Australian Canberra II class Amphibious Support Vessel:

Originally four Perth class light carriers were planned by the Australian Navy when they began expanding their forces in the Twenty-Fifties and Twenty-Sixties. Due to budget constraints, this was later reduced to three carriers. However the final carrier was later reordered as an amphibious support vessel in order to allow for expanded amphibious operations.

While based on the original Perth class light carrier design, a number of changes were made in the HMAS Canberra’s design in order to reduce construction costs. These changes included the reduction in weaponry, sensor systems, the use of a smaller power plant, and construction to civilian standards. In some cases, the ship was built to be able to be back fitted with additional systems but this was not carried out in service.

Even though the Perth class light carriers were able to embark attack helicopters, the amphibious support vessel was designed with more extensive facilities to support then. A mixed airwing of fighters and attack helicopters was planned from the beginning. It was also always planned that the HMAS Canberra would be able to embark aircraft for anti-submarine as well. One should note that the amphibious support vessel could operate as a normal carrier in a pinch.

As a simple expedite to designing the HMAS Canberra, the power plant of the amphibious support vessel simply uses half of the fusion turbines which were mounted on the Perth class light carrier design. Due to the lower horsepower, top speed is reduced to around 27.5 knots. Otherwise, the amphibious support ship retains twin shafts with an electrical propulsion system. The propellers are both variable pitch allowing for faster changes in speed and rapid course changes.

In common with the Perth class, both the hull and propellers are designed with a bubble masking system to reduce ship noise although the hull is not sheathed in sound absorbing rubber materials. While still a quiet design, it is not as quiet as the Perth class carriers. Even though built to mercantile standards to reduce costs, high strength composites and alloys were use extensively in the construction of the HMAS Canberra. Such materials had already been in extensive use in mercantile service due to the materials being virtually immune to corrosion. One major difference is that the HMAS Canberra inherits having a reduced radar cross signature from the Perth class light carrier design.

Another of the key ways that the cost was reduced with the HMAS Canberra was in the reduction in weaponry. As such, the forty-eight cell Mk 59-B launcher was deleted although space remained to mount the weapon if required in the future. Long range or cruise missile strikes against shore targets could be performed by escorts and escort vessels could also give the amphibious support vessel long range air defense.

Otherwise, the “Thor” medium range missile system was is retained from the Perth class light carrier, giving the amphibious support vessel decent defenses against incoming air threats though at a far shorter range. In addition, three American Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” combined point defense weapon systems were also retained for short range defense. The system is a combination of a rapid-fire rail gun and a short-range missile launcher. Considered more effective that the previous point defense weapon systems, the idea is that the short-range missile launchers first engage missiles that leak through the main defense and, when they get within range, the rail guns will engage.

While the HMAS Canberra still mounts a sophisticated electronic suite, compared to the Perth class light carrier, the radar systems are reduced and the sonar system is completely deleted. Only one long range radar system, a Sampson single antenna active phased array, is mounted. Range of the system was considered a bit short and just before the Great Cataclysm, the replacement of the Sampson with the American SPX-1A active phased array radar system had been approved. Already carried on a number of Australian frigates, the system had far greater range that the British Sampson system.

The amphibious support vessel’s normal air wing is divided between fighters, attack helicopters, troop helicopters, and anti-submarine aircraft. Of course this can be altered if required with more fighters replacing attack helicopters or the reverse. As with the Perth class light carrier, the HMAS Canberra was considered too small to effectively operate the FV-45 Sea Hawk fighter from the flight deck. In common with the light carrier, the amphibious support vessel retains a full-length flight deck with a large hanger and ski jump forward to allow higher payloads to be carried by aircraft.

While the Perth class light carriers already could embark a decent sized marine compliment, the HMAS Canberra was modified to be able to carry a far larger embarked compliment. The reducing in the weaponry, propulsion, and electronic suite allowed for greater marine berthing. In addition, the amphibious support vessel has a smaller crew than the light carrier design. It should also be noted that berthing aboard the HMAS Canberra was more cramped than the Perth class light carrier.

As designed, the HMAS Canberra could embark up to twelve hundred marines. However, this was later reduced to eight hundred with the introduction of power armors. Normal power armor compliment was four hundred with the British Gypsy Moth power armor being the standard Australian military power armor. Unlike the American Tripoli class amphibious carriers, the Australian vessel has no provision for vehicles and does not have a well deck for landing craft. However, four small landing craft are carried for carrying troops to shore.

As with the Perth class light carriers, the amphibious support vessel remained in active service until the coming of the Great Cataclysm. While the fate of HMAS Canberra is unknown, the last reported location of the amphibious support vessel was off Singapore on December 21, 2098. Most assume that she was destroyed during the cataclysm that followed.

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: Canberra class Amphibious Support Vessel.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Amphibious Assault Vessel.

Crew: Ships Crew & Airwing: 210 (30 Officers and 180 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]). Air Wing: 240 (120 Pilots & Crew, 10 flight deck officers, 110 enlisted).

