French Verdun class Multi Role Amphibious Assault Ship:

During much of the first half of the Twenty First century, the French government had cut funding towards the nation’s military. Without proper funding, the French military had extraordinary issues meeting their obligations. In addition, the majority of their equipment was old, worn-out, and outdated.

With the resurgence of colonial Britain in Twenty Fifty-Five, the French government woke up to the fact that their forces had dropped to what might be considered deplorable levels and that their military had lost their status on the world’s stage. To make up for lost ground, the French government funded an enormous military build-up program to re-equip its military in all areas. All three branches, the army, navy, and air force, received greatly expanded funding for projects. This was especially the case with those dedicated to colonial expansion and enhancing global presence.

During the French evacuation of the Congo embassy in 2068, the aircraft carrier Bretagne did an admirable job in supporting the airborne and marine forces that were deployed to defend the evacuation. However, it quickly became apparent that the ship was not designed to support marine operations in shallow waters. These carriers were never really meant for sustained marine operations and the situation showed this.

Even though refitted with advanced composites, the three Mistral class dock landing ships had reached the end of their useful lives. Plans had called for their retirement by the Twenty Seventies. This would would have left the French Navy/Marine force without any amphibious vessels. After careful examination, it was decided to develop an amphibious assault ship more on par with the American Tripoli, British Africa, and Soviet Borodino class vessels.

Like the Bretagne class aircraft carriers, the new Verdun class amphibious assault ship design was to be significantly larger than their British rivals. Two major reasons are given by military experts. One is more or less political. British scholars often argue that the French were an incredibly prideful people and wanted their ships to be larger and more majestic then those designs of the Royal Navy. The official reason is more practical however. Due to limited resources, the French fleet might not always the carriers Bretagne or Provence to be on hand to support any amphibious operations. These new amphibious vessels might could have had to carry out an assault with only a few destroyers, frigates, and submarines as support.

As a result, they would need to be able to carry significantly more fighters and fighter-bombers than traditional assault carriers. The ships would also need to be capable of transporting an entire marine regiment without additional amphibious transports. Finally, these vessels would need to be able to perform the role of an amphibious command ship as well.

About the only role that they were not expected to perform was that of gunfire support. At the time the Jean Bart amphibious support cruisers were under development. While often considered carriers, these vessels were not intended to support mine counter-measures operations or actively conduct anti-submarine warfare. These roles would be performed by other vessels.

As stated, the amphibious assault ships were very large, they were actually larger than the older Charles de Gaulle class aircraft carriers and were the largest amphibious vessels save for the American Ticonderoga class SCVN and proposed Inchon class SLVN. Outwardly, they followed the similar lines as the Mistral class aircraft carriers, though obviously much larger. A major change in the design of the new amphibious assault ships was the addition of a ski-jump located at the bow of the ship to allow for the operation of fixed wing aircraft with greater payloads. Helicopters would use the after parts of the flight deck but might have to suspend operations for landing the fixed-wing assets such as the Aigle STOLs.

While helicopters could be used to transport troops and even smaller vehicles to shore, larger vehicles would either need to be transported by hovercraft or be able to land themselves. Five transport hovercraft could be carried in an internal dry deck rather than a well-deck. This dry deck enabled these ships to carry other vehicles in place of the hovercraft, allowing for more flexible operations.

Even with the increase in military budgets, it was decided to attempt to keep costs down as much as possible. This included building these ships as much as possible to mercantile standards. In addition an older propulsion plant was chosen. Weaponry is reduced considerably compared to the Bretagne as well as the older DRBW 15D and DRBJ 19C radars chosen instead of the DRBW 25C that was currently under development.

The fusion plants chosen for the new amphibious assault ships were those from the Roselys class frigates. While these amphibious vessels were far larger than the frigates, these vessels could still reach a full twenty-six knots. In comparison, the Mistral class dock landing ships could only reach just under nineteen knots. These vessels featured several hull maneuvering thrusters to enable them to remain stationary even without anchoring. Power is transferred to both the main thrusters and maneuvering thrusters through a distributed electrical propulsion systems.

Even though largely built to mercantile standards, the hull and superstructure were designed with a reduced radar cross signature in mind. Still, the ship was not designed to have as much of a decrease in radar profile as many other contemporary military designs. The use of advanced composites and alloys means that these ships were extremely tough even though designed to mercantile standards.

While the weaponry is broadly similar to that fitted to the Bretagne class aircraft carriers, the actual number of medium range vertical launch systems was reduced by half. Otherwise these weapons were considered quite capable of defending themselves. Beside the two Sylver vertical launch system, these ships mounted two Creusot-Loire rail gun close in defense systems (CIWS) and two Sadral-AL sextuple short range missile launchers. The used of older radar systems was sometimes criticized but generally considered capable to support air operations as well as detection and tracking of hostile threats.

