: 4 Decoys
- Noisemakers: The submarine carries noisemakers to decoy torpedoes.
These noisemakers are similar to those used by Coalition submarines. The
noisemakers are launched from the middle of the submarine.
Effect: 50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying smart torpedoes.
Rate of Fire: 2 at a time (Can be reloaded in one melee)
Payload: 20 Noisemakers
The submarine has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
- Advanced Hull Sonar System: Range of 60 miles (52.1 nautical miles / 96.6 km). This hull sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 24 targets at one time and has a +10% to read sensor and weapon system skill rolls. Sonar also has built in communication system and sound pulse system to detect obstacles, objects, vessels and fish (schools and large animals), as well as measure distances and depth.
- Advanced Towed Array Sonar: The system is basically a long and very sensitive sonar system carried behind the submarine on a long cable. Range of 180 miles (156.3 nautical miles / 289.7 km). This is an incredibly sensitive and is as powerful as the special purpose United States pre-rifts SURTASS system. This towed array sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 36 targets at one time. a passive and active system built in.
- ESM: This system is mounted in mounted in the superstructure and is extended in a similar manner to a periscope. The antenna is very hard to detect both visually and by radar. Can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar.
- Quieted propulsion and Anechoic Coating: The ship is designed with a very quiet pump jet propulsor design, the submarine's reactors make very little noise, and the boat is coated by a sonar defeating rubber coating. The submarine is -40% to detect when traveling at less that 20 knots and is at -20% to detect when traveling at greater than that speed.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.