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British Royal Navy Audacious class Trimaran Frigate (Type 32):


The Audacious class frigates were developed in the relatively early years of the Twenty First century, amongst fierce criticisms. In the early stages of their design, when they were still known as the FSC (Future Surface Combatant), the decision was made to give these ships a trimaran hull form. Tests with a technology demonstrator (the RV Triton) had shown that this hull form would yield considerable advantages in the fields of fuel economy and in deck space.


The design was fiercely opposed by the more conservative groups within the Royal Navy. Words like “Untested,” “Gamble,” and “Unwise” were heard often, but the decision to go ahead with the trimaran hull form was final. The fact that other navies, in particular the U.S. Navy, had also invested in the program had a lot to do with this.


Laid down in 2021, the first of the class was completed by 2026. Laid down at the rate of one frigate each year, a total of eight frigates were completed by 2034. Events at that time cause the program to be put on hiatus. A new generation of high strength materials had in effect made all of the military virtually obsolete. Even though the Audacious class frigates were almost new, there were concerns about what their future might be.


At the same time, the political climate was more peaceful than it had been in decades. There had been some problems during the first couple of decades but things appeared to have calmed down. While Communists taking control of the Russia and the reformation of the Soviet Union caused some concerns, many leaders considered it possibly a better situation than with the Oligarches who controlled Russia for the last few decades.


As completed, the Audacious class frigates were beautiful vessels. Unlike with the previous class of major combatants build for the Royal Navy, the first FSC to slip into the sea set the standard for all those that followed. The Audacious was a sleek trimaran, with her two secondary hulls set about halfway her main hull. Her deckhouse was a single massive block, upon which a sleek radar tower was set. Behind the deckhouse there was a large flight deck, very suitable for the two large Merlin helicopters the class would carry. At the rear of the ship there was a deck for a large towed passive sonar array.


The Audacious class frigate was powered by two Rolls Royce WR21 gas turbines which used electrical transmission to provide propulsion instead of being a direct drive system. When these frigates first entered the water, they were among the fastest designs in service with any navy. A number of commanders commented that it was like commanding a speed boat.


The weapons fit was considered fairly complete, something which had been on the minds of a lot of RN commanders. Many still remembered the first batch of Daring class destroyers, which carried little more than a medium caliber gun mount and a inefficient vertical launch system.


In contrast to this, the Audacious carried a newly developed 155 mm cannon for fire support and a thirty-two cell Sylver vertical launch systems for its Air Defense missiles in front of the bridge, two sixteen cell Strike Length Mk 41 vertical launch systems for anti surface cruise missiles mounted in the superstructure (one over each secondary hull), and two SeaRAM short range missile systems for close in defense. Lastly the ship carried two twin tubed 324 mm torpedo launchers. Although most in the RN would rather have had a thirty-two cell Mk 41 vertical launch system in place of the French Sylver launcher, contractual obligations did not allow for it. Even so, the weapons fit was quite impressive for a ship this size.


The new 155 mm cannon mount was developed using the gun barrel and breech from the AS-90 self-propelled gun in the 4.5 inch/55 Mk 8 gun mount. Originally the Type 45 class destroyers were to be upgraded with these gun mounts. Using common ammunition types with the British Army, this was suppose to allowed for greatly reduced logistics. In addition, new ammunition development could be jointly funded between the Royal Navy and British Army.


The electronics fit was also quite impressive. For its main radar, Audacious carried a slightly simplified Sampson phased array radar, which had excellent range and power. There was a Ferranti bow sonar, and a new advanced passive towed array sonar. With the two Merlin helicopters that could be embarked, the Audacious was very well equipped for anti submarine operations. For protection against threats that made it though the vessels other defenses, the trimaran frigate was fitted with an array of additional defenses such as ECM suite, chaff, and towed decoys.


Because of the funding crisis that the Royal Navy went through in the Twenty-Thirties, these effective ships were without a proper full refit with the new materials for longer than was prudent. It was only into the Twenty-Forties that these vessels began to be refitted with the new composites and alloys. Granted, refitting these vessels was quite expensive, akin to a reconstruction. Among the first to be rebuilt was the H.M.S. Audacious. Although none of the rebuilt ships were finished in time to join in the Two Years War for South Africa, the Audacious was finished in time to join another battle: The second Falklands war!


None of the British carriers were able to be deployed, two of the three were being rebuilt while the third had one of her main propulsion motors fail and require replacing. As a result, the Argentinian saw a window of opportunity where they could to “liberate” Los Malvinas from the British. While unlikely, the hope had been that the British government would take it as a fait accompli.


All that were available to respond to the problem was a scratch force including H.M.S. Audacious, H.M.S. Montrose, a rebuild Type-23 frigate which also happened to be the prototype for rebuilding vessels using the new composites and alloys, and H.M.S. Ajax, a rebuild Astute class submarine. Together with aircraft from the Falklands Islands, they fought and defeated a flotilla of seventeen similarly refitted warships from Argentina. While most of the vessels were smaller, more or less patrol boats, a number were also larger vessels.


