Norwegian Sleipner class Surface Effect Heavy Corvette:

Surface Effect Ships are some of the more unique naval vessel designs. Only the Soviet / Russian Navy and Norwegian Navy developed such designs fully for combatant vessels before the coming of the Rifts. There were a number of nations which developed civilian Surface Effect Ships and a number of navies built prototypes. The United States Navy during the Nineteen-Seventies planned a three thousand ton surface effect frigate but the program was canceled.

The Royal Norwegian Navy was comparatively small when compared to many other navies but the nation has a huge amount of coastline. Because surface effect craft have shallow draft, they can duck into the huge numbers of narrow bays in the Scandinavian Peninsula. The shallow draft also makes these boats have less water resistant than a similar sized conventional craft and are much faster as a result. Some surface effect craft have speeds up to eighty knots. When compared to a conventional air cushion design, surface effect ships differ greatly in that they have rigid sidewalls for stability and support instead of a flexible skirt which contain the lift air. However, the surface effect ship design does have flexible seals or "skirts" forward and aft and uses internal lift fans.

Far larger than the Ravn and Skjold classes, but still smaller than New Soviet designs, the Royal Norwegian Navy Sleipner class are named after various Norse mythical creatures. While called "heavy corvettes", they were smaller than many other navy's regular corvettes. There were a total of four ships of this class built, compared to sixteen of the Ravn and six of the Skjold. The three others of the class were named Draugr, Fenrir, and Vættir. These larger surface effect ships were build comparatively slowly with one build about every four years. The first was laid down in the early Twenty-Sixties and the last was not completed until the later part of the Twenty-Seventies. For a long time, the Norwegian Parliament refused to authorize any new construction. Eventually the increasing tensions forced the Parliament to authorize a massive increase in the military, especially the navy.

There was a plan to build four new surface effect "heavy corvettes" just before the coming of the Rifts along with sixteen more lighter surface effect ships. The design would have been based on the Sleipner although would have mounted a medium rail gun as the main gun in place of a conventional medium gun and the radar system would have been replaced by a more sophisticated radar system. There were a number of other modifications to the design as well but would have been less obvious. Plans were for the first of the new class to enter service around 2105 with all completed by around 2120. It is unknown what has happened to the vessel. Most naval vessels in the world were destroyed so it is most likely that most of these surface effect ships were destroyed as well. Still, it is quite possible than one or more may have survived in the fiords of the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Compared to the Ravn and Skjold classes, the Sleipner displaces about three times greater than the smaller classes. Like the smaller vessels, the Sleipner is designed to be extremely stealthy. Still, the used of high strength composites makes these craft quite strong. The use of lightweight composites also makes them quite a bit lighter than a similar sized New Soviet surface effect ship design. Still, the Norwegian design is far more expensive than the New Soviet design for similar firepower. The Sleipner class is longer than the Perekat class but is also narrower and has similar overall volume as a result. Like the Ravn and Skjold classes, the Sleipner class were painted in camouflage instead of grey as were most vessels of the Royal Norwegian Navy. Unlike the Norwegian suface effect ships, the New Soviet surface effect craft were generally painted in grey.

The Sleipner has four fusion reactors compared to two four the Ravn class. The larger vessel also has a total of four water jets compared to two for the smaller surface effect craft. Power to mass is not quite as great as the smaller vessel and it is slightly slower as a result. Top speed on calm waters is sixty eight knots. It does better on rough waters in comparison due to its greater overall mass and has top speed in rough waters of fifty knots. Even so, the Norwegian surface effect designs were far slower than similar New Soviet designs. Highly automated, these boats are designed to be operated by a small crew. Standard crew is only twenty-six although there is berthing for up to thirty crew.

Weaponry is similar to the smaller Norwegian surface effect ship design. They mount the same super rapid 76 mm gun on the bow as it carried on the smaller designs. A much larger payload for the 76 mm gun is carried however. This is generally used against smaller surface targets and can be used to engage missiles as well. These boats also carry thirty-two long range missiles ready to fire in a rear vertical launch system. Due to the design, medium range missiles cannot be substituted. Unlike the Ravn and Skjold classes however, the larger surface effect ships usually carry a number of anti-submarine rocket boosted torpedoes and will engage aircraft as well. Usually four to eight anti-submarine type missiles are carried. These vessels do not mount any torpedo tubes however. For closer range anti-aircraft defense, the Sleipner mounts two "Freya XIII" short range missile launchers. An enlarged version of the launchers carried on the Ravn class, each has the ability to fire eight missiles simultaneously. Luanchers have an automatic reload system with eighty missiles as reloads for each launcher and has a total payload of one hundred and seventy six short range missiles including both those in the launchers and carried as reloads.

A much more sophisticated electronic suite is carried on the Sleipner class when compared to the smaller Ravn class. An even lighter version of the British "Mini Sampson" which had originally been developed as a private was selected. Known as the "Sampson Ultra-Light", it cut tracking ability slightly but otherwise is quite comparable. One vessel of the class, the Vættir, had the original radar system replaced by the American designed SPX-1L. Giving both better range and much greater tracking ability, the plan was to have the planned class mount these. As well, there was consideration giver towards replacing the original radar system on the other three Sleipner class surface effect corvettes. These vessels carry a full jamming suite and a pair of "Softkill II" decoy systems. Mounted on the front of the superstructure instead of the bow, the "Softkill II" has the ability to launch torpedo as well as missile decoys. Even though not meant for anti-submarine warfare, these vessels mount a much better sonar suite than the lighter surface effect ships. They mount a long range towed array although do not mount any form of hull sonar.

