Japanese Wakashio class Nuclear Fast Attack Submarine:

The Japanese Imperial Navy was utterly wrecked during the course of World War Two. Only a handful of light vessels survived to form the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. From these humble begins however, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force grew to one of the most powerful naval forces by the end of the Twentieth Century. It had several Aegis class destroyers similar to the United States Burke class. Throughout the Twenty-First Century, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force grew steadily and eventually threw out the title of “Self Defense Force.”

The Japanese Imperial Navy was quite innovative with submarine designs. One of these, know as Sen Toku, was the largest submarine until Ballistic Missile submarine entered service in the Nineteen-Sixties. The submarine carried three float plane aircraft in a hanger. The Japanese Navy also had the fastest submarine design, known as Submarine No. 71, it was capable of speeds of twenty-three knots underwater. This boat predated the German Type XXI by five years.

When the Wakashio class submarine was designed, the Japanese Navy already had a quite large submarine force. In fact, it was one of the largest submarine forces in the world. All previous Japanese Navy submarine classes had been conventional in design. The Wakashio class however was a nuclear design. A nuclear reactor would give indefinite range and had become far less expensive and more practical with the introduction of fusion plants.

The first of the class was laid down in 2048 with approximately one vessel being built per year. The boats took about four years to build each and they were built on the yards of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation. A total of eighteen boats were originally planned but this was later increased to twenty-four boats.

Interestingly, there was a new diesel-electric / Stirling engine design know as the Kuzuryu class still entering service. In fact, the first boat of the class had only entered service only in the late Twenty-Thirties. With the revolution in super strong alloys and composites, the Japanese navy planned to replace all existing boats with these new submarines.

Soon after the fusion revolution, it was decided to cancel the remainder of the Kuzuryu class would be cancelled. However, it was decided to convert two boats still under construction to fusion power instead of scrapping them. There was some discussion of converting the active Kuzuryu class to fusion power but it was decided to retire them as more Wakashio class submarines entered service. Interestingly, the two boats converted to fusion power while building were retained up until the coming of the Rifts as training boats.

Wakashio class submarine remained in commission as front line submarines up until the coming of the Rifts. A newer submarine class, know as the Yukishio class, had been developed just before the coming of the Rifts but only four had been completed. Two Wakashio class submarines were in port at Kure and were brought forward in time. Eight of the class were at sea at the time. Of those, three boats survived and joined the New Navy. In common with the Farncomb class in New Navy service, these boats are used mostly for training purposes although these boats remain fully armed. Crews have long been fully amalgamated on these boats although the New Navy might be willing to return these boats to the Japanese Republic if the two forces were to develop a relationship with each other.

The design of the Wakashio class is often compared to the Australian Farncomb class submarine with both being of similar displacements. Both are much smaller than most American and British submarine designs. Both designs are a basic teardrop design, the Japanese boat is a bit fatter than the Australian boat and displaced forty six hundred tons submerged. It uses an “X” type tail fins similar to the Australia boat although Japanese submarines had features such a tail since the Soryu class.

These Japanese boats were usually operate by a crew of just over sixty and there was berthing for a small special forces team as well. Up to six special forces personnel can be embarked although are rarely embarked. There were no real provisions for carrying any vehicles for the special forces aboard. A couple small inflatable boat with an outboard motor could be stowed however.

While the Farncomb class used a German fusion reactor design, the Wakashio used a slightly less powerful Japanese designed fusion reactor design. Maximum underwater speed of the Japanese submarine was thirty-three knots compared to thirty-six knots for the Australian design. The high strength alloys and composites used in the construction of the boats allowed them to dive far deeper than previous Japanese submarine classes with a maximum depth of around two kilometers. These materials were also virtually immune to corrosion.

