Japanese Taiyo (Great Hawk) class Multi Role Amphibious Assault Ship:

In the last decade of the Twentieth Century the Japanese Naval Defense Force built the Osumi class amphibious ships. These general purpose vessels replaced several older LSTs which had been employed mostly in logistic roles, but were considerably larger and more versatile. For political reasons, the ships were listed as “Tank Landing Ships” or LSTs. However the vessels were much more capable than their designation suggested. They possessed a large flight deck, docking well for two air cushion landing craft, two elevators, and side doors for vehicle loading and unloading.

When the extreme limitations on the Japanese Navy were lifted in the mid Twenty-Forties, these ships were redesignated as “Landing Ship Docks” although they were getting towards the end of their useful lives. Even though refitted with new composites and alloys, within five years, it was decided to retire them without replacement. The Japanese navy did have four Miura class although they were stretched thin due to the various commitments of the Japanese navy.

Still, the Japanese admiralty did not want to commit the resources to designing a replacement class until the capabilities of the new Taiho class carriers were absolutely certain. In addition, they did not want to press the government too hard and turn the government against the navy. Thus it was not until Twenty Forty-Nine that any work on the new Taiyo class amphibious assault ships was begun.

The Taiyo class amphibious assault ships were designed from the onset to be incredibly capable multi-purpose warships with the ability to act in a number of roles. The primary roles of these ships was as a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship, allowing the Miura class to act more in support roles. With the expansion of the Chinese Navy along with Japanese concerns about the new Soviet military and the already large Indian Navy, the Japanese Navy required a credible amphibious capability.

Unlike the Osumi and later Miura class, the Taiyo class were designed with a full length usable flight deck. Sixteen Osprey tilt rotors, Comanche helicopters, and Striker helicopters could operated from the amphibious vessel in this role. Initially, ten FV-38 Panther II VTOL fighters could be embarked for Close Air Support (CAS) but had to be reduced to eight fighters when the FV-45 Sea Hawk was introduced. In most cases these fighters were Marine and not Navy aircraft.

In common with the American Tripoli class amphibious assault ship, the Taiyo class was designed with a dry deck instead of a well deck. The ships could handle a pair of air cushion landing craft and a full company of amphibious assault vehicles. The landing craft were intended to transport an additional company of mechanized armor as well as support vehicles and supplies. They were designed to operate power armor units, and carried at least two companies on deployments. While mostly replaced by SAMAS power armors, at this time the ships carried mostly ground assault armor types.

The amphibious assault ships were also designed with the secondary roles of convoy escort / sea control and mine counter measures (MCM). Initially the Taiyo class can support up to twenty FV-38 Panther II VTOL fighters but this had to be reduced to sixteen fighters when the FV-45 Sea Hawk replaced the older fighter. In either case, eight Panther II or six Sea Hawk have to remain on the flight deck or in the air. When operating in the convoy escort / sea control role, all Striker and Comanche helicopters have to be landed.

The amphibious assault ship was simply not designed to embark the Japanese F-45J Super Hawk VTOL fighter. In comparison to the standard FV-45 Sea Hawk, the Super Hawk fighter is considerably heavier and would strain the flight deck of the ship. In addition, it is slightly larger and there would be issues with the elevators and hangers. There have also been a number of issues which prevent the Kingfisher Utility VTOL aircraft from being embarked effectively.

When they became available, additional flying power armor units were usually deployed when the ships were used in this role as well. When the first of the Amagi class escort carriers were commissioned, they largely replaced the Taiyo class in the convoy escort role, returning the amphibious assault ships to amphibious duties. In their mine counter measures role, the Taiyo class operated a reinforced squadron of specially outfitted Osprey tilt rotors along with additional submersible power armor units.

The design of the Taiyo class is similar in nature to the American Tripoli class amphibious assault ship but with several important differences. The Japanese vessel is notably shorter because of the smaller dry deck and vehicle spaces. The island is much smaller and located at the extreme aft of the ship on the starboard side. The design team found no need to have flight operations both in front and behind the island since helicopters were to be operated almost exclusively. Additionally, dry deck operations were handled from the island, allowing for easier communications between the two departments. Both elevators were located on the starboard side of the ship to leave more of the limited hanger space unobstructed.

The Taiyo class mounted no long or medium range missile system and relied on four point-defense mounts. Originally four Mk 49 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launchers were carried, but there were replaced later with Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” combination CIWS mounts. These fire short range missile just as the Mk 49 mount but also have a powerful point defense rail gun. With regard to radar, the OPS-34 rotating active single phased array dual air and surface search radar was fitted. In later years, there was some consideration given towards upgrading it to the longer ranged and more powerful OPY-4J advanced rotating active phased array system but had not been replaced by the coming of the Great Cataclysm. No sonar system was ever considered for the vessels, as they were not intended to directly attack submarines. Area air-defense and anti-submarine defense were intended to be provided by the amphibious assault ship’s escorts.

The ship’s propulsion was a twin pod design driven by electric motors. In addition, the propellers were designed with variable pitch blades. Power was initially provided by a pair of gas turbine engines which produced more than twice the horsepower of the original LM-2500 gas turbines and gave the vessel a top speed of 23.5 knots. Later during refits, the gas turbine engines were replaced by modified nuclear fusion aircraft engines which produced far greater power than the original engines. Along with giving virtually unlimited endurance, the upgraded engines increased the top speed by more than four knots and allowed speeds of up to 28 knots.

In order to make the Taiyo class harder to detect on sonar, the hull and propellers have a bubble masking system. Additionally, the hull and superstructure were designed with a reduced radar cross signature and was fitted with radar absorbent materials to further reduce the chances of detection. Material science had further improved with regard to composites and alloys. As a result, the Taiyo class amphibious assault ships were even tougher than the Miura class landing ship docks.

