New Navy MEAS-2 “Super Manta-Ray” Submersible Jet Fighter:

When the Great Cataclysm occurred, much of the military hardware aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga might be best to considered either experimental or still in prototype stage. Even though already fielded in large numbers, the Manta-Ray submersible fighter might be best to be still considered something of a prototype. There have been a number of similar situations such as during the development of the Joint Strike Fighter when there were relatively large numbers of aircraft flying but still under development.

With respect to the Manta-Ray, a number of improvements were under development when the Great Cataclysm occurred. Unfortunately none of these improvements found their way to the fleet before the United States was destroyed. As one might expect, the New Navy never really had the research and development industry to improve the Manta-Ray. They continued producing the submersible fighter but it was basically the same model as had been in service prior to the cataclysm.

With the assistance of the R.E.E.F. in Florida, the New Navy was able to develop the SF-80 Sea Phantom Sea-Air fighter. It is incredible advanced, able to go incredibly fast underwater as being far faster in the atmosphere. There were a number of issues however. These include that the Sea Phantom is incredibly expensive to produce and that it cannot operate from Triton class submersible vessels.

Prior to helping to develop the Sea Phantom, the R.E.E.F. had assisted with a program to improve the FV-45 Sea Hawk jet fighter. These improved fighters were extremely well received. Even with the Sea Phantom entering service, it is unlikely that the “Super Hawks,” as the improved version are called, will be retired any time soon.

With the success of the improved Sea Hawk, the New Navy asked if a program to improve the Manta Ray might also be initiated. Thus the “Super Manta-Ray” program was begun. It was decided that the program would not involve any radical improvements. Instead it was decided to develop a number of minor improvements which taken together increases the combat considerably. These are designed to be able to be backfitted to older submersible fighters although it is an extensive rebuilding program.

So far twelve prototypes of the upgraded submersible fighter have been completed. Most of the evaluations have been extremely favorable. Four new construction and eight converted “Super Manta-Ray” fighters are currently in service. The current plan is to switch production over to the upgraded version within six months. In addition the plan is to convert existing Manta-Rays at the rate of twelve craft per month.

Even though incredibly advanced in some areas, one of the areas where the New Navy lags behind many of the major powers on post cataclysm Earth is in the material sciences. Triax, for example, has continued to develop considerably stronger alloys and composites. Over the years the R.E.E.F. has been able to acquire numerous examples of these advanced materials. In order to improve the survivability of the submersible fighters, these materials replace the original materials used for the fighter.

While more modest, an effort was made to improve the thruster system as well. More robust components were used as well as a number of software changed. Even though top speed in only modestly improved, these improvements greatly reduce the amount of maintenance required. There is consideration being given towards eventually replacing the original thrusters with one developed by the R.E.E.F. with greatly improved performance.

Some sources list the Manta-Ray fighter as being capable of carrying six long range missiles but this is incorrect with the submersible fighter limited to four long range missiles. Of course a mixture of lighter ordnance can also be carried with up to eight medium range missiles or sixteen short range missiles able to be carried. As it was originally designed, when it carried a cruise missile, it could carry no additional ordnance. With some minor alterations to the bay, the fighter can carry two long range missiles in addition to the cruise missiles. A mixture of small ordnance can also be carried. It is however still limited to a single cruise missile due to the dimensions of the bay and most pilots prefer to carry a load of long range missiles for most missions. Torpedoes can still be carried in the place of missiles.

The New Navy and the R.E.E.F. looked for means to improve the electronics of the Manta-Ray. At issue however was simply that there was no space for any major improvements. Still a number of minor upgrades, including software, were able to be incorporated into the improved submersible fighter. Even without upgrades, the electronics are considered more sophisticated than most operated since the Great Cataclysm.

Model Type: MEAS Mark II “Super Manta-Ray” Submersible Fighter.

Vehicle Type: Multi Environment Attack Ship / Submersible Fighter.

Crew: One.

M.D.C. by Location:


[1] Ion Pulse Guns (2):

50 each.


Ordnance Bay (1, centerline):






[2] Engines (2):

120 each.


[3] Lift Nozzles (4, sides):

50 each.


[4] Main Body:



Landing Gear (3):

10 each.


[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot.” Even then the attacker is at -4 to strike.

[2] The destruction of one engine will reduce the fighter’s top speed (both in flight and under water) by half and give the pilot a -2 penalty to dodge as well as giving a -15% penalty to piloting. Destroying both engines will cause the aircraft to crash while flying and will be immobile underwater. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.

[3] Destruction of a single lift nozzle will prevent the aircraft from hovering. Destruction of a pair of lift nozzles will prevent the aircraft from making short take off and landings. These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot.” Even then the attacker is at -4 to strike.

[4] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight. Damage to the main body will also reduce the aircraft’s stealth. For every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the aircraft’s stealth by 10% of its total.


Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling on the runway / air field and not on take off or landing. The aircraft can make both short take off and landings as well as true vertical take off and landings.

