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U.S. CVEN-140 Avenger class Nuclear Escort Carrier:


In the beginning of the “Mega-Damage” revolution, as many people call it, the leaders of the United States were convinced that peace would rule the future and as such was reluctant to finance large military expansion. While Russia had gone back to a Communist style government, it was not seen as a threat by most government leaders. In fact after the oligarches that had lead Russia prior to the communist take over, some even considered that it might be for the best.


In general, military leaders did not agree with their government leaders but did not control finances. The United States Navy, with virtually all of their navy becoming obsolete with the introduction of new materials and new weapon systems, wanted to construct a new super carrier class. As well, the Nimitz class carriers were simply getting old and refitted them was not considered to be cost effective.


The President and his Secretary of Defense did not want to finance a new class of super carriers. Instead the president had his Secretary of Defense work on some less expensive alternatives. One project was for a conventionally powered carrier which was much smaller than a fleet carrier and would be a minimalist design. While the carrier would have only a fraction of the capabilities of the larger carriers, it would be far less expensive to build.


Over the objections of the Chief of Naval Operation’s objections, this light carrier design was selected by the president as a replacement for the decommissioning super carriers. In general, opinions in the navy were negative but they were overruled and the project went forward.


The class did have one major advantage over super carriers for the navy in that they were far quicker to construct than super carriers. They could also be built in smaller yards. It was at first planned that six of these carriers would be built with the program being later cut down to four vessels in order to finance the rebuilding of existing carriers to new standards. Later, the program was further cut to three carriers with the change of political leadership in favor of funding the next call of super carriers, which later became the Ranger class carrier.


All of the escort carriers were named for famous World War Two U.S. naval carrier aircraft. The lead escort carrier was give the name “Avenger” (CVE-140) after the famous torpedo bomber. The two other carriers were named “Corsair” (CVE-141) and “Dauntless” (CVE-142). As far as cancelled carriers, names suggested had been “Hellcat” (CVE-143), “Devastator” (CVE-144), and “Kingfisher” (CVE-145).


Even though the Navy preferred super carriers over the lighter Avenger class, the escort carriers were employed heavily. In many ways, they worked far harder than the super carriers and spent more time deployed. Roles performed by these escort carriers included those that a super carrier was not seen as required and too large. These roles included escorting task forces, supporting of amphibious operations, and for anti-submarine hunting roles.


With combined with fighters from amphibious carriers, the ships could preform admirably in the support of amphibious operations. Their shallower draft also means that they can support operations closer to shore in many cases. In the roles of task force escort and submarine hunting, the escort carrier performed in a similar role to the Sea Control Ships which were proposed in the later part of the Twentieth Century.


It is interesting that a new class of escort carriers were proposed just before the coming of the Rifts. The reason was because they could be built in smaller yards and could be built much quicker. There was seen as a pressing need for more carriers due to the new cold war. They would have been a much more stealthy design like the Saratoga class but none were believed tp have been completed before the coming of the Rifts.


The status of the three Avenger class carriers with the coming of the Rifts is unknown. Still, it is quite possible that one or more might have survived. The U.S.S. Avenger was in port in Australia, the U.S.S. Corsair was escorting an amphibious task force in the North Atlantic, and the U.S.S. Dauntless was in home port in Florida preparing to get underway.


While called an escort carrier, the Avenger class completely outclasses the escort carriers of World War Two. It is much faster, carries a larger air wing, and is far larger. In size, it is larger than a World War II Essex class fleet carrier. A similar situation can be seen in early American fleet carrier development, the Lexington class carrier was far larger and about twice as fast as the previous U.S.S. Langley. Still, when compared to the American super carriers which preceded and followed them, the Avenger class are much smaller and can be considered escort carriers when compared to them.


When the ships were first built, power was provided by four gas turbine engines which provide about twice as much power as earlier gas turbine engines. The four gas turbine engines also provided greater power than the engines of the old Essex class fleet carriers. As was common with most vessels being built around the same time as the Avenger class, the propulsion used electric drive and two podded propellers. In generally they were more efficient than conventional shafts. Top speed of the escort carrier was almost thirty knots at full power.


