Netherlands Navy Zeehond (Seal) class Submarine:
Because of a number of delays, development on a replacement for the Walrus class submarines started until the Twenty-Twenties. By this time, the Walrus class were showing their age even though they had been upgraded during a mid-life refurbishment program. Further delays meant that the new submarines would not be ready to be laid down until the Twenty-Thirties.
At around four thousand tons, the design of the new submarine was quite large for a diesel electric design. Assisted by German shipbuilding industry, the new submarine design featured fuel cell technology to enable it to stay underwater potentially for weeks at a time. Of course the boat design incorporated numerous other improvements where new submarines would be quieter than any previous submarines operated by the Royal Netherlands Navy.
Weaponry of these new submarines was planned to consisted of six 533 mm torpedo tubes along the side with a total of eighteen torpedoes. Initially the American Mk 48 torpedo was to be carried with the option to also carry UGM-84 Harpoon missiles. In addition, the plan was for six vertical launch tubes behind the bow for BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles. Unlike the Walrus class, German designed sonar systems were selected.
Shortly before these number submarines were to be laid down, there was a revolution in new materials. A number of new alloys and composites were developed that were far stronger than previous materials. The result was that the militaries of the world could be considered obsolete overnight. Important to submarine construction was a family of new alloys where submarines could be developed to be able to dive far deeper than ever before in addition to being able to withstand far greater damage.
As a result, the whole submarine program was put on hold. The design for the new submarine was used but altered to take advantage of the new materials. Otherwise, the weapon and sensor fit of the original design were retrained. Still, there were a number of further delays where the Royal Netherlands Navy had effectively no operational submarines. While the Walrus class submarines remained in commission, they were effectively tied to the docks. It simply was not considered worth the expense of upgrading the old submarines with the new materials for just a few years of additional service.
Named Zeehond, for seal, the first of the new boats was laid down in Twenty Thirty-Five with boats laid down two years apart. A total of four boats were laid down. Originally it was planned for these boats to take about four years to complete. During construction of the lead submarine, there were a number of delays and the boat was not completed until Twenty Forty. As the program continued, the submarine program was brought back on track with the final boat being completed slightly early in Twenty Forty-Five.
During the Twenty-Forties and Twenty-Fifties, there was a second technological revolution. This was in fusion power. It did not quite make diesel-electric submarines obsolete but still changed the situation drastically. While only a handful of nations had previously operated nuclear submarines able to operate for months at a time, fusion power offered the promise to nations that had previous only operated diesel-electric designs.
With the Zeehond class, the government of the Netherlands was not eager to follow in the footsteps of many other countries. Many of them had, even though their own submarines were quite new, had sold them and replaced them with fusion powered designs. After much debate, a different approach was decided for the Zeehond class. They would be refitted with fusion plants instead of being replaced.
Even though the oldest boat was still little more than a decade old, it was brought in, cut in half and had the original engineering section replaced by a fusion plant. Each refit took almost two years to complete and was quite expensive. Even so, the cost was considered far less than building new boats would have been and it would have probably required five or six years to build each new boat as well.
There were still some limitations compared to new built fusion powered submarines. Probably the most important among these was a relatively low top speed. While most fusion powered submarines had a top speed of thirty knots or more, the rebuilt Zeehond class submarines only had a top speed of around twenty-four knots. While the fusion power plant produced enough power to enable the submarines to reach a much greater speed, the original propulsion systems were retained with the electric motors only able to handle the original design speed.
As these submarines were constructed from the new alloys, they were considered virtually immune to corrosion. During their long service lives, they were upgraded. One of the more important later upgrades was the modification of the torpedo tubes and missile launchers to be able to fire new ordnance which had been developed. All four remained in service until the coming of the Great Cataclysm.
In the Twenty-Eighties, the Royal Netherlands Navy introduced a new class of submarines. Compared to the Zeehond class, these submarines were larger, faster, and heavier armed. Originally eight of these new submarines were planned although several remained incomplete at the time of the cataclysm. There was also discussion of building an additional four of these number submarines and retiring the four Zeehond class submarines but the coming of the Great Cataclysm prevented any decision.
Whether any of the Zeehond class survived the cataclysm is unknown. Two of the four were deployed at the time, one was in port, and one was receiving a minor overhaul. It is most likely that the two submarines that were in port and in the yards were destroyed. However, there have been a number of rumors of submarines similar in description to the Zeehond class having survived.
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: Zeehond class submarine.
Class: Attack Submarine.
Crew: 48; 8 Officers, 8 chief petty officers, and 32 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)
Troop Capacity: 12 (Special Forces personnel.)
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
M.D.C. by Location:
533 mm (21 inch) Torpedo Tubes (6, sides of submarine):
Vertical Cruise Missile Launchers (6, bow of submarine):
 Sail Planes (2, sail):
 Pump Jet Propulsor (1):
 Main Body:
 Destroying the submarine’s sail 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: 13.8 mph (12 knots/ 22.2 kph).
Underwater: 27.6 mph (24 knots / 44.4 kph).
Maximum Depth: 4,920 feet (1,500 meters).
Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries four months of supplies on board.
Draft: 23.95 feet (7.30 meters).
Length: 302.66 feet (92.25 meters).
Beam: 28.38 feet (8.65 meters).
Displacement: 3,220 tons surfaced and 3,860 tons submerged.
Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 12 tons (10.88 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 15 years.
Black Market Cost: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions of credits for a new and undamaged Zeehond class submarine.
Six (6) 533 mm Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the sides of the submarine are six torpedo tubes with three 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 normally carries eighteen reloads for torpedoes (in addition to six torpedoes in the tubes) and can carry up to thirty-six 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 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), four (4), or six (6) torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee round.
Payload: Six (6) heavy torpedoes total [Has eighteen (18) additional heavy torpedoes for reloads.]
Six (6) Vertical Launch Cruise Missile Launchers (Mk 45 VLS): In the front of the submarine but behind the sonar dome, the submarine has six 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 around 150 feet (45.7 meters.) Most missiles warheads normally carried are fusion as well as being smart missiles. The launchers were originally designed to carry BGM-109 Tomahawk anti-ship missiles but were modified to fire all standard cruise missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega-Damage: As per cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire cruise missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) cruise missiles and can be fired at multiple target at the same time.
Payload: Six (6) cruise missiles total. Submarine carries no 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:
STN Atlas DBQS58 FAS-6X 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: 40 miles (34.8 nautical miles / 64.4 kilometers). Bonuses: Sonar gives +10% bonus to Read Sensory Instruments and Weapon Systems skill rolls.
STN Atlas DBQS58 TAS-6X Advanced Towed Array Sonar: Towed array is mounted in the sail of the submarine instead of the hull. The system is basically a long and very sensitive sonar system carried behind the submarine on a long cable. This towed array sonar system is a passive only array. Sonar system can track up to 32 targets at one time. Range: 160 miles (139 nautical miles / 257.5 kilometers).
ESM: This system is mounted in the sail and is extended in a similar manner to a periscope. The antenna is very hard to detect both visually and by radar. Can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar.
Quieted Propulsion and Anechoic Coating: The boat is designed with a very quiet pump jet propulsor design, the submarine’s engines make very little noise, and the boat is coated by a sonar defeating rubber coating. The submarine is -50% to detect when traveling at less than 5.8 mph (5 knots / 9.3 kph) and is at -30% to detect when traveling at speeds greater than that.
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By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
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