British Royal Navy Upholder Submarine:
In the beginning of the twenty-first century the Royal Navy had many designs on the drawing table, all of which were supposed to replace elderly and obsolete equipment. Many of these projects floundered and died a silent death, due to the new "Golden Age" that man had entered. So too the project known as the Future Attack SubMarine, or FASM. Originally meant to replace the Trafalgar class of nuclear attack submarines the FASM would have been large, fast, and heavily armed subs, the equal of anything in the western world. Unfortunately, the dwindling defense budget (due to the diminishing threats to the remainder of the British Empire) and the coming of the so-called "Golden Age" cut short the development of the FASM. Instead the Royal Navy ordered five more "Astute" class nuclear attack submarines, the development of which had been done nearly two decades previously.
It wasn`t until after the second Falklands war and the renewed growth of the Empire that the Royal Navy once again had enough funds to order the development of new submarines. And these were now urgently needed. The Trafalgar class SSN`s that needed to be replaced were by then more than sixty years old! The replacements would be known as the Upholder class.
The new FASM design that was ultimately chosen to replace the Trafalgars was by a quantum leap the most advanced of its time. It outdid any submarine then in service in stealth and noise reduction, and was incredibly heavily armed for its size. The design had no less than ten torpedo tubes, because it had been recognised that even the sound of the reloading of tubes could now be picked up by some sonars. Thus, ten tubes would provide the subs with a sizable amount of torpedoes to be fired before any reloads had to be performed, which could compromise stealth. Rreloading itself was done by a fully automated magazine. There was no human help needed for that, and in fact the torpedo room was only accessible to humans for the unlikely event that maintenance was needed during deployment. Further weaponry was in the form of eight VLS tubes behind the large sail, from which cruise missiles could be fired. These too had automated magazines, enabling the sub to carry a total of thirty two cruise missiles. A small laser turret mounted on the sail provided the submarine with a shortranged defense, in the unlikely even that it should have needed it.
Sensor systems included state of the art active and passive hull-mounted sonar arrays, as well as a very sensitive towed sonar array.
But the true innovation was the development of a new kind of submarine stealthing. When the new submarine was first deployed during NATO wargames it consistently defeated the attempts of its opponents to detect it. Often the first sign of its presence was the fact that the simulation computers registered a torpedo "hit" upon its targets. Only when the sub was pushed to great speeds did it become detectable like a normal submarine. The secret was that the sub carried a set of chemicals onboard which, when combined with seawater and a electric field, would form a hard layer of gel around the sub. Since the electric field in which the gel would form was generated by the subs hull, the layer of gel was conformal to the hull of the sub. This layer of gel not only absorbed the incoming soundwaves of active sonar arrays, it also muffled any sounds that came from the sub itself, making it very difficult to pick up on passive arrays as well. The only disadvantages were that at high speeds the gel layer would slough off due to the friction forces, which led to a sudden increase in the subs detectability, and the fact that the sub only carried enough chemicals onboard for a few applications of the gel layer.
The Upholder class had a small space to carry troops for assault missions or shipboard defense. Up to 24 could be carried without power armor but more commonly carried were eighteen soldiers (often Royal Marines or a SAS squad) with Gypsy Moth Power Armors.
Ultimately the Royal Navy would recieve twelve Upholders. Of these, two were escorts for the Ark Royal and the battlegroup which was to perform some gunboat diplomacy in the waters off the Argentinian coast. The Upholder herself was laready patrolling the waters around the Flaklands, and the Warspite left Great Britain together with the taskforce.
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: Upholder class
Crew: 85; 8 Officers, 10 Chief Petty Officers, and 67 Enlisted (Has a high degree of automation)
Troop Capacity: 18 (With Gypsy Moth Power Armors) to 24 (Without power armor)
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|18||Gypsy Moth Power Armors|
M.D.C. by Location:
|Pop-Up Laser Turret (mounted on sail):||150|
|Cruise Missile Silo Hatches (8, aft of sail):||200 each|
|Torpedo Tubes (10; in front):||300 each|
| Bow Planes (2):||250 each|
| Pump Jet Propulsor (1):||500|
| Main Body:||3,600|
 Destroying the submarine's 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 submarine's 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.