These were later replaced by fusion turbines which provided even greater power and speed increased to around thirty-two knots. Virtually all gas turbine powered vessels had their old engines replaced by fusion turbines with the introduction of viable small fusion engines. In addition to increasing the speed of the vessel, the new engines also gave the ships unlimited range and allowed the conversion of fuel tankage for other purposes. In the case of the Avenger, several of the fuel tanks were converted to improve the ability of the escort carrier to withstand damage.


The Avenger class was one of the first carriers classes constructed from the keel out using the new composites, ceramics, and alloys. A secondary advantage of the material was that the ships no longer had the corrosion problems of previous steel vessels and the crew required for deck maintenance was reduced. While not a true stealth ship, the Avenger class escort carrier was designed with a reduced radar cross signature so that it would be harder to detect than it would be otherwise. Still, the hull of the vessel is based on a commercial hull design for a freighter to reduce costs in a similar fashion to the Italian NUM class carrier.


The sensor suit is very limited and there have been several proposals to upgrade the radar systems to more modern standards. The radar system carried is the SPS-88 active phased array carried on the Richard E. Byrd class frigates. Just before the coming of the Rifts, the Navy had begun planning to replace the radar system with the more effective SPX-1 radar system but the destruction of the United States intervened. The more powerful radar system had already been fitted to a number of amphibious vessels. In most cases, the radar carried on the carrier was adequate to controlling the escort carrier’s air group and usually a destroyer was assigned to provide better air coverage. The normal support for the Avenger class escort carrier was one Rosette class destroyer and two Richard E. Byrd class frigates. While the carrier has the mounting for a hull sonar, sonars were never fitted in an effort to keep building costs down.


Like most carriers, the main weaponry of the Avenger are its aircraft. A total of forty-two aircraft could be carried. This included two squadrons of fighters / attack aircraft and eighteen support craft. The first fighters carried were the VTOL versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. These were replaced by the FV-38 Panther II in later service. The older fighter was retained instead of replacing them with the FV-45 Sea Hawk because it would mean a considerable reduction in the number of fighters carried. There was some consideration given to the eventual replacement of the Panther with Manta-Ray but these were considered too valuable in the roles that they performed. Unlike previous carriers, the Avenger class does not have catapults or arresting gear and can only effectively operate vertical take off and landing aircraft. The escort carrier does have a bow ski-jump ramp to enable the easier take-off of aircraft.


For self defense, the carrier is only lightly armed but still is considered capable of self protection. Originally, the mounting of two eight cell tactical type Mk 41Vertical Launch Systems were planned. One was planned to be mounted on either side of the ship. These were replaced by Mk 55 medium range vertical launch systems while the escort carrier were still under construction. They could carry a much larger payload than the launchers which they replaced.


As built, the escort carrier also mounted two Vulcan Phalanx CIWS mounts and two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) missile launchers. Two were mounted forward of the main superstructure and two are mounted aft towards the fantail. These mounts were replaced in refits with “Sea Sabre” point defense mountings. These combination mounts combine a powerful but compact rail gun with short range missile launchers. No anti-submarine weapons are carried but the carrier is fitted with towed decoys.


While the ships were built for minimum construction cost, they were also designed for reduced operational cost as well. One way this is done is to carry impressive automation to reduce crew requirements. One major weakness in the escort carriers is that they have no flagship facilities even though they have been often required to perform in the role of flagships.


The ship has space for a small number of marines and there had been consideration given to replacing the marine spaces with command and control facilities. This was never done and later in service a number of flying power armors were embarked in addition to aircraft. Due to a lack in number of “Semper Fi” power armors with jet packs, SAMAS power armors were often substituted.


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: Avenger class Escort Carrier.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Light Aircraft Carrier.

Crew: Ships Crew: 425 (45 Officers and 380 Enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]) Air Wing: 261 (85 Pilots, 16 flight deck officers, 160 enlisted).

Troops: 100 (40 pilots for SAMAS / Semper Phi power Armor, 60 soldiers in body armor).


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armors Compliment:

 

40

APA-15 “Semper Fi” Power Armors (With Jet Packs) / USA-PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors.

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:

 

4

EVE-84A Kingfisher Utility VTOLs - Electronics Warfare Model.

 

6

EVS-84A Kingfisher Utility VTOLs - Anti-Submarine Warfare.

