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Australian Devonshire class Nuclear Guided Missile Cruiser:

With the increasing threat of the New Soviet navy and the Chinese navy, Australian government had cause to form an unofficial alliance with several Pacific ocean nations in 2053. Known as the POMA for Pacific Ocean Military Alliance, the alliance comprised the nations of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Mutual defense and combined fleet operations were major points of the agreement, and therefore forced Australia to create a truly offensive naval force.

Included in the plans for the Australian naval forces were four light carriers. As one might expect, the Australian navy also perceived the need to develop missile defense vessels for these carriers. At first, it was planned that a missile defense frigate would be developed. During the development process, the design grew to the point that it was the size of a large destroyer.

When first laid down, the new vessel was designated a destroyer but during construction it was decided to change the designation to that of a cruiser to better represent the vessel’s capabilities. Even though not as large as the American Delaware class cruiser, the Australian cruiser design is an excellent and very capable design. In addition, the design was developed to be a relatively inexpensive vessel and many systems were chosen for cost reasons.

Originally it was planned that there would be two cruisers per carrier for a total of eight cruisers. When one of the carriers was later canceled, the order for eight cruisers was cut to six. When the final Perth class carrier was re-ordered as an amphibious assault ship / command ship, some members of the naval staff wished that they had continued construction of these cruisers. Still, the Woolner class destroyers were considered the primary escort vessels for the Canberra amphibious support vessel.

All six Devonshire class cruisers remained in active service when the Great Cataclysm occurred. Several were underway when the cataclysm occurred. Nobody is sure exactly what happened to these cruisers. While it is likely that most were destroyed during the cataclysm, their high strength construction and virtual immunity from corrosion means that one or more might have survived intact.

In order to reduce design and development costs, the cruiser is designed with a standard hull form. As much of the engineering plant as possible is shared with the Perth class carrier. While mainly meant to reduce development costs, the two vessels sharing the same engineering plant also greatly reduces logistics. Of course the cruiser is far smaller than the carrier.

A pair of fusion plants provide power for the cruiser, giving the Devonshire a top speed of 36 knots and virtually unlimited endurance. Even though the fusion plants are identical to that of the Perth class carrier, the slimmer hull form and far lighter displacement means that the cruiser is almost four knots faster than the light carrier design. In common with the carrier, the Devonshire uses twin shafts with the power transmitted to the shafts via electrical propulsion. Both of the propellers are variable pitch, allowing for faster changes in speed and the ability to turn quicker.

In order to reduce the ship’s noise, both the hull and propellers are designed with a bubble masking system. As with the Perth class light carrier, this is combined with the hull being covered by a sound absorbing rubber material similar to those first developed for submarines. In addition, the engines are specially mounted to isolate them and further reduce noise transmitted through the hull. All of these features made for an incredibly quiet cruiser design.

The hull and superstructure of the cruiser use the super strong advanced composites and alloys which had been developed in the Twenty-Thirties. In addition to allowing the cruiser to withstand incredible abuse, these advanced materials were considered virtually immune to corrosion. Finally, these materials are designed to be radar absorbent. Between these materials and the profile of the hull and superstructure designed to minimize the cruiser’s radar cross signature, the Devonshire class had a far smaller radar profile than its size might indicate.

While the Perth class carrier mounted a single array Sampson phased array radar system, it was decided that the more capable four panel American SPY-5D radar system would be mounted on the Devonshire class cruiser. This active phased array system had been already mounted on the Shropshire class guided missile / aviation destroyer, a slightly modified version of the American Raymond Fox class destroyer. Compared to the Sampson system, the SPY-5D radar system had several times the range and the ability to track several times as many targets.

As originally completed, the first four Devonshire class cruisers were not fitted with their towed array sonar although they did retain their hull sonar. Budget issues at the last minute caused the towed array sonars to be deleted from them during construction. However, during later refitted the four cruisers had their towed array sonars back fitted. Of a British design, the sonar systems were less expensive than similar American sonar systems while giving similar performance.