Initially three Verdun class amphibious assault ships were planned to replace the three retiring Mistral class dock landing ships but one, provisionally named the Arromanches, was cancelled. The lead ship of the class, the Verdun was laid down in Twenty Seventy-Two and completed Twenty Seventy-Nine. The second ship of the class, the Bearn was laid down in Twenty Seventy-Five and completed in Twenty Eighty-One.

Both vessels gave an excellent account of themselves over the course of their lives. When the Great Cataclysm occurred, both ships were at sea. They were supported by the amphibious support cruisers Lorraine in the Mediterranean and Jean Bart near the Horn of Africa respectively. It is not known if either survived the Great Cataclysm; however their super strong hulls could have helped them remain intact.

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: Verdun class Multi Role Amphibious Assault Ship

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Assault Vessel

Crew: 650 (50 officers, 75 chief petty officers, 525 and enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]) plus a flagship staff of up to 40 when acting as a flagship.

Troops: 2,900 (300 pilots for Lafayette power Armor, 400 aircraft crew members, 200 vehicle crew members, and 2,000 soldiers.)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



Lafayette Power Armors.

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:



Aigle Airborne Radar Support VSTOL Aircraft.



Aigle ASW Support VSTOL Aircraft.



Épée-N VSTOL Fighter / Interceptors.



Mirage VIII-N VSTOL Fighter/Bombers.



Panthère NH110 ASW Helicopters.



Panthère NH110 General Purpose Helicopters.

Landing Craft Compliment:



Air Cushion Landing Craft.

Tanks & Other Vehicles:



Chevillon Light Tanks.



Lemonnier Infantry Fighting Vehicles.



Weygand Missile Vehicles.



Hering Anti-Aircraft Tanks.



Support Vehicles (Various).

M.D.C. by Location:


Creusot-Loire CIWS Rail Gun Mounts (2, side sponsons):

150 each.


Sylver LTR 16 cell Medium Range Vertical Launch Systems (2, sides):

250 each.


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

120 each.


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

250 each.


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



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

10 each.


[3] Elevators (3, sides):

350 each.


Hanger Doors (3, sides):

350 each.


[4] Main Flight Deck:



Rear Vehicle / Dry Deck Doors:



[5] Main Bridge / Superstructure:



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



[6] 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] If all three 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 bridge / superstructure 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 advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -1,200 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: 29.9 mph (26 knots/ 48.1 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:    28.22 feet (8.6 meters).

Length: 886.81 feet (270.3 meters) waterline and 938.97 feet (286.2 meters) overall.

Width:   115.16 feet (35.1 meters) waterline and 158.14 feet (48.2 meters) extreme beam.

Displacement: 44,800 tons standard and 56,400 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 6,000 tons (5,443 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Increase to 14,000 tons (12,700 metric tons) without vehicles embarked. 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 costs around 1.5 billion credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 2.5 to 4 billion credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


  1. Two (2) Creusot-Loire Rail Gun Close-In-Weapon Systems: One CIWS mount is on sponsons just below the flight deck on two corners of the ship with the others occupied with the Sadral-AL sextuple short range missile launchers. Replacing obsolete systems, these point defense systems are surprisingly similar to the later versions of the United States Mk 15 Phalanx weapon system although considered slightly more accurate. Another major improvement when compared to the Mk 15 Phalanx is the use of a six-barrel rapid fire rail gun that fires 20 mm special discarding sabot rounds in the place of an auto-cannon. Has a much greater payload as a result. Like the American Mk 15 Phalanx, the system is unmanned and fully automated. The weapons can be used on surface targets as well as against missiles and aircraft. Each rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +4 to strike missiles and +2 to strike aircraft). The system has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.

    Maximum Effective Range: 11,000 feet (2 miles/ 3.2 km).

    Mega-Damage: 3D4x10 per burst of 40 rounds (Can only fire burst).

    Rate of Fire: Each mount can fire six (6) attacks per melee.

    Payload: 8,000 rounds (200 burst) each.

  2. Two (2) Sylver LTR Sixteen Cell Medium Range Vertical Launch System: One is mounted to either side of the full forward of the superstructure. Similar in some respect to the American Mk 55 vertical launch system. As with the American system, these launchers fire the missiles on an eight degree angle to the side. Originally designed to prevent a missile that fails on its launch from crashing into aircraft on the flight deck of a carrier. The missiles are arranged in an two by eight pattern, and each launch cell has two reloads. Each system can launch up to eight missiles simultaneously each and the launcher is automatically reloaded. These launchers act as the ship’s middle point defense and are normally used to engage incoming air targets and missiles. Outer point defense is performed by the air compliment or escorting vessels.

    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: Sixteen (16) medium missiles in each launcher with thirty-two (32) medium range missiles in each magazine for automatic reloads, for a total of ninety-six (96) medium range missiles including missiles in launcher.

  3. Two (2) Sadral-AL Sextuple Short Range Missile Launchers: Mounted on two of the sponsons 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Four (4) 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 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. ]

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

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