During the fighting, H.M.S. Audacious was struck several times by anti-ship missiles. While she was wrecked and unable to be saved, as a testament to the toughness of the ship it took nearly ten hours to sink beneath the waves. All crew members who had not been killed during the battle were saved. H.M.S. Montrose was also badly damaged, in fact so badly damaged that when she returned home it was decided to retire her. In contrast, H.M.S. Ajax was unscathed, again showing the lethality of a fast attack submarine.


Due to the second Falklands campaign, it was decided to greatly accelerate the refitting of the remaining Audacious class trimaran frigates. At the same time, it was decided that it would be a more complete refit with replacing weapon systems and upgrading electronics in many cases. Apart from the new armor materials and updating electronics, the most major change was the replacement of the forward “Sylver” launcher with a more efficient thirty-two cell tactical length Mk 41 vertical launch system.


At the same time as the remaining Audacious class frigates were being reconstructed, the Royal Navy was able to get authorization to begin construction on a “Batch Two” version of the Audacious class frigates. These were laid down using the new composites and alloys, making them far stronger than the original frigates. In total, twelve new Audacious “Batch Two” were build, bringing the British navy to a total of nineteen Audacious class frigates.


Prior to renewed tensions between Great Britain and Argentina, the Royal navy was already looking towards a “Batch Three” of the trimaran frigate. It was planned to replace the two 16 cell strike length Mk 41 on the sides of the frigate with “Thor” medium range vertical missile launchers from the Australian Stuart class frigate and forgo being able to carry cruise missiles.


There were a number of other upgrades to the vessels during service, many of which were applied to “Batch Two” vessels while under construction. One of these was the replacement of the original SeaRAM mounts with American Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” mounts which combine short range missile launchers with a powerful rail gun. Probably most important though was the replacement of the original gas turbines with nuclear fusion turbines, giving effectively unlimited endurance.


When there were rumors of yet a third attempt by Argentina to capture the Falklands Islands, the Royal Navy was ready. It was hoped that a little bit of gunboat diplomacy might get Argentina to back down. A battle group was formed around the carrier Ark Royal. Assigned to the battle group was a total of seven Audacious class, both “Batch One” and “Batch Two” vessels. For “Batch One” vessels, there was Leander, Arethusa, and Boadicea. For “Batch Two” vessels, there was the Royalist, Dido, Emerald, and Swiftsure.


Satellites detected the detonation of several nuclear weapons. At the time it was believed that the entire force was lost due to a limited Argentinian nuclear strike. However, the nuclear explosion triggered a ley line storm in the South American Sea Triangle which catapulted the battle group into the future.


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:

Type 32 Batch One:

Upgraded / M.D.C. Converted Audacious class Trimaran Frigate.

 

Type 32 Batch Two:

New Material Audacious class Trimaran Frigate.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Guided Missile Trimaran Frigate

Crew: 105 personnel; 7 officers, 15 chief petty officers, and 83 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troops: 15 Merlin crew members and 35 marines.


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:

 

20

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

 

15

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

Aircraft Compliment:

 

2

Westland Merlin HM 1 helicopters (Anti-Submarine Warfare Version.)


M.D.C. by Location:

Batch One:

Batch Two:

 

Bridge:

300.

450.

 

[1] Type 1055 “Mini Sampson” Active Phased Array Radar System:

225.

225.

 

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

10 each.

10 each.

 

BAE Systems 155 mm (6.1 inch)/52 Mk 1 Naval Gun Barrel (1, mount):

80.

80.

 

BAE Systems 155 mm (6.1 inch)/52 Mk 1 Naval Gun Mount (1, forward):

180.

220.

 

Mk 41 Tactical Length 32 Cell Vertical Launch System (1, forward):

220.

380.

 

Mk 41 Strike 16 cell Vertical Launchers (2, sides of superstructure):

160 each.

240 each.

 

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

200 each.

200 each.

 

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

35 each.

35 each.

 

[2] Sea Gnat Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.

10 each.

 

Hanger (aft):

200.

350.

 

VTOL Pad (aft):

150.

250.

 

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

50.

80.

 

[3] Primary Hull (main body):

800.

1,200.

 

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

300 each.

400 each.


Notes:

[1] Destroying the Type 1055 “Mini Sampson” rotating active 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 up to 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. Ships speed is also reduced to 30 knots (34.5 mph / 55.6 kph).


Speed:

Surface: 69 mph (60 knots / 111.1 kph).

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:

Height:  45 feet (13.7 meters).

Width:   80 feet (24 meters).

Length:  442.9 feet (135.0 meters) waterline and 478.4 feet (145.8 meters) overall.

