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Australian Perth class Light Aircraft Carrier:


The increasing threat of the New Soviet Navy 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 therefore forced Australia to create a truly offensive naval force. This included the addition of carriers to the Australian navy.


Prior to this, the Australian government had been considering purchasing new aircraft carriers for over twenty years. Their navy had been without an aircraft carrier for over seventy years since the HMAS Melbourne was sold to Brazil. While examining various designs, there had been serious consideration to purchasing a pair of Ark Royal class aircraft carriers from Great Britain. However, this design was considered too large and expensive to meet the Australian demands.


Finally, a light carrier design initially produced by the Netherlands was selected as the basis for the new Australian carriers of the Twenty-Sixties. Although Australia acquired a production licence for the carriers, the Australian carrier design had many modifications to the compared to the original Dutch designs. In addition to Australia producing versions of the Dutch carrier, Germany produced a modified version of the design as well.


During the development stage, Australia had been looking at purchasing four of these modified Dutch light carriers which became known as the Perth class. However, one of the carriers was later canceled before being laid down due to budget constraints. Later it was decided to reorder the final carrier as an amphibious support vessel although a number of design changes were made to reduce costs.


From the beginning, it had been assumed that these vessels would be able to carry fighters as well as helicopters. As a result, the carriers were always planned to have a full sized flight deck. With the development of advanced VTOL fighters, an effective airwing could be operated from a far smaller carrier than had been possible in the past. With the ability to embark ground attack craft, the light carrier was found to be useful to support assault landings in addition to anti-submarine warfare and convoy escort.


Unlike most previous warship classes, these light carriers were fitted with fusion power plants from the beginning. With a top speed of 32.5 knots, they were slower than the contemporary American Ranger class carrier although slightly faster than the British Ark Royal class carrier. As was common by this point, instead of a geared drive, the carrier was power transmitted to the twin shafts via electrical propulsion. In order to make the carrier be able to maneuver more rapidly and make quicker changes of speed, the twin propellers are of a variable pitch design.


In order to reduce the carrier’s noise signature, both the hull and propellers are designed with a bubble masking system. This is combined with the hull being covered by a sound absorbing rubber material and the engines being specially mounted to further reduce noise. Compared to older carriers, the Perth class light carriers were considered to be incredibly quiet vessels.


As with other warship classes constructed at the time, these carriers were built using the advanced composites and alloys. Compared to older warship classes, these carriers were able to withstand far greater damage than previous designs. In addition, these vessels were virtually immune to corrosion. Radar absorbent materials and a design designed to reduce the carrier’s radar cross signature allows the carrier to have a far smaller radar profile than the size of the carrier might otherwise indicate.


The light carrier’s armament was changes from the original Dutch design to better meet the offensive needs of the Australian Navy. Forward of the superstructure on a slight raised deck, the carrier mounts a forty-eight cell Mk 59-B vertical launch system. In addition, a pair of “Thor” medium range missile launchers are mounted just forward of the Mk 59-B launcher on the same raised deck. These were selected due to cost considerations.


For close range point defense, the American Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” combination point defense weapon system were utilized in the place of Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers and Goalkeeper mounts. The system is a combination of a rapid-fire rail gun and a short-range missile launcher. Designed to engage first with short range missiles and then with the rail guns any missiles that leak through the missiles, it is considered far more effective than weapon systems it replaced.


Both the radar and sonar systems were replaced by British developed systems with similar performance to the Dutch systems that were mounted on the original light carrier design. While there was the provision to mount a towed array sonar, none was ever installed. In later service, there was discussion of replacing the Type 1045 Sampson radar system with the American SPX-1A radar system but never preceded with.


As far as the light carrier’s airwing, the Perth class was designed to carry a total of 24 aircraft split between fighters and anti-submarine aircraft. These could be replaced by attack aircraft or helicopters where used in assault roles. It was decided to retain the older FV-38 Panther II fighter even when the FV-45 Sea Hawk entered service because it would require a reduction in the number of embarked fighters. A pair of jamming models of the FV-45 Sea Hawk were often embarked however. The vessel was designed with a full-length flight deck with a large hanger and ski jump forward to allow higher payloads to be carried by aircraft.


In addition to the crew, these light carriers were designed to carry a large marines compliment. In early service, standard marine compliment was six hundred, In later service however this was reduced to four hundred with six hundred being flying power armors. Typically the British Gypsy Moth power armor was embarked although there are cases where American or Japanese power armor troops have been embarked.


