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While the middle of the Twenty First Century was a time of relative peace, this did not mean that there was no military developments. The Wasp class multi-purpose amphibious assault ships were badly obsolete and needed to be replaced. They were constructed out of conventional materials and their rebuilds were only partially successful.


Even though a new class of amphibious assault class had entered service, the Belleau Wood class, they were not built in large enough numbers in order to fill the US Navy mission requirements for their amphibious assets. In addition, their lack of a landing craft deck was often criticized. As a result, the Wasp class had served far beyond when it was expected they would be required to.


Development was begun on a replacement class while engineers attempted to keep the Wasp class operating for a few more years. It was decided to base the new class more on the Wasp class than the Belleau Wood class. Even so, the Wasp class can be considered as much a carrier as an amphibious vessel. With the replacement class, these aviation facilities remained extremely important.


Amphibious carriers had become capable of operating as strike platforms with the introduction of the Harrier jump jet fighter. This became even more potent with the introduction of the F-35B short take off and landing version of Joint Strike Fighter and its greatly enhanced capabilities. This was followed by the FV-38 Panther II fighter and then the F-45 Sea Hawk which both also had the ability to make vertical take offs and landings.


As a result, it was expected that the ship might need to act as in virtually the same role as a normal carrier at times. Sometimes this mission was called “Sea Control” and assets not necessary for such a role are normally landed when performing in that role. This included the reduction of vehicles, transport aircraft, and even troops in order to increase the number of fighters embarked.


It was decided that there would be an attempt to reduce the amphibious assault ship’s radar cross signature in order to make it harder to detect. The previous Belleau Wood class had no such modifications. At the same time, it was decided to improve the amphibious assault ship’s ability to defend itself with vastly improved weaponry.


By the time the first of the vessel, the Tripoli, had been completed, virtually all of the Wasp class had been decommissioned. The only remaining Wasp class, the last in the class, was in sad shape and in no condition to deploy. As a result, the Tripoli had to be somewhat rushed into service and was forced to go on its first long term cruise virtually right after it was completed. The second of the class, the Tarawa, was completed within a year in order to get to vessels in service.


Afterward, the next vessels of the class came slowly, with only one ship completed every five or so years. While this taxed the two operational Tripoli class, there were the four vessels of Belleau Wood class to take up at least some of the slack and congress was hesitant to give the funding for the building of more of these amphibious assault ships. Eventually however eight Tripoli class amphibious assault ship’s were completed and they were generally considered adequate for the tasks required of them.


Of course, this was until the Guada Marta incident. At this point in time, it was decided that four additional vessels of the Tripoli class would be laid down in quick succession and completed as rapidly as possible. In addition, there were plans for four large submersible amphibious assault ships. If completed, this would have brought the United States Navy to a total of four of the older Belleau Wood class, twelve of the Tripoli class, and four of the new submersible amphibious assault ships.


As it was however, only two new vessels of the Tripoli class had been completed before the coming of the Rifts. Some of the Tripoli class are believed to have been in the later stages of construction although there had been some delays in the construction of the four large submersible amphibious assault ships. It is unknown if any Tripoli class vessels survived the coming of the Rifts but having been build from modern composites and alloys means that they could very well have remained intact.


At the time that the Tripoli class was being designed, all US Navy warships were either being built with fusion power or being converted to fusion power. The efficiency of fusion compared to conventional nuclear power was incredible and was incredibly economical. . Fusion power had even been fitted on some merchant ship designs. As a result, it was an easy decision that the amphibious vessels would have fusion power as their main power source. During development it was decided that the amphibious assault ship would have the incredible top of thirty knots, almost the equal of older fleet carriers.


In order to improve maneuverability, the Tripoli class uses variable pitch propellers and is also fitted with a bow thruster. There is special software built into the navigation system to enable the vessel to hold a steady position for the operation of landing craft.


As mentioned previously, there was an attempt made to reduced the radar cross signature of the Tripoli class. However, the radar cross signature is still larger than many contemporary warship designs. This is in spite of the fact that the ship used both radar absorbing materials and designed with angles in its design wherever possible to minimize radar reflection.


Early in the development stage, the Mk 55 vertical launch system was considered but later a forty-eight cell Mk 59 was decided upon. Of course, the launcher is usually loaded mostly with medium range missiles but can also fire long range missiles. Four inner point defense, four “Sea Sabre” point defense batteries, combining a short range missile launcher and a heavy rail gun, are mounted. This is approximately equal to that of destroyer designs of the same time frame but did not include torpedo launchers or any heavy gun mounts. While not always manned, there is also the provision for four heavy defense rail guns mounted around the hull for defense against small boats while performing amphibious operations.


As far as electronics, the amphibious assault ship carries a lightweight active four panel phased array radar which is identical to the system carried on some frigate designs. The previous Belleau Wood class mounted SPS-48 and SPS-49 radar systems from decommissioned vessels although later replaced by the rotating SPX-1A active phased array radar system. Because the Tripoli class might be required to act in anti-submarine warfare roles, the vessel carries a hull sonar but does not carry a towed array sonar.


When the first of class was commission, the FV-38 Panther II was embarked as the main strike aircraft. There was also the Super Comanche and Super Osprey, both fusion powered, embarked aboard the amphibious vessel. The ship was a fair amount larger than the Wasp class in order to embark a comparatively large air wing while retaining considerable assets for landing operations.


