New Sovietskiy Redkiy Surface Effect Ship Frigate:

Surface Effect Ships have rigid sidewalls for stability and support, with lift fans generating air which is trapped between the sidewalls and the flexible seals or “skirts” forward and aft. This design permits high speed operation (80+ Knots) due to there being less hull area in the water to create drag. This differs from the design of air cushion vehicles which contains the lift air entirely with a flexible skirt.

The United States experimented with the idea in the late Twentieth Century and at one time a frigate sized Surface Effect Ship was proposed. It was not progressed with in the United States Navy and remained an interesting experiment. Instead they went with more conventional and trimaran hull designs for the most part. A small number of other Surface Effect Ship designs were built. Most were built by Norway although Russia did produce a pair of surface effect type missile corvettes. Even though generally considered successful, the Russian corvettes were eventually decommissioned and scrapped.

It was not until the later part of the Twenty-First Century that the concept was further developed in the Soviet Navy. When the Soviet Navy was reborn after Communists took control of the government in 2027, they concentrated on destroyers and patrol vessels and did not initially construct any further frigates. A few old frigates were refitted with new armor but they were soon scrapped as reasonable numbers of new destroyers and patrol craft entered service.

It was not until the later part of the Twenty First Century that interest in frigates was rekindled although a small number of frigates were build by the Soviet Navy during the intervening decades. The Soviet navy wanted a really fast warship design which could carry embarked aircraft and carry considerable weaponry as well. The only concept that seemed able to combine those features were surface effect designs. However, engineers did not consider it practical to build a surface effect ship larger than a frigate.

Primary roles envisioned for the frigate are similar that those that might be for a smaller surface effect ship design such as a corvette. These include anti-submarine warfare and high speed missile strikes against surface targets. One major advantage with a larger frigate type design was that aircraft could be embarked in order to increase the effectiveness of these vessels in anti-submarine warfare. Embarked aircraft might also be useful to help track targets for missile strikes.

It was not until 2088 that the first vessel of the new surface effect frigate design was laid down. The primary reason was that it was decided that the corvette sized version of the basic vessel design would be tested before the Navy would commit to a frigate sized surface effect ship. Only one was laid down the first year but following it, two were laid down each year. The first Redkiy class surface effect frigate was commissioned in 2092. Considered a marvel of engineering, it was one of the most advanced warship classes when commissioned.

When the Great Cataclysm occurred, a total of six of these frigates had been completed with six additional vessels under construction. While most of the vessels were almost certainly destroyed, one is known to have survived in the hands of warlords and another defected to Germany when the apocalypse descended on humanity. It is also quite possible that additional Redkiy class surface effect frigates may have survived in other locations around the oceans of the former Soviet Union.

Like the smaller corvette design, the hull of these vessels are far wider in relation to the vessels length compared to more traditional frigate designs. In a number of ways, the vessel looks like simply an enlarged version of the Perekat class surface effect corvette. The entire frigate is constructed from high strength composites including the vessel’s skirts / flexible seals. Still, the skirts can be a weak point and the frigate’s speed is greatly reduced when not riding on its air cushion.

Unlike most older soviet designs, reducing the radar cross signature as much as possible was an important design factor when developing the Redkiy class frigate. Even though considerable effort was done in this regard, the vessel is still generally considered inferior in this regard to American frigate designs of the same time period. Still, it is far better than the older Tashkent class attack craft.

Power is provided by ten fusion turbines identical to those carried on the Perekat class surface effect corvette. These fusion turbines were specifically designed to be both extremely light weight and compact. In order to reduce development costs, it was decided to simply mount additional units instead of developing a more powerful version. Six of the fusion turbines provide thrust using four water jets which are semi-submerged while the other four provide lift for the surface effect ship.

During tests, the Redkiy fell slightly short of design specifications with regard to top speed. Still, it reached a top speed of around seventy-eight knots, only marginally less than the Perekat class corvette at eighty-two knots. Evaluations concluded that the slightly slower top speed would still be acceptable. As a result, there were no attempts to modify the design to increase the top speed to the original design specifications. It was judged as simply not worth the redesign required. As a larger vessel, the Redkiy class frigate does have greater sea keeping Perekat class corvette.

