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British LHDN-II Africa class Multi Role Amphibious Assault Ships:


After the war for South Africa it became clear that, like much of the Royal Navy equipment, the aging Ocean helicopter assault ship and the two Albion class landing dock ships were near the end of their lifespan. A Mega Damage conversion for these ships was briefly considered, but this would only add about fifteen years to the life of the ships. Thus it was clear that a new class of ships had to be built.


New demands now placed on Great Brittain after its re-emergence as a colonial superpower meant that the Royal Navy had to have the capacity to transport a full division of troops and equipment to any part of its empire in a short time. This meant that the new ships had to have a significantly larger troop carrying capacity than the classes that they would replace. For a while attention was focussed on a modified Wasp design, to be purchased from the United States, but it was found that these ships would be too large for the job required, had a undesired capacity for flight operations with fighters (the RN did not need a Sea Control Ship) and that redesigning them as Mega Damage ships would not be as easy as first proposed by the Americans.


The design put forward by BAE (a company whose name was sometimes seen as a abbreviation for "Battle, Annihilation and Extinction" due to its extensive military division) was much more suited to the needs of the Royal Navy, and also featured a rather original layout. Since there was no need for a long flightdeck for fighterplanes, the Africa class has its main helicopter (and later VTOL) hangar in the middle of the deck, effectively splitting the flight deck in half. The hangar could hold up to twenty craft, and a hangar under deck could hold another twelve aircraft. On top of the hangar were two levels holding both the bridge, the command and control room, and most of the electronics for the ship.


The superstructure was was also designed with some stealth characteristics, as was the rest of the ship. Yet the vessel was not as stealthy as many other designs for the Royal Navy. Like all new Royal Navy ships the Africa class had a Fusion plant for its power source. This power system had become economical and the power plant could produce enough power to propel the vessel at 30 knots.


The weapons fit was mostly designed for self defense, and consisted of four manually operated 30 mm cannons mounted below the flight deck on its corners, four combination railgun / missile launcher units of American design for close in defense on the corners of the superstructure, and two 16 cell MK-41 VLS launchers integrated into the sides of the superstructure. The VLS cells were usually loaded with four Medium Range missiles each, and were used only for defensive purposes. The ship carried a Sampson phased array radar which was identical to the system carried on most of the Royal Navies frigate designs. Because the ship might have been required to act in a anti-submarine warfare role, the vessel carried a hull sonar but did not carry a towed array sonar.


Initially, an upgraded version of the STOL version of the Join Strike Fighter was carried on the vessel together with Tiger helicopters and upgraded versions of the Osprey as the ship’s air wing but they were replaced by more advanced designs as time went on. By the time the Africa set out on her ill-fated task of assisting the Ark Royal, the FV-38 Panther was carried as the main fighter, although the main ASW and ESW vehicle was still the Merlin helicopter. The Royal Navy operated their own Seawolf assault helicopters from the Africa class, variants of the British armies Wolf class assault helicopter. For transporting troops and light equipment the Africa usually carried up to twenty two of the latest Merlin helicopters.


These ships had a huge amount of space for vehicles other than aircraft. These ships carry about 200 power armors in their normal assault role. The ship was designed to carry four hovercraft that can carry troops or vehicles to the shoreline. These craft were the USA made LCAC-854 "Crab", with only minor differences in equipment. Unlike the previous classes, the hovercraft are carried on a dry deck. This dry deck enables the ship to carry other vehicles in place of the hover craft. The ship carried 10 heavy tanks, 25 armored personnel carriers, 10 missile batteries, and 50 support vehicles as a normal compliment but this could be varied per mission requirements. Unlike the US Marines the British Marines used mostly army equipment, and their Main Battle Tank of choise was therefore their own Crusader tank. The ship was designed with troop support as one of its primary purposes and had the capacity for 400 patients and also had a full operating room. Half of the medical department was part of the crew and the other half was part of the marine compliment. Like most ships built at the time, the ship has a large amount of automation to reduce crew requirements.


In 2072 the British Empire became aware that the Argentinians once again were about to embark on a campaign to "liberate" Los Malvinas from British rule. And so it was decided that a taskforce, centered around a CVN should be send to the Falklands to do a little gunboat diplomacy. The Ark Royal was the CVN chosen for the task. In december 2072 following christmas, she and her extensive group of escorts set sail to the Falklands. The Africa was sent along with a full compliment of 1,600 marines and 100 SAS members. Officially this was for practicing landings on the difficult shores of the Falklands, but the pretense was a thin one: It was quite clear that after the excersize most of the Royal Marines would stay on the Falklands to strengthen the garrisson present there.


They would never arrive.