As described previously, four ships were originally planned with the class later cut to three vessels. Later, the fourth carrier was reordered to a modified design to act as an amphibious command ship. At the time of the Great Cataclysm, all three carriers and the amphibious command ship remained in active service. At the time of the cataclysm, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney were both in port at Fleet Base East, Garden Island, Sydney. Lacking the protective bunkers protecting United States carriers, it is extremely likely that both were destroyed. At the same time, HMAS Perth was the flagship for Task Force 155 in the Persian Gulf. While most assume that it was destroyed as well, it is far less certain.


Author Note: With respect to time line, these designs may or may not reflect our modern time line. The time line of these writeups diverged from our time line starting around 1999. Consider the universe that these designs are created for to be an alternate universe not bound by ours.


Model Type: Perth class Aircraft Carrier.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Aircraft Carrier.

Crew: Ships Crew & Airwing: 380 (45 Officers and 335 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]). Air Wing: 240 (120 Pilots & crew, 10 flight deck officers, 110 enlisted).

Troops: 400 (200 pilots for Gypsy Moth flying power armors, 200 soldiers in body armor).


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:

 

200

BA-V FPA-05D Gypsy Moth Power Armor (with Flight Packs.)

Aircraft Compliment:

 

7

EVE-84A Kingfisher Utility VTOL Aircraft - Electronics Warfare Model.

 

3

EVS-84A Kingfisher Utility VTOL Aircraft - Anti-Submarine Warfare.

 

10

FV-38 Panther II VSTOL Fighters.

 

2

FV-45-EW Sea Hawk VTOL Jet Jamming Fighters.

 

2

Westland Merlin HM 1 General Utility Helicopters.


M.D.C. by Location:

 

Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Systems (3, flight deck):

200 each.

 

Mk 59-B Forty-Eight Cell Vertical Launcher System (1, forward of superstructure):

375.

 

“Thor” Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2, forward of superstructure):

300 each.

 

USA-M38 Heavy Defense Rail Guns (4, sides):

70 each.

 

[1] Type 1045 Sampson Active Phased Array Radar System (superstructure):

500.

 

[1] Marconi/Signaal S1850M Air/Surf. Search Radar (superstructure):

350.

 

[2] Signaal Sirius Infrared Cameras (2, superstructure):

10 each.

 

[2] Chaff Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.

 

[3] Elevators (2, sides):

200 each.

 

Hanger Doors (2, sides):

200 each.

 

[4] Main Flight Deck:

2,250.

 

[5] Main Bridge / Superstructure:

1,250.

 

Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):

80.

 

[6] Main Body:

6,000.


Notes:

[1] Destroying both Sampson active phased array radar system and the S1850M air / surface search radar system will destroy the ship’s main long range fire control and tracking systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors.)

[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.

[3] If both elevators are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the main flight deck.

[4] If the flight deck is destroyed, VTOL aircraft and helicopters can be launched or landed although at -15% to piloting.

[5] If the bridge/ control tower is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but with a -15% to piloting rolls. Communication and sensor equipment are not concentrated on the bridge to reduce the effectiveness of bridge hits.

[6] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with additional floatation materials that allow the ship to withstand up to -1,000 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship including marines.


Speed:

Surface: 37.4 mph (32.5 knots/ 60.2 kph).

Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries four months of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:

Draft: 26.6 feet (8.1 meters) mean and 33.1 feet (10.1 meters) including sonar dome.

Length: 727.6 feet (221.8 meters) waterline and 802.1 feet (244.5 meters) overall.

Width: 96.3 feet (29.4 meters) waterline and 124.6 feet (38.0 meters) extreme beam.

Displacement: 22,800 tons standard and 29,200 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 1,000 tons (907.2 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. 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, and engines.

Power System: Nuclear fusion reactors, average life span is 20 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 1.2 billion or more credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Four (4) USA-M38 Heavy Defense Rail Guns: These weapons are mounted with two on either side of the hull for defense against small boats and similar threats. Not considered effective against aircraft or missiles. The rail guns are more powerful than the rail guns carried on most power armors and have greater range. These are the same rail gun which are mounted on the Super Comanche Helicopter, Steel Tiger Attack VTOL, and Wolverine Amphibious Assault Vehicle but are mounted with the gunners behind a protective shield and the gunner’s have a greater payload.

    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20. Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 4-6).

