New Sovietskiy Tijger Air Cushion Landing Craft:

Russia / Soviet Union has long operated air cushion craft in both military and civilian roles. Models designed before the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of Twentieth Century include the Aist and Lebed classes. Both classes were retired long before Communist leaders regained power in Russia in the late Twenty-Twenties but a large amount design experience still existed.

When Communist leaders took the helm of Russia back, one of the first goals of the new leadership was to increase the Russian military. Designers began developing plans for new amphibious assault vessel classes. To bring troops onto the beach, new landing craft designs had to be develop as well. At first several classes were planned including a small class which could be carried in the cargo bay of a Roll-On / Roll-Off vessel, a medium sized version carried on most amphibious assault vessels and of a similar size to LCACs constructed by the United States, and a huge landing craft which could operate completely independent of support ships.

Even the coffers of the new Communist government were not bottomless and it was decided that only the middle sized air cushion design would be continued with. The larger design could not be carried on amphibious assault vessels and the capability of the smaller design was considered too limited compared to the medium sized design. The other programs were not terminated but instead were shelved. Later, both programs were revived with several of the large hover craft being completed before the coming of the Rifts. The plan was to use them for high speed assaults upon the breakout of war using Surface Effect Ships such as the Perekat and Redkiy classes. The large hovercraft were over 1000 tons in size when empty and were incredibly expensive to construct so it is unknown how many more would have been built if the coming of the Rifts had not destroyed the facilities building them.

The medium sized landing craft design became know as the Tijger or Tiger in English. The first two prototypes were completed in Twenty Thirty-Eight with full production not beginning until Twenty Forty-Two. The first new amphibious vessel was not completed until almost Twenty Forty-Seven and twelve landing craft were completed by then not including the two prototypes. Almost one hundred Tijger air cushion landing craft were completed before production was concluded. Originally, the government planned to build a larger number of amphibious vessels but due to cutbacks in ships, there was a vastly larger number of landing craft than could be carried. Due to this, the air cushion craft were assigned to additional roles. These included patrol roles similar to the Tashkent fast attack craft, short range transport roles, and coastal assaults against neighboring nations. A small number were also kept in reserve. It is unknown how many survived the coming of the Rifts. There is a good chance some could have survived in special bunkers used for the hovercraft in reserve and some could have survived inside of the dock bays of amphibious vessels.

Originally, the engines powering the landing craft were conventional gas turbine engines similar to those mounted in older Soviet and Russian air cushion designs. The gas turbine engines were more fuel efficient than older Russian models and the air cushion craft had greater range than earlier models as a result. The American military decided to replace their conventionally powered air cushion landing craft with fusion powered versions but due to the large soviet stockpile, it was decided that the Tijger would be upgraded instead of discarded. Fusion reactors replaced the gas turbine engines giving them virtually unlimited range. The design was a bit slower than the later American "Crab" but could still travel at around seventy knots when lightly loaded and greater than fifty knots when heavily loaded. Payload was also slightly greater than the American design and the hovercraft could carry up to 100 tons and still achieve maximum speed and up to 125 tons when loaded to maximum overload conditions. The heavy payload allows the air cushion craft to carry two tanks instead of only one on the American Crab. A larger number of light tanks or other fighting vehicles could be carried. A total of around 250 troops in body armor could be carried instead of vehicles or cargo. Later, these craft also carried cyborg soldiers. A total of around 150 light cyborg troops could be carried or around 80 heavy cyborg troops could be carried. Around 100 of the heavy cyborg soldiers could be carried in overload conditions. Of course, the design used high strength alloys which make the craft extremely durable and resistant to corrosion. The main cargo / vehicle compartment of the vehicle is fully enclosed for additional protection. Electronics are similar to those carried in most Soviet armored vehicles and are not quite as good as those carried on the American "Crab" class. The Tijger also does not have any stealth features such as a reduced radar cross signature.

Like most Soviet designs, the Tijger is extremely heavily armed. The main weapon is a Kashstan CADS-N-6 CIWS Systems mounted above the main cargo compartment replacing earlier point defense mounts. The mount has both a pulse laser and carries a large number of missiles. It is normally on automatic but can be controlled by a gunner if desired. In addition, the air cushion craft has ball weapon mounts on the corners. Initially, heavy machine guns were mounted but these were replaced by light rail guns when the hovercraft were upgraded. In most landing craft, the light rail guns were later replaced by pulse lasers. There was some consideration given to mounting grenade launchers but the concept was discarded. The main reason was because the grenade launchers were considered ineffective against aircraft. In addition to other weapon systems, the air cushion landing craft mounts high capacity missile launchers on either side. The racks can be jettisoned and racks to carry six long range missiles or twelve medium range missiles can be carried on either side for a total of twelve long range missiles or twenty-four medium range missiles. These missiles are primarily designs to soften up the shore the hovercraft are attacking but can target vessels on the ocean and aircraft as well.