One problem with the surface effects ship design is that the hull is out of the water in most cases and a hull sonar would be generally ineffective. As a result, the Redkiy class does not mount a hull sonar although it does have a powerful and effective towed array sonar. Even with the towed array sonar, the system is far less effective when the frigate is traveling at high speeds. As a result, the frigate will usually slow down and settle off the air cushion when it is using the towed array sonar.

As far as radar, the Redkiy class carries the same lightweight single rotating active array phased array system carried on the Perekat class surface effect corvette. While not as capable as larger four panel active phased array systems carried on most larger vessels, the single array system is still considered quite effective and is capable of tracking several hundred targets.

Weaponry is generally similar to the smaller corvette although greater ordnance is carried. Even though gun battles were considered relatively rare, the Redkiy class mounts a single 100-mm electro-thermal cannon near the bow of the vessel. Compared to conventional gun mounts, the electro-thermal cannon has increased range while still retaining a decent rate of fire. In order to provide the power bursts required for the electro-thermal cannon to first bursts of rounds, the weapon mount uses a series of special capacitors.

Instead of carrying separate launchers for different types of missiles, as was common with older Soviet warship designs, the surface effect frigate carries vertical missile launchers which could launch a variety of different missiles. Most Western military experts consider the launchers to be effectively copies of the American Mk 41 vertical launch system. The launchers are of the extended “strike / strategic” length and can carry one cruise missile, two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles in each missile cell. On each side, the frigate carries sixteen missile cells for a total of thirty-two missile cells. Usual missile payload for the Redkiy class is eight cruise missiles, twenty-four long range missiles and forty-eight medium range missiles.

Behind the vertical launch systems, the frigate mount twin twenty-one inch torpedo tubes on either side. While primarily for use against submarines, they are also effective against surface vessels. Compared to the Perekat class corvette, the Redkiy class frigate has a greater number of reloads. As an additional anti-submarine and torpedo weapon, the Redkiy class mounts a “killer dart” interceptor torpedo system. The launcher is mounted behind the 100-mm electro-thermal cannon mount.

On the front and back of the superstructure are CADS-N-6 point defense mounts which use combination pulse laser and short range missile launchers. The laser is similar to other heavy energy rifles used by the Soviet military and fires four blast bursts. For short range missiles, the point defense mounts carry thirty-two short range missiles each. The American navy operated a similar point defense system known as the “Sea Sabre” although it uses a powerful rail gun in the place of the pulse laser.

Crew of the Redkiy class frigate is designed to be relatively small although is still a fair amount larger than that of the corvette type surface effect ship. While standard crew is around 108, the surface effect corvette is designed to be able to embark a crew of 132. This crew expansion is usually planned around wartime deployments. In tests, it has been should that the ship be effectively operated by a crew of around sixty however. Crew quarters are considered comfortable but have no huge luxuries and are slightly on the cramped side even compared to other Soviet warship classes.

While the Perekat class corvette does not have any embarked aircraft, the Redkiy class frigate has a hanger for two embarked VTOL aircraft. These aircraft are considered one of the primary ant-submarine weapons that the Redkiy class frigate carries and are also useful for over the horizon targeting. One rarely in service was any aircraft besides the Yak-228 “Minstrel” tilt rotor ever embarked aboard the surface effect frigate.

In addition to the standard crew, the Redkiy class frigate can carry sixteen troops for both shipboard defense and boarding parties. While human sized cyborg personnel can be embarked without problems, the frigate can only carry heavy cyborg troops on the outside of the superstructure. Up to eight can be theoretically carried in this manner although rarely carried in Soviet service

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: Redkiy Surface Effect Ship Frigate.

Vehicle Type: Ocean, Surface Effect Ship Frigate.