Along with an extremely quiet turbo electric propulsion system, the hull of the submarine was covered in a advanced sound absorbing rubber coating to reduce submarine noise. It also did not use a conventional propeller but instead used a pump jet. The previous Kuzuryu class submarine design used a special non cavitating propeller but it was found that the pump jet would be even quieter.

The sonar systems of the Wakashio class were designed in Japan. The performance was considered slightly inferior to the newer German systems carried on the Farncomb class. The boat mounted both a hull and towed array sonar system. There are two hull arrays on each side of the hull with a bow sonar array. For defense against torpedoes, the Wakashio class had a decoy dispenser which launchers incredibly advanced decoys. As well, the submarine had the ability to fire noise makes as a final means of defense.

As far as weaponry, the boat mounted six 533 mm torpedo tubes. A total of thirty torpedoes were carried. Instead of torpedoes, mines or missiles could be carried. A single missile replaces a single torpedo or two mines could be carried instead of a single torpedo. Rocket boosted torpedoes could also be carried. The submarine lacked any form of automatic reload system. On either side of the sail, the submarine carried six cruise missiles for a total of twelve missiles total. As a result, the Wakashio class rarely carried additional missiles for the torpedo tubes. The submarine also mounted a single retractable blue green laser cannon in front of the main sail of the submarine.

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: SS-645 Wakashio class.

Class: Ocean, Fast Attack Submarine.

Crew: 62; 8 Officers, 8 chief petty officers, and 46 enlisted (Has a high degree of automation.)

Troop Capacity: 6 (Special Forces personnel.)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:


M.D.C. by Location:


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

100 each.


Vertical Cruise Missile Launchers (12, sides of submarine):

125 each.


Retractable Blue-Green Laser Cannon Turret (1, forward of sail):



Main Sail:



[1] Bow Planes (2):

200 each.


[2] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):



[3] Main Body:



[1] Destroying the submarine’s bow 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 bow 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: 23.0 mph (20 knots/ 37.1 kph).

Underwater: 38.05 mph (33 knots /61.2 kph).

Maximum Depth: 6,562 feet (2,000 meters).

Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries six (6) months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Length:  290.68 feet (88.6 meters).

Beam:    36.75 feet (11.2 meters).

Draft:    30.18 feet (9.2 meters).

Displacement: 4,100 tons surfaced and 4,620 tons submerged.

Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 10 tons (9.07 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 Wakashio class Submarine.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Retractable Blue Green Laser Cannon Mounts: This cannon is mounted in front of the main sail and fully retractable under concealing deck plates so that they do not disrupt water flow at high speeds. They are considered useful both underwater and on the surface. As a blue-green laser, they have a greater range underwater than they would otherwise. The weapon system is used mainly as close defense against torpedoes underwater and against aircraft when on the surface.

    Maximum Effective Range: In Atmosphere: 2 miles (3.2 km). Under Water: 1 mile (1.6 km).

    Mega-Damage: Cannon inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.C. per blast.

    Rate of Fire: Four (4) attacks per melee round.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. Six (6) 533 mm Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the sides of the bow of the submarine are six torpedo tubes. Tubes are 21 inches (533 mm) wide and torpedoes can be used against both surface ships and submarines. Torpedo launchers 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. Submarine carries thirty reloads for torpedoes (in addition to six heavy 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) heavy torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee round.

    Payload: Six (6) heavy torpedoes total [Has thirty (30) additional heavy torpedoes for reloads.]

  3. Twelve (12) Vertical Launch Cruise Missile Launchers: On each side of the submarine, there are six cruise missile tubes mounted vertically for twelve cruise missiles total. Launchers are outside of the pressure hull. 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. The launchers can fire all standard cruise range missiles including the hypersonic Fasthawk in both its sea skimming anti ship and semi ballistic land attack guises.

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

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

    Rate of Fire: Can fire cruise missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) cruise missiles and can be fired at multiple target at the same time.

    Payload: Twelve (12) cruise missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads.

  4. Four (4) Advanced Decoys: 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. ]

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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