Golden Age Weaponsmiths San Antonio class
Amphibious Transport Dock:

Amphibious operations were an important aspect of the United States navy. During the first few decades of the Twenty-First Century, the San Antonio class amphibious transport dock was an important component of these forces. They served alongside Wasp class amphibious assault ship. There were some initial development issues with the class but these were eventually solved and the vessels served well for many decades.

Even though excellent designs in their day, the San Antonio class eventually became outdated. In addition, they were not constructed from the new advanced materials. As such, they were effected by corrosion and were far less able to withstand abuse than more modern vessels. The Cape Lobos class amphibious transport dock was developed as a replacement.

Instead of scrapping the old San Antonio class amphibious transport docks, it was decided to put them in the inactive reserve fleet where they sat for many decades alongside several Wasp class amphibious assault ships. Periodically, plans would be dusted off to upgrade and return to service these vessels but none ever came to fruition. It was often pointed out that their hulls were old and they lacked many of the features of modern vessels.

When Golden Age Weaponsmiths went looking for old warships, they found a number of San Antonio class vessels alongside Wasp class ships. Many of these amphibious transport docks were too badly damaged to repair but four were reasonably intact. By cannibalizing the more badly damaged San Antonio class vessels, those four might be brought back into service. Other than some small vessels, mostly coastal, Golden Age Weaponsmiths does not operate much of a navy itself but it was still worth refitting the vessels for sale.

Compared to missile warships such as Arleigh Burke class destroyers or Ticonderoga class cruisers, these ships were a harder sell. Still, Golden Age Weaponsmiths was able to sell all four of the refitted amphibious transport docks. Two were sold to the Coalition, one was sold to Free Quebec, and a final one was sold to Columbia. Currently, the Coalition operates both of their San Antonio class vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and has renamed their vessels the ALS-1 Port Iron (LPD-27) and ALS-2 Fortress Point (LPD-24.)

Rumors have been circulating that the Coalition navy may be designing their own amphibious class based on these vessels. Most see this is as unlikely because most of the roles these vessels usually perform for the Coalition could be performed by a converted cargo ship design as well. Various options appear to be being considered by Free Quebec including purchasing amphibious vessels from the New German Republic. With Columbia, the ship seems to act as a command ship in addition to supporting amphibious roles and there does not appear to be any plans to replace or augment the vessel in the amphibious role.

During these amphibious vessels service, the San Antonio class amphibious transport docks had been refitted multiple times. As designed, these vessels would have carried a sixteen cell Mk 41 vertical launch system, However when built, the vertical launch systems were deleted from the design although space and displacement margins were retained for later refitting. Eventually the class had the originally planned Mk 41 launchers mounted. Both missiles for land strike roles and self defense may be carried.

For self defense, mainly against missiles, these amphibious vessels were designed to carry a pair of Mk 49 Rolling Air Frame (RAM) missile launchers. In general, they were considered more effective than the Mk 15 Phalanx 20 mm Vulcan CIWS systems against missile threats and replaced the Mk 15 mounts in service.

In addition to missile launchers, the San Antonio class carried a pair of heavy 30 mm Bushmaster II machine-guns for defense against small craft and troops in enclosed mounts. Originally these weapon mounts were designed for the AAAV and are similar to those carried on the Marine Corps LAV-25 combat vehicle.

With the amphibious transport docks operated by Columbia and Free Quebec, the weapon systems are retained as designed. However, new ammunition types including ramjet rounds for the 25 mm auto cannons and modern missiles are fitted for the Mk 41 vertical launch systems and Mk 49 short range missiles systems. While the Coalition vessels retain the missile launchers, they replace the Bushmaster auto cannons with modified C-90R Gatling rail guns.

During the refitting of these vessels, damaged hull plates were replaced and the frame was reinforced where required. In addition, these amphibious vessels were refitted by Golden Age Weaponsmiths with ceramic armor in order to allow them to survive modern combat. Even so, they are general not considered as tough as modern vessels built from the keel up out of high strength composites and alloys.

In general, the original U.S. Navy electronics were retained although were reconditioned as required. This included the SPS-48 air search radar system. Unlike previous amphibious vessels, the main radar system was in an enclosed mast which prevented most of the components from being destroyed by the long time in a marine environment without maintenance.

As fitted, these amphibious vessels were powered by four diesel engines. Initially, Golden Age Weaponsmiths considered retaining the diesel engines in part due to the effort required to replace the original engines. However in the end it was decided to replace those diesel engines, a process that involved tearing out a huge section of the vessel. In vessels with gas turbines, such as cruisers, destroyers, and frigates, the original gas turbines could simple be removed and fusion turbines could take their place.

Fusion reactors from land trains were used in place of the original engines. As is common, these new engines produced far greater power than the original engines, increasing these vessels top speed to twenty-five knots. An issue was that the original shafts had to be replaced and the original turbines had to be upgraded in order to handle the extra power.

Unlike the Wasp class amphibious assault ship, the San Antonio class amphibious transport docks was not designed to have a large aviation components. However, it did have both a rear flight deck and a hanger. The vessels had hanger space for two small / medium helicopters or space for one large helicopter. As far as the flight deck, four large helicopters or other VTOL aircraft could be positioned on the deck with the ability to take off and land two simultaneously.

