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Australian Stuart class Guided Missile Frigate:

The Stuart class guided missile frigates came out of the need for additional escorts for the proposed expanded Australian fleet in the mid Twenty-Sixties. In addition, the older Anzac frigates were at the end of the operational lives and required replacement. Several design requirements were set by the admiralty including high speed (excess of 38 knots), 64 cell (minimum) VLS missile system, twin VTOL/Helicopter hanger, and superior anti-submarine warfare capability. After careful study, it was decided that a trimeran hull would provide the most stable platform and had room for operational growth through its life. Seeking to help out its former, the British Parliament offered to build two dozen Audacious class ships for the Australians. Their offer was graciously declined on the grounds that the design was older than they needed and did not have the growth potential they wanted. The British understood but still sold them the plans for the Audacious for a reasonable price for the Aussies to study. As it turned out, the finished Stuart looked like a slightly enlarged Audacious.

Like the Audacious, the Stuart was a sleek trimeran, with her two secondary hulls set about halfway her main hull. The ship was designed with advanced stealth techniques from the start to reduce her radar signature. Her deckhouse was a single massive block, upon which a sleek radar tower was set. Behind the deckhouse there was a large flightdeck, very suitable for two large helicopters or VTOLs. At the rear of the ship there was a deck for a large towed passive sonar array. As stated, she looked like a slightly enlarged Audacious class. In order to reduce the designing costs, much of the layout and systems of the ship had been taken from the plans bought from the British. Twelve frigates of this design were constructed for the Australian navy and an additional eight were built for the South Korean Navy through the POMA Treaty.

The ship was powered from the outset by nuclear gas turbines and indirect electric propulsion. A pair of fusion reactors were incorporated into the design to provide more than enough power for the ship. The powerful reactors gave the Stuart a top speed of 58 knots. The reactors also gave the frigates virtually unlimited range and endurance. The propellers were variable pitch and make the ship very maneuverable and able to go from full speed to full reverse very quickly. As with all the new vessels of the Australian navy, the hull was built from super-strong, anti-corrosive materials that made the ship all but immune to weather conditions and salt water. The hull was also designed with the most advanced stealth technology of the day and drastically reduced the radar signature of the frigate.

The ships were built utilizing the same electronics as the Perth class aircraft carriers. The Sampson Phased Array Radar was thought to provide more than enough surveillance for the Stuart class. The last three vessels of the class were redesigned with the American SPX-1A system for better detection capability in a slightly larger. There were plans to retrofit the remainder of the vessels with the newer system but funds never came available. These three vessels were often referred to as the Malcolm class. The Type 2050 hull sonar and Type 2031 towed-array sonar were fitted for anti-submarine warfare. The Stuart class is fully fitted with radar-jamming and ECM suites to defend them against hostile missiles and aircraft.

Designed for general escort and anti-submarine warfare, the Stuart class was a very stable weapons platform and housed excellent munitions capability for a vessel of her size. The main weapon system began as an American built 96 cell Mk 59 VLS launcher. Very soon in the design phase it was realized that the launcher would be too large for the hull of the vessel. Various sized launchers were debated back and forth until a 48-cell launcher was decided upon. To increase the capacity, a pair of Thor class medium range missile launchers were mounted in the superstructure (one over each secondary hull). The launchers were much less expensive than the Mk 59 launchers and were mounted as a cost saving measure. Usually the majority of missiles were anti-submarine assisted rockets or cruise missiles, but medium-range and long-range missiles were carried as well. There was major discussion as to the gun armament of the frigate with consideration being given to a variety of calibers and models. After much debate, the American Mk 45 five inch cannon was decided upon for the simple reasons that they were available, cheap, and ammunition available for them. The first few mounts were pulled from decommissioned Anzac class frigates. Later mounts were purchased from the U.S. Navy from decommissioned Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Like those fitted to the Swan class, the turrets were redesigned with a stealthier profile and to take advantaged of extended range guided munitions. A single turret was mounted at the bow of the ship in front of the VLS launcher. A pair of MK 44 “Sea Sabre” combination defense mounts were fitted for close-in defense with one mounted above the bridge and the second above the aircraft hanger. Two torpedo tubes were mounted on either side of the hull for close-in submarine threats.

The hanger space on the frigate was quite spacious and easily housed the two large Merlin helicopters originally assigned to them. These craft were later replaced with a pair of American built Kingfisher VTOL aircraft, although not all of the Merlins had been replaced before the Rifts came. A small complement of Gypsy Moth Power Armors were tucked away in a side hanger designed just for them. In addition, a small unit of marines was stationed on board for defense against boarders and for port security.