Three ships of the Taiyo class were built in the Twenty-Fifties. There was some discussion with regard to building a pair of additional amphibious assault ships that were slightly enlarged with reinforced decks and improved hangers in order to be able to effectively operate the Japanese F-45J Super Hawk but nothing had been approved before the coming of the Great Cataclysm.

Two Taiyo class amphibious assault ships were at sea when the Great Cataclysm tore the Earth apart. The IJNS Taiyo was with the carrier IJNS Shoho with a large Pacific Ocean Military Alliance (POMA) force in the Philippine Sea. The IJNS Kaiyo was near Taiwan, operating as the flagship of a task force exercising with the Taiwanese navy. While there is speculation that both were sunk, the fate of neither ship is known for certain. However, there is at least one survivor. The IJNS Shinyo was docked in the port of Kure and was carried forward in time along with the cities and other ships in the area.

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: Taiyo class Multi Role Amphibious Assault Ships.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Assault Vessel.

Crew: 320 (30 officers, 40 chief petty officers, 250 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]).


Assault: 1,010 (160 to 320 pilots for SAMAS Power Armor, 20 pilots for “Glitter Boy” Power Armor, 100 aircraft pilots, 150 vehicle crew members, and 500 soldiers.)

Convoy Escort: 540 (360 pilots for SAMAS Power Armor and 180 aircraft pilots.)

MCM Warfare: 520 (180 pilots for SAMAS Power Armor, 160 Underwater Power Armor pilots, and 180 Aircraft Pilots.)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles (Standard):



Convoy Escort



Power Armor Compliment:





USA-G10 “Glitter Boy” Power Armors.


140 to 280



USA-PA-04A SAMAS Power Armors.





Underwater Power Armors.

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:





AH-75 Striker Attack Helicopters.





FV-45 Sea Hawk VSTOL Jet Fighters.





RAH-66E Super Comanche Attack Helicopters.





V-22N Super Osprey Tilt Rotors - Transport Model.





V-22N Super Osprey Tilt Rotors - Airborne Radar Model.





V-22N Super Osprey Tilt Rotors - Mine Warfare Model.

Landing Craft Compliment:





LCAC-854 “Crab” Air Cushion Landing Craft.

Tanks & Other Vehicles:





USA-M-7 Jackson Main Battle Tanks.





USA-M-8 Maverick Infantry Fighting Vehicles.





USA-M-9 Morgan Missile Vehicles.





AAAV-10 Wolverine Amphibious Assault Vehicles.





Support Vehicles (Various).

M.D.C. by Location:


Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile Defense System (4, flight deck):

200 each.


[1] USA-M31 Medium Defense Rail Guns (4, sides):

50 each.


[2] OPS-34 Rotating Dual Air and Surface Active Phased Array Radar:



[1] Chaff / Decoy Launchers (4, superstructure):

10 each.


[3] Elevators (2, starboard side):

400 each.


Hanger Doors (2, starboard side):

400 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] 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. 

[2] Destroying the OPS-34 rotating phased array radar panel will destroy the ship’s main fire control systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors.)

[3] If both 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 the 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.

[6] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with additional floatation materials that allow the ship to withstand up to -1,000 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: 32.2 mph (28 knots/ 51.9 kph).

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

Statistical Data:

Draft:    26 feet (7.9 meters).

Length:  636 feet (193.9 meters) waterline and 683 feet (208.2 meters) overall.

Width:   98 feet (28.9 meters) waterline and 125 feet (38.1 meters) extreme beam.

Displacement: 29,700 tons standard and 34,800 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 4,000 tons (3,630 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies (Increase to 10,000 tons (9072 metric tons) without vehicles.] 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: Originally conventional gas turbine propulsion, converted to two nuclear fusion turbine reactors with an average life span of 20 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but costs around 600 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 2 to 4 billion credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


  1. Four (4) USA-M31 Medium Defense Rail Guns: Originally M2HB .50 Caliber Machine Guns were fitted in these locations. These weapons are mounted with two on either side of the hull for defense against small boats and similar threats. Not considered effective against aircraft or missiles. These rail gun mounts were identical to those carried on the USA-PA-04A SAMAS power armor although outfitted with a double sized ammunition drum. The rail gun has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the post Rifts C-40R.

    Weight: Rail Gun: 110 lbs (49.9 kg), Double Ammo Drum: 280 lbs (127.0 kg).

    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).

    Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds inflicts 1D6x10. One round inflicts 1D4+1.

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

    Payload: Each has a 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts.

  2. Four (4) Mk 44 “Sea Sabre” Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Replace original Mk 49 RAM launchers. These weapons are sponsoned out on the sides of the hull below the flight deck. Two are forward and the other two mounts are mounted toward the rear on either side of the rear elevator. 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 missile 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. Four (4) Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the sides of the hull 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: Twenty-four (24) each for a total of ninety-six (96) canisters.

  4. Four (4) OLQ-4Y Advanced Towed Decoys: The vessel carries four advanced towed decoy drones. They are each a small automated vehicle that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the vessels. The decoy is dragged behind the amphibious vessel using a cable. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. 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 each.

    Range: Not Applicable although decoy is deployed approximately 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) from the vessel.

    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: One can be deployed at a time and requires two (2) minutes to deploy (reel out) another decoy.

    Payload: Four (4) towed decoys.

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 (co366thaw@hotmail.com) & Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2003 & 2017, Kamikazi & Kitsune. All rights reserved.