British Royal Navy Ark Royal class Carrier:

In the early days of the Twenty First Century the Royal Navy needed to replace its three aging Invincible class light carriers with new ships. The Invincible class carriers were always considered sub-optimal as well, never have enough capabilities to actually perform their role that well. Whatever design was to replace the Invincible class carriers needed to be far more capable.

Studies as to the design of the new carrier had begun in the last years of the previous century, and a number of designs passed review. Some of the more notable designs were versions of a large Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) design, although the final design was for a conventional carrier, with catapults and arrester wires for landings. She was designed to carry a force of thirty planes, with an additional six anti-submarine warfare Merlin Helicopters and four radar and refueling planes. In wartime another ten planes could be carried.

The first of the class was laid down in 2005, and she was commissioned in 2012. When commissioned, she was the largest warship ever build in a British shipyard. Her name was Ark Royal, a name going back to 1587. The carrier Ark Royal of World War II fame was involved in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. Swordfish bombers from Ark Royal disabled the rudder of Bismarck, enabling the battleship to be caught and sunk. Although the original plans had called for a two-ship class, Ark Royal would ultimately be joined by two sister ships, not one.

The Ark Royal class carriers were large and good looking ships, with plenty of space available. During the development phase, the Royal Navy had come to the conclusion that “Steel is Cheap,” and had build the carriers in a size which meant that there would be plenty of room for additional aircraft and mid-life upgrades. A wise decision, considering that at least one of the ships was to remain in service for more than twice her originally planned life span.

The design for the carrier was not as simple as was often envisioned in the beginning of the design process. In order to have more commonality with the U.S. and French carriers, the Royal Navy opted for a conventional carrier design, with catapults and arrester gear. When the program was initially envisioned, the first designs had concentrated upon a Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing design, which would have been both smaller, simpler of construction, and would have cost less. Parts commonality and the ability to host planes from all friendly carrier sailing countries ultimately won the day.

As completed, the Ark Royal class was a roomy carrier, displacing greater than fifty thousand tons, and sporting an angled flight deck for arrested landings. Three electromagnetic catapults were used for launching planes, and there were three inboard elevators to a huge hangar which ran for more than two-thirds of the ships length. Unlike the American super carriers, the hanger was designed to be able to house the entire standard air wing. While the elevators cut into the available deck space, they were essential to reduce the radar cross signature of the Ark Royal class carrier. All flat surfaces were angled to reduce their radar cross signature as well with both the island and hull being very smooth.

When originally commissioned, armament considered of three SeaRAM short range missile launchers firing the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile and four 30 mm cannons. One of the SeaRAM mounts was located on top of the bridge, a second one on a sponson on the starboard side of the island, and the last one on a sponson on the aft port-side of the ship. The 30 mm cannons were located just underneath the flight deck, two on each side.

During a relatively early refit, a tactical length thirty-two cell Mk 41 vertical launch system was added in the after section of the carrier’s island. It gave the carrier a much better ability to defend itself against aircraft and missiles than just SeaRAM mounts did. As built, these vessels was fitted for the vertical launch system but it was not mounted. Many military experts actually were pretty skeptical of the weapon system ever being fitted.

Of course, the main weaponry of these carriers consisted of its forty plane strong air wing. Initial fighter compliment consisted of thirty F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Of course these aircraft were later replaced by more advanced designs including the FV-38 Panther II VSTOL fighter. Both American and French fighters could operate from the Ark Royal class.

Along with being floating air bases, these carriers were designed to act as flagships and they have sophisticated command and control facilities as a result. In addition, these ships used a large amount of automation and required much smaller crews than previous comparable carrier designs. In fact, the compliment of these carriers was barely greater than the much smaller Invincible class carriers

The Ark Royal class were designed to be able to embark up to two hundred troops. Their duties were not so much assault roles but instead mostly shipboard security while in port or underway. Due to personnel shortage, these carriers would often sail with a much reduced marine compliment. In later years, one hundred and twenty power armors might be carried.

