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Ticonderoga class Guided Missile Cruiser:

While Arleigh Burke class destroyers was the surface warship that people most thought about when they thought about the United States navy, the Ticonderoga class cruisers were the symbol of the United States navy during the 1980s and 1990s. Interestingly, the older Ticonderoga class actually had greater firepower with a greater number of missile cells as well as having a pair of five fin guns instead of a single gun mount. The cruiser also had an additional long range radar system. However, the Arleigh Burke class destroyers were better armored and had a measure of radar cross signature reduction.

Even though fewer Ticonderoga class cruisers were constructed than Arleigh Burke class destroyers, it still was a relatively large class with a total of twenty-six cruisers having been built. The Ticonderoga class cruiser shared the same basic hull as the previous Spruance class destroyers. However, the cruisers had additional levels in their superstructure and a number of additional weapon and sensor systems.

The oldest Ticonderoga class cruisers, armed with missile rails instead of vertical launch systems, were decommissioned starting in the early 2000s. While those with vertical launch systems were retained in service far longer, even they began decommissioning long before the first of the Arleigh Burke class destroyers. In fact, the last Ticonderoga class cruiser decommissioned in 2034.

In common with the Arleigh Burke class destroyers, a number of these cruisers were placed in inactive reserve status to be possibly activated once again. One was also converted into a museum ship. With respect to the cruisers in the inactive reserve fleet, in an effort so they might be reactivated quickly, all of the sensors were carefully sealed and protected. Weapon systems and the propulsion were treated similarly.

Even so, there were little plans to ever reactivate these cruisers. Instead, in the military tension just before the coming of the Great Cataclysm, there was discussion with respect to using parts from the surviving Ticonderoga class cruisers to bring the inactive Arleigh Burke class destroyers back into service. The United States navy was concentrating on new warships and no work had been done prior to the cataclysm.

Somehow, four Ticonderoga class cruisers remained in relatively good condition. When they were found, Golden Age Weaponsmiths decided that they would refit them by partially cannibalizing some of the more damaged ships. Eventually, they were able to get all four into operating condition although it was far from easy. While not as interested in these cruisers as they were in Arleigh Burke class destroyers, the Coalition still purchased two of them. Golden Age Weaponsmiths sold the other to other interests (for game terms, most likely Free Quebec or Columbia.)

Even though not all that enthusiastic at the time the cruiser were acquired, the Coalition Navy has found the two vessels quite effective and now somewhat regrets not acquiring the other two. They have been found to perform quite well in the command and control role for escort groups. Even though the Coalition navy now has a number of newer warships, largely from captured incomplete hulls of ships being constricted at the Iron Heart shipyards, these cruisers remain an important component of the Coalition navy.

At least currently, the Coalition appears to have no plans to retire these cruisers. If it occurs, it is not going to be for quite a few years. Over the years there have been some suggestions that the Coalition might copy the design although most it extremely unlikely. However, if Golden Age Weaponsmiths were able to recover additional cruisers, it is quite likely that the Coalition would be extremely interested in them. As for the two Ticonderoga class cruisers serving in the Coalition States navy, they are the MC-1 Terror (ex CG-69 Vicksburg) and MC-2 Terrible (ex CG-72 Vella Gulf.)

With the large missile payload of these cruisers, these vessels are still quit useful when compared to many warships constructed by navies after the cataclysm. This is not to say that these cruisers are not without problems. Chief among these is that the hull of the Ticonderoga class is constructed of conventional steel while the superstructure is constructed from aluminum. As a result, these warships can withstand only a fraction of warships built both later than the Ticonderoga class and especially warships built after the Great Cataclysm. The solution was to fit the cruisers with high strength ceramic, composite, and plastic armors. While still relatively weak compared to many more modern vessels, they are much tougher than they had been before.

Another issue is the propulsion system. In common with many other warships of their generation, Ticonderoga class cruisers used four gas turbines. Of course most military forces, including the Coalition Navy, prefer nuclear propulsion because of the much longer range of ships using this system. Because gas turbines were basically just aircraft engines, the easiest approach was to simply mount modified nuclear fusion turbine aircraft engines in their place. This solution appears to have been come up with multiple times by various navies.

Compared to the original gas turbines, the fusion turbines are able to produce over twice as much power. In order to be able to take advantage of the greater power, the original shafts had to be replaced with new ones made from high strength composites and alloys. In addition, the original gearing had to be upgraded in order to be able to withstand the additional power. With the refit, these cruisers are able to reach around thirty-six knots, around four knots greater than they were original capable of.

While the United States navy developed far more powerful radar systems prior to the Great Cataclysm, the original SPY-1 radar systems of the Ticonderoga class cruiser is still considered capable of dealing with most air threats after the cataclysm. Some minor improvement were made to the radar systems are required and computer systems were upgraded as required. The sonar systems were treated similarly.

