U.S. CVN-89 Saratoga class Nuclear Stealth Carrier:

The development of the Ticonderoga class submersible carrier was long delayed due to technical problems and the whole submersible carrier program was far over budget. For this reason, it was decided to develop a new surface carrier class in order to take the place of older carriers that the Navy wanted to replace.

Four carriers were initially authorized. As far back as the beginning of the Twenty First Century, the concept of a stealth carrier had been explored. The idea was revived and improved into the Saratoga class stealth carrier. While expensive to develop and build, the U.S.S. Saratoga and her three sisters combined cost far less than the single U.S.S. Ticonderoga submersible carrier. So that these carriers would not disrupt production of the Ticonderoga, they were not constructed at Newport News Naval Shipyard. In a surprising move, the United States Congress funded the construction of two more stealth carriers in addition to the three other Ticonderoga class submersible carriers just prior to the coming of the Rifts although none were ever completed.

New Navy records of the class list that two of the vessels were in port and two were at sea. One was stateside in Norfolk Naval Base, one was in port at Kure, Japan, one was at sea in the Atlantic where Atlantis reformed, and the other was at sea in the vicinity of Hawaii. It is thought that the vessel in port in Norfolk was destroyed because there is no sign of recovering the ship by Golden Age Weaponsmiths. The ship was in the outermost bunker and is the bunker that is most likely to have been destroyed. Still, it is quite possible that some of the other stealth carriers survived the coming of the Rifts and even that the carrier that was were Atlantis reappeared was rifted. The New Navy has been combing the globe to attempt to find out what has happened to these vessels.

The Saratoga class carrier looks far different than earlier American surface carriers. While they are shorter than the Twentieth Century Nimitz class carrier, there are far more differences that this. Many of these features are to decrease the vessel’s radar cross signature and the carrier was constructed using radar absorbing materials. The ship has a nose that is pointed like racing boats with a control bridge in the front of the vessel.

On the bow of the carrier is one of the two Mk 59-B vertical launcher systems. The launcher is a smaller version of the launcher launch system carried on a number of surface combatant vessel constructed around the same time period and capable of firing either long range or medium range missiles.

Behind the control bridge, the vessel has three non angled flight decks. One is above the control bridge and the other two are on the sides and are partially shielded. Behind the control bridge, the ship has an elevator on both hand side partially indented into the main flight deck. Near the rear of the vessel, the upper flight deck widen out and the other two flight decks end. On the right side of the vessel is a small superstructure used for flight control and a second missile launcher. On the left side, the ship has a second elevator. One of the most visible systems are four phased array radar systems on the hull.

The upper flight deck is used for both takeoff and landing and is outfitted with two catapults and arrester cables. The side flight decks are lower than the main flight deck and are only designed to be used for takeoffs and have one catapult each. While most U.S. Navy aircraft were devised for vertical takeoff and landing, using catapults allows for easier take- offs especially with heavier combat loads. The catapults were a new model of electromagnetic catapult which were more efficient than previous electromagnetic designs. However, the electromagnetic arrester system was not much changed than those from previous carrier classes. They allows for the landing of damaged aircraft and non VTOL aircraft.

The hanger bay is underneath the central flight deck and has full equipment to make aircraft repairs. The compliment of aircraft was slightly less than that carried on the pre-rifts Nimitz class. The vessels carried four squadrons of twelve fighters each, eighteen utility thrust based VTOL aircraft, and ten utility tilt rotor aircraft. The vessel also carried 60 “Semper Fi” power armors with flight packs and 60 SAMAS Power Armors. Besides them, the carrier only carry 120 marines for ship defense, including the protection of special weapons.

These ships are designed with a large amount of automation to reduce crews and these ships are operated by less than a quarter the crew of the Nimitz class. This means that there is far more space per crew member and most have individual state rooms. The ships are designed to act as flagships and have full accommodations for flag officers and their staff.

Just because of sheer size, the Saratoga can withstand a large amount of damage. The vessel also was constructed out of incredible strong composites, ceramics, and alloys. The ship is also designed with advanced underwater protection. Like all carriers, the Saratoga is not meant for close combat and is designed accordingly with its weapons being mainly defensive. The most visible defenses are the previously mentioned vertical missile launchers. These launchers normally carry exclusively medium range missiles.

