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Japanese Soyakaze class Nuclear Frigate / Destroyer Escort:


When the revolution in super strong materials and most military hardware became obsolete, many navies initially considered refitting their already existing vessels first and then building new vessels only after they had refitted existing vessels. The cost of new vessels was generally considered prohibitive and many government did not want to start military expansion and increasing tensions. There were strong concerns with a cost spiral where military budgets continued to increase.


At the same time, concerns over the newly restored Soviet Union were suppressed by political leaders. In fact, after the mess that oligarches had made of the Russian nation under so called democracy, some considered the restoration of Communist to be an improvement and hoped that there might be peace. As a result, most navies did not begin developing new naval vessel designs until the middle to latter part of the Twenty-Thirties.


Japan was concerned with Chinese expansion and decided not to wait as long as many other nations and began construction of a new destroyer class early in the Twenty-Thirties. Because of this, the Japanese Navy was one of the first navies to lay down new vessels using the new advanced materials. Destroyers were considered a priority over other classes by the Japanese. The first new frigate class was not designed until Twenty Forty-Two when the existing vessels that had been refitted were in need of replacement.


The Soyakaze class frigate s were considered important vessels in the Japanese Navy though not as important as the Shimakaze destroyers. Similar to other refitted warships, the old Abukuma class destroyer escorts had been refitted with the new super-strength materials in the late Twenty-Thirties but were generally not considered entirely successful.


As a result, a new class of frigates was required for in shore defense around the Japanese home islands as well as for missions that did not require the presence of a full fledged destroyer. Ten ships of this design were commissioned by Twenty Fifty-Two and would be best considered the Japanese equivalent of the American Richard E. Byrd class frigates. As with their American equivalents, the Soyakaze class was very minimalist in design. However, they were not considered expendable in the least. Every vessel was considered a precious resource by the Japanese Navy and not send into harm’s way lightly.


When the newer Shigure class frigates were commissioned in the Twenty-Eighties, the class remained in service. There was discussion about developing a replacement frigate class with the new replacement frigates entering into service possibly between Twenty One Ten and Twenty-One Twenty. However, these plans were never realized due to the coming of the Great Cataclysm.


As it was, two of the class, IJNS Tokachi and IJNS Yoshino, were home ported in Kure and were carried forward in time with other Japanese and American vessels that were in port there. The status of other vessels in the class is unknown but most were escorting the carriers and amphibious ships on their deployments in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Since to loss of the Shimkaze destroyer IJNS Sawakaze, the Republic of Japan has been increasingly cautious with their naval forces, and never deploy their ships alone.


The Japanese Navy, despite showing some indications of U.S. influence, had become an increasingly independent and impressive in their designs. The Soyakaze class frigates were the culmination of these initiatives and were consider quite graceful ships. As built, these frigates mounted a pair of 127mm single barrel mountings forward of the superstructure with the “B” mount higher than the “A” mount as with the older Shirane and Haruna classes of destroyers.


A sixteen-cell Mk-41strategic length vertical launch system was fitted in between the second turret and the superstructure. This unusual arrangement forced the designers to move the superstructure aft, removing any possibility of a helicopter hanger being included in the design. The previous three classes of frigates / destroyer escort had also not included any helicopter facilities. The increased facilities on several destroyer classes more than made up for this and the tradition was continued in the Soyakaze class. The increased role of helicopters and VTOL aircraft made this a detriment to the class, and the follow on class was to include aircraft facilities.


Triple torpedo tubes were mounted on either side for anti-submarine warfare. In addition, a single Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS was mounted on the aft of the frigate for close-in defense. A Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” combination CIWS replaced the Mk-15 Phalanx in the early Twenty-Seventies.


For sensors, these frigates mounted systems originating from Japan to reduce costs. In general, these systems were considered just as good if not better than those developed by other nations, including the United States and Great Britain. The recently designed OPS-34 rotating active single phased array dual air and surface search radar was incorporated into the design from the start. The capabilities of the unit were considered slightly better than that of the similar American SPS-88 system.


A Japanese designed and built Hitachi OQS-15 hull-mounted sonar was mounted under the bow of the frigates. The Japanese were still perfecting their own advanced towed sonar array system. As a result, they purchased American systems until their own advanced towed array sonar system was ready for deployment.


The initial power plant was a pair of powerful gas turbine engines which used electrical transmission to drive a single shaft and gave the frigate a top speed of thirty-two knots. In comparison, the old Abukuma class destroyer escorts had a top speed of twenty-seven knots. These engines were replaced in the early Twenty-Seventies by fusion turbines which gave the frigates virtually unlimited range and increased top speed up about two knots to 34 knots.


These ships underwent substantial refit in the mid Twenty-Eighties to increase their effectiveness. The entire forward section of the ship was redesigned in a fashion that is somewhat reminiscent of the refits to the Canadian Huron class destroyers during the late Nineteen-Eighties. However, unlike the Canadian vessels, a small additional plug had to be added in order to make enough space for the new weapon systems. There was criticism of the refit because of the age of the vessels especially with the pending possibility of replacement of these frigates in the near future.


