French Saphir Submarine:


Because the French government had not upgraded much of its military during the first half of the Twenty-First century, the state of their forces dropped to deplorable levels. The majority of their equipment was old, worn-out, and outdated. The resurgence of colonial Britain in 2055 "woke up" the French government and made them realize that they had lost their status as a world power. To make up on lost ground, the French government funded and enormous military build-up program to re-equip its military in all areas. The army, navy, and air force all received funding for projects, especially those dedicated to colonial expansion and enhancing global presence.


The French military had given up its strategic forces with the retirement of the last of its Le Triomphant ballistic missile submarines in the Twenty-Forties. However, France's fleet of Améthyste class attack submarines remained in service patrolling in hostile waters and occasionally engaging enemy forces. The majority of these attacks were cruise missile strikes against land targets. These submarines were refitted several times to keep up with current technologies. In the 2050's the boats were in dire need of replacements. Each of the submarines had had its reactor refueled at least three times and were beginning to have severe reliability and safety issues. Rather than continue upgrading the boats, it was decided to replace them with a new class of attack submarine fitted with all of the current technologies. In addition, the French admiralty wanted a more capable boat with much expanded littoral warfare stand-off attack capabilities. However, with the enormous costs of developing and building the Bretagne class aircraft carriers, Chevillon light tank, Hering anti-aircraft tank, and Weygand missile vehicle as well as upgrading the Super Rafale with new weapons, sensors, and M.D.C. protection, funds for new programs were very tight. Instead of developing a new multi-mission submarine to fulfill all the needs of the French Navy, it was that for the time being; only a dedicated fast attack submarine design would be pursued.


The Saphir class was smaller than the submarines of most navies and was designed to be very maneuverable. The shape was along the same lines as the Améthyste class with a tear-drop shaped hull. The boats were slightly longer than the Améthyste class so that several long-range missile tubes could be installed forward of the sail. While the warhead is smaller, long-range missiles had a similar range to cruise missiles and were capable against aircraft as well against ground targets. A total of twelve long range missiles were carried. Three torpedo tubes were located along each side of the hull for a total of six tubes. Reloading itself was done by a fully automated magazine. The location allowed for a larger, more powerful state of the art active and passive hull-mounted sonar array, as well as a very sensitive towed sonar array. In addition to torpedoes and missiles, the submarine carried a retractable blue/green laser turret on the after part of the sail. This was designed as a defense against both torpedoes and missiles. Like most submarines, an extensive decoy system was also carried.


Newly developed fusion reactors were incorporated into the design from the beginning. Top speed was around thirty-six knots, a bit slower than American and British submarines from the same period but still considered adequate. The power from the power plant was transferred using an electrical transmission and the propulsion was incredibly quiet. As well, the submarines used a shrouded pump jet. The high strength composites and alloys allowed the submarine to dive to incredible depths compared to older submarines. The submarine's planes were located in the superstructure like previous French submarine classes. Like most advanced submarine designs, the hull was covered by a sonar-defeating rubber coating to reduce submarine noise.


The crew of the Saphir consists of sixty-five enlisted, eleven chief petty officers, and nine officers with a commander usually the senior officer of the boat. Still, the relatively small crew meant for more space per crew member although the boats were still very cramped compared to surface vessels. The boats carry extensive automation to reduce crew requirements and safety systems were very extensive as well. The vessels do not have quarters for marines as they were not intended for special operations like American and British attack submarines.


Model Type: Saphir class
Class: SSN
Crew: 50; 9 Officers, 11 Chief Petty Officers, and 65 Enlisted (Has a high degree of automation)
Troop Capacity: None


M.D.C. by Location:

Pop-Up Laser Turret (mounted on aft of sail):125
21 Inch (533 mm) Torpedo Tubes (6, Sides of submarine):200 each
Vertical Long-Range Missile Launchers (12, Bow of Submarine):150 each
Main Sail:550
[1] Sail Planes (2, Sail):200 each
[2] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):400
[3] Main Body:3000


Notes:
[1] 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.
[2] Destroying the submarine's Pump Jet Propulsion 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.
[3] 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.


Speed:
Water Surface: 24 knots (27.6 mph/44.5 kph)
Underwater: 36 knots (41.5 mph/66.7 kph)
Maximum Depth: 1.9 miles (3.0 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.


Statistical Data:
Height: 66.7 feet (20 meters)
Width: 33.3 feet (10 meters)
Length: 333 feet (100 meters)
Displacement: 7,500 tons
Cargo: 50 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: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions of credits for a new and undamaged Saphir class submarine.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Retractable Blue/Green Laser Cannon Turret (1): Built by Triax, this cannon was mounted on the aft section of the main sail and fully retractable so that it did not disrupt water flow at high speeds and was useful both underwater and on the surface. The weapon system was used mainly as close defense against aircraft when on the surface. The laser cannon was useful both on the surface and underwater at low speeds (5 knots or less), and could also be used to engage incoming torpedoes. The mount was controlled by a separate gunner and could rotate 360 degrees and had a 90 degree arc of fire.
    Maximum Effective Range: In Atmosphere: 2 miles (3.2 km) Under Water: 1 mile (1.6 km)
    Mega Damage: Each cannon inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.C.
    Rate of Fire: 4 Times per melee.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Twelve (12) Vertical Launch Long Range Missile Launchers: In the front of the submarine but behind the sonar dome, the submarine has vertical launch system for launching cruise missiles. Launchers are outside of the pressure hull. Missiles are launched in special canisters that enable the missiles to be used in depths down to 600 feet (182 meters). Most missiles normally carried are fusion (Also smart missiles).
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per long 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), or twelve (12) missiles and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: 12 missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads.
  3. Six (6) Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the sides of the submarine are six torpedo tubes. Tubes are 21 inches (533 mm) wide and torpedoes can be used against both surface ships and submarines. Torpedo launchers have a special automated reloading system to reduce noise. For warheads, heavy torpedoes should be treated as having long range missile warheads. Along with standard torpedoes, the launcher can also fire missiles (long or cruise) in special canisters and rocket boosted ASW torpedoes. Submarine carries 36 reloads for torpedoes (in addition to four torpedoes in the tubes) and can carry up to 72 mines in place of torpedoes.
    Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (64 km)
    Mega Damage: By Heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details), can fire missiles (Long Range or Cruise) in special canisters as well (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), or six (6) torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee.
    Payload: 6 Total (Has 36 torpedoes for reloads)
  4. Advanced Decoys (4): The submarine carries four 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 maneuvers. 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.
    M.D.C.: 20
    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: 4 Decoys
  5. 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.


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




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Writeup by Kamikazi (co366thaw@hotmail.com).


Copyright © 2004, Kamikazi. All rights reserved.



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