 

24

FV-38 Panther II VSTOL Fighters.

 

8

V-22N Super Osprey Tilt Rotors - Transport / Search and Rescue Model. Utility Tilt Rotors.


M.D.C. by Location:

 

Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile Defense System (4, flight deck):

200 each.

 

Mk 55 Eight Cell Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):

300 each.

 

USA-M38 Heavy Defense Rail Guns (4, sides):

70 each.

 

[1] SPS-88 Active Phased Array Radar System:

160.

 

[2] Chaff Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.

 

[3] Elevators (2, sides):

250 each.

 

Hanger Doors (2, sides):

250 each.

 

[4] Flight Deck:

2,500.

 

[5] Bridge / Command Tower:

1,500.

 

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

80.

 

[6] Main Body:

6,800.


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] If both elevators are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the main flight deck.

[4] If the flight deck is destroyed, VTOL aircraft can be launched or land but at -15% to piloting.

[5] If the bridge/ control tower is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but with a -15% to piloting rolls. Communication and sensor equipment are not concentrated on the bridge to reduce the effectiveness of bridge hits.

[6] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with additional floatation materials that allow the ship to withstand up to -1,500 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Speed:

Surface: 36.8 mph (32 knots/ 59.3 kph).

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


Statistical Data:

Draft:    32.5 feet (9.9 meters) including sonar mount.

Length:  785 feet (229.3 meters) overall and 735 feet (224 meters) waterline.

Width:   155 feet (47.2 meters) including flight deck and 112 feet (34.1 meters) waterline.

Displacement: 28,800 tons standard and 34,500 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 2,000 tons (1,814 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 four nuclear reactors with an average life span of 20 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but costs around 450 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 1.5 to 3 billion credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Four (4) USA-M38 Heavy Defense Rail Guns: Originally Bushmaster heavy machine-guns were mounted but they were later replaced with rail guns. These weapons are mounted with two on either side of the hull for defense against small boats and similar threats. Not considered effective against aircraft or missiles. The rail guns are more powerful than the rail guns carried on most power armors and have greater range. These are the same rail gun which are mounted on the Super Comanche Helicopter, Steel Tiger Attack VTOL, and Wolverine Amphibious Assault Vehicle but are mounted with the gunners behind a protective shield and the gunner’s have a greater payload.

    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20. Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 4-6).

    Payload: 4,000 rounds (200 bursts) each.

  2. Four (4) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Replaces original Mk 15 Vulcan CIWS and Mk 49 RAM launchers. Weapons are mounted on the sides of the ship with two mounted forward of the superstructure on either side of the flight deck and two on the sides forward of the fantail. 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 missiles 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) Mk 55 Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers: One launcher is mounted on starboard sides of the vessel’s superstructure and the other is mounted on the port side opposite the superstructure. Unlike most vertical launch systems, these launchers fire the missiles on a six degree angle to the side. This is because the system was initially designed for carriers and is to prevent a missile that fails on its launch from crashing into aircraft on the flight deck. The missiles are arranged in a two by four pattern, and each launch cell has eight reloads. These launchers require much less deck space than a Mk-41 or Mk-49 vertical launch system. Each system can launch up to eight missiles simultaneously each and the launcher is automatically reloaded. These launchers often act as the ship’s middle point defense and are normally used to engage incoming air targets and missiles.

    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: Eight (8) medium range missiles in each launcher, with forty-eight (48) medium missiles in each magazine for automatic reloads, for a total of one hundred and twelve (112) medium range missiles for both launchers including missiles in launchers.

  4. Two (2) Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. Both 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 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: Twenty-four (24) each for a total of forty-eight (48) canisters.

  5. Four (4) Advanced Towed Decoys: The vessel carries four advanced towed decoy drones. They are each a small automated vehicle that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the vessels. The decoy is dragged behind the destroyer using a cable. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.

    M.D.C.: 20 each.

    Range: Not Applicable although decoy is deployed approximately 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) from the vessel.

    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: One can be deployed at a time and requires two (2) minutes to deploy (reel out) another decoy.

    Payload: Four (4) towed decoys.

Special Systems:

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



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[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]


Image drawn and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa). Click on line drawing for a better view.

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


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


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



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