French Dupleix class Air Defense Frigate (Destroyer):

The refit of the French Horizon class frigates in the early Twenty Forties gave them a new lease on life. Initially, high strength composites and alloys reinforced the original hull and weapon systems were upgraded with new ordnance. Later on, the gas turbines were replaced by fusion turbines while the diesel engines were dismantled. When built, their armament and sensor suites were state of the art and were still considered adequate even after thirty years of service.

Even so, in the Twenty-Fifties it was evident that the ships needed to be replaced by newer more capable ships that could provide air defense for the new aircraft carriers and other national assets against the growing Soviet threat. As with the Horizon project, the French partnered with the Italians to reduce the costs of development and production. For a time, the Spanish navy considered partnering with France and Italy but eventually they decided to develop a design using mostly United States military hardware.

An item that can be a bit confusing is that French navy uses the term frigate to mean any missile armed ship up to cruiser sized. Many French frigates have had similar displacement to other navies destroyers. The Horizon class frigates, for example, were similar in size to the British Daring class destroyers. These new vessels would be considered frigates by the French Navy even though by the standards of most navies might be better considered destroyers.

Even before the first plans hit the drawing board, a specific set of capabilities and requirements had been decided on. As with the Horizon class frigates, area defense was the main concern and the rest of the vessel was designed around that. In addition, enhanced survival (a.k.a. reduced radar cross signature) and strong anti-ship capabilities were considered essential.

To that end a much larger ship was planned in order to incorporate an additional vertical launch system for expanded munitions capacity. Additionally, sixteen dedicated launchers for anti-ship missiles were carried for added punch. Finally, a pair of three inch guns was also included as well as two short range missile mounts and twin 324 mm torpedo catapults.

In order to accommodate a single helicopter or VTOL aircraft with additional room for a small squad of power armor, the design included a relatively hanger in the aft superstructure. However, only a very small contingent of troops would be otherwise stationed aboard for ship-boarding and repulsion purposes.

An advanced electronic suite, including the latest French phased array radar system, would be incorporated over comparable British and American systems. While a bow sonar was fitted, no towed array was carried, slightly limiting the frigates anti-submarine capabilities. There was the usual self defense measures including active jamming and decoy systems.

From the onset, the ships were planned with nuclear propulsion. Instead of using fusion turbines as with the converted Horizon class frigates, a pair of French developed marine type fusion plants were fitted. There were concerns by the Italians during development but in the end the French design proved to be the most economical choice. As was common by this time, the shafts were driven by a pair of electrical motors instead of any form of direct drive. This allowed greater noise reduction than might otherwise be possible.

The hull design looked quite similar an elongated version of the highly successful La Fayette class light frigates, but with weapons placement similar to the Horizon class frigates. In the bow of the vessel was the forward vertical launch system with the pair of three inch guns in raised decks behind the vertical launch system, just forward of the main superstructure. However, the aft vertical launch system is mounted above the hanger with the hanger moved further aft. Between the forward and aft sections of the superstructure are four sets of four anti-ship missiles canisters. Two quad launchers are located on each side of the vessel

Otherwise, the angled superstructure is designed to reduce the frigate’s radar cross signature. All electronics are located inside of enclosed masts to further reduce the amount of radar return. With the materials used during the construction of these vessels, these new frigates had an extremely small radar cross signature for their size. These same materials were incredibly strong and extremely resistant to corrosion, giving these frigates extremely long potential life spans.

In service, the Dupleix class frigates proved to be extremely effective and reliable. With a good combination of offensive and defensive abilities, these frigates were able to deal with a wide number of threats. During the French embassy evacuation of Congo in Twenty Sixty-Eight, the Dupleix repelled an attack by revolutionary forces in both aircraft and surface ships. The single frigate accounted for thirteen aircraft downed, thirty-four missiles intercepted and destroyed, and eight small surface vessels sunk. Similar smaller occurrences happened for Italy as well and these vessels proved their worth many times over.

A total of twelve of these vessels were constructed under the joint program. Seven of the vessels were completed for France and five were constructed for Italy. Even though newer classes entered service, all twelve Dupleix class frigates continued to serve until the Great Cataclysm. Due to the construction of these vessels from high strength composites and alloys, it is quite possible that one or more of these frigates might have survived.