These were replaced by more modern designs for the most part as time went on. By the time that the Rifts devastated the Earth, the FV-45 Sea Hawk was carried as the main fighter along with Striker attack choppers, and the Kingfisher support VTOL. Plans were in place to replace the Striker attack helicopters with a thrust based hover VTOL similar to the US Army’s Steel Tiger Attack VTOL. Even though conventional take off and landing fighters could not be operated from the Tripoli because the ship lacks any kind of catapult or arresting system, most smaller nations feared one of these vessels taking up position off their coast.


As these vessels were meant as multi-role amphibious assault ships, the Tripoli class did have a huge amount of space for vehicles other than aircraft. Normal power armor complement was two hundred and forty power armors including forty USA-G10 Glitter Boy power armors, when used on ground assault roles. Usually the remainder was made of flying power armors such as the “Semper Fi” with a flight pack and the USA-PA04 SAMAS power armors. In some cases these ships have been known to embark an additional four hundred older USA-GPA-01 ground assault power armors in place of some of the standard marine compliment. When the Tripoli class was operating in the “Sea Control” role, the compliment of flying power armors might be increased to over three hundred.


These amphibious assault ships were designed to carry up to four hovercraft in order to carry troops or ground vehicles to the shoreline. Unlike the previous Wasp class, the hovercraft were carried on a dry deck. This dry deck also enables the Tripoli class to carry other vehicles in place of the hover craft.


The ship carried ten heavy tanks, twenty-five armored personnel carriers, ten missile batteries, and sixty support vehicles as a normal compliment but could be varied as per mission requirements. Older designs were normally carried and were preferred by many marines over the Merovingian and Iwo-Jima vehicle designs. There were also many marines who wanted to go to the Army’s new high speed hover designs instead of the ones that had been developed specifically for the Marine Corp. Two favorites were the Mackintosh tank destroyer and Wolfe class high speed hover scout.


The ship was designed with troop support as one of its primary purposes and has the capacity for eight hundred patients and has eight full operating theaters. Half of the medical department is part of the crew and the other half is part of the marine compliment. Like most ships built at the time, the ship has a large amount of automation to reduce crew requirements.


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: LHDN-10 Tripoli class Multi Role Amphibious Assault Ships.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Assault Vessel.

Crew: 480 (40 officers, 50 chief petty officers, 390 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]).

Troops: 120 (200 in Sea Control) pilots for Semper Fi Power Armors, 120 pilots for SAMAS power Armor (200 in Sea Control), 160 Aircraft Pilots, 300 vehicle crew members, and 1,800 soldiers.


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles (Standard):

 

Assault

Control

 

Power Armor Compliment:

 

40

0

USA-G10 “Glitter Boy” Power Armors.

 

400

0

USA-GPA-01 Ground Assault Power Armors (Occasionally embarked.)

 

100

160

USA-PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors.

 

100

160

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

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:

 

8

0

AH-75 Striker Attack Helicopters.

 

8 

2

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

 

4

4

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

 

4

6

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

 

12

32

FV-45 Sea Hawk VSTOL Jet Fighters.

 

4

0

RAH-66E Super Comanche Reconnaissance & Attack Helicopters.

 

10

4

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

Landing Craft Compliment:

 

4

0

LCAC-854 “Crab” Air Cushion Landing Craft.

Tanks & Other Vehicles:

 

10

0

USA-M-7 Jackson Main Battle Tanks.

 

25

0

USA-M-8 Maverick Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

 

10

0

USA-M-9 Morgan Missile Vehicles / USA-M-10 Galahad Self Prop. Howitzers.

 

60

0

Support Vehicles (Various).


M.D.C. by Location:

 

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

200 each.

 

Mk 59-B Forty-Eight Cell Vertical Launcher System (1, forward superstructure):

375 each.

 

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

70 each.

 

[1] Phase Array Radar Panels (4, Superstructure):

200 each.

 

[2] Chaff Launchers (4, Superstructure):

10 each.

 

[3] Elevators (3, sides):

400 each.

 

Hanger Doors (3, sides):

400 each.

 

[4] Main Flight Deck:

3,000.

 

Rear Vehicle / Dry Deck Doors:

600.

 

[5] Main Bridge / Superstructure:

2,000.

 

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

100.

 

[6] Main Body:

10,000.


Notes:

[1] Destroying phased array radar panels will destroy the ship’s fire control systems but secondary systems have backup systems and panels can 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 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 and helicopters can be launched or landed although at -15% to piloting.

[5] If bridge / superstructure 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 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 including marines.


Speed:

Surface: 34.5 mph (30 knots/ 55.6 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:    27.5 feet (8.4 meters) hull and 32.2 feet (9.8 meters) with sonar dome.

Length:  788.4 feet (240.3 meters) at waterline and 850.5 feet (259.2 meters) overall.

Width:   108.1 feet (32.9 meters) at waterline and 148.6 feet (45.3 meters) extreme beam.

Displacement: 36,200 tons standard and 45,600 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 5,000 tons (4,536 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Increase to 12,000 tons (10,886 metric tons) without vehicles embarked. 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: 4 Fusion Reactors, average life span is 20 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but costs around 800 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 2 to 4 billion credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Four (4) USA-M38 Heavy Defense 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 weapons are sponsoned out on the sides of the hull below the flight deck. Two are forward and the other two mounts are mounted toward the rear on either side of the rear elevator. 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. One (1) Mk 59-B Vertical Launch Missile Systems: The missile launcher is mounted forward of the main superstructure and is raised slightly from the flight deck. Launching cells are located forward of the main superstructure. The launcher is smaller and carries half as many missiles as the launcher on the Francis Darcey and Raymond Fox class naval 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.

    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 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 thirty-two (32) cells with two medium range missiles each and the other cells loaded with one long range missile each.

  4. 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 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 ninety-six (96) 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 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 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 drawn and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2003, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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