Crew: 108; 12 officers, 96 petty officers and enlisted crew members (Has a high degree of automation and can be run effectively by 60 crew members.)

Troops: 8 VTOL Aircraft Crew Members, 16 troops for shipboard defense / boarding (including partial conversions and light cyborg troops / not often carried.) Can carry up to eight heavy cyborg troops on the outside of the vessel as well although rarely carried.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:



Yak-228B“Minstrel” ASW / Utility Tilt-Rotor Aircraft.

M.D.C. by Location:


[1] Single Barrel ERK-100 Electro-Thermal Gun Barrel (1, gun mount):



Single 100-mm ERK-100 Electro-Thermal Gun System (1, forward):



CADS-N-6 Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems (2, superstructure):

225 each.


Strike Length 8-Cell Vertical Launch Systems (4, sides):

150 each.


Killer Dart “Interceptor” Torpedo Launcher (1, forward):



Twin 21 inch (533 mm) Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):

100 each.


[2] “Flail Eye” Active Phased Array Radar (1, superstructure):



[1] Chaff / Decoy Launchers (2, sides of superstructure):

10 each.


Bridge / Superstructure:



Hanger (Aft):



VTOL / Helicopter Pad (aft):



[3] Propulsion Water-Jets (6, rear):

120 each.


[3] Skirts (2, forward and aft):

160 each.


[4] 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 “Flail Eye” rotating active phased array radar panel will destroy the ship’s main fire control systems. However, weapon systems have backup fire control systems.

[3] Destruction of a water-jets will reduce top speed by one sixth by each water-jet destroyed. Destruction of a skirt will reduce top speed to 20 knots (23.0 mph / 37.1 kph).

[4] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the vessel. The ship is fitted with an advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -400 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


On Water, Hull Borne: 23.0 mph (20 knots/ 37.1 kph).

On Water, On Air Cushion: Calm Seas: 89.8 mph (78 knots/ 144.6 kph). Rough Seas: 67.9 mph (59 knots / 109.2 kph).

Range: Effectively 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:    Hull Borne: 30.2 feet (9.2 meters), On Air Cushion: 13.5 feet (4.1 meters).

Width:   100.4 feet (30.6 meters).

Length:  282.8 feet (86.2 meters).

Displacement: 2,820 tons standard displacement, 3,045 tons displacement with full load, and 3,210 tons maximum displacement.

Cargo: Can carry 100 tons (90.7 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. 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: 10 Mini Nuclear Fusion Reactors, average life span is 10 years.

Black Market Price: 500 to 800 million credits on the black market for an intact model. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Single Barrel 100-mm ERK-100 Electro-Thermal Gun System: Mounted on the bow of the vessel. Same caliber as of the cannon carried on the Tashkent class patrol vessel but has better range than the standard cannon. Cannon has a special recoil system to reduce felt recoil. The projectile is loaded into the barrel, behind which there is a “propellant”, which is a dot of light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal, which causes its atoms to “switch” directions. This happens so violently that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the projectile forward. The mount has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 85 degrees as well as depress 5 degrees. The gun can fire rapidly at the rate of 50 rounds per minute and is radar directed. Weapon inflicts large amounts of damage when rapidly fired on a single target. The weapon is useful on land, surface, and air targets. Plasma rounds are a late pre-Rifts innovation and are rare and expensive.

    Maximum Effective Range: 12.4 miles (10.8 nautical miles / 20 km).

    Mega-Damage: High Explosive: 1D4x10+10 with 12 foot (3.7 meter) blast radius per single shot and 3D4x10+30 with 25 foot (7.6 meter) blast radius for three round burst. High Explosive Armor Piercing: 1D6x10+10 with 5 foot (1.5 meter) blast radius per single shot and 3D6x10+30 with 10 foot (3 meter) blast radius for three round burst. Plasma: 2D6x10 with 15 foot (4.6 meter) blast radius per single shot and 6D6x10 with 30 foot (9.1 meter) blast radius for three round burst.

    Rate of Fire: Up to four (4) single shots or bursts per melee round.