One should keep in mind that these vessel’s main purpose was to carry out and support amphibious landing operations. To that end, the San Antonio class was designed with the ability to carry over seven hundred troops with three vehicle decks to carry all sorts of vehicles from support vehicles and light armored vehicles, to main battle tanks. There was also additional cargo space so that additional supplies to sustain amphibious operations. Two air cushion landing craft could be carried to transport troops and heavy equipment to shore. Of course helicopters and VTOL aircraft can perform the same role but they are far more limited in how much cargo they can transport. Some of the lighter armored vehicles may also be amphibious. In support of the troops, the San Antonio class also carried a medical area with two operating rooms.

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: Modified LPD-17 Class.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Amphibious Transport Vessel.

Crew: 493 total; 34 officers, 30 chief petty officers, and 429 enlisted.

Troops: 704 normal with an overflow of up 97 additional transient personnel.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles (Standard):

Power Armor Compliment:



Power Armors.

Aircraft Compliment:



Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (can carry 4 more on flight deck).

Landing Craft Compliment:



Air Cushion Landing Craft.

Tanks & Other Vehicles:



Main Battle Tanks.



Armored Personnel Carriers.



Mobile Artillery / Missile Vehicles.



Support Vehicles.

M.D.C. by Location:


Light Defense Mounts:




Mk 46 Bushmaster II 30 mm Chain Guns (2, superstructure - Non-Coalition vessels):

100 each.



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

120 each.


Mk 41 Strike Length 16 cell Vertical Launch System (1, forward):



GDC Mk 49 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Launcher (2, superstructure):

120 each.


[1] Enclosed SPS-48G Three Dimensional Air Search Radar Mast (superstructure):



[2] Mk 36 Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure - Non-Coalition vessels only):

10 each.


[3] Rear Flight Deck:






Rear Vehicle / Well Deck Doors:



[4] Main Bridge / Superstructure:



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



[5] 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 SPS-48G three dimensional air search radar will destroy the ship’s main fire control systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors.)

[3] If the flight deck is destroyed, no aircraft can be launched or land.

[4] 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.

[5] 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: 28.8 mph (25 knots/ 46.3 kph).

Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 10 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six (6) months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft:    23.0 feet (7.0 meters) fully loaded.

Length:  661 feet (201.5 meters) waterline and 683.7 feet (208.4 meters) overall.

Width:   97 feet (29.6 meters) waterline and 104.6 feet (31.9 meters) extreme beam.

Displacement: 20,030 tons standard and 25,296 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 5,000 tons (4,535 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies [Increase to 12,000 tons (10,890 metric tons) without vehicles.] 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 diesel propulsion, converted to two nuclear fusion reactors with an average life span of 10 years.

Black Market Price: Golden Age Weaponsmiths has sold their converted vessels for 225 million credits too outside interests but it is believed that they charged the Coalition between 150 and 200 million credits each ship. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Gun Mounts: Non Coalition vessels retain the original weapon system while Coalition vessels replace the weapon systems with Gatling rail guns.

    1. Two (2) Mk 46 Bushmaster II 30 mm Chain Gun Mounts (Non-Coalition Vessels): This is a giant machine-gun designed for light armored vehicles which uses many of the same parts as the 25-mm model. It is mounted in a small mount. One is on the front of the superstructure with the other on the aft part of the superstructure. The weapon is dual purpose and can be used against both which is affected against the heaviest armor types.

      Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).

      Mega-Damage: A burst is 20 rounds and inflicts 2D6x10. A single round does 3D6 M.D.

      Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner’s hand to hand attacks; each burst counts as one melee action.

      Payload: 2,000 round magazine (100 bursts) each mount. The vessel has 8,000 rounds in magazines. Reloading is done inside the ship and takes two melee rounds (30 seconds) for two crewmen or passengers and six melees (90 seconds) if only one person is involved or the people aren't trained in the reload procedure.

    2. Two (2) Coalition CIWS C90R Gatling Rail Gun Mounts (Coalition Vessels): 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.

  2. One (1) Mk 41 Strike Length 16 Cell Vertical Launch System: The forward launcher has sixteen 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 theoretically launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details) but have never been carried in service.

    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), or eight (8) missiles per melee round and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: Sixteen (16) cells for missiles in forward VLS launcher (possible total of 32 long range missiles). One (1) cruise missile, two (2) long range missiles, or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per cell. Ship carries no reloads. Common load is eight (8) long range missiles and forty-eight (48) medium range missiles although load may depend based on mission requirements.

  3. Two (2) GDC Mk 49 Rolling Airframe Missile Launchers: These are Pre-Rifts missile launchers originally designed to fire the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) but later modified to fire a wider variety of short range missiles. Has a total capacity for twenty-one short range missiles and designed to act as inner anti-missile point defense and is considered effective in dealing with incoming cruise missiles. Short Range Missiles are usually a mixture of 50% Armor Piercing and 50% Plasma. Launchers can lock onto multiple targets at the same. The systems missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee round.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) short range missiles and can be used up to twice (2) per melee round.

    Payload: Twenty-one (21) short range missiles each.

  4. 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. 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



    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.

  5. Four (4) SLQ-25F Nixie Towed Torpedo Decoy (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 below 25 knots. 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 systems due to technological difference.

    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. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002 & 2018, Kitsune. All rights reserved.