As all of the Ticonderoga class cruisers that have been recovered are later models, they have Mk 41 vertical launch systems instead of the missile rails of the older cruisers of the class. Originally three missile cells in each launcher had loading systems but there were later removed to give the capacity to carry a greater number of missiles. Between the two launchers, the cruisers have total of one hundred and twenty-eight missile cells, over thirty percent greater cells than the Arleigh Burke class destroyer.

Until the coming of the Great Cataclysm, a number of navies including the United States, retained the Mk 41 vertical launcher with only some very tiny modifications to enable to fire more modern missiles. Golden Age Weaponsmiths modified the launchers aboard the Ticonderoga class cruisers in a similar manner, enabling each cell to be able to fire either one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles. Interestingly, the old cruiser can carry a greater number of long range missiles than the new James Bay class destroyer can carry medium range missiles.

In addition to the missiles able to be carried in the vertical launch systems, the cruiser has eight Mk 141 missile canisters on the fantail. Originally designed to fire the Harpoon anti-ship missile, they are modified to five a variety of different long range missiles. Normally anti-ship surface skimming missiles are carried but any kind of long range missile may be carried. Unfortunately, they are not quite large enough to carry full sized cruise missiles.

With regard to the five in gun mounts and the triple torpedo tubes, they are basically unmodified except for the additional of applique armor. However, with newer ordnance types, both the guns and torpedoes are highly effective. Unlike the Arleigh Burke class destroyers, the five in guns are unable to fire special extended range guided munitions.

As these ships were originally commissioned, self defense weaponry was a pair of Mk 15 20 mm Vulcan close in weapon systems were mounted to deal with threats that manage to leak through the cruiser’s other defenses. With cruisers sold to the Coalition, this is modified to carry a rail gun in place of the original 20 mm cannon. Otherwise, the Vulcan cannon is fitted with ramjet ammunition to improve the weapon’s effectiveness.

Carried over from the Spruance class destroyers, these cruisers are fitted with both a large hanger and landing pad. As fitted, a pair of helicopters could be carried although in later service other VTOL craft might be embarked and several drones might replace one of the helicopters. With the cruisers operated by the Coalition States navy, the Sea Storm or Sea Wasp helicopters are most commonly carried. While their normal mission is anti-submarine warfare, they are equipped to deal with surface threats can also be useful for anti-submarine warfare.

Author Note: This class in not the same as the Ticonderoga class submersible carrier in the source book “Rifts: Underseas” and represents a real class of cruisers in the US Navy as of the time of the original writing of this article (1998 to 2001) and should not be confused with the carrier.

Model Type: Modified CG-47 Class

Class: Guided Missile Cruisers

Crew: 385 total; 29 officers, 30 chief petty officers, and 326 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 64 cell Vertical Launch Systems (2, forward & aft):

320 each.


Mk 141 Missile Canisters (8 total, fantail):

100 each.


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

35 each.


Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) Barrel (2, mount):



Mk 45 Five Inch (127 mm) Gun Mounts (2, forward & aft):



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

10 each.





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

300 each.


[2] SPS-49 Air Search Radar Mast (superstructure):



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-1B 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. The SPS-49 radar system is for long range tracking but can be used for crude targeting as well.

[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:    26.5 feet (8.08 meters) mean and 31 feet (9.45 meters) under sonar dome.

Length:  532.8 feet (162.4 meters) waterline and 567 feet (172.8 meters) overall.

Width:   55 feet (16.8 meters)

Displacement: 8,910 tons standard and 9,466 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 cruiser for 280 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. Two (2) Mk 45 Mod 2 Single Barrel Five Inch (127 mm) / 54 Naval Guns: The ship mounts one five inch gun on the bow and one on fantail 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 five inch guns can also use rocket assisted projectiles for extended range.

    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.

    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. 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: Five (5) shots per cannon per melee.

    Payload: 600 rounds each. Ship normally carries usually carries 150 High Explosive, 150 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 150 Plasma, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 50 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 50 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds. The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.

  2. Two (2) Close In Weapon Systems: 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) Mk 41 Strike Length 64 cell Vertical Launch Systems: Both launchers have sixty-four cells for the provision of missiles due to the forward part of the ship having more room than on the Burke class. 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 design 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: Sixty-four (64) cells for missiles in forward VLS launcher and sixty-four (64) cells for missiles in aft VLS launcher (possible total of 256 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. Ships serving in the Coalition Navy usually carry four surface skimming missiles and two ASW missiles.

  4. Eight (8) Mk 141 Long Range Missile Canister Launchers: These launchers are special canisters that are located on the fantail of the ship. 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. ]

Picture by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) & Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune). Click on line drawing for a better view.

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

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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