In the open ocean, less than 200 miles of the shore of Argentinia, the taskforce was attacked by a group of stealth bombers from Argentinia. Shielded with stealth technology from China and carrying nuclear weapons, they destroyed the taskforce. Or so everyone thought. While for a few weeks the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war, the Ark Royal and her taskforce had been displaced in time.
Having shot down or prematurely detonated all of the nuclear missiles heading their way, the explosion of the nukes had released enough energy to temporarily activate what would later become known as the South American Sea Triangle. A brief but violent electrical storm later, the taskforce emerged unscathed into a world both very different and yet very recognisable....


Model Type: LHDN-II Africa class Multi Role Amphibious Assault Ships
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Assault Vessel
Crew: 420 (30 officers, 50 chief petty officers, 340 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation])
Troops: 360 pilots for Gypsy MothPower Armor, 160 Aircraft Pilots, 310 vehicle crew members, and 1,700 soldiers.


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles (Standard):
Power Armors:

200Gypsy Moth Power Armors
Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:
22Westland Merlin HM 1 helicopters (General Cargo / Search and Rescue)
8Westland Merlin HM 1 helicopters (Anti-Submarine/Electronic Warfare)
6 FV-38 Panther II VSTOL Fighter
6IE-15AH Sea Wolf Attack Helicopters
Landing Craft:
4LCAC-854 "Crab"
Tanks & Other Vehicles:
4Vickers Conqueror Heavy Tank
10Vickers Firefly Mk II Infantry Support Tank
20GKN / Vickers Valiant IFV
10USA-M-9 Morgan Missile Vehicle
50Support Vehicles


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Elevators (2):400 each
Hanger Doors (2):400 each
[2] Flight Deck (2)2,000 each
Rear Vehicle Doors:600
[3] Main Bridge / Superstructure:2,000
[4] Mini Sampson Active Phased Array Radar System:500
30 mm cannon (4):50 each
Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (4):200 each
MK-41 Tactical length 16 cell VLS (2, sides of superstructure)100 each
Chaff Launchers (4, Superstructure):10 each
Outer Hull (per 40 ft area):60
[5] Main Body:10,000


Notes:
[1] If all two elevators are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangars to the main flight deck.
[2] If both flight decks are destroyed, only VTOL aircraft can be launched or land. VTOL aircraft are at -15% to piloting.
[3] If Bridge / Superstructure 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.
[4] Destroying the Sampson Array will destroy the ship’s fire control systems but all systems have backup control systems. All Bonuses are lost if the Sampson Array is destroyed.
[5] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -2000 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: 34.5 mph (30 knots/ 55.6 kph)
Maximum Effective Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:
Length: 775 feet (232.5 meters)
Draft: 29.5 feet (8.85 meters)
Width: 145 feet (44.2 meters)
Displacement: 38,800 tons standard and 49,500 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 5000 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies (Increase to 12,000 tons without vehicles.) Each enlisted crew member has a smalllocker for personal items and uniforms. Ships 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: 4 Fusion Reactors, average life span is 20 years
Market Cost: Not for Sale but costs around 800 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 2 to 4 billion credits


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Four (4) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Bought from the United States as a replacement for aging systems like the Sea RAM and Phalanx CIWS. One is mounted over the bridge, while the other two are located on the sides of the ships superstructure, next to the long range radar. These anti-missile defense systems combine 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 too twice per melee. The railgun 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 system can also 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 burst). 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.
  2. MK-41 16 Cell Tactical Length VLS (2): A very reliable VLS launcher, dating back from the previous century, made in the USA, and exported to numerous countries. In place of two long range missiles, each cell could also hold four medium range missiles. This launcher usually carried only Surface to Air missiles of various sizes.
    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), or sixteen (16) missiles per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: 16 missile cells in each VLS launcher (Can carry a total of 64 long range missiles). Two long range missiles or four medium range missiles may be carried per cell, and a usual complement was 32 LRMs and 64 MRMs.
  3. 30 mm cannons (4): Four 30 mm cannons were mounted around and below the flight deck. These weapons had a good range and rate of fire, but lacked the punch to do damage to large targets. Since they were manually aimed, they were little good against missiles, and the crew often joked that they were only good for "Shooting life boats and survivors in the water".
    Each gun can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire.
    Maximum Effective Range: 10,000 feet (3048 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 2D6 per round, and 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 rounds.
    Rate of Fire: As per gunners Hand to Hand.
    Payload: 600 rounds (20 bursts) each. Ship carries an additional 14,000 rounds of ammunition in magazines. Autocannon requires 3 minutes (12 melees) to reload by properly trained personnel (Double for untrained crews).
  4. Sea Gnat Chaff Launcher (4): Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming 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: 6 each for a total of 36. 144 reloads are carried, reloading takes two melees.
  5. SLQ-25F Towed torpedo decoy (1)A decoy which is towed behind the ship. 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 ships systems and propellers is to powerful to mask. This decoy can only be used when the Towed Sonar Array is not in operation.
    Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological differences.
    M.D.C.: 10
    Effects:: The decoy has an 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.
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
    Payload: One ready to use, with five 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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[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]


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.


By Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).


Copyright © 2002, Mischa. All rights reserved.



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