    Payload: 4,000 rounds (200 bursts) each.

  2. Three (3) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: One system is on the front of the ship forward of the ski-jump and one is mounted on either side of the rear flight deck. This anti-missile defense system combines both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. This anti-missile defense system combines both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking and fire control systems. The short range missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee round. Quite powerful, the rail gun is capable of destroying any missile or inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft). In its design, the rail gun is very similar to those carried on the Sea King cruiser and it is likely that the Sea King’s rail guns came from a prototype of this system. The system also can be used against other ships and ground targets. The system has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.

    Maximum Effective Range: Rail Guns: 11,000 feet (2 miles / 3.2 km). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: Rail Guns: 3D4x10 M.D. per burst of 40 rounds (Can only fire bursts). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Rail Guns: Six (6) attacks per melee round. Short Range Missiles: Two (2) attacks per melee round, can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (4) or four (4) short range missiles.

    Payload: Rail Guns: 8,000 rounds (200 burst) each. Short Range Missiles: Sixteen (16) short range missiles each.

  3. One (1) MK 59-B Vertical Launch Missile System: Launching cells are located forward in front of the superstructure and bridge on a slightly raised platform. The launcher is smaller and carries half as many missiles as the launcher on the American Francis Darcey and Raymond Fox class vessels. The system is similar to the vertical launch system employed on many ships in the late twentieth century to launch the SM-2 series missile but since the missiles are smaller they have a reload system that reloads from under the launcher and can reload within 15 seconds. The launcher has a total of forty-eight individual cells and is six missile cells longs by eight cells wide. The launcher can fire up to half its total payload per melee. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes. Each cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missile. The reload for the cell must carry the same load as the main cell. Long range missiles are normally used against large targets and aircraft further out where the medium range missiles will normally be used to engage closer targets. About half of all long range missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are normally smart missiles.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per long or medium range 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), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles for the whole launcher per melee round. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee round.

    Payload: Forty-eight (48) missile cells in launcher with reload systems for each cell (one reload each cell). One (1) long range missile or two (2) medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same load out as well. The ship will often carry sixteen (16) cells with two medium range missiles each and the other cells loaded with one long range missile each.

  4. Two (2) “Thor” Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers: Mounted in the same raised platform as the Mk 59-B launcher forward of the primary launcher. These require less space than a Mk-41 or MK-49 vertical launch system. Similar to the American Mk 55 vertical launch missile system although it fires vertically not at a 6 degree angle to the side. The missiles are arranged in a 2 by 4 pattern, and each launch cell has four reloads. Each system can launch up to eight missiles simultaneously each and the launcher is automatically reloaded. These launchers often act as the ship’s middle point defense and are normally used to engage incoming air targets and missiles.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire medium range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) medium range missiles. Each launcher operates independently.

    Payload: Eight (8) medium range missiles in each launcher, with thirty-two (32) medium missiles in each magazine for automatic reloads, for a total of eighty (80) medium range missiles for both launchers including missiles in launchers.

  5. Four (4) Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. Both launchers must be operated or effects will be reduced. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological difference. 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 (Add +10% to rolls per launcher not used.) Only useful against missiles, not useful against torpedoes underwater.

    Range: Around Ship.

    Mega Damage: None.

    Effects:

    01-35

    Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.

     

    36-60

    Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)

     

    61-00

    No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.

    Payload: Twenty-four (24) each for a total of forty-eight (48) canisters. Ninety-six (96) reload canisters are carried, reloading takes two melee rounds.

  6. Eight (8) SLQ-25F Nixie Towed Decoys: A special decoy which is towed behind the ship. The Coalition has not seen a need for this system so has not equipped their ships with it. It generates a sound like the ships propellers in order to confuse incoming torpedoes. Only effective at speeds below 25 knots. Otherwise, the noise of the ship’s systems and propellers is too powerful to mask. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies guidance systems due to technological difference.

    M.D.C.: 5 each.

    Range: Not Applicable although decoy is deployed approximately 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) from the vessel.

    Effects: The decoy has a 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition) and non “smart” torpedoes, and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and “smart” torpedoes.

    Payload: One ready to use, with seven more ready to deploy. It takes approximately three minutes (twelve melee rounds) to reel out another decoy.

Special Systems:



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He has no art home page at present but many other items on my site.


Writeup by Kamikazi (co366thaw@hotmail.com) and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2003 & 2017, Kamikazi & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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