New Sovietskiy Lakhta class Large Air Cushion Landing Craft:

Russia and the Soviet Union was always among the leaders in the development of air cushion craft. This trend continued even when Communist leaders retook control of Russia in the third decade of the Twenty-First Century. Several new designed were planned including a project for a medium sized craft for use on most amphibious, a project for a small sized craft which would be carried on Civilian "Roll on / Roll" vessels, and a project for a large craft which would not be carried on a ship but would work independently. The concept of the final project was that it could withstand extremely heavy weather and would not need a support ship. Initially, only the medium sized craft reached service with about a hundred being build. It was carried on virtually all new Soviet Ambibious vessels. The other projects were not completely abandoned but were simply shelved. Periodically, the other two projects would be revived although little development work was proceeded with.

It was not until late in the Twenty-First Century that development work on the large hovercraft was started in earnest. The concept of the design was an extremely large hovercraft which could land a large number of troops and vehicles to an enemy beach in one run. The idea was to seize the target before it could prepare and many military analyst consider the Krokodil Submersible Troop Transports designed for a very similar role. It is believed that some Army leaders did not like the concept of the submersible vessels so pushed for the hovercraft design. It was also planned that they would be escorted by surface effect ships of the Perekat and Redkiy classes. While the Lakhta hovercraft were heavily armed, the surface effect ships would also provide additional firepower for defense and neutralizing ground resistance. It would then be planned for conventional landing ships and/or civilian transports be used to reinforce the troops brought by the hovercraft.

The first of the new class of large hovercraft was laid down in Twenty Eighty-four and was completed four years later. The project went far over budget due to several design problem and was almost a year behind schedule. At the time of its completion and until the coming of the Rifts, the hovercraft was the largest hovercraft in the world. Still, the program was severely questioned by government leaders and production was severely scaled back. Construction continued but only four were completed before the coming of the Rifts. Two more were under construction at the time as well. Many Western military analysts believed that the program would be ended with at six units due to the costs involved. It is known that two of the large hovercraft were destroyed during the coming of the Rifts and the fate of the other two is unknown. Due to their construction from high tech alloys and composites, it is quite possible one or both survived.

The Lakhta was designed to be able to carry four fully loaded main battle tanks of the T-255 or T-284 models and eight fighting vehicles of the BMP-8 design with troops. The large hovercraft was designed around the ability to carry full sized tanks and fighting vehicles as opposed to smaller amphibious tanks. If it carries smaller vehicles such as the PT-262 and BMD-9, the numbers could approximately double. In addition, the Lakhta is designed to carry forty heavy cyborg troops, eighty light cyborg troops, and two hundred normal soldiers. The hovercraft features a small hanger and can carry four Mi-221 Firefly attack VTOL to support ground forces. Additional equipment for the troops and vehicles is carried below decks. Because the hovercraft is designed for extended operations, it is set up with reasonably comfortable berthing areas and messing facilities for the crew and troops.

Unlike older Soviet Hovercraft designs, the Lakhta was designed using fusion turbines instead of conventional gas turbines. The new engines gave the huge hovercraft virtually unlimited range and the engines could propel the new hovercraft at speeds of up to eighty knots. The only craft in the Soviet Navy which could keep up with the large hovercraft were the Surface Effect Craft. The new hovercraft design was constructed from high strength composites but unlike most earlier designs, it also features radar absorbent materials and a profile designed to defeat radar systems. Electronics are less sophisticated than those carried in most larger vessels but are highly capable due to the risk of air attack. Systems include a single phased array system and powerful radar jamming systems. To reduce crew requirement, the Lakhta features large scale automation as well. The bridge of the vessel is in the center with the main troop door under the superstructure. A single huge door with a ramp is in the front of the hover craft. In case of the door being jammed due to battle damage, it is designed with the ability to be blown off quickly although the loss of the door will greatly reduce vessel's integrity at high speeds.

Although the Lakhta design was designed for surprise attacks on enemy beaches, there is no was to assume how complete this surprise would be. As well, attacks from aircraft could take a heavy toll on this vessels. Due to this, the craft are heavily armed. The hovercraft carries two Kashstan CADS-N-6 CIWS Systems with one near the bow and the other above the rear hanger. These weapons were carried on virtually every Soviet naval vessel and mount both a pulse laser and a large number of short range missiles. The primary role is against air attacks especially large scale missile strikes. For additional weaponry, the vessel carries four eight cell vertical launch missile systems identical to those carried on the Perekat class of Surface Effect Ships. These vertical launch systems are considered to be virtually identical to the American tactical length Mk 41 VLS. Other than carry decoy systems, the hovercraft does not mount any addition weaponry.