At least two of the French ships were with the carrier Provence in the North Atlantic and are generally believed to have been sunk along with her by Soviet Battleaxe bombers. Two more were with the Bretagne as she was scrambling to get underway from her port in Brest. As the continent of Atlantis returned to Rifts Earth, an enormous title wave struck them both as they were leaving the port city. It is commonly believed that they capsized and ran aground with a lose of all hands. Of the other three, one was with each amphibious group centered around the L’Indomptable and L’Inflexible in the Mediterranean Sea and Horn of Africa respectively. As far as the final one, it was operating independently in the Pacific Ocean.


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: Dupleix class.

Class: Air Defense Missile Frigate (Destroyer).

Crew: 168 (20 officers, 18 chief petty officers, and 130 enlisted).

Troops: 8 Panthère helicopter crew members and 12 marines including Lafayette power armor pilots.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



Lafayette Power Armors.

Aircraft Compliment:



Panthère NH110 ASW Helicopters.

M.D.C. by Location:





[1] Thompson-CS DRBW 15D Active Phased Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):

250 each.


[1] Thompson-CS DRBJ 19C Passive Phased Array Air Search Radar (superstructure):



[2] OTO-Melara Single Barrel 3 inch (76-mm)/62-cal DP Barrel (2, gun mount):

60 each.


OTO-Melara Single Barrel 3 inch (76-mm)/62-cal DP Gun Mount (2, forward):

180 each.


Sylver MRX 48 cell Vertical Launch Systems (2, forward and aft):

330 each.


MM40 Quad Long Range Missile Canister Launchers (4, amidships):

250 each.


Sadral-AL Sextuple Short Range Missile Launchers (2, superstructure):

120 each.


Dual KD-73C 12.75 inch (324 mm) Fixed Torpedo Catapults (2, sides):

40 each.


[2] CSEE Sagaie AMBL-7G Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.


Hangar (aft):



VTOL Pad (aft):



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



[3] Main Body:



[1] Destroying both DRBW 15D and DRBJ 19C Air Search System radar systems will eliminate the ship's long range air search ability but weapon systems have backup fire control systems. Both air search systems are separate so both systems are not likely to be disabled from a single hit, and the four DRBW 15D panels can compensate for the loss of one or two panels.

[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] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the ship’s structural integrity, causing it to sink. There are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.


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 six (6) months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft:    22.31 feet (6.8 meters) mean and 31.82 feet (9.7 meters) including sonar dome.

Length:  572.51 feet (174.5 meters) waterline and 608.27 feet (185.4 meters) overall.

Width:   72.51 feet (22.1 meters).

Displacement: 6,920 tons standard and 9,850 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 400 tons (362.9 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms, and junior ratings were housed in six berth cabins, with senior ratings sharing two berth cabins. Ship’s officers had far more space for personal items, and lived in individual cabins. 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 Price: Not for sale but if found on the black market would probably cost 300 million or more credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) OTO Melara 3 inch (76mm)/62 Super Rapid Naval Gun: The ship mounts a pair of rapid fire three inch gun mount forward of the superstructure but aft of the missile launchers. Based upon a naval gun from the Twentieth Century, this design has changed little, except for a stealthy gun shield and improved reliability and firepower. It is fully automated, and is usually aimed by radar. The guns were very reliable and fired very rapidly (About 85 rounds per minute). The main weaknesses of the guns were their relatively short range and the fact they could not use rocket assisted projectiles. The guns could be used against other ships, ground targets, aircraft, and even missiles. These guns were among the smallest that could use a proximity fuse for their warheads.

    Maximum Effective Range: 4.9 miles (4.3 nautical miles/8.0 km) for standard projectiles

    Mega-Damage: High Explosive: 1D4x10 M.D.C. with 10 foot (3 meters) blast radius per single shot and 3D4x10 M.D.C. with 20 foot (6.1 meters) blast radius for three round burst. High Explosive Armor Piercing: 1D6x10 M.D.C. with 4 foot (1.2 meters) blast radius per single shot and 3D6x10 M.D.C. with 8 foot (2.4 meter) blast radius for three round burst. Plasma: 2D4x10 M.D.C. with 12 foot (3.7 m) blast radius per single shot and 6D4x10 M.D.C. with 25 foot (7.6 meter) blast radius for three round burst.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (Three round bursts count as one attack.)

