German Type 402 class Fast Attack Submarine:

The German shipbuilding industry had long been a leader in submarine design and development. Their submarines almost brought Great Britain to their knees during both World War I and World War II. While they were completed too late to alter the outcome of the second World War, a number of advanced submarine designs inspired the designers around the world to develop new submarine designs. After the end of World War II, German shipbuilding itself continued their legacy.

A number of nations including the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France developed nuclear submarine designs. At the time, Germany continued to produce diesel-electric designs and introduced fuel cell systems into widespread submarine service. While fuel cell submarines never had the range and speed of nuclear submarines, it far extended their ability to remain under water. One of these fuel cell submarines could operate for weeks underwater without snorkeling.

With the introduction of practical fusion power, the equation changed once again. A submarine could be developed that would be able to operate at high speeds with virtually unlimited endurance while not having the issues that conventional fission reactor designs possessed. It took a number of years but fusion power basically was the end of the development of conventional submarine designs. A number did remain in service and a few were even cut in half and had their original propulsion system replaced by fusion plants.

The Type 402 was the first German fusion powered submarine design. At over four thousand tons submerged, the submarine was far larger than previous German submarine classes. Still, its origins are clearly from older conventional German submarine designs. It should be noted that while far larger than previous German navy submarines, the Type 402 was still far smaller than the nuclear submarine classes produced by the United States and others.

Development of the Type 402 began in the early Twenty-Fifties with the first boat laid down a couple of years later. The new fusion powered submarines began entering service in the early Twenty-Sixties. As these fusion powered submarines entered service, the previous Type 224 class were retired from German naval service. Most were sold to other navies, largely those of less developed nations.

In total, two dozen Type 402 class submarine were completed for the German navy over the next couple of decades. With the rebirth of the Soviet military, military budgets increased and there was intensive naval building programs. In addition, the design of the Type 402 was also exported to a number of other nations and inspired the designs of even more nations.

When the Great Cataclysm occurred, all of the Type 402 submarines remained in service although there was also a more advanced Type 408 class just entering service. A total of twelve of the new Type 408 class were planned. However, only the first two Type 408 had been completed when the Great Cataclysm occurred. A third boat was nearly complete as well.

One Type 402 submarine joined the New Navy after the cataclysm, unable to make contact with any other German elements at the time. It has remained as a training boat and the crew of the submarine have long assimilated into the personnel of the New Navy. Six boats however were able to be recovered by the New German Republic navy. Of those, two were later destroyed. The remaining four are mostly used as training boats although they do still sometimes deploy. With a top speed of only twenty-eight knots, they are far slower than the New German Republic’s newer submarines.

In addition to being the first fusion powered submarine class developed in Germany, these submarines introduced a number of new features to German submarine designs. These include an automated torpedo loading system, vertical launch missile system, and a pulse laser mounted in the submarine’s sail. A number of systems, including the sonar systems, also made it into other submarine classes. They were not regarded as quite as quiet as the previous Type 224 class but could maintain quiet operations at far greater speeds than the older conventional submarine.

Compared to most submarine classes after the coming of the Great Cataclysm, the Type 402 design are incredibly advanced and quiet designs. Later German designs build on the Type 402 but otherwise only the New Navy and the Republic of Japan are capable of constructed submarines with the capabilities of the Type 402. The new submarines built by the Coalition are considered good attempts but have nowhere near the capabilities of these submarines.

As designed, the submarines could carry a small special forces unit. Originally twelve could be carried although they are often replaced by troops in light power armor in New German Republic naval service. The XU-50 Light Underwater Power Armors is the most commonly embarked. In some cases, cyborg troops may be carried in the place of power armors.

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: Type 402 class Submarine.

Class: Ocean, Fast Attack Submarine.

Crew: 38; 6 Officers, 6 chief petty officers, and 26 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troop Capacity: 8 (With light underwater power armors or cyborg troops) or 12 (Without power armor) - Originally designed to carry 12 special forces personnel.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



XU-50 Light Underwater Power Armors (Maximum.)

M.D.C. by Location:


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

80 each.


Vertical Long Range Missile Launchers (16, bow of submarine):

100 each.


Retractable Blue-Green Laser Cannon Mount (1, mounted on aft quarter of sail):



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 the 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: 18.4 mph (16 knots/ 29.6 kph).

Underwater: 32.2 mph (28 knots /51.9 kph).

Maximum Depth: 5,905 feet (1,800 meters).

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

Statistical Data:

Draft:    22.31 feet (6.8 meters).

Length:  295.93 feet (90.2 meters).

Beam:    26.90 feet (8.2 meters).

Displacement: 3,850 tons surfaced and 4,225 tons submerged.

Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 12 tons (10.88 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: Nuclear fusion; average energy life of 20 years. Normally refuels every 15 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions of credits for a new and undamaged Type 402 class submarine. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Retractable Blue Green Laser Cannon Mount: This laser mount is mounted on the aft part of the sail and is fully retractable so that it does not disrupt water flow at high speeds or add to the noise of the submarine. The laser cannon is useful both on the surface and underwater at low speeds [5.8 mph (5 knots / 9.3 kph) or less]. As a blue-green laser, they have a greater range underwater than they would otherwise. The weapon system is used mainly as close defense and against aircraft when on the surface. It can also be used to engage incoming torpedoes. The mount is controlled by a separate gunner and can rotate 360 degrees and had a 90 degree arc of fire.

    Maximum Effective Range: In Atmosphere: 6,000 feet ( 1,828.8 meters). Under Water: 3,000 feet (914 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 5D6 M.D. per single blast.

    Rate of Fire: Five (5) blasts per melee round.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. 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. Torpedo tubes have a special automated reloading system to reduce noise. 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. Missiles are rarely carried however. Submarine normally carries twenty-four reloads for torpedoes (in addition to six torpedoes in the tubes) and can carry up to forty-eight 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-four (24) additional heavy torpedoes for reloads.]

  3. 3 Sixteen (16) Vertical Launch Long Range Missile Launchers: Mounted in the bow behind the main sonar dome, these launchers actually fire at a slight forward angle. Long range missiles were chosen instead of cruise missiles because a larger payload could be carried while still having similar range. Launchers are outside of the pressure hull. While developed mainly to engage surface and land targets, the system is also effective at engaging aircraft. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launchers (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) 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.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (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: Sixteen (16) long range missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads.

  4. Four (4) Advanced Decoy Drones: The submarine carries four advanced decoy 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.

  5. 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 & 2018, Kitsune. All rights reserved.