Even though relatively lightly armed, these carriers were designed with an extensive sensor suit. Also mounted on the Type 45 destroyer, the Type 1045 Sampson active phased array radar system was extremely capable of tracking large numbers of targets. The Marconi/Signaal S1850M passively scanned phased array radar was longer ranged but was considered less accurate. As such, the longer range radar would usually hand over tracking data to the shorter ranged one as targets got closer. After a fair amount of debate, it was decided to mount a hull sonar system as well.

In addition to the missile launchers, these carriers mounted sophisticated defensive suites. Against missiles, the Ark Royal class had a sophisticated ECM suite including active jamming. In addition, there were chaff and decoy launchers in order to spoof incoming missiles. Finally, to give some measure of defense against underwater attacks, the carrier had towed torpedo decoys.

Propulsion was provided by four gas turbines which provided electricity for all of the ships systems, including four huge electrical motors which powered twin shafts. Earlier in the development, there was discussion of a mixed diesel and gas turbine propulsion system but was eventually shelved. In order to keep costs down, these carriers were only lightly armored. However, a comprehensive compartmentalization of the ship was used to allow it to survive major battle damage.

While in the 2030s, there was a revolution in super strong materials, a full refit for these carriers was delayed due to budget issues, leaving them extremely vulnerable. Eventually however these carriers did receive a refit with the new advanced materials. Composite armor was added in order to increase the ability for these carriers to survive damage. Electronics were also refurbished at the same time. Initially, these carriers were to retain their original weaponry but refitted to take advanced of new ordnance types.

During the time these carriers were being refitted and rebuilt, fusion power had finally become viable including fusion turbines for aircraft. These fusion turbines were also adapted to replace gas turbines. It was decided to replace the gas turbines aboard the Ark Royal class during the refit. This gave these carriers effectively indefinite range as well as top speed being slightly increased.

Even though they were retained during the major refit and rebuilding, it was decided to later replace the three SeaRAM mounts with four American Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” mounts which combine short range missile launchers with a powerful rail gun. One was located on top of the bridge, another was mounted on the starboard side of the superstructure just below deck level, and the last two were mounted on sponsons just below deck level at the corners at the back of the ship. Eventually is was planned that the 30 mm cannons would be replaced by rail guns.

In 2072 the British Empire became aware that the Argentinians once again were about to embark on a campaign to “liberate” Los Malvinas from British rule. And so it was decided that a task force, centered around a carrier should be send to the Falklands to do a little gunboat diplomacy. The Ark Royal was the carrier chosen for the task. In December 2072, following Christmas, HMS Ark Royal and her extensive group of escorts set sail to the Falklands. They would never arrive.

In the open ocean, less than 200 miles of the shore of Argentina, the task force would be attacked by a group of stealth bombers from Argentina. Utilizing stealth technology acquired from China and carrying nuclear weapons, they destroyed the entire task force. Or so everyone thought. While for a few weeks the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war, the Ark Royal and her task force had been displaced in time.

Having shot down or prematurely detonated all of the nuclear missiles heading their way, explosion from the nuclear weapons had released enough energy to temporarily activate what would later become known as the South American Sea Triangle. A brief but violent electrical storm later, the task force emerged unscathed into a world both very different and yet very recognizable. . .

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: CFV-01C / Ark Royal class Carrier.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Nuclear Aircraft Carrier.

Crew: Ships Complement: 708 personnel (60 officers, 68 chief petty officers, and 580 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]). 

Air Wing: 520 personnel (120 pilots / air crews, 45 flight deck officers, and 355 enlisted.)

Flagship Staff (When acting as a Flagship): 80 Personnel (8 officers, 8 senior enlisted, and 64 enlisted.)

Troops: 200 personnel (120 pilots for Gypsy Moth flying power armors and 80 soldiers in body armor.)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



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

Aircraft Compliment:



FV-38 Panther II VSTOL Fighters.



S-14 Buccaneer VSTOL Fighter/Bombers.



Westland Merlin HM 1 helicopters (Airborne Radar Version.)



Westland Merlin HM 1 helicopters (Anti-Submarine Warfare Version.)

M.D.C. by Location:


Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Systems (4, bridge / sponsons):

200 each.


Mk 41 Tactical Length 32 Cell Vertical Launch System (superstructure):



30mm Mark 44 Bushmaster II Auto Cannon Mounts (4, sides):

50 each.


