Renard Marine “Thrush” Light Patrol Boat:

There are a number of companies which built small vessels on the Great Lakes on Rifts Earth. One of those is Renard Marine. The company is small, with facilities only to produce vessels of about three hundred feet or shorter. They don't produce much in the way of subsystems for there vessels but instead purchase them from various sources. Light warships are actually more of a sideline with the company building mostly small cargo vessels, fishing vessels, barges, and tugboats. The tugboats and barges generally are lightly armed but are far from true warships. Vessels produced by Renard Marine are found mostly in the Great Lakes but can also be found along rivers and even along the coasts.

The Thrush is produced in larger numbers than the larger Heron class patrol boat. Several companies, both on the Great Lakes and elsewhere, produce vessels of a similar size to the Thrush. Iron Heart Armament produced something similar before they were taken over. The Thrush is a good basic design although does not feature many of the advanced technology features of other companies. Boats such as the Thrush are not perceived as a huge threat by the Coalition due to their limited firepower when compared to larger vessels. A small number of the Thrush class, and similar designs, have wound up in the hands of pirates which is an irritation although not considered much of a threat against larger warships.

Even shallower draft than the Heron class, these vessels can operate in extremely shallow waters. Top speed is also greater than the Heron class with a top speed of forty-eight knots. Of course, the boat cannot operate in rough seas at the same speed. The light vessel has a special thrust vectoring system and "fly by wire" control system for greater maneuverability. The vessels can be found with two basic types of propulsion planes. One is a hybrid with powerful marine diesel engine coupled with an electric motor for greater efficiency. Range is about twelve hundred nautical miles. The second is powered by a fusion reactor which gives effectively infinite range. Range is often limited by supplies with about two weeks of supplies usually carried.

While the Thrush is built from advanced composites and alloys, they are not what are classified generally as "Military Grade"and the Thrush should not be treated as a heavy combatant design. In general, the vessel is designed to be lightweight for greater speed and is really designed more for light combat than anything else. Still, the Thrush has been known to come back after being badly shot up.

The vessel is designed to be operated by a crew of six although can be operated by a crew of only two if needed. Potentially four additional personal can be carried although this makes the small patrol boat extremely cramped. The vessel only has a pair of small cabins and a tiny galley. The ship has an environmental system but does not have full life support. In combat, the crew will usually wear body armor as a result. No power armors are usually carried and only a single small boat is usually carried on the after part of the vessel.

Electronics are limited with a short range air search radar system and a low powered hull sonar system. Radar system is reasonably capable although is even shorter ranged than the one mounted on the Heron class patrol boat. Sonar is mainly for self defense and to detect marine obstacle. Otherwise, the vessel has some limited thermal and light amplification gear for night operations.

As with most of the equipment on the boat, none of the weapon systems are produced by Renard Marine but instead are purchased from Wellington Industries. Even though the vessel produces enough power with the fusion powered model to power energy weapons, the Thrush does not mount any energy weapons or rail guns. Fusion powered models do have a recharger for energy chips. Often the crew will also have various small arms including energy rifles.

Main gun is a combination mount on the bow. There is some wondering if Wellington Industries developed the mount specially for Renard Marine. The mount has a 30 mm chain gun based on the Pre-Rifts Bushmaster II design combined with an automatic grenade launcher. The 30 mm chain gun is better for long range direct fire and against aircraft while the grenade launcher is better for shorter range indirect fire. The chain gun has a total of twelve hundred rounds of ammunition, generally ramjet ammunition, and eight hundred rounds of grenade launcher ammunition. Various types of launched grenades can be carried although armor piercing is most common.

The only other standard weapon system is a pair of short range missile launchers. These retract into the superstructure when reloading. These missile launchers are designed mainly for defense against air threats although the Thrush more commonly carries multi-purpose missiles than the Heron. This is due to the fact that the vessel lacks long range missiles to engage surface and ground target. There are twenty-four missiles for reloads for each launcher. In addition, the crew will often carry additional reloads in the tiny cargo hold although then have to be manually reloaded.

