French Jean Bart class Pentamaran Amphibious Support /
Aviation Cruiser:


During the French evacuation of the Congo embassy in Twenty Sixty-Eight, the air defense frigate Dupleix did an admirable job repelling an attack by aircraft, surface ship, and land based anti-ship missiles. However, some of the faults of the design were brought to the surface by the engagement. As a conventional hull design, the ship drew too much water to operate close to shore. More importantly, the gun armament was deemed insufficient for shallow water operations and incapable of sufficiently supporting amphibious assaults.


While the French navy had increased vastly from its nadir in the early part of the Twenty-First century, a number of nations had been growing rapidly as well. There was limit to how much the French navy could expand and it was get close to the limit. This is in spite of the fact that the British, American, Russian, Indian and Chinese navies growing faster than ever and the re-emergent of those nations as near colonial powers


It was decided to develop a new shallow water amphibious support ship. Even though missile equipped surface combatants in the French Navy are classified as frigate no matter the size, it was decided to designated these ships as cruisers due to their mounting of a large gun battery as well as size of the vessels themselves. Other than carriers, they would be the largest surface warships produced for the surface navy since the Jeanne d’Arc retired. A pair were planned with the design being developed during the later years of the Twenty Sixties with the first materials cut for the hull in Twenty Seventy-Three.


When developing these new cruisers, French designers had paid close attention to the designs of the British Hood and Thatcher ships and their trimaran hulls. Instead of going with a trimaran hull, the French engineers decided to go a step further and go with a pentamaran ship hull. Prior to this, only relatively small combatant designs featured such a hull.


The ship had a total of five hulls with a secondary and tertiary hull on either side of the primary hull. The two secondary hulls set about halfway on the main hull with the tertiary hulls beginning at the same point and ending at half of their length. As one might expect, these vessels had extremely wide hulls for their length and are extremely stable. With the use of a series of fin stabilizers making them even more stable, these ships were among the most stable ship designs ever built.


Due to the mounting of trainable engine pods and thrusters fitted to all five hulls, these vessels were considered among the most maneuverable designs ever developed. This is in spite of the fact that these cruisers were among the longest and widest vessels ever designed. It is commonly believed however that the French designers, as with the Bretagne class carriers, created a pair of ships larger than their British cousins to save face.


While these cruisers were design with a large and relatively boxy superstructure, the forward and after areas are raised with the bridge and fixed array radar systems in the forward section and the after section featuring a large hanger and rotating secondary radar system aft. The superstructure itself overlaps over the secondary hulls. Between the two sections of the superstructure was a thirty-two cell Sylver MRX vertical launch system.


Located between the forward gun mount and the bridge, the cruiser was designed with an even larger sixty-four cell Sylver MRX vertical launch system. During development, it was planned for the forward launcher to carry missiles primarily for amphibious support but in actual service, a more mixed payload was generally carried. In most cases the intermediary defense role was covered by a pair of medium range Sylver LTR vertical launch systems, located in the sides of the superstructure over the secondary hull.


Otherwise for close in defense, the cruisers mounted a pair of Creusot-Loire rail gun CIWS gun mounts and a pair of Sadral-AL sextuple short range missile launchers. The rail gun mounts were located over the wings of the superstructure while the short range missile launchers were located on a raised platform just forward of the bridge and an aft platform on the hanger behind the rotating phased array antenna. For anti-submarine warfare, a pair of twin torpedo catapults for 324 mm torpedoes were included as well.


As alluded to, these cruisers featured the largest gun to be mounted in a French warship since the battleship Jean Bart retired in the early Nineteen-Sixties. These new cruisers mounted three French designed 155mm electro-thermal cannons in a single gun mount forward of the sixty-four cell Sylver MRX vertical launch system. With a range of up to eighty kilometers and a payload of fifteen hundred rounds, these vessels made for extremely fire support platforms.


While these ships were designed for shallow water more then blue water operations, their electronic suite was vastly improved compared to previous vessels. Replacing the DRBW 15D carried on previous vessels, the DRBW 25C had both greater range and tracking ability while still an active phased array radar. While there was some debate, in the end it was decided to fit the DRBJ 19C as backup. An excellent electronic warfare suite was also fitted to these cruisers.