Displacement: 4,900 tons standard and 6,500 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 400 tons (369.9 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: Originally conventional gas turbine propulsion, converted to two nuclear fusion turbine reactors with an average life span of 20 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 200 million credits or more. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. One (1) BAE Systems 155 mm (6.1 inch)/52 Mk 1 Mod 0 / Mod 1 Naval Gun: Mounted in the front of the frigate, this gun system uses a reinforced 4.5 inch Mark 8 gun mount modified to use a 155 mm gun barrel. The “Batch One” vessels use the gun barrel and breech from the AS-90 self-propelled gun while the “Batch Two” vessels use the gun barrel and breech from the AS-100 self-propelled gun. Uses same shells as ground artillery however fire control does allows for the engaging of air targets as well. The cannon is loaded by a automatic shell loading device, which is fed from a onboard magazine. The magazine is fully automated and keeps stock of the amount and type of rounds still available. It can switch between rounds at will. It uses modern Rifts artillery rounds and can use both non rocket assisted and rocket assisted rounds. Due to cooling systems, rate of fire can be maintained unlike most land based gun systems. The gun mount can rotate 300 and has a 55 arc of fire.

    Maximum Effective Range: 18.6 miles (16.2 nautical miles / 30 km) for non rocket assisted and 24.9 miles (21.6 nautical miles / 40 km) for rocket assisted projectiles.

    Mega-Damage: By 155 mm artillery round type [Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information: Standard Projectiles: Fragmentation 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 40 feet (12.2 meters), High Explosive 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 feet (7.6 meters), Armor Piercing 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 feet (1.8 meters), and Plasma 4D6x10 with a blast radius of 30 feet (9.1 meters). Rocket Assisted Projectiles: Fragmentation 1D6x10 to a blast radius of 30 feet (9.1 meters), High Explosive 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 20 feet (6.1 meters), Armor Piercing 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 5 feet (1.5 meters), and Plasma 3D6x10 with a blast radius of 25 feet (7.6 meters). There are a vast number of other type of projectiles available as well.]

    Rate of Fire: Up to four (4) single shots per melee round.

    Payload: 400 rounds. Ship normally carries usually carries 50 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. The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.

  2. Two (2) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Replace original SeaRAM mounts. Bought from the United States as a replacement for aging defense system. Mounted on the sides of the superstructure. 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. 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 missiles 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 41 Tactical Length 32 Cell Vertical Launch System: Replaces original French Sylver vertical launch system. Mounted behind the 155 mm gun mount, this launcher has thirty-two cells for missiles. A very reliable vertical launcher system, dating back from the previous century, made in the USA, and exported to numerous countries. The tactical length version could not carry cruise missiles (including hypersonic Fasthawk missile) and used almost exclusively to house surface to air missiles. From the beginning, the launchers have been found to be very flexible and adaptable and the launcher can carry two long range missiles or four medium range missiles per cell. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details) although are rarely carried.

    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 eight (8) range missiles per melee round and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: Thirty-two (32) missile cells in the VLS launcher (possible total of 64 long range missiles). Two (2) long range missiles or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per missile cell. Normal missile compliment was thirty-two (32) long range missiles and sixty-four (64) medium range missiles. Ship carries no reloads.

  4. Two (2) Mk 41 Strike Length 16 Cell Vertical Launch Systems: Mounted on the sides of the ship in the superstructure over the secondary hulls. These are the longer strike version of the missile launcher and can carry the longer cruise missile (including hypersonic Fasthawk missile.) From the beginning, the launchers have been found to be very flexible and adaptable. The launcher was originally designed for the Tomahawk and Standard SM-2 Missile. In later service, the launchers have been adapted to hold one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles per cell. Cruise missiles are usually used against hardened fixed targets, long range missiles are normally used against aircraft and other large targets, and medium range missiles are normally used against closer targets such as incoming missiles. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) On the Audacious class these missiles cells carried long range missiles and the hypersonic Fasthawk cruise missile for surface to surface engagements.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise, long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details / for Fasthawk missiles, go to missile description for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per cruise, long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details / for Fasthawk missiles, go to missile description for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volley of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles for both launchers per melee round and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: Sixteen (16) missile cells in each VLS launcher (possible total of 16 cruise missiles.) One (1) cruise missile, two (2) long range missiles, or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per cell. Normal load is eight (8) long range missiles, eight (8) land attack, and four (4) sea skimming anti ship Fasthawk cruise missiles per vertical launch system. Ship carries no reloads.

  5. Two (2) 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).

    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) Sea Gnat Chaff / Decoy Launcher: Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. All four 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: Six (6) each for a total of twenty-four (24) canisters. Ninety-six (96) reload canisters are carried, reloading takes two melee rounds.

  7. Four (4) 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 28.8 mph (25 knots / 46.3 kph) and below. 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 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 three 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:

Bonuses:



[ 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. ]


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

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


Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and revised by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2000, 2002 & 2018, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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