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Golden Age Weaponsmiths Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyer:

The Arleigh Burke class destroyers were among the largest number of destroyers in a single class produced by the United States navy, replacing a number of older destroyer and cruiser classes. Many served until the revolution in high strength materials, in general not considered worth refitting. Still, these ships served for about 40 to 50 years and were not decommissioned until the years between 2035 and 2045.

While some were scrapped, a fair number were placed in inactive reserve as a possible supplement to newer destroyers retained in the active navy. At the time, the United States navy was being reduced greatly in size even though there were concerns with the new Communist leadership in the reformed Soviet Union. A couple of the older Arleigh Burke class destroyers were converted to museum ships as well.

Even though many considered the destroyer’s effectiveness to be modest at the time, great care was taken in the destroyer’s decommissioning. This included the protecting of all sensor and weapon systems so they would be able to re-enter service quickly and as a result many of the systems were retained. As the new Cold War intensified, there was talk about preparing these destroyers to enter service. In the end, they stayed in mothballs although it might have been better to have scrapped them.

When the Great Cataclysm occurred, many of the survivors were destroyed by the large number of Arleigh Burke class destroyers meant that some somehow survived. Golden Age Weaponsmiths were able to find a number of these destroyers. While many they found were badly damaged, eight were in relatively good condition and they were able to be repaired by partially cannibalizing some of the more damaged ships using the remnants of the old Pascagoula shipyard. It is believed that there are no additional Arleigh Burke class destroyers worth refitting.

As they don’t operate much of a navy, Golden Age Weaponsmiths refitted the destroyers in order to sell them. The fledgling Coalition States Navy took six of the ships with two additional destroyers being sold to other interests (for game terms, most likely Free Quebec or Columbia.) Even though older warships, these destroyers have given their new navies decent service.

As far as the six destroyers purchased by the Coalition States, they form an important component of their naval forces and are used most often in the role of escort for convoys or one of their carriers. Their Aegis fire control system makes them ideal for air defense for other ships. The six ships serving in the Coalition States Navy include the MD-1 Revenge (ex DDG 82), MD-2 Conqueror (ex DDG 86), MD-3 Glorieux (ex DDG 80), MD-4 Victoire (ex DDG 93), MD-5 Sabre (ex DDG 104), MD-6 Samuel de Champlain (ex DDG 89).

Previously there had been a rumor that the Arleigh Burke class destroyers in service with the Coalition States would be soon retired. However, the older destroyers are actually still better long range platform than the new James Bay class destroyers. As a result, it is believed that the six Arleigh Burke class destroyers will be retained for the foreseeable future.

With a large amount of advanced technology lost after the Great Cataclysm, these destroyers are still considered relatively capable when compared to the ships constructed by post Rifts navies. Of course, United States Naval vessels produced just before the Great Cataclysm were far more advanced and some navies, such as that of the New German Republic, are far more advanced as well.

Still with the normal threat that these destroyers are expected to face, the biggest issue is that the ship was constructed out of steel which cannot take the abuse from most weapons in the post Rifts environment. This could be relatively easily solved by fitting the ship with high strength ceramic and plastic armors. Of course, these destroyers will still not be anything like as tough as new built vessels using advanced composites and alloys.

Considered novel at the time, Golden Age Weaponsmiths came up with a solution to the original gas turbines. Most governments that might be interested in purchasing these destroyers, including the Coalition States, would want any ships they purchased to be nuclear powered. Problem was that most solutions included ripping out the entire propulsion systems in an extensive rebuild. However, it was found relatively easy to pull the original gas turbines and replace them with fusion turbines. Long before this, the United States and a bunch of other nations used this same solution for their warships. However, the old Arleigh Burke class destroyers were simply not considered worth the refit.

These fusion turbines produced far greater power than the original engines and were found to overstress the shafts of the destroyer. As a result, the original shafts had to be replaced by ones constructed of modern high strength composites and alloys. In addition, the original gearing had to be modified to be able to withstand the additional power. Still, with the engines, the rebuilt destroyers were able to reach a full thirty-six knots, around five knots greater than the destroyers were original capable of.

In terms of sensor systems, in general both the sonar and radar systems were considered adequate compared to designs developed after the Great Cataclysm. While armor materials and weapon systems have continued getting tougher and more dangerous, sensor systems have had something of a hiatus in development. As a result, the original systems were retained. In some cases the computer systems were upgraded with newer components and some minor improvements were made as well.

With respect to weaponry, the main armament of the Arleigh Burke class destroyers was a pair of Mk 41 vertical launch systems. Between the two launcher systems, the destroyer has ninety-six missile cells. Extremely popular, the Mk 41 launchers were still in widespread use until the Great Cataclysm. Originally the Tomahawk and Standard missiles would have been the main missiles fired from the missile cells. However, they are much larger than the common missile types used by powers interested in the vessel. With some minor modifications, the missile cells were able to carry a single cruise missile, a pair of long range missiles, or quad pack medium range missiles.

There are a number of other weapon systems fitted to the destroyer. Four missile canisters are fitted to each side of the superstructure. Originally designed to fire Harpoon anti-ship missiles, they are not quite large enough to fire full fledged modern cruise missiles. Instead they have been adapted to launch standard long range missiles. While these canisters normally carry special surface skimming missiles but can carry any type of long range missile.