Because of the limited effectiveness of towed array sonar systems and the risk of snagging, it was decided to not fit a towed array sonar system. Of course cost was an issue as well. Instead a distributed sonar array was developed, located on the sides of the primary and tertiary hulls. While range was reasonably similar to previous systems, tracking ability was vastly improved.


As was common by this time, the design of the superstructure and hull were designed to minimize these cruiser’s radar cross signature. The DRBJ 19C radar was also mounted inside of an enclosed mast similar to previous classes. With the use of radar absorbing materials, these ships had incredibly low radar cross signatures for their size. These same materials were also extremely resistant to corrosion and even tougher than used on previous designs.


Instead of developing new fusion reactors, it was decided to use a modified version of the fusion plants mounted in the Dupleix class frigate although four are mounted instead of simply two. Even though far larger than the frigates, top speed was vastly improved with these cruisers able to reach speeds of forty-eight knots. As one might expect, power was transferred to the trainable propulsion pods through massive electrical cabling. A major advantage of electrical systems is that they tend to be far quieter than turbine transmissions.


These cruisers were designed with a large hanger able to embark up to four aircraft with an additional two aircraft able to be embarked for short periods on the large flight deck. In addition, these cruisers were designed o be able to embark up to sixty power armors and four hundred marines in normal gear. These ships were often compared to the old Jeanne d’Arc helicopter cruiser.


Initially, only two of these vessels were planned for the French navy. The Jean Bart was completed Twenty Seventy-Nine and the Lorraine was laid down in Twenty Seventy-Five and completed in Twenty Eighty-One. While these cruisers were designed as amphibious support vessels, they found them being employed as often in the command and aviation roles due to their large flight deck. As a result, it was decided to developed a true command cruiser design based on the same hull with relative minor modifications. Two of those modified vessels were completed with two more under construction or on order at the time the Great Cataclysm occurred.


Over the course of these cruisers lives, they gave an excellent account of themselves. During several minor skirmishes, the ships’ guns were fired in anger, much to the dismay of those on the receiving end of them. They proved to be deadly accurate and powerful enough to destroy just about anything they came in contact with. Even though not used in the amphibious as much as expected, the maneuverability of these ships was remarkable and allowed them to navigate very close in shore despite their comparatively large size.


When the Great Cataclysm occurred, both ships were at sea. Actually operating in the amphibious support role, the Jean Bart was supporting amphibious assault carrier Bearn near the Horn of Africa while the Lorraine was supporting the Verdun closer to home in the Mediterranean. It is not known if either survived the Great Cataclysm, however their super strong hulls could have helped them remain intact.


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: Jean Bart class Amphibious Support /Aviation Cruiser.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Amphibious Support / Aviation Cruiser.

Crew: 210; 14 officers, 26 chief petty officers, and 170 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation). Can embark a flagship staff of up to 25 when acting as a flagship.

Troops: 30 Panthère crew members, 80 Lafayette power armor pilots, and 400 marines with normal body armor and gear.


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:

 

60

Lafayette Power Armors.

Aircraft Compliment:

 

4

Panthère NH110 Helicopters (Transport or ASW).


M.D.C. by Location:

 

Bridge:

550.

 

[1] Thompson-CS DRBW 25C Active Phased Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):

360 each.

 

[1] Thompson-CS DRBJ 19C Passive Phased Array Air Search Radar (superstructure):

350.

 

Giat 155 mm / 65 Electro Thermal Cannon Barrels (3, gun mount):

150 each.

 

Giat 155 mm / 65 Electro Thermal Triple Barrel Gun Mount (forward):

400.

 

Creusot-Loire CIWS Rail Gun Mounts (2, sides):

150 each.

 

Sylver MRX 64 cell Vertical Launch Systems (1, forward):

440.

 

Sylver MRX 32 cell Vertical Launch Systems (1, amidships):

220.

 

Sylver LTR 16 cell Medium Range Vertical Launch Systems (2, sides):

250 each.