For gun mounts, the cruiser mounts a pair of 155-mm electro-thermal cannons with one forward of the superstructure and one on the fantail of the cruiser. Compared to convention 155 mm artillery, these guns have far greater range. The lack of conventional propellant also reduces the amount of magazine space required. Prior to being fitted to the Devonshire class cruisers, these guns had already been in service with the Australian navy, having been fitted to the Shropshire class destroyers.

Behind the forward cannon mount is a ninety-six cell Mk 59 vertical launch system and a second forty-eight cell Mk 59 launcher is mounted behind the main superstructure. In addition, a pair of Thor medium range missile vertical launch systems are mounted with one on either side of the vessel’s superstructure. Compared to the Mk 59 launchers, these medium range missile launchers are much less expensive and were mounted as a cost saving measure.

Three American Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” combined point defense weapon system were mounted for inner missile defense. Two are mounted on the sides of the superstructure while one is mounted above the aft hanger. The system is a combination of a rapid-fire rail gun and a short-range missile launcher. Programmed to use the short-range missile launchers to first engage missiles that leak through the main defense and, when they get within range, engage with the rail guns.

For anti-submarine warfare, the cruiser mounts four 324 mm torpedo tubes on either side of the hull. In addition to firing conventional torpedoes, the system can also launch shorter ranged interceptor type torpedoes. While not normally used to engage surface targets, the torpedo tubes can also be fired against surface targets if required.

With the Shropshire class guided missile / aviation destroyers in service, the Australian navy considered their surface escort forces to have plenty of hanger space. As a result, the Devonshire class cruiser was designed with only one position hanger. Normally a single Kingfisher VTOL aircraft would be embarked although in some cases the older Westland Merlin helicopter might be carried instead.

Compared to the Shropshire class destroyer, the Devonshire class cruiser also has a far smaller troop compliment. With respect to power armors, the cruiser has the ability to embark up to ten power armors in the hanger. In addition, the cruiser can carry twenty troops in conventional body armor. These troops are expected to act in security roles aboard the cruiser.

With advanced automation, these cruisers are able to be run by an extremely small crew. Normal crew is only one hundred and ninety personnel. Even so, these cruisers are designed to be able to act in the flagship role withe extensive command and control facilities.

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: Devonshire class Guided Missile Cruiser.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Guided Missile Cruiser.

Crew: 190; 20 officers, 16 chief petty officers, and 154 enlisted crew (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troops: 6 Helicopter or VTOL pilots and crew, 12 pilots for Gypsy Moth power armors, and 20 soldiers in body armor that are usually retained on board the ship.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



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

Aircraft Compliment:



Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (Usually EVS-84A Kingfisher ASW model.)

M.D.C. by Location:





[1] SPY-5D Phase Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):

400 each.


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

10 each.


Mk 84 Single Barrel 155 mm / 68 Electro-Thermal Cannon Barrels (2, gun mounts):

125 each.


Mk 84 Single Barrel 155 mm / 68 Electro-Thermal Cannon Mounts (2, forward and aft):

300 each.


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

200 each.


Mk 59 Ninety-Six Cell Vertical Launch System (1, forward):



Mk 59-B Forty-Eight Cell Vertical Launch System (1, aft):



“Thor” Medium Range 8 Cell Vertical Launch Systems (2, sides):

300 each.


Mk 52 Quad 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):

50 each.


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

10 each.


Hanger (aft):



VTOL Pad (aft):



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



[3] Main Body:



[1] Destroying the SPY-5 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.

[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] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Surface: 41.5 mph (36 knots/ 66.7 kph).

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

Statistical Data:

Draft:    17.6 feet mean (5.4 meters) and 26.5 feet (8.1 meters) including sonar array.

Length:  574.2 feet (175.0 meters) waterline and 585.3 feet (178.4 meters) overall.

Width:   72.4 feet (22.1 meters).

