Australian Otama class Submarine:

In the Twenty-Twenties, the Australia navy began construction of a new submarine class to replace the Collins class submarine. The submarine was based on a French nuclear submarine design. Before construction was started, there had been a number of delays and the submarines were laid down later than originally expected. As a result only two had been completed and another pair were under construction where there was a revolution in advanced materials.

It was soon decided to stop all construction. While one of the boats was relatively late in its building stage, the other one was in a far earlier stage. The navy decided to complete the third boat of the class with the new materials added to the vessel. At the same time, it was decided that the fourth boat would be cancelled. Finally, the two already operational boats would be refitted with the new materials as soon as possible.

Still, these solutions were not considered satisfactory. As a result, a hasty modification of the basic design of the submarine was developed using the new advanced materials. The design did incorporate a number of minor upgrades at the same time. Five boats of this updated class were authorized with the first boat laid down in 2035 and was completed in 2040.

First of the class was the HMAS Otama. The first boat’s name comes from a North Queensland Aboriginal word meaning “dolphin.” In addition, an old Oberon class submarine was named Otama. The second boat was HMAS Orca. Further boats did not follow the naming convention of using “O” as the first letter of the name of the submarines however. All were named after marine animals of Australia however.

The prior Collins class submarines were named after Australian naval personnel who distinguished themselves during World War Two. When the next class of Australian submarines were developed, the Australian navy went back to naming submarines in a similar manner although the name was expanded to include distinguished Australian submarine personnel.

Even though highly regarded when first entering service, it was not all that long before a second technology revolution shook the world. This was the revolution in fusion power. Compared to old style nuclear power, there was little residual radiation and fusion was considered far safer. With the advantages of fusion, the navies of the world began converting over to fusion. In some cases, the ships were able to be converted straight over to fusion but it was not always considered practical.

Since the Otama class were still considered relatively new, the government and navy considered simply cutting these submarines in half and replacing the conventional propulsion with fusion plants. Instead it was decided to develop a new submarine class with the five Otama class sold as the replacement class entered service. By this time, the three refitted boats had already been retired.

Two Otama class submarines were sold to New Zealand while the remained three were sold to various South American nations. While these submarines did not remain long in Australian navy, most of these submarines remained in service with other nations until the coming of the Great Cataclysm. Whether any survived the cataclysm is unknown but their construction of high strength composites and alloys means that corrosion would not be a major factor.

In common with the prior three submarines, the Otama class submarine combines diesel-electric and a fuel cell system. On the surface and while snorkeling, the submarine can operate for up to around eighteen thousand nautical miles at ten knots although a little less using the snorkel. Batteries are used for underwater travel but are recharged through the fuel cell system. Normal speed on battery is considered to be five knots and is limited to only around four hours at full speed underwater. Using the fuel cells to recharge the main batteries, the submarine can operate for up to twenty-eight days at five knot. The fuel cells themselves for the submarine are located outside of the pressure hull.

Top speed underwater is twenty-four knots while the submarine can travel up to twelve knots on the surface and while using the snorkel. A pump jet propulsion system is used instead of a conventional propellor. Due to the use of high strength composites and alloys, diving depth is far greater than the previous class with a maximum depth considered in excess of fifteen hundred meters.

When completed, these Australian submarines were among the largest conventional submarines in service and were larger than a number of older nuclear submarine designs. Otherwise, their hull is a reasonably conventional cigar shape hull. While during development, the design showed the diving planes on the hull, in the end they were moved to the hull. In common with most advanced submarine designs, the hull has an anechoic coating in order to further reduce submarine noises.

As with the Collin class submarine, the Otama class submarine mounts French sonar systems. The Otama mounted the DUXX 12 hull and DSUV 78 towed array sonar systems. While considered extremely effective, range was not considered to be as good as the systems mounted on American and British submarine classes developed around the same time period.

With regard to weaponry, the Otama class submarine has the same basic weapon suite as the prior class it was based on. This includes six twenty-one inch torpedo tubes along the sides and eight vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk missiles behind the forward sonar dome. Originally it was planned to mount eight torpedo tubes on the Collins class replacement class but cut to six tubes during development of the design. A total of twenty-eight torpedoes can be carried as reloads. In addition to conventional torpedoes, additional missiles and anti-submarine rocket boosted torpedoes can also be carried. The vertical launch systems were converted to fire a wider variety of cruise missiles instead of just the Tomahawk missile.

It was decided to go with a slightly larger crew than the Collins class. Standard compliment is sixty personnel with twelve officers and chief petty officers. Even so, all of the crew have bunks and crew quarters are considered relatively comfortable for a submarine. Still, the submarine is considered quite cramped compared to most surface vessels. In addition to the standard crew compliment, the Otama class submarine is designed to be able to carry up to twelve special forces personnel. As they were rarely carried, this capacity was deleted in the next submarine class.

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: Otama class Submarine.

Class: Ocean, Attack Submarine.

Crew: 62; 6 Officers, 6 chief petty officers, and 50 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troop Capacity: 12 (Special Forces personnel.)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:


M.D.C. by Location:


533 mm (21 inch) Torpedo Tubes (6, sides of submarine):

80 each.


Vertical Cruise Missile Launchers (8, bow of submarine):

100 each.


Main Sail:



[1] Sail Planes (2, sail):

120 each.