With respect to the five in gun and anti-submarine torpedo tubes, they are effective unmodified with the exception of additional armor. However, improved ordnance are available for both, making them far more effective than they were originally. For self defense again missiles, the destroyers sold to the Coalition States have a different weapon fit. Instead of having a 20 mm Vulcan cannon, the destroyers have rail guns. Compared to the original weapon, the rail guns have a far greater payload. For those sold to other parties, special ramjet ammunition replaces the original 20 mm ammunition.

Due to the fact that these destroyers have all been later model Flight IIA Arleigh Burke destroyers, they have a hanger in addition to a landing pad. Older Arleigh Burke destroyers only had a landing pan. Originally designed to embark a pair of helicopters, in later United States service one of the helicopters might be replaced by several drones. In Coalition service, commonly the CH-10N Sea Storm or CH-12N Sea Wasp are embarked. For other navies, the embarked craft can vary far more widely. Even though the main purpose of most embarked helicopters are for anti-submarine operations and are specially equipped for that role, most also carry weapon to engage surface ships or to support amphibious assaults.

Author Note: The author suggests that this writeup is used in place of the writeup done by Palladium Books in the Coalition Navy Source Book. This writeup is more complete and is based on greater research and a better general knowledge of the United States Navy by the author.

Model Type: Modified DDG-51 Flight IIA.

Class: Guided Missile Destroyer.

Crew: 342 total; 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers, and 294 enlisted.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



PA-06A SAMAS Power Armors (Other power armors normally embarked in non CS service.)

Aircraft Compliment:



Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (Usually Sea Storm or Sea Wasp in CS service.)

M.D.C. by Location:


Point Defense Mounts:




Mk 15 20 mm Phalanx Gun CIWS (2, superstructure - non-Coalition vessels):

100 each.



CIWS C90R Rail Gun Mounts (2, superstructure - Coalition vessels):

120 each.


Mk 41 Strike Length 32 cell Vertical Launch System (forward):



Mk 41 Strike Length 64 cell Vertical Launch System (aft):



Mk 141 Missile Canisters (8 total, 4 on each side):

100 each.


Mk 32 Triple 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):

35 each.


Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) Barrel (1, mount):



Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) Gun Mounts (forward):



[1] Mk 36 Chaff / Decoy Launchers (2, superstructure - non-Coalition vessels only):

10 each.





[2] SPY-1D+ Phase Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):

300 each.


Hanger (aft):



VTOL / Helicopter Pad (aft):



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



[3] Main Body:



[1] 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.

[2] Destroying the SPY-1D phased array radar panels will destroy the ship’s fire control systems but guns have backup systems and panels can partially compensate for each other.

[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the ship’s structural integrity, causing it to sink. There are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.


Surface: 41.5 mph (36 knots/ 66.7 kph).

Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 15 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries 6 months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft:    24.7 feet (7.5 meters) mean and 32.7 feet (9.97 meters) including sonar dome.

Length:  470.5 feet waterline (143.4 meters) waterline and 509.5 feet (155.3 meters) overall.

Width:   66.9 feet (20.4 meters).

Displacement: 6,870 tons standard and 9,440 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: 200 tons (181.4 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 fusion turbines reactors with an average life span of 15 years.

Black Market Price: Golden Age Weaponsmiths has sold their converted destroyers for 275 million credits to outside interests but it is believed that they charged the Coalition between 200 and 250 million credits each ship. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Mk 45 Mod 4 Single Barrel Five Inch (127 mm) / 62 Naval Gun: The ship mounts a five inch gun on the bow of the ship. The gun is very reliable although it fires at a relatively slow rate (20 rounds per minute). The gun was carried on many ship classes until well into the Twenty First century. The guns can be used against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft. The weapon can use special artillery rounds, rocket assisted rounds, and can even fire Extended Range Guided Munitions.

    Maximum Effective Range: 12 miles (10.4 nautical miles/19.3 km) for standard projectiles, 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles/32.2 km) for rocket propelled rounds, and treat Extended Range Guided Munitions as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 feet (7.7 meters) for High Explosive, 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 feet (2 meters) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 feet (7.7 meters) for Plasma. Rocket projectiles: 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 20 feet (6.1 meters) for High Explosive, 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 4 feet (1.2 meters) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 20 feet (6.1 meters) for Plasma. Extended Range Guided Munitions: Treat as medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Use the statistics for 105 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate) when using artillery rounds.

    Rate of Fire: Normal Projectiles: Five (5) shots per cannon per melee round. Extended Range Guided Munitions can be fired at the rate of one (1) shot per melee round.

    Payload: 600 rounds - Each Extended Range Guided Munitions round takes up space for two (2) normal rounds. Ship normally carries usually carries 125 High Explosive, 125 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 100 Plasma, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 50 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds, and 50 Extended Range Guided Munitions. The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.

