French Nymphe class Fast Attack Submarine:
By the early Twenty-Thirties, the French Navy had six almost new Suffren class nuclear submarines which was also know as the Barracuda class. They had replaced on a one for one basis the previous Rubis class submarines. While small compared to American submarines, the Suffren class were a vast improvement over the previous nuclear submarine class.
Unfortunately the revolution in high strength materials in the Twenty-Thirties made the entire class obsolete virtually overnight. While the submarines could be refitted with the new materials, this was not considered an ideal solution. It might be considered a stopgap solution at best. The navy did push to get the Suffren class refitted with the new materials but at the same time also pushed for a nuclear submarine using the new composites and alloys.
In order to speed development, it was decided to use the Barracuda class with only relatively minimal changes. Beyond using the new composites and alloys, it would be slightly longer in order to be able to carry additional torpedoes. There were a number of other minor modifications but these did not change the performance in any major way.
As with the Suffren class, total of six boats were planned. The first of the class, Nymphe, was laid down ion the late Twenty-Thirties. While the class is usually referred to by the name of the lead ship, a number of military experts used the name “Improved” Barracuda class for these submarines.
While these new submarines were being constructed, there was a second technological revolution that might be considered every bit as extraordinary as the revolution in new materials. This was a revolution in fusion power. Fusion power had long promised clean nuclear energy but had taken far longer to develop than originally thought.
The first two of the new Nymphe class were in late construction stages. As a result, it was decided to complete these submarines as designed. However, the later four boats replaced the original conventional nuclear reactor with a fusion plant starting with the Circé. When the two early boats came up for being refueled, it was decided to replace their conventional reactors with fusion plans as well.
As tensions increased, it was decided to expand the French submarine forces. Two new classes, the Algérie and Saphir later entered service. Even so, it was decided to retain the Nymphe class. With the use of new composites and alloys, they were virtually immune to environmental effects so remain in good shape. Even so, their performance was generally not considered the equal of later submarine classes and usually performed in second line duties. In fact, the first two boats were often used in the training role.
When the Great Cataclysm occurred, four of the six submarines were deployed. One of the two not deployed was under refit while the other was preparing to be deployed due to the increasing tensions. There have been no reports on the fate of any of the submarines, deployed or in port. While the New Navy believes that it is likely that all were destroyed, it is possible that one or more might have survived.
One of the major advantages of the new advanced materials is the increase in diving depths. With the Nymphe class, these submarines are considered capable of diving down to around twelve hundred meters. Top speed was considered relatively modest with a top speed of around twenty-eight knots. Early fusion plans were comparable in mass to conventional plants and the switch to fusion power did not vastly improve reactor output. Later classes would be much faster however.
For weaponry, the Nymphe class was armed with four twenty-one inch torpedo tubes. A total of twenty-four torpedoes could be carried on racks in addition to any torpedoes carried in the tubes. In addition to torpedoes, a variety of missiles could be carried. While later submarine designs tended to have automatic loading systems, these tubes were manually loaded.
Compared to the Rubis class submarines, these submarines were considered extremely quiet. They used a pump jet propulsor in the place of a conventional propeller as well as using an electrical propulsion system. As was common, the hull featured sound absorbing tiles to further reduce the noise signature. Sonar ranges are slightly less than those of contemporary American and British designs but still considered highly capable.
Normal crew was sixty, smaller than the contemporary American Tigershark class or British Ramillies class. Unlike the American and British submarines, there were no provisions for troops to be embarked either. Even so, like most submarines, these submarines were considered extremely cramped. One major difference between French and American, as well as British, fast attack submarine practices, these submarines operated with two crews in order to increase the ability to deploy these submarines.
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: Nymphe class Submarine.
Class: Fast Attack Submarine.
Crew: 60; 12 Officers, 12 chief petty officers, and 36 enlisted.
Troop Capacity: None.
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
M.D.C. by Location:
533 mm (21 inch) Torpedo Tubes (4, front / sides of submarine):
 Bow Planes (2):
 Pump Jet Propulsor (1):
 Main Body:
 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 tanks 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.