    Payload: 240 rounds total.

  2. Two (2) Kashstan CADS-N-6 CIWS Systems: One is mounted on the forward and aft parts of the vessel’s superstructure. One is mounted on either side of the frigate’s superstructure. Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems which combines both a rapid fire laser and a short range missile launchers. 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 blast 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: 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 for four blast burst. Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type - Usually fragmentation warheads (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Laser Cannons: Six (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 volley of two (2), three (3), or four (4) short range missiles per launcher. Can fire up to two (2) times per melee round in place of gun fire.

    Payload: Laser Cannons: Effectively unlimited. Short Range Missiles: Thirty-two (32) short range missiles per mount.

  3. Four (2) Strike Length 8-Cell Vertical Launch Systems: The ship has two launchers on either side of the superstructure. Believed to be virtually 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 strike length launcher can carry cruise missiles, long range missiles, and medium range missiles. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise, long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per cruise, long range, 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 volley of two (2), four (4), or sixteen (16) missiles for all four launchers per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: Eight (8) missile cells in each VLS launcher for a total of thirty-two (32) cells (possible total of 64 long range missiles.) One (1) cruise missile, two (2) long range missiles, or four (4) medium range missiles may be carried per cell. The frigate normally carries forty-eight (48) medium range missiles, twenty-four (24) long range missiles, and eight (8) cruise missiles total. Ship carries no reloads.

  4. Two (2) Twin 21 inch (533 mm) Torpedo Launchers: Twin launchers are mounted on either side of the vessel amidships. Mainly design for anti-submarine warfare but can be used against surface targets. They fire a heavy twenty-one inch (533 mm) torpedo, larger than those fired by the surface ships of the United States and allies. These are modern, variable option torpedoes that are about 25% faster than the latest U.S. torpedo designs of the time period. There is an automatic torpedo loading system which reduces time required to reload and fire. These torpedoes are considered the equivalent of smart missiles and have advanced tracking and avoidance systems that give them a +5 to strike, +3 to dodge, and two attacks per melee until they strike their target or run out of fuel.

    Maximum Effective Range: Conventional Torpedoes: 40 miles (34.8 nautical miles / 64 km). Rocket Boosted Torpedoes: Rocket: 120 miles (104.3 nautical miles / 193 km). Torpedo: 20 miles (17.4 nautical miles / 32 km).

    Mega-Damage: Conventional Torpedoes: By heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) Rocket Boosted Torpedoes: By medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire heavy torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) heavy torpedoes per side. Reloading both tubes takes one full melee round.

    Payload: Two (2) heavy torpedoes/ missiles for launcher for a grand total of four (4) heavy torpedoes/missiles [Has twenty-four (24) heavy torpedoes/missiles for reloads.]

  5. One (1) Killer Dart “Interceptor” Short Range Torpedo Launcher: The launcher is mounted on the front of the vessel behind the main cannon. These so called “Killer Darts” are a Russian interceptor torpedo, designed primarily for intercepting and hitting incoming torpedoes, with a secondary function against small submersibles and submersible power armors. They mount in a similar position to the ASW Rail launchers carried on late Twentieth Century Soviet vessels. In contrast, American and European designers prefer to fire interceptor torpedoes from their standard torpedo tubes. Launcher is primarily designed to intercept incoming torpedoes but can be used against other vessels, against large submarines, and even against underwater troops. Other torpedoes can be used but are very rarely used.

    Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) using interceptor torpedoes, other torpedoes use standard rules (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Mega-Damage: By light torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire salvos of up to eight (8) light interceptor torpedoes per melee round.

    Payload: Forty-eight (48) interceptor torpedoes.

  6. Two (2) Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located in the superstructure of the vessel, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. Both 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 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.

    Range: Around Vessel.

    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: Twelve (12) each for a total of twenty-four (24) canisters.

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. ]

Image drawn and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

Mischa has no art home page at present but many other items on my site.

Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary ( ).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002, 2010, 2011, 2017, & 2019, Kitsune. All rights reserved.