In retractable launchers on the main flight deck are eight Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” combination rail gun/short range missile launchers. These are designed to deal with missiles that leak through the main defenses. They are also used for defense against attacking small boats. The SPY-5D active phased array radar systems is the same system as was carried on the Delaware class cruiser and Kearsarge class battlecruisers. This is the same system that was copied by the Coalition. It was decided to mount a hull sonar on the Saratoga in order to be able to detect attacking submarines and not be completely dependent on escorts.

Like all American fleet carriers since the Nimitz class super carriers, the propulsion is given by nuclear power. The ship power is provided by four large and powerful fusion reactors and only the new Francis Darcey class frigates, Raymond Fox class destroyers, and Delaware class cruisers could keep up with the carrier. The propellers were adapted from gas turbine vessels and have variable pitch blades. This allows for greater maneuverability than previous carrier class around its size and can go instantly from full forward to full reverse. Along with stealth features, the vessel is also designed for quiet operations. In addition to this, both the propellers and the hull have a special bubble system that helps to mask noise further.

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: CVN-89 Saratoga class Nuclear Stealth Carrier.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Stealth Aircraft Carrier.

Crew: Ships Crew: 850 (80 officers, 60 chief petty officers, 710 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation].)

Air Wing: 620 (220 Pilots, 40 flight deck officers, 360 enlisted.)

Troops: 80 pilots for “Semper Fi” Power Armors, 80 pilots for SAMAS power Armor, and 120 soldiers in body armor.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



USA-PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors.



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

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:



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



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



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



FV-45 Sea Hawk VSTOL Jet Fighters.



FV-45-SW Sea Hawk VTOL Jet Stealth Fighters.



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



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

M.D.C. by Location:


Retractable Mk 44-B Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems (8, flight deck):

200 each.


Mk 59-B Forty-Eight Cell Vertical Launcher Systems (2, 1 forward and 1 aft):

375 each.


[1] SPY-5D Phase Array Radar Panels (4, hull):

400 each.


[2] Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.


[3] Electromagnetic Catapults (4, 2 central & 1 each lower flight deck):

100 each.


[3] Electromagnetic Arrester Cables (4, central flight deck):

50 each.


[4] Elevators (3):

400 each.


Hanger Doors (10):

200 each.


[5] Central Flight Deck:



[6] Forward Control Bridge:



[6] Rear Flight Control Tower:



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



[7] Main Body:



[1] Destroying the SPY-5 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.

[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 the catapults are destroyed, non VTOL or STOL aircraft cannot be launched. If arrester cables are destroyed, non VTOL or STOL aircraft cannot land until arrester cables are replaced.

[4] If all three elevators are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the main / central flight deck. Aircraft can be taken from the hangers onto the secondary / lower flight decks however.

[5] If the flight decks are destroyed, only VTOL aircraft can be launched or land. VTOL aircraft are 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 -3,000 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Surface: 46 mph (40 knots/ 74.1 kph).

Range: Effectively 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:    37 feet (11.3 meters).

Length:  929.5 feet (283.3 meters) waterline and 983 feet (299.6 meters) overall.

Width:   121.5 feet (37.0 meters) waterline and 280 feet (85.3 meters) flight deck.

Displacement: 68,200 tons standard and 86,500 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 6,200 tons (5,625 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: Four nuclear fusion reactors, average life span is 20 years. Usually only goes 10 years between refueling.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but costs around 1.65 billion credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 5 to 8 billion credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


  1. Eight (8) Mk 44-B “Sea Sabre” Retractable Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: These are mounted in modified 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 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 (2) or four (4) short range missiles.

    Payload: Rail Guns: 8,000 rounds (200 burst) each. Short Range Missiles: Sixteen (16) short range missiles each.

  2. Two (2) Mk 59-B Vertical Launch Missile Systems: One mount is mounted on the bow of the ship forward of the superstructure and the other is mounted on the main flight deck in front of the control 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 (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 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.

  3. 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 differences. 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.



    Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.



    Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)



    No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.

    Payload: Twenty-four (24) each for a total of ninety-six (96) canisters.

  4. Four (4) SLQ-52B Naiad Advanced Towed Torpedo 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 decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies guidance and targeting systems due to technological differences.

    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:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

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

Image from U.S. Department of Defense for CVX program.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2000, 2001, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.