  2. Two (2) Close In Weapon Systems: Originally removed from the ships when in mothball status but returned when ships were upgraded by Golden Age Weaponsmiths. These are a last-ditch weapon system intended to destroy missiles and aircraft that manage to get past the ships other defenses. Depending on if the ship is serving in the Coalition Navy or an independent navy, the ships can be fitted with two different types of CIWS. Independent ships simply have two MK15 Phalanx Block II that uses 20 mm ramjet rounds and Coalition ships are fitted with two CIWS C90R Gatling Rail Guns.

    1. Two (2) Mk 15 Phalanx Block II 20 mm Autocannons: These weapon are simply the standard pre-Rifts phalanx system that is using Ramjet rounds instead of standard. The weapon systems are still quite effective at destroying incoming missiles and are fully automated. The weapons can be used on surface targets as well as against missiles and aircraft. Each autocannon can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).

      Maximum Effective Range: 5,000 feet (1,524 meters).

      Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 for a burst of 60 round (2D4 for each round but gun always fires in bursts).

      Rate of Fire: Six (6) bursts per melee for each mount (Has +3 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).

      Payload: 600 rounds (10 bursts) each. Ship carries an additional 12,000 rounds of ammunition in magazines. Autocannon requires 2 minutes (8 melees) to reload by properly trained personnel (Double for untrained crews.)

    2. Two (2) Coalition CIWS C90R Gatling Rail Guns: This is a close copy of the original pre-rifts weapon system but the tracking system has been improved and refined to have better hit probability against missiles. The most obvious modification is that the auto cannon has been replaced by a six-barrel rapid fire rail gun that fires 20 mm special discarding sabot rounds. Like the original Mk 15 Phalanx, the system is unmanned and fully automated. It is designed to have a much greater payload than the original pre-rifts auto cannon CIWS system. The weapons can be used on surface targets as well as against missiles and aircraft. Each rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +4 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).

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

      Mega-Damage: 3D4x10 for a burst of 60 rounds.

      Rate of Fire: Six (6) bursts per melee for each mount (Has +4 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft).

      Payload: 6,000 rounds (100 bursts) each.

  3. Two (2) Strike Length Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems: The forward launcher has thirty-two cells for missiles due to the forward gun removing space that could have been used by the missile launchers and the aft launcher has sixty-four cells for missiles. These are the longer strike version of the missile launcher and can carry the longer cruise missile. From the beginning, the launchers have been found to be very flexible and adaptable. The launcher was originally designed for the Tomahawk and Standard SM-2 Missile. In later service, the launchers have been adapted to hold one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles per cell. Cruise missiles are usually used against hardened fixed targets, long range missiles are normally used against aircraft and other large targets, and medium range missiles are normally used against closer targets such as incoming missiles. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise, long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega Damage: As per cruise, long range, 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), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) missiles for both launchers per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: 32 cells missiles in forward VLS launcher and 64 cells for missiles in aft VLS launcher (possible total of 192 long range missiles). One cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles may be carried per cell. Ship carries no reloads.

  4. Eight (8) Mk 141 Long Range Missile Canister Launchers: These launchers are special canisters with four on each side of the ship’s superstructure. They mount on the deck of the vessel and are effectively bolted on. While the launchers are reusable, they are still inexpensive and are easily jettisoned if damaged. Originally designed for the RGM-84 Harpoon missile but adapted for a larger variety of ordnance. While any long range missile type can be carried, usually special surface skimming missiles will be carried in launchers and are used against surface targets only.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (Surface skimming missiles have 25% less range than normal long range missile, see 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 long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) long range missiles with all launchers operating together.

    Payload: One (1) long range missile each launcher for a grand total of eight (8) long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads.)

  5. Two (2) Mk 32 Triple 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers: There is one launcher on each side of the ship. Each torpedo launcher has three torpedo tubes and tubes are 12.75 in (324 mm) wide. Torpedoes are normally used against submarines but can be targeted on surface targets as well. Interceptor torpedoes are also available for launchers / tubes to use against incoming torpedoes. Ship carries 60 reloads for torpedoes. For the most part torpedo warheads are equal to medium range missile warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles / 32 km) for standard torpedoes.

    Mega Damage: By medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or three (3) torpedoes per side. Reloading tubes requires two (2) full melee rounds.

    Payload: Three (3) medium torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of six (6) medium torpedoes. Has a total of sixty (60) medium torpedoes for reloads.

  6. Two (2) Mk 36 Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers (Non CS Only): 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 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 forty-eight (48) canisters.

  7. Four (4) SLQ-25F Nixie Towed Torpedo Decoys (Non CS Only): A special decoy which is towed behind the ship. The Coalition has not seen a need for this system so has not equipped their ships with it. It generates a sound like the ships propellers in order to confuse incoming torpedoes. Only effective at speeds 28.8 mph (25 knots / 46.3 kph) and below. Otherwise, the noise of the ship’s systems and propellers is too powerful to mask. 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.: 5 each.

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

    Effects: The decoy has a 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition) and non “smart” torpedoes, and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and “smart” torpedoes.

    Payload: One ready to use, with three more ready to deploy. It takes approximately three minutes (twelve melee rounds) to reel out another decoy.

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. ]

Revised Burke Destroyer image drawn and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

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

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1998 to 2003, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.