German Type 408 class Fast Attack Submarine:

Since even before World War One, Germany was involved in the design and development of submarines. During both World War One and World War Two, German U-Boats were terrifying. Huge numbers of merchant vessels were sunk and England was almost on its knees from the attacks of German U-Boats. A number of warships were also sunk by U-Boats, including aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers. Among these were the carrier Ark Royal and battleship Royal Oak.

During the later stages of World War Two, Germany began development on a number of advanced submarine designs. These were the Type XXI and Type XXIII and were able to operate far more effectively underwater than previous submarine classes. After the war, there submarines were the basis for a great number of submarine designs around the world.

Following World War Two, Germany herself continued to be a leader in submarine design and development. While not involved in the development of long range nuclear submarines, they developed a number of advanced diesel-electric designs. In addition, German submarine industry were key to bringing fuel cell systems into submarine design. These allowed submarines to remain completely submerged for weeks at a time.

Throughout the years, Germany continued to develop new submarine designs. With the development of practical fusion power, Germany introduced the Type 402 submarine. It form the basis for a number of submarine designs produced around the world. Toward the end of the Twenty-First Century, Germany developed the Type 408. Originally twelve boats of the new class were planned.

At the time of the Great Cataclysm, only two Type 408 submarines were completed and another nearly completed. One of the operational submarines was lost during the cataclysm while the other survived and later became part of the fledgling New German Republic navy. In addition, while the third boat was damaged during the cataclysm, it was later able to be completed.

While in the early days of the New German Republic, these submarines often deployed.    There were a number of near misses where one of the submarines was almost lost. A number of Type 402 submarines have been lost over the years. Somehow though, both Type 408 submarines have beaten the odds and survive until present day. They are mostly used for training these days like the remaining Type 402 although they also sometime deploy.

As the cutting edge submarine design at the time of the cataclysm, the Type 408 was used as the basis for the first submarine design developed by the New German Republic. While not absolutely identical, the New German Republic Type 1100 class submarine might be considered a continuation of the Type 408. Even now, few nations have submarine designs the equal of the Type 408.

Compared to the older Type 402 submarine, the Type 408 is a fair amount larger. At the time of its development, it was the largest submarine even produced by Germany. Eventually the New German Republic developed the Type 1200, which is an even larger submarine design. In perspective however, the Type 408 was still considerably smaller than the United States Swordfish class as well as most British, French, and Soviet designs.

During the period between the development of the Type 402 and the Type 408, there had been considerable advancement in the design of fusion power. More modern fusion plants were lighter and more compact while able to produce greater power. As a result, the Type 408 was able to reach a top speed of thirty-six knots compared to twenty-eight knots for the Type 402.

Most people, when they look at submarine designs, consider mainly how many torpedoes a submarine carriers and how many missiles it is able to carry as well. What is more important in most respects however is how effective the submarine’s sonar systems are and how quiet the submarine is. No matter how heavily armed a submarine might be, if it is noisy and cannot detect enemy submarines, it is an easy target for enemy submarines.

Considered state of the art when the Type 408 was laid down, the DBQS250 array was considered state of the art when the these submarines were laid down. The submarine was designed with both bow and flank arrays as well as a towed array mounted in the rear part of the sail. The sonar on the Type 408 would later form the basis of the sonar systems on all New German Republic submarines. After the coming of the Great Cataclysm, only the systems of the New Navy and the Republican of Japan are equal to those mounted on the Type 408. Submarines of the Coalition States are considered considerably behind that of the Type 408 class submarine.

Silencing was similarly important during the development of the Type 408 and the submarine was considered even quieter than the previous class of German submarines. Features included a shrouded pump jet, electrical drive, advanced machinery isolation, and sound absorbing tiles. In order for these submarines to operate silently, they much remain below fifteen knots. Still, this is a considerable improvement over diesel-electric designs with respect to speed while remaining silent.

While most of the development work went into designing the Type 408 to be quieter than previous classes and improving sonar systems, the submarine was heavier armed than previous German submarine classes. While still armed with six 533 mm torpedo tubes, payload was increased with thirty torpedoes as reloads instead of twenty-four. In addition, the submarine increased long missile payload from sixteen long range missiles to forty-eight long range missiles total. As with the previous Type 402, long range missiles were selected because they are able to engage a wider variety of targets while still being able to be effective against protected targets and having extremely long range. Missile launchers do not however carry only a single long range missile each. Instead there are six launchers with eight long range missiles each. The original blue-green in the sail of the submarine is retained from the older Type 402 however.

Crew was slightly increased over the Type 402 with standard crew of forty-two. This was still considerably smaller than the crew of the contemporary American Swordfish class submarine. These submarines featured considerable automation in order to be operated by such a small crew. In addition to the crew, these submarines were designed to have the ability to carry a small troop compliment. In German Navy service, these were generally special forces although the New German Republic substitutes light power armors in most cases. Cyborg troops may also be substituted for light 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 408 class Submarine.

Class: Ocean, Fast Attack Submarine.

Crew: 42; 7 Officers, 6 chief petty officers, and 29 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troop Capacity: 8 (With light underwater power armors or light 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):

100 each.


Vertical Long Range Missile Batteries (6, sides of submarine):

200 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 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: 41.5 mph (36 knots /66.7 kph).

Maximum Depth: 8,202 feet (2,500 meters).

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

Statistical Data:

Draft:    23.13 feet (7.05 meters).

Length:  322.83 feet (98.40 meters).

Beam:    32.15 feet (9.80 meters).

Displacement: 5,620 tons surfaced and 6,210 tons submerged.

Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 20 tons (18.1 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 408 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 thirty reloads for torpedoes (in addition to six torpedoes in the tubes) and can carry up to sixty 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 thirty (30) additional heavy torpedoes for reloads.]

  3. Six (6) Long Range Vertical Launch Missile Batteries: Mounted along the sides of the submarine with three batteries on either side. Missile batteries are located 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.) Designed to be able to engage one than one target at the same time. Long range missile batteries can be used on the surface or fired while the submarine is underwater with a maximum depth of around 150 feet (45.7 meters.)

    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 volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) long range missiles per melee round with all launchers operating together.

    Payload: Eight (8) long range missiles per battery for a total of forty-eight (48) long range missiles.

  4. Eight (8) 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: Eight (8) 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. ]

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2018, Kitsune. All rights reserved.