Ranger class Minesweeper (Wolfen):

Many minesweeper classes based on destroyer and frigate classes. Destroyer and frigate classes have the advantage of being able to be built rapidly and are far less expensive compared to larger minesweepers. There are a few minesweepers built on larger hulls. These can be extremely effective but are far more expansive. One disadvantage that small minesweepers have is against minefields supported by capital ships or fortresses. Because most lighter minesweepers sacrifice all of their anti-ship weaponry, they are at a distinct disadvantage in many cases. Most cruiser and battleship class minesweepers retain a large amount of their heavy anti-ship weaponry. They also can withstand far more damage and their point defense is harder to overwhelm.

As one might expect, the Wolfen Military leadership decided to use the Hunter class destroyer as the basis for their main Minesweeper class. The destroyer was, and still is, operated in extremely large numbers and using it as the basis would greatly simplify logistics. Far and away, the Hunter class is the largest number of ships which the Wolfen Navy operated. Huge numbers of the Ranger class minesweeper remain in service and are expected to do so for the foreseeable future. While the Wolfen military is considering a major upgrade to the naval forces, minesweepers are far down in the list of priorities.

After the introduction of the Striker class missile destroyer, several Wolfen Navy leaders suggested that the new missile destroyer be used as a basis of a more effective minesweeper. There were some complaints about the ability of the Ranger as far as being able to fire volleys against minefields. The new design would have the ability to fire much larger volleys against mines. It also shares a great share of components with the Hunter class destroyer even though slightly larger. Still, a huge number of Ranger class minesweepers were under construction and would have delayed production.

New Coventry builds an extremely similar Minesweeper design to the Ranger known as the Grey Wolf. These minesweepers are also based on the Hunter class destroyer. There are some significant differences between the designs of the two minesweeper classes. In addition, several star nations operate the Ranger class minesweeper, both standard and modified in various ways. The Consortium of Civilized Worlds has almost five hundred of these Wolfen minesweepers in their mothball fleets in cases their are needed. At one time, even the Human Alliance was considering replacing their ancient Cobra class minesweepers with the Wolfen minesweepers. In the end however, the Human Alliance decide to develop a new class of minesweeper.

Minesweepers attempt to destroy mines by engaging them at long range. There are three different basic types of mines. The most dangerous and long ranged are missile platforms. Capital missiles have a range of up to twenty light seconds. There are also heavy energy weapon batteries which can be extremely effective. Finally, there are simple mines. These are much smaller and are basically missiles with a short range drive system. In some cases, different types of mines are mixed with defensive missiles protecting the long range anti-ship mines. As a final layer of defense, these minefields can be protected by mines that act as decoys and jamming platforms.

Capital missile launching mines have longer range than any of the weaponry carried on minesweepers. They are considered in many ways to be the most dangerous. A minesweeper has to close into about half the range of these batteries to be able to engage the much smaller mines. Because of this, minesweepers need to mount heavy defensive weaponry.

The Ranger class minesweepers are not designed to engage warships although the long range missiles these ships are armed with can be used to engage warships. These minesweepers have a long range missile battery replacing a single capital missile launcher. These launchers extend slightly further out of the hull than the capital missile launcher. A total of one hundred and sixty long range missiles are carried. A recent upgrade to these vessels is that the fire control software has been upgrade to allow several firing cycles of the long range missiles to be committed into a single volley. This did much to mitigate the fairly small number of missiles that can be fired at a single time to be able to overwhelm the defenses of a minefield.

To target mines, the Ranger class minesweeper carries a powerful but short range mine hunting sensor suite. Replacing the middle particle beam on the Hunter, this includes high powered radar, tachyon, gravity, and neutrino based sensors. These sensors only operate in a very narrow forward cone but are as powerful as those on a battleship within the narrow cone. Otherwise, the regular sensor suite is greatly downgraded. The sensor suite is only about the equal of a civilian sensor suite. The jamming and decoy systems are not downgraded however and remain the same as standard Hunter class destroyer.

The side particle beams are also replaced although in this case with a pair of medium range missile launchers. The original pair of medium range missile launchers are also retained. This gives the minesweeper a total of four medium range missile batteries. Each launcher has one hundred and sixty medium range missiles for a total of six hundred and forty missiles.