 

Sadral-AL Sextuple Short Range Missile Launchers (2, superstructure):

120 each.

 

Dual KD-73C 12.75 inch (324 mm) Fixed Torpedo Catapults (2, sides):

40 each.

 

[2] CSEE Sagaie AMBL-7G Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.

 

Hangar (aft):

600.

 

VTOL Pad (aft):

400.

 

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

85.

 

[3] Primary Hull (main body):

2,800.

 

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

1,000 each.

 

[5] Tertiary Hulls (2, either side of primary hull):

500 each.


Notes:

[1] Destroying both DRBW 25C and DRBJ 19C Air Search System radar systems will eliminate the ship's long range air search ability but weapon systems have backup fire control systems. Both air search systems are separate so both systems are not likely to be disabled from a single hit, and the four DRBW 15D panels can compensate for the loss of one or two panels.

[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. Ships speed is also reduced to 34.5 mph (30 knots / 55.6 kph).

[5] Destruction of one tertiary hull will reduce stability and negate bonuses due to quiet design and for piloting. Destruction of both secondary hulls will give the ship a -10% penalty to piloting and give a bonus of +10% to be detected. Ships speed is also reduced to 46 mph (40 knots / 74.1 kph).


Speed:

Surface: 55.2 mph (48 knots/ 88.9 kph).

Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six (6) months of supplies and consumables on board.


Statistical Data:

Height:  109.91 feet (33.5 meters).

Length:  585.96 feet (178.6 meters) waterline 627.30 feet (191.2 meters) overall.

Width:   113.85 feet (34.7 meters).

Displacement: 10,800 tons standard and 13,400 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 600 tons (544.3 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: Four nuclear fusion reactors, average life span is 20 years. Usually only goes 10 years between refueling.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 500 million or more credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Giat Triple Barrel 155 mm / 65 Electro-Thermal Naval Gun Mount (1): These guns were mounted in a single turret in the front of the vessel. Designed after the American gun of the same diameter and similar caliber, it replaced older designs for the main dual purpose gun system for the French navy. The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a “propellant,” which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to "switch" directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward. The reload system is fully automated and the rate of fire can be maintained as long as the system retains ammunition. While the projectiles have a lot greater range than standard 155 mm projectiles, they carry the same size warheads and inflicts about the same damage. Self guided projectiles can be used for pinpoint accuracy although G.P.S. satellite guided projectiles are no longer useful due to the elimination of the satellites. Guided projectiles are far more expensive. Both non rocket assisted and rocket assisted projectiles are available for the weapon system. Weapon is not designed to use extended range guided munitions and they were not seen as necessary with the great range of the electro-thermal projectiles. Gun mount can rotate 360 and has a 90 arc of fire.

    Maximum Effective Range: 31.1 miles (27 nautical miles / 50 km) for standard projectiles, and 49.7 miles (43.2 nautical miles / 80.0 km) for rocket assisted projectiles.

    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 Assisted 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.

    Use the statistics for 155 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: Up to five (5) single shots per melee round per barrel (Can fire up to fifteen (5) shots per melee round for mount.)

    Payload: 1,500 rounds total

  2. Two (2) Creusot-Loire Rail Gun Close-In-Weapon Systems: One CIWS mount is each side of the superstructure in what are effectively “wings.” Replacing obsolete systems, these point defense systems are surprisingly similar to the later versions of the United States Mk 15 Phalanx weapon system although considered slightly more accurate. Another major improvement when compared to the Mk 15 Phalanx is the use of a six-barrel rapid fire rail gun that fires 20 mm special discarding sabot rounds in the place of an auto-cannon. Has a much greater payload as a result. Like the American Mk 15 Phalanx, the system is unmanned and fully automated. The weapons can be used on surface targets as well as against missiles and aircraft. Each rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +4 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft). The system has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.

    Maximum Effective Range: 11,000 feet (2 miles/ 3.2 km).

    Mega-Damage: 3D4x10 per burst of 40 rounds (Can only fire burst).

    Rate of Fire: Each mount can fire six (6) attacks per melee.