The two 127 mm gun mounts were removed along with the sixteen cell Mk 41 vertical launch system. In their place, a single 155 mm gun mount along with a forty-eight cell Mk 59-B vertical launch system were mounted. While the ability to fire cruise missiles was lost, they had been rarely carried aboard the frigate anyway. The lengthening of the hull was required to mount the 155 mm gun in the place of the 127 mm gun and the hull required reinforcement as well.


At the same time, the superstructure was rebuilt in order to refit the frigates with an improved electronic suite. For radar systems, the OPS-34 dual rotating active phased array air and surface search radar was succeeded by the OPY-4J active rotating phased array system with vastly improved range and tracking abilities. Both sonar systems were also replaced with newer units that were designed by Japanese engineers. 


These refits took almost two years apiece and resulted in significantly increasing the capabilities of these ships. When the Great Cataclysm tore the Earth apart in Twenty Ninety-Eight, only eight of the Soyakaze class frigates had undergone these refits with the final two frigates scheduled to complete their refits by Twenty-One Zero-One. As it was, the previous two frigates had just completed their refit and these last two had not yet entered the yard to begin their own refits.


In common with most warship classes in service during the “mega-damage” revolution, extensive automation was utilized to reduce crew requirements but these frigates carries a larger crew than the American Richard E. Byrd class frigate. The ships are fairly cramped due to all of the system carried and are not fitted for flag officers and their staff. As well, the frigates were not fitted to carry troops but occasionally a two to four power armors squad might be embarked.


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: Soyakaze class Frigate.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Guided Missile Frigate.

Crew: 120; 10 officers, 20 Chief Petty Officers, 90 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troops: 4 power armor pilots (Optional.)


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:

 

4

PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors (Not normally embarked.)

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:

 

1

Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (No hanger facilities so usually for limited periods only.)


M.D.C. by Location:

 

Radar Systems:

 

 

 

[1] OPY-4J Phased Array Radar System (most of class - refitted):

225.

 

 

[1] OPS-34 Dual Air and Surface Phased Array Radar (two frigates - unrefitted):

200.

 

Gun Systems:

 

 

 

155 mm Cannon Barrels (1, gun mount - most of class - refitted):

100.

 

 

155 mm Cannon Mounts (1, forward - most of class - refitted):

225.

 

 

Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Barrel (2, mounts - two frigates - unrefitted):

80 each.

 

 

Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Mounts (2, forward - two frigates - unrefitted):

200 each.

 

Missile Systems:

 

 

 

Mk 59-B 48 Cell Vertical Launcher System (1, forward - most of class - refitted):

375.

 

 

Mk 41 16 Cell Vertical Missile Launchers (1, forward - two frigates - unrefitted):

110.

 

Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (1, aft):

200 each.

 

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

40 each.

 

[2] Chaff Launcher (4, Superstructure):

10 each.

 

VTOL / Helicopter Pad (aft):

200.

 

Bridge:

375.

 

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

80.

 

[2] Main Body:

1,000.


Notes:

[1] Destroying the rotating 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. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Speed:

Surface: 34 knots (39.1 mph / 63.2 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:

Draft:

Original Configuration:

14.8 feet (4.5 meters) hull and 23.0 feet (7.0 meters) with sonar dome.

 

Refitted Configuration:

15.1 feet (4.6 meters) hull and 23.3 feet (7.1 meters) with sonar dome.

Length:

Original Configuration:

340 feet (103,6 meters) waterline and 373 feet (113.7 meters) overall.

 

Refitted Configuration:

346 feet (105.5 meters) waterline and 379 feet (115.5 meters) overall.

Width:

Both Configurations:

43.5 feet (13 meters)

Displacement:

Original Configuration:

2,950 tons standard and 3,500 tons fully loaded.

 

Refitted Configuration:

3,180 tons standard and 3,850 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 75 tons (68 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 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 280 or more million credits for those in original configuration and 320 pr more million for refitted frigates.

Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Forward Weapons Emplacement: Original weapon configuration is a pair of Mk 45 five inch (127 mm) gun mounts and a small 16 cell Mk 41 vertical launch system. Refitted configuration is a single 155 mm gun mount and a forty-eight cell Mk-59 vertical launch system. Only two vessels remained in the original configuration at the time of the Rifts. A small plug had to be added to the bow in order to mount the 155 gun mount in the place of the five inch gun mount and the hull required reinforcement as well. Eight frigates had been upgraded to this configuration by the time of the Rifts.

    1. Original Configuration:

      1. Two (2) Mk 45 Mod 4 Single Barrel Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Naval Guns: The ship mounts a pair of five inch gun on the bow of the ship. The gun is very reliable although it fires at a relatively slow rate (20 rounds per minute). The gun was carried on many ship classes until well into the twenty first century. The guns can be used against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft. The weapon can use special artillery rounds, rocket assisted rounds, and can even fire Extended Range Guided Munitions.

