U.S. CVEN-146 Gambier Bay class Nuclear Stealth Escort Carrier:


Since the Nineteen-Seventies, the United States Navy had appalled the notion of building small aircraft carriers. Large carriers were considered more capable s and presented a large national presence overseas. Also, below a certain size it is hard to maintain a balanced air wing.


Despite their dislike for small carriers, the Navy was forced to accept the Avenger class of escort carriers in the Twenty-Thirties. These small escort carriers proved to be invaluable, and were heavily employed as light task force escorts and as the centerpiece of submarine hunting units. By the Twenty-Fifties, the US Navy wished they had built the three additional Avengers that has been cancelled. On several occasions, both the Belleau wood class amphibious assault s and the Tripoli class multi role amphibious assault s were pressed into service as sea control s.


With the commissioning of the American Ranger, Canadian Magnificent, and Mexican Quetzalcoatl classes carriers, some of the burden of the three Avenger class escort carriers was relieved. However, the resurgence of Cold War in the Twenty-Eighties and Nineties dictated the need for additional vessels of all classes, especially aircraft carriers. In order to meet those needs, a new class of escort carriers was proposed just before the coming of the Rifts.


A major advantage of an escort carrier design is that they could be built in smaller yards and could be completed in a much quicker time frame. Like the Saratoga class, the design was designed to have a very low radar cross signature unlike the previous escort carrier class. The name Gambier Bay (CVEN-146) was selected for the first escort carrier of the class with the five other carriers being named St Lõ (CVEN-147), Liscome Bay (CVEN-148), Block Island (CVEN-149), Ommaney Bay (CVEN-150), and Bismarck Sea (CVE-151). The names were chosen due to being the names of escort aircraft carriers that were sunk during World War II. All had been authorized by Congress, and construction was nearly complete on the Gambier Bay and St Lõ. The Gambier Bay was scheduled for shipbuilder trials in January Twenty Ninety-Nine and the trials for the St Lõ were planned for around May. However, the Great Cataclysm prevented the later carriers from ever being laid down.


The design of the Gambier Bay class was to follow similar lines to the Saratoga class fleet carrier and Japanese Amagi class escort carrier. The Gambier Bay class had a nose that is pointed like racing boats with a control bridge in the front of the vessel. Behind the control bridge, the vessel had a single non-angled flight deck.


As with the Avenger and Amagi classes, the new escort carriers had no catapults but did have a bow ski-jump ramp to enable the easier take-off of aircraft and arresting gear to allow the landing of damaged aircraft and non VTOL aircraft. The arrangement for take-offs was not the standard American practice and actually more similar to the concept of the of the Russian Kuznetsov, Chinese Zhenyuan , and Indian Vikramaditya class carriers.


Rather than have a single aircraft preparing to utilize the ski-jump, the flight deck was arranged and marked in such a way that up to three aircraft could prepare to launch simultaneously. With one aircraft approaching the ski-jump head-on, two additional aircraft would approach it from slight angles to the left and right of the jump. If landing operations were underway, the center launch path would not be utilized. The two angled launch paths provided enough clearance for landing aircraft to fully utilize the flight deck if necessary.


A single elevator was located on each side of the escort carrier partially indented into the main flight deck. The two were parallel to each other to reduce the obstruction to the hanger deck and were located to the rear of the angled launch paths. The hanger bay was underneath the central flight deck and had all the necessary equipment to make aircraft repairs. On the right side of the vessel near the stern was a small superstructure used for flight control.


As opposed to the Avenger class, this new class of escort carriers was to have a very complete sensor suite. The Avenger was to mount the new SPY-7B light-weight active phased array radar system derived from the Japanese SPY-5J radar system. With the four fixed panels mounted in the superstructure, it was to give better performance than the SPY-6S system while retaining that systems light weight. There were plans that the system would be mounted on the next generation of frigates as well.


Because of the deep draft of carriers, if anything their sonar systems tend to perform better than those fitted to smaller vessels such as destroyers and frigates. Still, anti-submarine warfare is not considered a major role for carriers and often one of the first design features deleted to reduce costs. One of the major roles envisioned for the Gambier Bay class was to command anti-submarine forces and mounting at least a hull sonar was considered a priority. Often there had been concerns with the Avenger not mounting any kind of sonar.

As with the Avenger class, the Gambier Bay class were not intended to operate alone, and the Gambier Bay was expected to have at least one destroyer (usually Raymond Fox class) and two frigates (Francis Darcey or later classes) assigned as escorts for support at all times.