Water Surface: 34.4 knots (40 mph/64.3 kph)
Underwater: 43 knots (50 mph/ 80 kph)
Maximum Depth: 2.2 miles (3.5 km)
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 25 years and requires maintenance as well). Vessel carries 10 months of supplies for crew and troops on board.
Height: 69 feet (20.8 meters)
Width: 38.1 feet (11.8 meters)
Length: 402 feet (120.6 meters)
Displacement: 8,200 tons
Cargo: 60 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies (normally used for equipment for marines). Each enlisted crew member has a small locker 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, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear; average energy life of 30 years. Normally refuels every 15 years
Market Cost: Top secret! Not available; but costs hundreds of millions of credits to build with all the standard features and weapons.
- Pop-Up Laser Cannon: The weapon is mounted
in the top of the Sail, and has complete coverage of the sky. The turret fully
retracts to not interrupt water flow
while the submarine is underwater. This was a relatively light
gun which could be used against small vessels, power armor, and missile volleys.
Actually many commanders felt that the turret was one of the most useless items
on the subs, since more than 99% of each deployment was spend underwater anyway,
making the use of the laser moot.
The turret had its own gunner and could rotate 360 degrees and had a 90
degree arc of fire.
Maximum Effective Range: 6000 feet ( 1828.8 m).
Mega-Damage: 6D6 M.D. per single blast.
Rate of Fire: Five blasts per melee round.
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
- Cruise Missile Launchers (8): These silo-style launchers
are located aft of the submarines sail and face up toward the sky. System
has an automatic reload system and is located within the pressure hull
of the submarine. All launchers operate as one system and are used to engage
enemy ships and ground targets. The cruise missile usually carried was the hypersonic
Fasthawk in 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.)
For Cruise Missile type go to: Fasthawk Cruise Missile.
Mega Damage: As per Cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
For Cruise Missile type go to: Fasthawk Cruise Missile.
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or volleys of two (2), four (4), six (6), or eight (8) missiles. once per melee round.
Payload: 32 in launch system, with usual complement being 24 land attack and 8 sea skimming anti ship Fasthawk cruise missiles.
- Heavy Torpedo Tubes (10): The ship is designed to carry torpedoes
as it main weaponry. Standard Royal Navy practice was to carry only
heavy torpedoes that inflicted maximum damage. All ten torpedo tubes are mounted
in the front of the sub.
Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (64 km)
Mega Damage: By Heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
Rate of Fire: Each tube can fire once per melee round
Payload: 8 reloads per tube, for 90 total: The Upholder subs normally carry the heaviest warheads available.
- Advanced Decoys (8): The submarine carried eight 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: 8 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
- Gel Coating: The submarine could form a Gel coating around itself
by running a low powered electric current through its hull and releasing a set
of chemicals into the water surrounding it. Under the influence of the electric
current the chemicals bonded with the seawater, forming a thick gel that clung evenly
to the hull. This coating absorbed both in and outgoing noise, which made the sub
virtually impossible to detect by both passive and active sonar.
The drawback was that the gel would slough off if the sub exceeded 15 knots of speed, and that the sub only had a limited supply of the gelating chemicals aboard. In order to listen past the coating the sub reeled out a towed sonar array through the gel layer.
Effects: The gel layer absorbs, deadens and distorts all sounds from and to the submarine. The sub is -30% to detect (comes in addition to other penalties).
In addition to that, if detected there is a 20% chance that the sub will be mistaken for a large school of fish or a whale due to the gel layer having a density much like flesh or whale blubber.
Gel layer has a duration of 4 days(!) at speeds below 15 knots. Above 15 knots the layer peels off in 3 melees, negating its effects.
Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
Rate of Fire: Sub can form a new gel layer in eight melees, but must be at a speed of 5 knots or lower!.
Payload: 6 applications
The submarine has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
- Enhanced Radar: Can identify and simultaneously track up to 364 different targets. Range: 500 miles (800 km).
- Advanced Hull Sonar System: Range of 65 miles (71.3 nautical miles / 128.6 km). This hull sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 48 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 200 miles (173.7 nautical miles / 321.9 km). This is an incredibly sensitive system and as powerful as the special purpose SURTASS system of the US navy. This towed array sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 72 targets at one time.
- 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 propeller design, the submarine's reactors make very little noise, and the boat is coated by a sonar defeating rubber coating. The submarine is -50% to detect when traveling at less that 18 knots and is at -30% to detect when traveling at speeds greater than that.
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