Displacement: 10,800 tons standard and 12,400 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 600 tons (544.3 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: Two nuclear fusion reactors, 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 500 million or more credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


  1. Two (2) Mk 84 Single Barrel 155 mm / 68 Electro-Thermal Naval Guns: Main weapon mounted in turret in front of ship and one on the fantail of the cruiser. Similar to the cannon carried on the USA-M-10 Galahad self propelled howitzer. The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a “propellant,” which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to “switch” directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward. The reload system is fully automated and the rate of fire can be maintained as long as the system retains ammunition. While the projectiles has a lot greater range than standard 155 mm projectiles, they carry the same size warheads and inflicts about the same damage. Self Guided projectiles can be used for pinpoint accuracy although G.P.S. Satellite guided projectiles are no longer useful due to the elimination of the satellites. Guided projectiles are far more expensive. Both non rocket assisted and rocket assisted projectiles are available for the weapon system. Weapon is not designed to use Extended range Guided Munitions and they were not seen as necessary with the great range of the electro-thermal projectiles. The gun mount can rotate 360 and has a 90 arc of fire.

    Maximum Effective Range: 31.1 miles (27 nautical miles / 50 km) for standard projectiles, and 49.7 miles (43.2 nautical miles / 80.0 km) for rocket assisted projectiles.

    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 Assisted 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 155 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: Up to five (5) single shots per melee round.

    Payload: 1,200 rounds (600 per cannon mount).

  2. Three (3) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: One system on the rear of the superstructure above the hanger and one is on either side of the superstructure. 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) Mk 59 Vertical Launch Systems: The cruiser mounts one ninety-six cell launcher aft of the forward 155 electro-thermal cannon and one forty-eight cell forward of the aft 155 mm electro-thermal cannon. Forward launcher is eight missile cells longs by twelve cells wide. Aft launcher is six missile cells longs by eight cells wide. The system is similar to the vertical launch system employed on many ships in the late twentieth century to launch the SM-2 series missile but since the missiles are smaller they have a reload system that reloads from under the launcher and can reload within 15 seconds. The launcher can fire up to half its total payload per melee. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) Each cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missile. The reload for the cell must carry the same load as the main cell. Long range missiles are normally used against large targets and aircraft further out where the medium range missiles will normally be used to engage closer targets. About half of all long range missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are normally smart missiles. Normally, the launchers carry all long range missiles. For close defense, medium range missiles are carried in the Thor missile system

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

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

    Rate of Fire: Forward Launcher: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), sixteen (16), thirty-two (32), or forty-eight (48) missiles per melee round. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee. Aft Launcher: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles per melee round. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee round.

    Payload: Forward missile launcher has ninety-six (96) missile cells in launcher and aft missile launcher has forty-eight (48) missile cells with reload systems for each cell in each launcher [One hundred and forty-four (144) missiles cells total with one reload for each cell.] One (1) long range missile or two (2) medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same load out as well. Normal missile load are all long range missiles.

  4. Two (2) “Thor” Medium Range Vertical Launch Systems: Mounted on the sides of the ship along the superstructure and 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.

  5. Mk 52 Two (2) Quad 12.75 inch (324 mm) Medium Torpedo Launchers: There is one launcher on each side of the ship with four tubes each. Mainly design for anti-submarine warfare but can be used against surface targets. Interceptor torpedoes are also available for launchers / tubes to use against incoming torpedoes. The tubes have an automatic reloading system and can be fired quickly. The ships carries a total of 80 torpedoes for reloads. Treat warheads as 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 medium torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) medium torpedoes per side, launcher can fire a maximum of two (2) volleys of torpedoes per melee each launcher.

    Payload: Four (4) medium torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of eight (8) medium torpedoes. Has an additional eighty (80) medium torpedoes for reloads.

  6. 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.

  7. Four (4) 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 are 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. ]

Image drawn and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune). Click on line drawing for a better view.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2003, 2010, 2017, & 2018, Kitsune. All rights reserved.