For self defense, the carrier was more heavily armed than the Avenger class, but was still considered capable of self-defense only. The class mounted a pair of forty-eight cell Mk 59B vertical launch systems incorporated on the port side opposite the island and on the bow. These launchers used medium-range missiles almost exclusively to provide self-defense for the carrier although a few anti-submarine rocket propelled torpedoes might also be carried. Four Sea Sabre defense systems were mounted in retractable platforms at the corners of the vessel for close-in defense. Of course the carriers carried decoy, chaff and jamming systems for self-defense.


The first two vessels of the class were each fitted with different subsurface defenses to determine which would be best suited to a surface ship such as an aircraft carrier. They were mounted to defend the escort carrier against incoming torpedoes, power armor, or submarines that came within range. If both systems were found not to be suitable, they would be removed altogether, and not installed in later vessels of the class. If they were considered successful, the more advantageous system was to be fitted to all of the Gambier Bay and Saratoga class carriers. There was also the possibility of back fitting the system to other vessels.


During early testing, it was determined that any installed system could only be used below 20 knots, or the water currents would cause severe shaking on the mount and even cause damage to the mountings in some cases. Even though mounted under the hull in retractable mounts, they were designed to be accessed if necessary for maintenance purposes.


The Gambier Bay was outfitted with a pair of Mk 68 “Interceptor” short-range torpedo launchers. These systems were also planned to be fitted to the Inchon class submersible amphibious assault vessels. There is some question as to whether this design was stolen from the SSSR or was developed by American engineers. The St Lõ was fitted with a pair of retractable blue-green laser mounts that were identical to those on various United States submarine classes including the Swordfish and Trident classes.


The escort carrier’s propellers were both variable pitch allowing for faster changes in speed and to greatly reduce the turning circle. The Gambier Bay class were powered by three powerful fusion reactors, give the escort carriers the capability of reach up to thirty-eight knots. Along with radar cross signature reduction features, the vessels were also designed to reduce machinery noises. These include the engines being isolated from the hull along with both the propellers and the hull have a special bubble system that helps to mask noise further.


It was expected that the new alloys, composites, and ceramics used in these escort carriers would vastly extend their life span compared to vessels built before the material revolution in the Twenty-Thirties. These new materials were incredibly strong as well as being virtually immune to the effects of the environment including corrosion. In the case of the Gambier Bay class, the materials were also designed to be radar absorbing.


As with all carriers, the main weaponry of the Gambier Bay is considered to be its embarked aircraft. A total of forty-two aircraft were to be carried, the same as the Avenger class even thought the Gambier Bay class was a bit larger. In part this was due to trying to combine a design with a very low radar with a large embarked aircraft compliment. As well, the FV-45 Sea Hawk fighter is slightly larger than the FV-38 Panther II fighter. Normal compliment was expected to include two squadrons of fighters/attack aircraft and eighteen support craft.


Aircraft compliment was expected to be the FV-35 Sea Hawk VTOL fighter supported by the EV-84 Kingfisher VTOL and the V-22N Super Osprey tilt rotor. There was some consideration given to the eventual replacement of the Sea Hawk with Manta-Ray, but this was shelved. In part this was because they were considered too valuable in the roles that they performed but also because their air to air combat capabilities were considered generally inferior to the FV-45 Sea Hawk. Instead, plans where to replace the Sea Hawks with a follow-on fighter design in the early Twenty-One Hundreds.


Learning from the weaknesses of the Avenger class, the Gambier Bays were to have full flag facilities. A small number of marines were stationed on board for board and harbor-side defense as well as boarding parties. There was consideration given to carrying the new G-20 Gunbuster power armor instead of the standard SAMAS or the “Semper Fi” power armor, but this idea was dropped mostly due to the Gunbuster’s lack of amphibious capabilities.


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: Gambier Bay class Escort Carrier.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Escort Aircraft Carrier.

Crew: s Crew: 415 (40 officers, 50 chief petty officers and 325 Enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]).

Air Wing: 385 (150 aircraft pilots & crew, 20 flight deck officers, and 215 enlisted).

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


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:

 

30

USA-PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors.

 

30

APA-15 “Semper Fi” Power Armors (with flight packs).

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:

 

6

EV-84A Kingfisher Utility VTOLs - General Cargo / Search and Rescue Model.

 

4

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

 

6

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

 

24

FV-45 Sea Hawk VSTOL Jet Fighters.

 

2

FV-45-EW Sea Hawk VTOL Jet Jamming Fighters.

 

6

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


M.D.C. by Location:

 

Underwater Defenses:

 

 

 

[1] Mk 58 “Interceptor” Torpedo Launchers (2, under hull - Gambier Bay):

150 each.