Flying: Can hover and go up to a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 (1,218.1 mph / 1,058.5 knots/ 1,960.1 kph). Its cruise speed is up to 300 mph (260.7 knots / 482.8 kph) and has a maximum altitude is about 60,000 feet (18,288 meters). The sea-air fighter must slow down to 250 mph (217.2 kph) before entering water. Due to the fact that all ordnance is carried in internal bays, the aircraft’s performance reduction when fully loaded is negligible.

Surface Travel: Can float on the surface or can travel as a hydrofoil on the surface of the water with a top speed of 300 mph (260.7 knots / 482.8 kph). Can take off from this mode of flight.

Underwater: Has a maximum speed underwater of 57.8 mph (50 knots/ 92.7 kph).

Maximum Depth: 9,515 feet (2,900 meters).

Range: Engines do not overheat while underwater but the jet engines begin to overheat after 24 hours of continual flight. Occasional rest stops every 4 to 6 hours, giving the engines an hour to cool down, will allow

the aircraft to travel indefinitely (Pilot endurance will generally prevent operations of longer than 12 hours).

Statistical Data:

Length:         28.4 feet (8.66 meters).

Wingspan:    38.8 feet (11.82 meters).

Height:         9.8 feet (2.99 meters) with landing gear down and 6.8 feet (2.07 meters) with landing gear retracted.

Weight:        8.2 tons (7.44 metric tons) empty, 10.6 tons (9.62 metric tons) fully loaded.

Power Source: Nuclear Fusion, should have an average lifespan of 10 years.

Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment). Does not include ordnance bay. Ordnance bay, if emptied of ordnance can carry up to can carry 4,000 lbs (1,816 kg) of cargo.

Black Market Cost: Not available, currently twelve prototypes are operational only. The standard Manta-Ray has never been available on the black market but would likely cost around 90 million credits with the Super Manta-Ray likely going for around 100 million credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) Ion Pulse Guns: These weapons are built into the wing roots on the fighter and are barely visible on the fighter. The weapons are effective both while the fighter is flying and while it is underwater although range is reduced underwater. These weapons are identical to those carried on the standard Manta-Ray combination fighter / submarine. The weapon is used for both defense against missiles and against other aircraft. It is controlled by the fighter’s pilot.

    Maximum Effective Range: In Atmosphere: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters). Under Water: 2,000 feet (610 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 for one ion gun and 2D6x10 for both ion cannons (Counts as one attack).

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively unlimited (Draws power from the main engines.)

  2. One (1) Ordnance Bay: The fighter has a large bay in the main body that carry a wide variety of different ordnance types. Ordnance types include missiles, bombs, or torpedo types. Missile and bomb sizes may be mixed between different types of ordnance but an ordnance drop or launch must include the same type and size of ordnance. Ordnance may be carried at the rate of four short range missiles, four light bombs, four light torpedoes, two medium range missiles, two medium bombs, or two medium torpedoes for one long range missile, heavy bomb, or heavy torpedo. A single cruise missile can also be carried in place of two long range missiles. Both guided and unguided ordnance may be carried. Special medium range amphibious missiles are also used. Medium range amphibious missiles (can be used as missile or torpedoes, have the same damage as equivalent missile, double cost, but can travel to underwater targets and are +2 to strike). Missile speed underwater is 120 mph (192 km) and has a range of 20 miles (32 km).

    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at for missiles and torpedoes (See revised bomb and missile tables for details) or by torpedo type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details) or by torpedo type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Ordnance is dropped or fired one at a time or in volleys of two (2) to four (4) but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles, bombs, or torpedoes in a volley.)

    Payload: Sixteen (16) short range missiles or light bombs, eight (8) medium range missiles or medium bombs, or four (4) long range missile or heavy bomb. One (1) cruise missile can be substituted for two (2) long range missiles but limited to a single cruise missile. Ordnance can be mixed and torpedoes may be carried as well as missiles and bombs.

  3. Anti-Missile Chaff / Anti-Torpedo Noisemaker Dispenser: Located at the very tail of the fighter are two chaff / noisemaker dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy’s attack. Torpedo decoys work by firing patterns of decoys in the water and are noisemakers that act to confuse and decoy torpedoes. With both decoy systems, Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies ordnance due to technological differences.

    Range: Around Craft.

    Mega Damage: None.


    Missile Decoys:


      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.

      For missile decoys, reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.) Missile decoys are only useful against missiles, not useful against torpedoes underwater.

      Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.

    Torpedo Decoy / Noisemakers:

      50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying smart torpedoes. Reduce effects by 5% for each decoy launcher not firing torpedo decoys. Torpedo decoys are only useful against torpedoes, not useful against missiles in flight.

    Payload: Six (6) chaff pods and six (6) noisemakers.

Special Equipment:

The Super Manta-Ray all the standard features of a standard fighter (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed.

[ 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 © 2018, Kitsune. All rights reserved.