Troops: 800 (400 pilots for Gypsy Moth flying power armors, 400 soldiers in body armor).

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



BA-V FPA-05D Gypsy Moth Power Armor (with Flight Packs.)

Aircraft Compliment:



EVE-84A Kingfisher Utility VTOL Aircraft - Electronics Warfare Model.



EVS-84A Kingfisher Utility VTOL Aircraft - Anti-Submarine Warfare.



FV-38 Panther II VSTOL Fighters.



RAH-66E Super Comanche Reconnaissance & Attack Helicopters.



Westland Merlin HM 1 General Utility Helicopters.

M.D.C. by Location:


Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Systems (3, flight deck):

200 each.


“Thor” Medium Range Vertical Launch Systems (2, forward of superstructure):

300 each.


USA-M38 Heavy Defense Rail Guns (4, sides):

70 each.


[1] Type 1045 Sampson Active Phased Array Radar System (superstructure):



[2] Signaal Sirius Infrared Cameras (2, superstructure):

10 each.


[2] Mk 36 Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.


[3] Elevators (2, sides):

200 each.


Hanger Doors (2, sides):

200 each.


[4] Main Flight Deck:



[5] Main Bridge / Superstructure:



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



[6] Main Body:



[1] Destroying Sampson active phased array radar system will destroy the ship’s main long range fire control and tracking systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors.)

[2] 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.

[3] If both elevators are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the main flight deck.

[4] If the flight deck is destroyed, VTOL aircraft and helicopters can be launched or landed although at -15% to piloting.

[5] If the bridge/ control tower 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.

[6] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with additional floatation materials that allow the ship to withstand up to -1,000 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship including marines.


Surface: 31.7 mph (27.5 knots/ 51.0 kph).

Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft: 26.3 feet (8.0 meters).

Length: 727.6 feet (221.8 meters) waterline and 802.1 feet (244.5 meters) overall.

Width: 96.3 feet (29.4 meters) waterline and 124.6 feet (38.0 meters) extreme beam.

Displacement: 22,200 tons standard and 28,500 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 4,000 tons (3,629 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: One nuclear fusion reactor, average life span is 20 years. Usually only goes 10 years between refueling.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 800 million or more credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Four (4) USA-M38 Heavy Defense Rail Guns: These weapons are mounted with two on either side of the hull for defense against small boats and similar threats. Not considered effective against aircraft or missiles. The rail guns are more powerful than the rail guns carried on most power armors and have greater range. These are the same rail gun which are mounted on the Super Comanche Helicopter, Steel Tiger Attack VTOL, and Wolverine Amphibious Assault Vehicle but are mounted with the gunners behind a protective shield and the gunner’s have a greater payload.

    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20. Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 4-6).

    Payload: 4,000 rounds (200 bursts) each.

  2. Three (3) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: One system is on the front of the ship forward of the ski-jump and one is mounted on either side of the rear flight deck. This anti-missile defense system combines both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. This anti-missile defense system combines both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking and fire control systems. The short range missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee round. Quite powerful, the rail gun is capable of destroying any missile or inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft). In its design, the rail gun is very similar to those carried on the Sea King cruiser and it is likely that the Sea King’s rail guns came from a prototype of this system. The system also can be used against other ships and ground targets. The system has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.

    Maximum Effective Range: Rail Guns: 11,000 feet (2 miles / 3.2 km). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: Rail Guns: 3D4x10 M.D. per burst of 40 rounds (Can only fire bursts). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Rail Guns: Six (6) attacks per melee round. Short Range Missiles: Two (2) attacks per melee round, can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) short range missiles.

    Payload: Rail Guns: 8,000 rounds (200 burst) each. Short Range Missiles: Sixteen (16) short range missiles each.

  3. Two (2) “Thor” Medium Range Vertical Launch Systems: Mounted in the same raised platform forward of the main superstructure. These require less space than a Mk-41 or MK-49 vertical launch system. Similar to the American Mk 55 vertical launch missile system although it fires vertically not at a 6 degree angle to the side. The missiles are arranged in a 2 by 4 pattern, and each launch cell has four reloads. Each system can launch up to eight missiles simultaneously each and the launcher is automatically reloaded. These launchers often act as the ship’s middle point defense and are normally used to engage incoming air targets and missiles.

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

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

    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire medium range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) medium range missiles. Each launcher operates independently.

    Payload: Eight (8) medium range missiles in each launcher, with thirty-two (32) medium missiles in each magazine for automatic reloads, for a total of eighty (80) medium range missiles for both launchers including missiles in launchers.

  4. Four (4) Mk 36 Super RBOC Chaff / Decoy Launchers: 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: Eight (8) each for a total of thirty-two (32) canisters. Ninety-six (96) reload canisters are carried, reloading takes two melee rounds.

  5. Eight (8) SLQ-25F Nixie Towed Torpedo Decoys: 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 seven more ready to deploy. It takes approximately three minutes (twelve melee rounds) to reel out another decoy.

Special Systems:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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