Model Type: Stuart class Frigate
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Guided Missile Frigate
Crew: 115; 9 officers, 17 Chief Petty Officers, 89 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation)
Troops: 12 Helicopter or VTOL pilots and crew, 12 Power Armor Pilots, 15 soldiers in body armor

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

2Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft
10Gypsy Moth Power Armor (with Flight Pack)

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Sampson Phased Array Radar System (most of class):500
[1] SPX-1A Active Phased Array Radar System:200
Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Barrel (1, Turret):80
Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Mount (Forward):200
Mk 59 48 Cell Vertical Missile Launchers (1, Forward):375
"Thor" Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):300 each
Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (2):200 each
Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):40 each
Chaff Launcher (4, Superstructure):10 each
Hanger (Aft):400
VTOL Pad (Aft):250
Outer Hull (per 80 ft area):75
[2] Primary Hull (Main Body):1,400
[3] Secondary Hulls (2, either side of Primary Hull):500

[1] Destroying the Phase Array radar system will destroy the ship’s main fire control systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors).
[2] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. If the Secondary Hulls are still intact, the ship will sink very slowly and will take a full twenty four hours to sink. This may give the ships crew time to patch the damage to an extent that the ship will float but all propulsion will be destroyed but the ship may be repairable. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.
[3] Destruction of one secondary hull will reduce stability and negate bonuses due to quiet design and for piloting. Destruction of both secondary hulls will give the ship a -20% penalty to piloting and give a bonus of +20% to be detected. Ships speed is also reduced ! to 30 knots (34.5 mph / 55.6 kph)

Surface: 58 knots (66.7 mph / 107.4 kph)
Maximum Effective Range: Unlimited due to fusion turbines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies and consumables on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 485 feet (145.5 meters)
Height: 45 feet (13.7 meters), 47 ft (14.1 meters) in Malcolm class
Width: 85 feet (25.5 meters)
Displacement: 5,300 (5,400 on Malcolm class) tons standard and 7,100 (7,200 on Malcolm class) tons fully loaded
Cargo: 500 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 ships spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear Turbines, average life span is 20 ye! ars
Market Cost: Not available.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Mk 45 Mod 4 Single Barrel Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Naval Gun: The ship mounts a single five inch gun on the bow of the ship. The gun is very reliable although it fires at a relatively slow rate (20 rounds per minute). The gun was carried on many ship classes until well into the twenty first century. The guns can be used against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft. The weapon can use special artillery rounds, rocket assisted rounds, and can even fire Extended Range Guided Munitions.
    Maximum Effective Range: 12 miles (10.4 nautical miles/19.3 km) for standard projectiles, 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles/32.2 km) for rocket propelled rounds, and treat Extended Range Guided Munitions as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for High Explosive, 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 ft (2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for Plasma. Rocket projectiles: 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for High Explosive, 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 4 ft (1.2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for Plasma. Extended Range Guided Munitions: Treat as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Use the statistics for 105 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate).
    Rate of Fire: Normal Projectiles: Five shots per cannon per melee. Extended Range Guided Munitions can be fired at the rate of one shot per melee
    Payload: 500 rounds - Each Extended Range Guided Munitions round takes up space for 2 normal rounds. Ship normally carries usually carries 100 High Explosive, ! 100 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 100 Plasma, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, 50 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds, and 25 Extended Range Guided Munitions. The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.
  2. Two (2) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: One system is in the rear of the superstructure just before the helicopter hanger and the other is on the front of the superstructure just above the bridge. 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 systems. The short range missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee.! 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). The rail gun is very similar to those carried on the Sea King Cruiser and it is likely that the Sea Kings 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 MD 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: 6 attacks per melee. Short Range Missiles: 2 attacks per melee, can fire one at a time or in volleys of two or four.
    Payload: Rail Guns: 8000 rounds (200 burst) each. Short Range Missiles: 16 short range missiles each.
  3. Mk 59-B Vertical Launch Missile Systems (1): Launching cells are located forward behind the 127 mm gun mount. 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 48 individual cells and is eight missile cells longs by six 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), thirty-two (32), or 48 missiles for the whole launcher per melee. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee.
    Payload: 48 missile cells in launcher with reload systems for each cell (1 reload each cell). One long range missile or two medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same load out as well. The ship will often carry 16 cells with ! two medium range missiles each and the other cells loaded with one long range missile each.
  4. Thor class Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2): 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. One launcher is mounted on the front and one is mounted on the back of the vessel's superstructure and require less space than a Mk-41 or Mk-49 vertical launch system. Each system can launch up to 8 missiles simultaneously each and the launcher is automatically reloaded. These launchers often act as the ships 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: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles (Each launcher operates independently)
    Payload: 8 missiles in each launcher, with 32 missiles in each magazine for automatic reloads, for a total of 80 Medium Range Missiles including missiles in launcher.
  5. Two (2) Torpedo Launchers: There is one launcher on each side of the ship near the fantail. Each torpedo launcher has 3 torpedo tubes and tubes are 12.75 in (324 mm) wide. Torpedoes are normally used against submarines but can be targeted on surface targets as well. Ship carries 60 reloads for torpedoes. Treat warheads as medium range missile warheads.
    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (32 km)
    Mega Damage: By Medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or three (3) torpedoes per side, Reloading takes one full melee.
    Payload: Three torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of six torpedoes (Has 60 torpedoes for reloads)
  6. Super RBOC Chaff Launcher (4): Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. In addition to chaff these launchers also fired flares to decoy IR guided missiles. Rifts Earth 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.)
    Maximum Effective Range: Around Ship
    Mega Damage: None
      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: 8 each for a total of 32. 96 reloads are carried, reloading takes two melees.
  7. SLQ-25F Nixie Towed torpedo decoy (1): A special decoy which is towed behind the ship. It generates a sound like the ship’s 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 decoy systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
    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 the decoy has a 10% 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)
    Payload: One ready to use, with one more ready to deploy. It takes three minutes (twelve melees) to reel out another decoy.

Special Systems:
The ship has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:

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Image drawn and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa). Click on line drawing for a better view.

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

Writeup by Kamikazi (

Copyright © 2003, Kamikazi. All rights reserved.