        Maximum Effective Range: 12 miles (10.4 nautical miles/19.3 km) for standard projectiles, 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles/32.2 km) for rocket propelled rounds, and treat Extended Range Guided Munitions as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

        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 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. Extended Range Guided Munitions: Treat as medium range missiles Treat as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Use the statistics for 105 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: Normal Projectiles: Five shots per cannon per melee round. Extended Range Guided Munitions can be fired at the rate of one shot per melee round.

        Payload: 800 rounds - Each Extended Range Guided Munitions round takes up space for 2 normal rounds. Ship normally carries usually carries 200 High Explosive, 200 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 80 Plasma, 40 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 40 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 40 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds, and 100 Extended Range Guided Munitions. The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.

      2. One (1) MK 41 Tactical Length 16 Cell Vertical Launch Missile Launcher: This launcher was located behind the second five inch gun mount. A very reliable vertical launch system, dating back from the previous century, made in the United States, and exported to numerous countries. These are too short to be able to fire cruise missiles but have been adapted to be carry two long range missiles or four medium range missiles per cell. While other types of missiles can be carried, normally only medium range defensive missiles are carried.

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

        Mega-Damage: As per 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 eight (8) missiles for both launchers per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

        Payload: Sixteen (16) missile cells in forward vertical launch system (Can carry a total of 32 long range missiles.) Two (2) long range missiles, or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per cell. Usual missile load out is sixty-four (64) medium range missiles. Ship carries no reloads.

    2. Refitted Configuration:

      1. One (1) Single Barrel 155 mm Naval Guns: One turret is mounted in the front of the vessel forward of the missile launchers. Based on the gun carried by the American DD-21 class destroyer and shared similarities to US Army artillery weapons. The weapon is more powerful than the previous 127 mm cannon carried on many destroyers and cruisers. The weapon mount is heavily automated and is capable against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft. The weapon can use special artillery rounds, rocket assisted rounds, and can even fire Extended Range Guided Munitions. The turret can rotate 360 and has a 90 arc of fire.

        Maximum Effective Range: 13.7 miles (11.9 nautical miles / 22 km) for standard projectiles, 23.5 miles (20.4 nautical miles / 36.4 km) for rocket propelled rounds, and treat Extended Range Guided Munitions as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

        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 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. Extended Range Guided Munitions: Treat as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

        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: Normal Projectiles: Up to four single shots per barrel/cannon per melee round. Extended Range Guided Munitions can be fired at the rate of one shot per barrel/cannon per melee round.

        Payload: 400 rounds total - Each Extended Range Guided Munitions round takes up space for 2 normal rounds.

      2. One (1) Mk 59-B Vertical Launch Missile System: Launching cells are located forward behind the 155 mm cannon mount. The launcher is smaller and carries half as many missiles as the launcher on the American Francis Darcey and Raymond Fox class vessels. The system is similar to the vertical launch system employed on many ships in the late twentieth century to launch the SM-2 series missile but since the missiles are smaller they have a reload system that reloads from under the launcher and can reload within 15 seconds. The launcher has a total of forty-eight individual cells and is six missile cells longs by eight cells wide. The launcher can fire up to half its total payload per melee. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) Each cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missile. The reload for the cell must carry the same load as the main cell. Long range missiles are normally used against large targets and aircraft further out where the medium range missiles will normally be used to engage closer targets. About half of all long range missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are normally smart missiles.

        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), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles for the whole launcher per melee round. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee round.

        Payload: forty-eight (48) missile cells in launcher with reload systems for each cell [one (1) reload each cell.] One (1) long range missile or two (2) medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same load out as well. The ship will often carry sixteen (16) cells with two (2) medium range missiles each and the other cells loaded with one (1) long range missile each.

  2. One (1) Mk-44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense System: Replace the original 20 mm Phalanx CIWS mount. Mounted on the aft of the ship, 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 missile 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 (4) 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. Two (2) Triple 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers: There is one launcher on each side of the ship normally hidden behind hatches. Each torpedo launcher has three 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. Ship carries a total of 36 reloads for torpedoes. For the most part torpedo warheads are equal to medium range missile warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (32 km).

    Mega Damage: By medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or three (3) torpedoes per side. Reloading tubes takes one full melee round.

    Payload: Three (3) medium torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of six (6) medium torpedoes (Has a total of 36 medium torpedoes for reloads.)

  4. Four (4) Super RBOC Chaff Launchers: Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. In addition to chaff these launchers also fired flares to decoy IR guided missiles. 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: Eight (8) each for a total of thirty-two (32) canisters. 96 reloads are carried, reloading requires two melee rounds.

  5. 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 below 25 knots. 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 systems due to technological difference.

    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:

Standard across all the Soyakaze class frigates:

Original Configuration (IJNS Noshiro and IJNS Kumano):

Refitted Configuration (Most frigates of the Soyakaze class):



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Vessel drawing is created and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

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


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


Copyright © 2003 & 2017, Kamikazi & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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