    Payload: 8,000 rounds (200 burst) each.

  3. Two (2) Sylver MRX Advanced Capacity Vertical Launch Systems: The ship has one launch systems with sixty four cells and one launch systems with thirty two cells. A French design, the sixty-four cell forward launcher is located between the 155 mm gun mount and the superstructure while the thirty-two cell launch is located amidship between raised areas of the superstructure. The redesigned launchers were built to incorporate the same diversity of missiles that were being designed for the comparable American Mk 41 systems. Each cell could carry a single cruise missile, two long-range missiles, or four medium-range missiles. 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.)

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

    Mega-Damage: As per cruise, long range, 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 volley of two (2), four (4), or sixteen (16) missiles per melee round and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: Sixty-four (64) missile cells in the forward VLS launcher and thirty-two (32) missile cells in the midships VLS launcher for a total of ninety-six (96) missile cells (possible total of 192 long range missiles). One (1) cruise missile, two (2) long range missiles, or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per cell. he ship would often carried sixteen (16) cells loaded with cruise missiles, forty-eight (48) cells loaded with long range missiles (96 long range missiles) and thirty-two (32) cells loaded with medium range missiles (128 medium range missiles.)

  4. Two (2) Sylver LTR Sixteen Cell Medium Range Vertical Launch System: One is mounted to either side of the superstructure above the secondary hulls. Similar in some respect to the American Mk 55 vertical launch system. As with the American system, these launchers fire the missiles on an eight degree angle to the side. Originally designed to prevent a missile that fails on its launch from crashing into aircraft on the flight deck of a carrier. The missiles are arranged in an two by eight pattern, and each launch cell has two reloads. Each system can launch up to eight missiles simultaneously each and the launcher is automatically reloaded. These launchers act as the ship’s middle point defense and are normally used to engage incoming air targets and missiles. Outer point defense is performed by the air compliment or escorting vessels.

    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: Sixteen (16) medium missiles in each launcher with thirty-two (32) medium range missiles in each magazine for automatic reloads, for a total of ninety-six (96) medium range missiles including missiles in launcher.

  5. Two (2) Sadral-AL Sextuple Short Range Missile Launchers: Mounted forward and aft on the superstructure to give the ship effective short range defense against incoming missiles. A modified version of the Sadral Mistral launcher which incorporated an automatic loading system and able to use a variety of short range missiles. The system is designed to be able to target multiple incoming missiles simultaneously. It can be fired against surface targets as well as against air targets.

    Note: SAM style missiles are missiles that sacrifice payload for higher speeds, see Chris Curtis’ modified missile table for specifics.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Each mount can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) short range missiles and can be used up to twice (2) per melee round.

    Payload: Six (6) short range missiles each launcher for twelve (12) total. The vessel carries forty-eight (48) short range missiles as reloads for each launcher for a total of one hundred and eight (108) short range missiles total. If a launcher is damaged, those missiles cannot be accessed except manually. Sometimes additional missiles are carried in the cargo hold for reloads.

  6. Two (2) Dual KD-73C 12.75 inch (324 mm) Fixed Torpedo Catapults: There are twin catapults for launching torpedoes on each side of the ship. Each catapult could launch 12.75 in (324 mm) torpedoes out to 492 feet (150 meters) from the ship. The torpedo’s motor would then take over, guiding it to its target. Torpedoes are normally used against submarines but can be targeted against surface targets as well. Interceptor torpedoes are also available for launchers to use against incoming torpedoes. Ship carries forty 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. Reloading catapults requires two (2) full melee rounds.

    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.

  7. Four (4) CSEE Sagaie AMBL-7G Chaff / Decoy Launchers: 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 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.

    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) canisters each for a total of twenty-four (24) canisters. One hundred and ninety-two (192) reloads are carried, reloading takes two melee rounds.

  8. Five (5) Dassault FRN-6F LAT Towed Torpedo Decoys: A special 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 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 four 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. ]


Writeup by Kamikazi (co366thaw@hotmail.com) and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2004 & 2018, Kamikazi & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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