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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 surviving Anzac class frigates were at the end of the operational lives and required replacement. A number of Anzac class frigates had already been retired by this time, replaced by repeat Swan class frigates.

Several design requirements were set by the admiralty during the development phase. These included a high speed design in excess of 38 knots, a minimum of sixty four cell vertical launch missile system, twin VTOL/Helicopter hanger, and superior anti-submarine warfare capability. After careful study, it was decided that a trimaran hull design would provide the most stable platform and had the greatest room for operational growth through its life.

Seeking to help out its former colony, 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. In addition, Australia wished to support their own shipyard industry. 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 class would look like a slightly enlarged Audacious.

Like the Audacious, the Stuart class was a sleek trimaran design, with her two secondary hulls set about halfway her main hull. Designed with advanced stealth characteristics, the Australian frigate design was built with a vastly reduced radar compared with previous classes. Her deckhouse was a single massive citadel, upon which a sleek radar tower was set. Behind the deckhouse there was a large flight deck, suitable for up to two large helicopters or VTOL aircraft. 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 design and development costs, much of the layout and systems of the ship had been taken from the plans bought from the British. It also allowed for far more rapid development than might otherwise have been the case due to lack of familiarity with the design. 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 (Pacific Ocean Military Alliance) Treaty.

Unlike the previous Swan class frigate, the Stuart class frigate was powered from the outset by nuclear fusion turbines. A pair of fusion turbine reactors were incorporated into the design to provide more than enough power for the frigate. In addition to the reactors giving the frigates virtually unlimited range and endurance, these powerful reactors gave the Stuart class a top speed of 58 knots. As was common by this point, geared reduction gear was eschewed with the frigate using indirect electric propulsion. The propellers were of a variable pitch design and made 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 of the frigate was built from super-strong, anti-corrosive composite materials that made the ship all but immune to weather conditions and salt water. Compared to the old Anzac class frigates, these vessels required a fraction of the maintenance. In addition, these materials were designed to further reduce the radar cross signature of the Stuart class frigate.

For the most part the Stuart class frigate were built utilizing the same electronics as the Perth class aircraft carriers. While the previous Swan class frigates mounted the American SPS-88 radar system, the Stuart class frigate mounts an upgraded version of the British Sampson active phased array radar system. While the British Sampson only had slightly greater range, it had far greater tracking ability than the slightly lighter American SPS-88 radar system.

Still concerns with range lead the Australian navy to order the last three vessels with the American SPX-1A radar system. Giving over twice the range of the British radar and slightly better tracking and targeting, the redesign increased the displacement by approximately one hundred tons. These three vessels were often referred to as the Malcolm subclass. While there were plans to retrofit the remainder of the vessels with the newer system, funds for the upgrade never became available.

For sonar systems, the Stuart class frigate had fitted the Type 2350 hull sonar and Type 2331 towed-array sonar for anti-submarine warfare. Unmodified from the British Audacious class, these systems were considered to be as good as the best sonar systems carried aboard American naval designs although based on older sonar systems. Finally, the Stuart class frigate has a number of different self defense systems including an extremely effective electronic warfare suite.

Originally developed for general escort and anti-submarine warfare, the Stuart class frigate was a very stable weapons platform and housed excellent munitions capability for a vessel of her size. Initially it was planned to fit a ninety-six cell American designs Mk 59 vertical launch system in the place of the thirty-two Mk 41 system on the British Audacious class frigate. However, during the early design phase it was realized that the launcher would be too large for the hull of the vessel. Various launchers were debated back and forth until a forty-eight Mk 59-B launcher was decided upon.

In order to increase the number of missiles that the frigate might be able to carry, a pair of “Thor” medium range missile launchers were mounted in the superstructure with one over each secondary hull. Similar to the American Mk 55 vertical launch system, these launchers were much less expensive than the Mk 59 launchers and might be considered something of a cost saving measure.

With the “Thor” medium range launchers carrying a total of eighty medium range missiles, the majority of cells in the Mk 59-B launcher are long range missiles. These can engage targets at far greater ranges than the medium range missiles. In some cases, a number of anti-submarine rocket assisted torpedoes and anti-ship and ground target surface skimming missiles may be carried in the larger launcher.

During development, 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 over the British Vickers 4.5 inch or 6.1 inch guns. Already in widespread use by the Australian navy, these guns 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 and were originally mounted on decommissioned Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Like those fitted to the Swan class, the gun mounts were redesigned with a stealthier profile and to take advantaged of extended range guided munitions. A single gun mount was position at the bow of the ship forward of the Mk 59-B vertical launch system.