Model Type: Sleipner class Surface Effect Patrol Boat (Project 6310)
Class: Ocean, Surface Effect Ship Heavy Corvette
Crew: 26 (5 officers and 21 enlisted) - Has berthing for thirty crew.

Vehicle Compliment: None.

M.D.C. by Location:

OTO-Melara 3 inch (76-mm)/62-cal Super Rapid (1, Bow):200
Vertical Long Range Missile Launchers (32, fantail)80 each
"Freya VIII" Short Range Missile Launchers (2, Superstructure):120 each
Soft Kill II" Chaff / Decoy Launcher (2, Superstructure):10 each
[1] "Sampson Ultra-Light" Active Phased Array (Three Vessels):60
[1] SPX-1L Active Phased Array Radar System (One Vessel):150
Bridge / Superstructure:325
[2] Propulsion Water-Jets (4, Rear):100 each
[2] Skirts (2, Forward and aft):80 each
[3] Main Body:850

[1] Destroying Search Radar Tower will eliminate long range radar system. The ship still has backup systems equal to those on robot vehicles.
[2] Destruction of a Water-Jets will reduce top speed by one quarter by each water-jet destroyed. Destruction of a Skirt will reduce top speed to 20 knots (23.0 mph / 37.1 kph)
[3] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with an advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -200 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.

On Water, Hull Borne: 13.8 mph (12 knots/ 22.2 kph)
On Water, On Air Cushion: Calm Seas: 78.3 mph (68 knots/ 126.0 kph) Rough Seas: 57.6 mph (50 knots / 92.7 kph)
Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries two months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Draft: Hull Borne: 19.03 feet (5.80 meters), On Air Cushion: 7.22 feet (2.2 meters)
Width: 63.98 feet (19.50 meters)
Length: 223.92 feet (68.25 meters)
Displacement: 880 tons fully loaded
Cargo: Can carry 25 tons (22.68 metric tons) of extraneous cargo. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have some 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 reactors with an average life span of 20 years.
Black Market Price: 400 to 600 million credits on the black market for an intact model.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) OTO Melara 76mm/62 Super Rapid Naval Gun: The ship mounts a rapid fire three inch gun mount near the bow of vessel. The gun is very reliable and fires very rapidly (About 120 rounds per minute). The main weaknesses of the gun are its relatively short range and the fact it cannot use rocket assisted projectiles. The gun was carried on many ship classes around the world until well into the twenty first century. The guns can be used against other ships, ground targets, aircraft, and even missiles. These guns were among the smallest that could use a proximity fuse for their warheads.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4.9 miles (4.3 nautical miles/8.0 km) for standard projectiles
    Mega-Damage: High Explosive: 1D4x10 M.D.C. with 10 ft (3 m) blast radius per single shot and 3D4x10 M.D.C. with 20 ft (6.1 m) blast radius for three round burst. High Explosive Armor Piercing: 1D6x10 M.D.C. with 4 ft (1.2 m) blast radius per single shot and 3D6x10 M.D.C. with 8 ft blast radius for three round burst. Plasma: 2D4x10 M.D.C. with 12 ft (3.7 m) blast radius per single shot and 6D4x10 M.D.C. with 25 ft (7.6 m) blast radius for three round burst.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to Gunners Hand to Hand (Three round bursts count as one attack).
    Payload: 85 Rounds ready to fire. Ship normally carries usually carries and additional 340 rounds.
  2. Thirty-Two (32) Long Range Vertical Launch Tubes: On the deck near the fantail of the patrol boat are thirty-two vertical launch tubes. The boat will usually race towards an enemy craft, fire off all of its missiles, and then race off as fast as possible before being engaged. Any type of long range missile can be carried although most will be special surface skimming missiles. Often sixteen of these type will be carried with four to eight rocket boosted anti-submarine types and eight to twelve general purpose missiles usually used against aircraft (See revised Rifts torpedoes for rocket boosted torpedoes.)
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (Surface skimming missiles have 25% less range than normal long range missile, Go to 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), or eight (8) missiles [All launcher operates together.]
    Payload: One missile each launcher for a grand total of eight (8) long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads).
  3. Two (2) "Freya VIII" Short Range Missile Box Launchers: Mounted on each side of the superstructure are a pair of box launchers which automatically reload. The launchers can rotate 360 degrees and have a 90 degree arc of fire. The missile launchers reload extremely rapidly and are ready to be fire on the next attack. 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: Varies by short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details - SAM style missiles normally.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies by short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details - SAM style missiles normally.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) four (4), or eight (8) missiles each launcher. Launchers retract and are ready to fire for next melee attack.
    Payload: Eight (8) short range missiles each launcher for Sixteen (16) total. The vehicle carries eighty (80) missiles as reloads for each launcher for a total of one hundred and seventy-six (176) 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)
  4. Two (2) Multi Ammunition Softkill II System: Located on the front of the superstructure of the boat, this system is designed to confuse incoming missiles. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.) Torpedo decoys can also be fired from launcher. These land in the water and act as noisemakers to decoy torpedoes. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
    Range: Around Ship
    Mega Damage: None
    Missile Decoys:
      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.
    Torpedo Decoy / Noisemaker:
      50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying smart torpedoes.
    Payload: 6 each for 12 total; Carries 48 reloads total.

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

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2011, Kitsune. All rights reserved.