Model Type: PC-20 Class Light Patrol Boat
Vehicle Type: Ocean & Waterway, Light Patrol Boat
Crew: 6; 1 Officer / Petty Officer, and 5 Enlisted (Can be operated by 2 - Has a high degree of automation)
Troops / Passengers: 4 troops / passengers (extremely cramped)

M.D.C. by Location:

Bridge / Pilot House:180
[1] Spotlight (4):20 each
[2] Short Range Radar Array:60
WI-99 Combination Chain Gun / Grenade Launcher Mount (1)120 each
WI-54S Short Range Missile Box Launchers (2, Retractable):40 each
[3] Main Body:420

[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] Missiles mount targeting systems function but system can no longer track and target multiple incoming missiles simultaneously.
[3] Destroying the main body causes the vessel to lose structural integrity, causing the vessel to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the vessel.

Surface: 55.3 mph (48 knots/ 89.0 kph)
Range: Conventional Hybrid: 1,382 miles (1,200 nautical miles / 2,225 kilometers) Fusion Model: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 10 years and requires maintenance as well).
Both versions of the vessel carries about two week of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 80.38 feet (24.5 meters) at waterline / 90.22 (27.5 meters) overall
Draft: 3.28 feet (1.0 meters) fully loaded
Width: 18.37 feet (5.6 meters)
Displacement: 45 tons standard and 55 tons fully loaded
Cargo: Can carry 4 tons (3.62 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies (2 tons / 1.81 metric tons for Conventional Hybrid Version.) Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Most of the vessel's spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Two versions: Conventional, Diesel / Electric Hybrid and Nuclear Reactor (Average life span is 10 years)
Black Market Cost: Conventional Hybrid: 45 million credits. Fusion Model: 60 million credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) WI-99 Combination 30 mm Chain Gun / 40 mm Grenade Launcher Mounts: Mounted on the bow of the vessel, the vessel carries a single which is the combination of a 30 mm chain gun (Wellington Bushmaster II) and an automatic grenade launcher (WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher.) Each turret can rotate 270 degrees and can elevate up to 60 degrees so the chain gun can fire at low flying aircraft. The 30 mm cannon fires heavy ramjet rounds with armor piercing warheads which inflict as much damage as most heavy rail guns.
    Maximum Effective Range: 30 mm Chain Gun: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters). 40 mm Grenade Launcher: 3,000 ft (914 meters)
    Mega Damage: 30 mm Chain Gun: 2D6x10 for a burst of 20 rounds, 3D6 for each round. 40 mm Grenade Launcher: 4D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 feet (3.6 meters) and 1D4x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 feet (0.9 meter), burst of 10 rounds does 2D6x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 feet (12 meters) and 3D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 feet (2.4 meters.)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner's hand to hand attacks; each burst counts as one melee action.
    Payload: 30 mm Chain Gun: 1600 round drum magazine (80 bursts) each 40 mm Grenade Launcher: 800 Rounds each
  2. Two (2) WI-54S Short Range Missile Box Launchers (Retractable): Mounted on each side of the superstructure / pilot house are a pair of box launchers which retract when not in use and when reloading. The launchers can rotate 360 degrees and have a 90 degree arc of fire. The missile launchers reload extremely rapidly and are ready to be fire on the next attack. The system is designed to be able to target multiple incoming missiles simultaneously.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies by short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies by short 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) or four (4) missiles each launcher. Launchers retract and are ready to fire for next melee attack.
    Payload: Four (4) short range missiles each launcher for eight (8) total. The vehicle carries twenty-four (24) missiles as reloads for each launcher for a total of fifty-six (56) missiles total. If a launcher is damaged, those missiles cannot be accessed except manually. (Sometimes additional missiles are carried in the cargo hold for reloads)

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.