Point defense for the Ranger class Minesweeper is identical to a standard Hunter class destroyer. This battery includes four old type electromagnetic rail guns and four point defense laser mounts. This is a last ditch defense system against missiles that leak through the vessel's other defenses and are not decoyed or jammed. These mine sweepers also retain the shields of a standard Hunter class destroyer.

These minesweepers retain the four medium fighters carried on the Hunter class destroyer. Usually the Gladius is carried in Wolfen service although other navies might carry other medium fighter classes. A surprising number in the Consortium mothball fleets carried interceptor variants of the Osprey medium fighter. No marines are embarked however the crew is increased by two. The Hunter is more cramped than most Consortium warship classes with the Ranger class only slightly better. Only the captain has his or her own stateroom with the space not much more than a large closest.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: GR-12SW
Vehicle Type: Mine Sweeper (modified Frigate Combat Ship)
Crew: 26 (4 Officers and 22 Enlisted)
Troops: 10 fighter pilots.

Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:

4PBI-22 Gladius Medium Starfighters (Old or New) - Other navies carry different fighters.

M.D.C. By Location:

Central Sensor Suite (Front, built into hull):800
Long Range Missile Battery (1, underside):800
Medium Range Missile Batteries (4, Top, Bottom, and Sides):450 each
Electromagnetic Point Defense Rail Gun Turrets (4):400 each
Point Defense Laser Turrets (4):300 each
Medium Range Missile Batteries (4, Top and Underside):450 each
[1] Bridge:1,200
[2] Main Body:4,500
[3] Variable Force Field:1,000 a side (6,000 Total)

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the destroyer out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[3] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (300 M.D.C.) per melee round.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.95 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is Mach 1 (670 mph / 1080 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight
Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 4.5 light years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. Carries about one year worth of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 300 feet (91.4 meters)
Height: 70 feet (21.3 meters)
Width: 80 feet (24.4 meters)
Weight / Mass: 6,000 tons (5443 metric tons)
Power System: Anti-Matter with a 50 year life span. The ship normally only goes 10 years between refueling and refitting.
Cargo: The cargo capacity has been reduced so the ship can carry more long range missiles. The cargo hold can carry 100 ton (90.7 metric tons) of cargo not including standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. Hold is 10 x 20 x 20 feet in dimensions (3.1 x 6.1 x 6.1 meter). 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 ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: 350 million for a standard Ranger class mine sweeper.


  1. Four (4) Electromagnetic point Defense Rail Guns: Unlike most of the rail guns used on Phase World / Three Galaxies starships, these are standard electromagnetic rail guns. They are used as an anti-starfighter and missile weapon and against targets that are impervious to energy. Each Rail Gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Projectiles are fired from rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Rail gun uses 14.5 mm depleted uranium projectiles. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 800 miles (1,290 km) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 3D6x10 M.D.C. for an 80 round burst.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 16,000 Rounds (200 Bursts) each cannon.
  2. Four (4) Point Defense Lasers in Ball Turrets: This system is an unaltered from a standard Hunter class destroyer. This is the star ships primary anti-starfighter, anti-robot, and anti-missile defense system.. Each laser is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 200 miles (320 km) in space and has a range of 4 miles (6.4 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 M.D.C. each.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. One (1) Long Range missile Battery: This battery consist of four long range missile tubes and replaces the standard Hunters cruise missile launcher. Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead is at -25% to be detected.) Long range missiles do not have minuses to hit small targets, unlike cruise missiles, and are all considered smart missiles. Each battery can launch on multiple targets each. While missile are only launched at the rate of one at a time per tube, the ships computer has special software that allows all the missile to hit a target at the same time for the purpose to make point defense of a target more easily overwhelmed. This is done by slowing down the acceleration of missile and by setting some for delayed activation and target must be a least 30 seconds away. Missile are then considered to only have an acceleration of 5% of light for the first turn.Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) per launcher, per melee attack (special software allows 16 to 24 missile to be launched as one volley depending on gunners hand to hand attacks).
    Payload: 160 long range missiles total
  4. Four (4) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Two of the launchers are original and the other two mounts replace the ships outside particle beam mounts. Weapon system is used for incoming missiles and to take out weapon platforms as well. Like other Phase world systems, weapon system range and speed has been greatly increased compared to Rifts Earth systems. Missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies 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 launcher.
    Payload: 160 per launcher for a total of 640 medium range missiles.

Sensor System of Note:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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