Model Type: Lakhta class Large Air Cushion Landing Craft
Vehicle Type: Landing Craft, Air Cushion
Crew: 48; 8 officers, 40 petty officers and enlisted crew members (Has a high degree of automation and can be run effectively by 25 crew members)

Troop Capacity: 8 Ground Support VTOL Craft pilots, 12 tanks crew-members, 24 Fighting vehicle crew-members, 200 Normal Troops, 80 Light Cyborg Soldiers, and 40 Heavy Cyborg Soldiers (Most with Jet Packs)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:

4Mi-221 Firefly Attack VTOL Aircraft
Tanks & Other Vehicles:
4T-255 or T-284 Main Battle Tanks
8BMP-8 Infantry Fighting Vehicles

M.D.C. by Location:

2 CADS-N-6 Combination Anti-Missile Defense System (2):225 each
Tactical Length 8-Cell Vertical Launch Systems (4, sides):150 each
[1] “Flail Eye” Active Phased Array Radar (1, Superstructure):150
Chaff Launchers (2, sides of superstructure):10 each
Bridge / Superstructure:500
[2] Rear Thrusters (4)200 each
[2] Hover Thruster Units:600
Cargo Bay Door (1, Front):400
[3] Main Body:1200

[1] Destroying the “Flail Eye” Active Phased Array Radar system will eliminate the ship’s long range air search ability but weapon systems have backup fire control systems.
[2] Destruction of one of the thruster units drops top speed by quarter and all piloting rolls are at -10%. Destruction of the hover unit will cause the vehicle to be no longer under the pilots control.
[3] Destruction of the main body will cause the vehicle to crash. All systems will not function. Damage to the main body will also reduce the hovercraft's stealth, for every 10% of damage to the main body, reduce the hovercraft's stealth by 10% of its total.

Hover Speed: Can hover at ground level at from a hover to up to 88 knots (101.3 mph / 163.1 kph) unloaded over both water and flat terrain. When fully loaded, the hover craft can travel up to 80 knots (92.1 mph / 148.3 kph).
Maximum Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 10 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries four weeks of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Draft: 9.2 feet (2.8 meters)
Width: 102.4 feet (31.2 meters)
Length: 280.5 feet (85.5 meters)
Weight: 1020 tons (925.3 metric tons) empty and 1820 tons (1650 metric tons) fully loaded.
Power Source: Nuclear with 10 year fusion reactor.
Cargo Capacity: Without combat vehicles, the cargo compartment can carry up to 800 tons (725 metric tons) fully loaded. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Market Cost: Not for Sale but costs around 800 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 1 billion to 1.5 billion credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Kashstan CADS-N-6 CIWS Systems (2): Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems which combines both a rapid fire laser and a short range missile launchers. One is mounted on the forward and aft parts of the vessel's superstructure. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking systems. Short range missiles are designed to be able to track and target multiple missiles simultaneously. Laser system fires four shot bursts and is capable of destroying missiles and inflicting serious damage on aircraft. Laser is similar to the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle with extended range. System can be targeted against surface targets and ground targets.
    Maximum Effective Range: Laser Cannons: Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Laser Cannons: 1D6x10 MD for four shot burst. Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (Usually fragmentation) (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Laser Cannons: 6 attacks per melee. (+2 to strike aircraft; +3 to strike missiles.) Short Range Missiles: Can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) short range missiles per launcher. Can fire up to six times per melee in place of gun fire.
    Payload: Laser Cannons: Effectively unlimited. Short Range Missiles: 32 short range missiles per mount.
  2. Tactical Length 8-Cell Vertical Launch Systems (4, sides): Believed to be a copy of the very reliable American Mk-41 Vertical Launch System which dated back to the previous century and was exported to numerous allied nations. The tactical length launcher could not carry Cruise Missiles and the hovercraft normally carries thirty two long range missiles and sixty-four medium range missiles. The ship has a launcher on either side of the superstructure.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: As per long or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or sixteen (16) missiles per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: 8 missile cells in each VLS launcher (Can carry a total of 16 long range missiles per launcher). Two long range missiles or Four medium range missiles may be carried per cell, and a usual complement was 32 long range missiles and 64 medium range missiles.
  3. Chaff Launcher (2): Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. Both launchers must be operational for the full effects. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological difference. 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.
    Maximum Effective Range: Around Ship
    Mega Damage: None
      01-35 - Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      36-60 - Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      61-00 - No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Payload: 12 each for a total of 24.

Special Systems:
The ship has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:

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Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary ( ).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.