[2] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):



[3] Main Body:



[1] Destroying the submarine’s sail planes will reduce the submarine’s ability to change depths but will not eliminate it. It also makes it difficult for the submarine’s crew to control the submarine giving a penalty of -25% to all underwater piloting rolls.

[2] Destroying the submarine’s pump jet propulsor causes serious problems. The submarine will no longer be able to use forward momentum and the sail planes to keep the submarine level. It is recommended that ballast tanks are immediately blown so submarine comes to the surface.

[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the submarine’s structural integrity, causing it to sink. If the submarine is underwater, the entire crew will die unless protected by environmental armors that can withstand the pressure that the submarine is under. If on the surface, there are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.


Surface: 13.8 mph (12 knots/ 22.2 kph) maximum and 11.5 mph (10 knots 18.5 kph) normal cruise speed.

Underwater: 27.6 mph (24 knots / 44.4 kph) maximum and 5.8 mph (5 knots / 9.3 kph) normal.

Maximum Depth: 4,920 feet (1,500 meters).

Range: Boat carries three months of supplies for crew and troops on board.

Diesel: 20,710 miles (18,000 nautical miles / 33,340 kilometers) at 11.5 mph (10 knots 18.5 kph) on the surface and 17,260 miles (15,000 nautical miles / 27,780 kilometers) at 11.5 mph (10 knots 18.5 kph) while snorkeling.

Battery: 830 miles (720 nautical miles /1,330 kilometers) at 5.8 mph (5 knots / 9.3 kph). Reduce to 55.2 miles (48 nautical miles / 88.9 kilometers) at 27.6 mph (24 knots / 44.4 kph). Requires 48 hours to fully recharge batteries.

Fuel Cell: 3,680 miles (3,200 nautical miles / 5,925 kilometers) at 5.8 mph (5 knots / 9.3 kph).

Statistical Data:

Draft:    24.28 feet (7.4 meters).

Length:  316.61 feet (96.5 meters).

Beam:    28.87 feet (8.8 meters).

Displacement: 3,450 tons surfaced and 4,020 tons submerged.

Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 10 tons (9.07 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Boat’s officers have a bit more space for personal items although still extremely cramped. Most of the boat’s spaces are taken up by extra torpedoes, weapons, and engines.

Power System: Hybrid diesel electric and fuel cell.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay one hundred million or more credits for a new and undamaged Otama class submarine.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Six (6) 533 mm Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the sides of the submarine are six torpedo tubes with three on each side. Tubes are 21 inches (533 mm) wide and torpedoes can be used against both surface ships and submarines. For warheads, heavy torpedoes should be treated as having long range missile warheads. Along with standard torpedoes, the launcher can also fire missiles (long range or cruise missiles) in special canisters and rocket boosted ASW torpedoes. Submarine normally carries twenty-eight reloads for torpedoes (in addition to six torpedoes in the tubes) and can carry up to fifty-six mines in place of torpedoes.

    Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (34.8 nautical miles / 64 km) for torpedoes.

    Mega-Damage: By heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details), can fire missiles (long range or cruise missiles) in special canisters as well (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire heavy torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), or six (6) torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee round.

    Payload: Six (6) heavy torpedoes total [Has twenty-eight (28) additional heavy torpedoes for reloads.]

  2. Eight (8) Vertical Launch Cruise Missile Launchers (MK 45 VLS): In the front of the submarine but behind the sonar dome, the submarine has vertical launch system for launching cruise missiles. Launchers are outside of the pressure hull. Missiles are launched in special canisters that enable the missiles to be used in depths down to around 150 feet (45.7 meters.) Most missiles warheads normally carried are fusion as well as being smart missiles. The launchers were originally designed to carry BGM-109 Tomahawk anti-ship missiles but were modified to fire all standard cruise missiles.

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

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

    Rate of Fire: Can fire cruise missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) cruise missiles and can be fired at multiple target at the same time.

    Payload: Eight (8) cruise missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads.

  3. Four (4) Advanced Decoy Drones: The submarine carries four advance decoys drones. They are a small automated vehicles that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the submarine’s sonar signature. It has a small propulsion system that can simulate movement [has a maximum speed of 23.0 mph (20 knots / 37.0 kph)] and maneuvers. In addition to be able to be used to decoy torpedoes, they can sometimes be used to trick another vessel while the submarine moves into position. If decoys are not destroyed, they can usually be recovered and repaired if they can be retrieved. 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.: 20.

    Range: Not applicable. Decoys do however have a duration of 30 minutes (120 melee rounds) once launched.

    Effects: The decoy has an 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition) and non “smart” torpedoes, and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and “smart” torpedoes.

    Rate of Fire: Boat can launch one decoy drone per melee round.

    Payload: Four (4) decoy drones.

  4. Noisemakers: The submarine carries noisemakers in order to decoy torpedoes. They are most effective against normal torpedoes and less effective against “smart” torpedoes. Considered in many ways to be the last line of defense against incoming torpedoes and similar systems are carried on most submarines. The noisemakers are launched from the middle of the submarine.

    Effects: 50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying “smart” torpedoes.

    Rate of Fire: Two (2) noisemakers at a time (Can be reloaded in one melee round).

    Payload: Twenty (20) noisemakers.

Special Systems:

The submarine 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. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.