    Payload: 280 rounds per mount for 560 rounds total. Ship normally carries usually carries 100 High Explosive, 100 High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 80 Plasma rounds per mount.

  2. Two (2) Sylver MRX 48-cell Advanced Capacity Vertical Launch Systems: A French design, these launchers were mounted forward of the pair of three inch guns and aft above the helicopter hanger. The redesigned launchers were built to incorporate the same diversity of missiles that were being designed for the comparable American Mk 41 systems. Each cell could carry a single cruise missile, two long-range missiles, or four medium-range missiles. Cruise missiles are usually used against hardened fixed targets, long range missiles are normally used against aircraft and other large targets, and medium range missiles are normally used against closer targets such as incoming missiles. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

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

    Mega-Damage: As per cruise, long range, 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 volley of two (2), four (4), or sixteen (16) missiles per melee round and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: Forty-eight (48) missiles cells in each VLS launcher for a total of ninety-six (96) missile cells (possible total of 192 long range missiles). One (1) cruise missile, two (2) long range missiles, or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per cell. he ship would often carried sixteen (16) cells loaded with cruise missiles, forty-eight (48) cells loaded with long range missiles (96 long range missiles) and thirty-two (32) cells loaded with medium range missiles (128 medium range missiles.)

  3. Four (4) MM40 Quad Long Range Missile Canister Launchers: These launchers are special canisters mounted in four quadruple mounts between the forward and after parts of the superstructure. These launchers are a slightly modified version of the French MM40 Exocet missile canisters. While the launchers are reusable, they are still inexpensive and are easily jettisoned if damaged although the whole quadruple mount has to be jettisoned. While any long range missile type can be carried, usually special surface skimming missiles will be carried in launchers and are used against surface targets only.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (Surface skimming missiles have 25% less range than normal long range missiles, see revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

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

    Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) long range missiles with all launchers operating together.

    Payload: Long range missiles are mounted in four quad launchers with four (4) long range missiles for a total of sixteen (16) long range missiles.

  4. Two (2) Sadral-AL Sextuple Short Range Missile Launchers: Mounted to either side of the superstructure to give the ship effective short range defense against incoming missiles. A modified version of the Sadral Mistral launcher which incorporated an automatic loading system and able to use a variety of short range missiles. The system is designed to be able to target multiple incoming missiles simultaneously. It can be fired against surface targets as well as against air targets.

    Note: SAM style missiles are missiles that sacrifice payload for higher speeds, see Chris Curtis’ modified missile table for specifics.

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

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

    Rate of Fire: Each mount can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) short range missiles and can be used up to twice (2) per melee round.

    Payload: Six (6) short range missiles each launcher for twelve (12) total. The vessel carries forty-eight (48) short range missiles as reloads for each launcher for a total of one hundred and eight (108) short range missiles total. If a launcher is damaged, those missiles cannot be accessed except manually. Sometimes additional missiles are carried in the cargo hold for reloads.

  5. Two (2) Dual KD-73C 12.75 inch (324 mm) Fixed Torpedo Catapults: There are twin catapults for launching torpedoes on each side of the ship. Each catapult could launch 12.75 in (324 mm) torpedoes out to 492 feet (150 meters) from the ship. The torpedo’s motor would then take over, guiding it to its target. Torpedoes are normally used against submarines but can be targeted against surface targets as well. Interceptor torpedoes are also available for launchers to use against incoming torpedoes. Ship carries forty reloads for torpedoes. For the most part torpedo warheads are equal to 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) medium torpedoes per side. Reloading catapults requires two (2) full melee rounds.

    Payload: Two (2) medium torpedoes each launcher for a grand total of four (4) medium torpedoes. Has an additional forty (40) medium torpedoes for reloads.

  6. Four (4) CSEE Sagaie AMBL-7G 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. 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: Six (6) canisters each for a total of twenty-four (24) canisters. One hundred and ninety-two (192) reloads are carried, reloading takes two melee rounds.

  7. Five (5) Dassault FRN-6F LAT Towed Torpedo Decoys: A special decoy which is towed behind the ship. 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 four 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. ]

Writeup by Kamikazi ( and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2004 & 2018, Kamikazi & Kitsune. All rights reserved.