Surface: 18.4 mph (16 knots/ 29.6 kph).
Underwater: 32.2 mph (28 knots /51.9 kph).
Maximum Depth: 3,937.0 feet (1,200 meters).
Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries four (4) months of supplies for crew on board.
Draft: 23.95 feet (7.3 meters).
Width: 28.87 feet (8.8 meters).
Length: 347.11 feet (105.8 meters).
Displacement: 4,915 tons surfaced and 5,450 tons submerged.
Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 4 tons (3.63 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Boat’s officers have a bit more space for personal items although still extremely cramped. Most of the boat’s spaces are taken up by extra torpedoes, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear fusion; average energy life of 20 years. Normally refuels every 10 years.
Black Market Price: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions of credits for a new and undamaged Nymphe class Submarine.
Four (4) 533 mm Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the bow / sides of the submarine are four torpedo tubes with two on each side. Tubes are 21 inches (533 mm) wide and torpedoes can be used against both surface ships and submarines. For warheads, heavy torpedoes should be treated as having long range missile warheads. Along with standard torpedoes, the launcher can also fire missiles (long range or cruise missiles) in special canisters and rocket boosted ASW torpedoes. Submarine carries twenty-four reloads for torpedoes (in addition to four torpedoes in the tubes) and can carry up to forty-eight mines in place of torpedoes.
Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (34.8 nautical miles / 64 km) for torpedoes.
Mega-Damage: By heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details), can fire missiles (long range or cruise missiles) in special canisters as well (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire heavy torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) heavy torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee round.
Payload: Four (4) heavy torpedoes total [Has twenty-four (24) additional heavy torpedoes for reloads.]
Four (4) Advanced Decoy Drones: The submarine carries four advance decoys drones. They are a small automated vehicles that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the submarines sonar signature. It has a small propulsion system that can simulate movement [has a maximum speed of 23.0 mph (20 knots / 37.0 kph)] and maneuvers. In addition to be able to be used to decoy torpedoes, they can sometimes be used to trick another vessel while the submarine moves into position. If decoys are not destroyed, they can usually be recovered and repaired if they can be retrieved. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies guidance and targeting systems due to technological differences.
Range: Not applicable. Decoys do however have a duration of 30 minutes (120 melee rounds) once launched.
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 non “smart” torpedoes, and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and “smart” torpedoes.
Rate of Fire: Boat can launch one decoy drone per melee round.
Payload: Four (4) decoy drones.
Noisemakers: The submarine carries noisemakers in order to decoy torpedoes. These noisemakers are similar to those used by Coalition submarines. The noisemakers are launched from the middle of the submarine.
Effects: 50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying “smart” torpedoes.
Rate of Fire: Two (2) noisemakers at a time (Can be reloaded in one melee round).
Payload: Twenty (20) noisemakers.
The submarine has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
DUXX 12 Advanced Hull Sonar System: This hull sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 24 targets at one time. 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. Range: 51.8 miles (45 nautical miles / 83.3 kilometers). Bonuses: Sonar gives +10% bonus to Read Sensory Instruments and Weapon Systems skill rolls.
DSUV 78 Advanced Towed Array Sonar: The system is basically a long and very sensitive sonar system carried behind the submarine on a long cable. This towed array sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 32 targets at one time. Range: 138.1 miles (120 nautical miles / 222.2 kilometers).
ARUR-64 Advanced E.S.M. Suite: Radar and radio detection suite. This includes the ability to detect radar guided weapons. Can be used for limited targeting. The system uses an antenna mounted in the sail which is extended in a similar manner to a periscope. The antenna is both very hard to detect visually and is designed with a reduced radar signature. The system can detect another radar system at around 125% of the range of the transmitting radar and is usually subject to radar horizon.
Quieted Propulsion and Anechoic Coating: The boat is designed with a very quiet propulsion design, the submarine’s reactors make very little noise, and the boat is coated by sonar defeating rubber coating. The submarine is -40% to detect when traveling at less than 17.3 mph (15 knots / 27.8 kph) and is at -20% to detect when traveling at speeds greater than that.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2018, Kitsune. All rights reserved.