For close range missiles defense, a pair of MK 44 “Sea Sabre” combination defense mounts were fitted with one mounted above the bridge and the second above the aircraft hanger. These mounts combine short range missile launchers with a powerful rail gun. In addition, a pair of 324 mm torpedo tubes were mounted on either side of the hull for close-in submarine threats.

Compared to the previous Swan class frigate, the hanger space on the Stuart class 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 EVS-84A Kingfisher VTOL aircraft, although not all of the Merlins had been replaced before the Great Cataclysm occurred.

A small complement of Gypsy Moth Power Armors were tucked away in a side hanger designed specifically for them. In addition, a small unit of marines was stationed on board for defense against boarders and for port security. Even so, these frigate were known to sometimes deploy without any embarked marines.

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: 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 pilots for Gypsy Moth power armors, and 16 soldiers in body armor that are usually retained on board the ship.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



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

Aircraft Compliment:



Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (Usually EVS-84A Kingfisher ASW model.)

M.D.C. by Location:





[1] Type 1045 Sampson Active Phased Array Radar System (Most of class):



[1] SPX-1A Active Phased Array Radar System (Malcolm subclass):



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

10 each.


Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Barrel (1, gun mount):



Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Mount (forward):



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



“Thor” Medium Range Vertical Launch Systems (2, sides):

300 each.


Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile System (2):

200 each.


Mk 52 Dual 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):

35 each.


[2] Mk 36 Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.


Hanger (aft):



VTOL Pad (aft):



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



[3] Primary Hull (main body):



[4] Secondary Hulls (2, either side of primary hull):



[1] Destroying the Type 1045 Sampson / SPX-1A rotating phased array radar panel 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] 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] 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.

[4] 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. Ship’s speed is also reduced to 34.5 mph (30 knots / 55.6 kph).


Surface: 58 knots (66.7 mph / 107.4 kph).

Range: Effectively 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:

Height:  45 feet (13.7 meters), 47 feet (14.1 meters) in Malcolm subclass.

Length:  449.5 feet (137.0 meters) waterline and 485 feet (145.5 meters) overall.

Width:   85 feet (25.5 meters).

Displacement: 5,300 [5,400 on Malcolm subclass] tons standard and 7,100 [7,200 on Malcolm subclass] tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 500 tons (453.6 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 turbines, average life span is 20 years

Black Market Cost: Not for Sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 250 million credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Mk 45 Mod 4 Single Barrel Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Naval Gun: The ship mounts a 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 feet (7.7 meters) for High Explosive, 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 feet (2 meters) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 feet (7.7 meters) for Plasma. Rocket projectiles: 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 20 feet (6.1 meters) for High Explosive, 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 4 feet (1.2 meters) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 20 feet (6.1 meters) 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) when using artillery rounds.

    Rate of Fire: Normal Projectiles: Five (5) shots per cannon per melee round. Extended Range Guided Munitions can be fired at the rate of one (1) shot per melee round.

    Payload: 500 rounds - Each Extended Range Guided Munitions round takes up space for two (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, and 50 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds, and 50 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 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 (2) 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 behind the 127 mm gun mount. 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 (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) 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” Medium Range Vertical Launch Systems: Mounted on the sides of the superstructure over the secondary hulls and 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. Two (2) Mk 52 Dual 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers: There is one twin launcher on each side of the ship. Each twin torpedo launcher has two torpedo tubes and tubes are 12.75 in (324 mm) wide. Torpedoes are normally used against submarines but can be targeted against surface targets as well. Interceptor torpedoes are also available for launchers / tubes to use against incoming torpedoes. The tubes have an automatic reloading system and can be fired quickly. Ship carries 40 reloads for torpedoes. For the most part torpedo warheads are equal to medium range missile warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles / 32 km) for standard torpedoes.

    Mega Damage: By medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire medium torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) medium torpedoes per side, launcher can fire a maximum of two (2) volleys of torpedoes per melee each launcher.

    Payload: Two (2) medium torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of four (4) medium torpedoes. Has an additional forty (40) medium torpedoes for reloads.

  6. Four (4) Mk 36 Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers: 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 be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological differences. 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.



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



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



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

    Payload: Eight (8) each for a total of thirty-two (32) canisters. Ninety-six (96) reload canisters are carried, reloading takes two melee rounds.

  7. Two (2) SLQ-25F Nixie Towed Torpedo 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 28.8 mph (25 knots / 46.3 kph) and below. Otherwise, the noise of the ship’s systems and propellers are too powerful to mask. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies guidance and targeting systems due to technological differences.

    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 one more ready to deploy. It takes approximately three minutes (twelve melee rounds) to reel out another decoy.

Special Systems:

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

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr 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. ]

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

Writeup by Kamikazi ( and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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