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



[1] Marconi/Signaal S1850M Air/Surf. Search Radar (superstructure):



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

10 each.


[2] Sea Gnat Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.


[3] Electromagnetic Catapults (3, flight deck):

100 each.


[3] Electromagnetic Arrester Cables (4, flight deck):

40 each.


[4] Inboard Elevators (3):

400 each.


Hanger Doors (2):

350 each.


[5] Main Flight Deck:



[6] Main Bridge / Superstructure:



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



[7] Main Body:



[1] Destroying both Sampson active phased array radar system and the S1850M air / surface search 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 the catapults are destroyed, non VTOL or STOL aircraft cannot be launched. If arrester cables are destroyed, non VTOL or STOL aircraft cannot land until arrester cables are replaced.

[4] If all three elevators are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the flight deck, meaning that they cannot be launched unless already on the flight deck.

[5] If the flight decks are destroyed, only helicopters and other VTOL aircraft can be launched or land. VTOL aircraft are at -15% to piloting.

[6] If 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.

[7] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the vessel to sink. Because of superior compartmentalization of the ship will take up to six hours to sink. This may give the ships crew time to patch the damage to an extent that the ship will float but all propulsion will be destroyed but the ship may be repairable. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


On Water: 32 knots (36.8 mph / 59.3 kph).

Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six (6) months of supplies and consumables on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft:    37 feet (11.1 meters).

Length:  950 feet (285.1 meters) waterline and 1000 feet (300 meters) overall.

Width:   122.7 feet (36.8 meters) waterline and 213 feet (65 meters) overall.

Displacement: 54,000 tons standard and 59,000 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 4,500 tons (4,080 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: Power System: Originally conventional gas turbine propulsion, converted to four nuclear fusion turbine reactors with an average life span of 20 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but if found on the black market would probably cost three to five billion credits, possibly more. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


  1. Four (4) 30mm Mk 44 Bushmaster II Auto Cannon Mounts: Four 30 mm cannons were mounted just below the edge of the flight deck, two on each side. These weapons had a good range and rate of fire, but lacked the punch to do damage to large targets. Since they were manually aimed, they were little good against missiles, and the crew often joked that they were only good for “Shooting life boats and survivors in the water.” Primarily however, they are for defense against small boats and similar threats. Each gun can rotate 270 degrees and has a 90 degree arc of fire.

    Maximum Effective Range: 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 2D6 per round, and 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 rounds.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: 600 rounds (20 bursts) each. Ship carries an additional 28,000 rounds of ammunition in magazines. Auto cannons requires 3 minutes (12 melees) to reload by properly trained personnel (Double for untrained crews.)

  2. Four (4) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Replace original SeaRAM mounts. Bought from the United States as a replacement for aging defense system. One is mounted over the bridge, another is mounted on the starboard side of the superstructure just below deck level, and the last two are mounted on sponsons just below deck level at the corners at the back of the ship. 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. 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 missiles 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. One (1) Mk 41 Tactical Length 32 Cell Vertical Launch System: Mounted in the superstructure, this launcher has thirty-two cells for missiles. A very reliable vertical launcher system, dating back from the previous century, made in the USA, and exported to numerous countries. The tactical length version could not carry cruise missiles and used almost exclusively to house surface to air missiles. From the beginning, the launchers have been found to be very flexible and adaptable and the launcher can carry two long range missiles or four medium range missiles per cell. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details) although are rarely carried.

    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: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per melee round and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: Thirty-two (32) missile cells in the VLS launcher (possible total of 64 long range missiles).Two (2) long range missiles or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per missile cell. Normal missile compliment was thirty-two (32) long range missiles and sixty-four (64) medium range missiles. Ship carries no reloads.

  4. Four (4) Sea Gnat Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. All four launchers must be operated or effects will be reduced. Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological difference. 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. One hundred and ninety-two (192) reload canisters are carried, reloading takes two melee rounds.

  5. Six (6) Graseby Type 188 Towed 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 five 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 copyrighted by BAE Systems.

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and revised by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2001, 2002, & 2018, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.