Model Type: Tijger class Air Cushion Landing Craft
Vehicle Type: Landing Craft, Air Cushion
Crew: 8 (Pilot, Communications, Engineer, Commander, and four Gunners)
Troops / Vehicles: Up to 100 tons normal load / 125 ton overloaded can be carried in cargo or vehicles. The amount of cargo or vehicle that can be carried in one load is affected by available space as well as weight of the cargo. Below is a list of possible individual loads

250Infantry with standard equipment
150Light Cyborg Soldiers
80Heavy Cyborg Soldiers (100 in overload)
1Main Battle Tanks (2 in overload)
3Armored Personnel Carriers
12Light Trucks

M.D.C. by Location:

CADS-N-6 Combination Anti-Missile Defense System (1):225
[1] Corner Mounted 5 mm Rail-Gun (4, Early Models):25 each
[1] Corner Mounted Pulse Laser Mount (4, Upgrade Models):40 each
Long Range / Medium Range Missile Racks (2, Sides)80 each
[2] Side Thrusters (2)125 each
[2] Hover Thruster Units:200
Cargo Bay Door (2, Front and back):100 each
Pilots Compartment (Left side):150
Troop / Vehicle Compartment:100
[3] Main Body:360

[1] All indicated hit locations are small and/or difficult targets to hit. An attacker must make a called shot and has a -3 penalty as well.
[2] Destruction of one of the thruster units drops top speed by half and all piloting rolls are at -30%. 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.

Hover Speed: Can hover at ground level at from a hover to up to 70 knots (80.6 mph / 129.7 kph) unloaded over both water and flat terrain. When loaded normally, the craft can travel up to 60 knots (69.1 mph / 111.2 kph) and when overloaded (-20% to piloting), craft is limited to 50.5 knots (58.1 mph / 93.6 kph)
Maximum Range: Effectively unlimited.

Statistical Data:
Height: 21.3 feet (6.5 meters)
Width: 49.5 feet (15.1 meters)
Length: 90.2 feet (27.5 meters)
Weight: 132.8 tons (120.5 metric tons) empty, 232.8 tons (211.2 metric tons) normal load, and 257.8 tons (233.9 metric tons) overloaded
Power Source: Nuclear with 20 year fusion reactor.
Cargo Capacity: The cargo compartment can carry up to 100 tons (90.7 metric tons) as a normal load or up to 125 tons (113.4 metric tons) overloaded.
Market / Black Market Cost: 65 to 100 million credits on the black market for an intact model of the Tijger class Hovercraft.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Kashstan CADS-N-6 CIWS System (1): Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems which combines both a rapid fire laser and a short range missile launchers. Weapon is mounted on the forward part of the superstructure over the cargo bay. 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. Side Mounted Weapon Mounts (4): On each side of the landing craft aircraft are two light weapons in ball type turrets on the corners. Each one is controlled by a separate gunner. Originally, heavy machine guns were mounted but were replaced by light rail guns. Lter, these rail guns were replaced by pulse lasers on most Hovercraft. The weapon mounts are used to clear a beach which the hovercraft is preparing to land on as well as additional defense against attacking aircraft.
    1. 5 millimeter GSR-05 Medium Rail-gun: Finally developed as a replacement for the medium machine-gun mounted on many older tank design and was mounted on original versions of the BMP-8 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Many crews would have preferred a heavier rail gun.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters)
      Mega Damage: One round does 1D4 M.D.C. to M.D.C. targets or 6D6x10 S.D.C. to soft targets. Twenty round bursts do 4D6 M.D.C.; Forty round full bursts do 1D4x10
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner.
      Payload: Carries 3,000 rounds total (150 full bursts or 75 half-bursts)
    2. Pulse Laser Mount: Replaces the medium rail-gun in most hovercraft when refitted. The Laser fires four shot bursts and is capable of destroying missiles and inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The weapon is also useful against armor and infantry. Laser is similar to the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle with extended range.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 MD for four shot burst.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner.
      Payload: Effectively unlimited.
  3. Long Range / Medium Range Missile Racks: Mounted on either side of the hovercraft are missile racks. Racks for both long range and medium range missiles are available and the type of rack mounted depends on mission although medium range missiles are most commonly mounted. Missiles are mostly used to "soften up" a landing site before the landing craft hits the shoreline but are also useful against incoming aircraft. While different launchers can be fitted on either side, most commonly the same type of launcher is mounted on both sides. The launchers are designed to be able to be quickly mounted and new launchers can be fitted in about two hours.
    1. Long Range Missile Launchers: Longer ranged than the other launchers but less missiles are carried. Usually used for long range bombardment or anti-aircraft roles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, long range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types, long range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or three (3) missiles per launcher.
      Payload: Each launcher carries 6 long range missiles for a maximum total of 12 long range missiles.
    2. Medium Range Missile Launchers: More commonly carried for use against incoming missiles and aircraft with a shorter range than long range missiles but more can be carried.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (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 six (6) missiles per launcher.
      Payload: Each launcher carries 12 medium range missiles for a maximum total of 24 medium range missiles.
  4. 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: 6 each for a total of 12.

Sensory Equipment:
The hover craft carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:

[ 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. ]

Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary ( ).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.