 

 

[1] Retractable Blue-Green Laser Cannon Mounts (2, under hull - St Lõ):

150 each.

 

Retractable Mk 44-B Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems (4, flight deck):

200 each.

 

Mk 59-B Forty-Eight Cell Vertical Launcher Systems (2, forward / port sides):

375 each.

 

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

70 each.

 

[2] Phase Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):

200 each.

 

[3] Chaff Launchers (4, hull / superstructure):

10 each.

 

[4] Elevators (2):

300 each.

 

Hanger Doors (2):

300 each.

 

[5] Flight Deck:

2,500.

 

[6] Forward Bridge:

1,200.

 

[6] Bridge / Command Tower:

2,000.

 

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

100

 

[7] Main Body:

7,000.


Notes:

[1] USS Gambier Bay carries “Interceptor torpedo” launchers only while the USS St Lõ carries laser cannons only. Weapon systems can only be targeted through underwater attacks.

[2] Destroying phased array radar panels will destroy the ship’s fire control systems but secondary systems have backup systems and panels can partially compensate for each other. All bonuses are lost if panels are destroyed.

[3] 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.

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

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

[6] If forward control bridge and rear control tower are destroyed, 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.

[7] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -2,000 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: 43.7 mph (38 knots/ 70.4 kph).

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


Statistical Data:

Draft:    32.5 feet (9.9 meters).

Length:  820 feet (249.9 meters).

Width:   200 feet (60.9 meters) including flight deck and 135 feet (41.1 meters) at waterline.

Displacement: 32,500 tons standard and 38,000 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 3,000 tons (2,720 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: Three nuclear fusion reactors, average life span is 20 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but costs around 650 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 1.2 to 1.5 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: These were mounted in retractable mounts on the main flight deck. This was done to increase usable space on the carrier. 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 s 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 59-B Vertical Launch Missile Systems: These systems were located forward of the bridge and on the port side opposite of the island/command tower. 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. 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. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes are also can be fired from the launchers (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    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 hundred and ninety-two (96) missiles cells total with one 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 all launchers loaded with two medium range missiles each. Sometimes a handful of long range anti-submarine rocket propelled torpedoes may be carried however.

  4. 4 Two (2) Retractable Underwater Defense Mounts: The escort carriers have a pair of mounts for defense against torpedoes mounted under the hull. These mounts are not designed to be used when the vessel is traveling greater than twenty knots. Otherwise, water currents would cause severe shaking on the mount and even cause damage to the mountings in some cases. They were mounted to defend the escort carrier against incoming torpedoes, power armor, or submarines that came within range.

    1. Two (2) Retractable Mk 58 “Interceptor” Short Range Torpedo Launchers (U.S.S. Gambier Bay only): Changing from the standard practice of firing interceptor torpedoes from their standard torpedo tubes, these weapons are designed for defensive measures. They fire small interceptor torpedoes, designed primarily for intercepting and hitting incoming torpedoes, with a secondary function against small submersibles and submersible power armors. Other torpedoes can be used but are very rarely used. The launchers are mounted outside of the main hull in retractable mounts, but can be accessed if necessary for maintenance purposes.

      Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) using “Interceptor” torpedoes, other torpedoes use standard rules (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

      Mega-Damage: By short range torpedo type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

      Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire salvos of up to eight (8) short range interceptor torpedoes per melee round.

      Payload: Sixty-four (64) “Interceptor” torpedoes each for one hundred and twenty-eight (128) “Interceptor” torpedoes total.

    2. Two (2) Retractable Blue-Green Laser Cannon Mounts (U.S.S. St Lõ only): Experimentally mounted on the U.S.S. St Lõ only, these cannons were mounted underneath the on the hull and were fully retractable under concealing deck plates so that they do not disrupt water flow at high speeds. As a blue-green laser, they have a greater range underwater than they would otherwise. The The weapon systems were used mainly as close defense and against torpedoes and submerged power armor units. The weapons were automated with sonar sensors (+3 to strike torpedoes, +2 to strike power armor). The mounts had the ability to rotate 360 degrees and had a 90 degree arc of fire.

      Maximum Effective Range: 1 mile (1.6 km) underwater.

      Mega-Damage: Each cannon inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.C. per blast.

      Rate of Fire: Each can fire four (4) attacks per melee round.

      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  5. Four (4) Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the sides of the hull of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. All four 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 .

    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 ninety-six (96) canisters.

  6. 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 vessel 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 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. ]


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


Copyright © 2006 & 2017, Kamikazi & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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