SSTN-01 Greyback class Amphibious Transport Submarine:

Before the coming of the Rifts, the United States was attempted to construct vessels that could perform many of the jobs of surface vessels but were submarines. One of the more successful designs was the Greyback class amphibious transport submarine. The ability to bring a Marine Force Recon or Navy Seal unit stealthily ashore can be extremely useful and a submarine can be one of the most effective means of doing so.

The lead boat of class was named after a Regulus I missile submarine of the late Nineteen-Fifties that had been converted to the job of transporting troops. The second boat of the class was christened the U.S.S. Growler, also the name of a Regulus I missile submarine although had been converted to act as a troop transport submarine. However, unlike the Nineteen-Fifties Greyback, the Twenty-First Century Greyback class submarines were built initially as troop transport submarines and are far more effective in the role.

By the time the Great Cataclysm engulfed the world, four of these amphibious transport submarines had been completed with another eight under construction. At least a couple of them were in their final stages of completion, getting ready for builder’s trials. One of them was actually able to get underway and escape the destruction. The stories of the U..S.S. Cuttlefish and her crew are still told in sea stories in the New Navy. A completely untested submarine fighting its way to one of the Navy emergency supply bases while fighting off various monsters.

Somehow, all of the other completed Greyback class amphibious transport submarines were able to escape destruction as well and with the Cuttlefish, it brought the number of these submarines up to five. Since then, the New Navy continued production until they had a force of twelve of these amphibious transport submarines. Over the years a couple have been destroyed. When this occurs, the New Navy will build a replacement vessel.

In order to reduce development and production costs, both in terms of resources and time, the Greyback class amphibious transport submarine shares many systems with other United States Navy submarine classes of the same time period including the Swordfish and Trident classes. Included in this is the sonar systems, propulsion, and many of the same weapons.

As with most submarine design, the Greyback class is designed to be extremely quiet and is among the quietest submarine designs ever developed. The propulsion system uses a pump jet propulsor along with the submarine being covered in sound absorbing acoustical rubber tiles. As with other U.S. Navy submarines developed in the later half of the Twenty-First Century, the submarine is powered by a fusion power plant, giving the boat both effectively unlimited endurance as well as being able to cruise at speeds up to thirty-five knots.

Compared to the Swordfish class fast attack submarine, the Greyback class is considered relatively lightly armed. Still, the amphibious transport submarine would an extremely dangerous for a submarine operated by either the Coalition or almost any other post Rift Navies. The only navy that might be considered anything like a peer opponent would be the New German Republic Navy.

In the front of the submarine are mounted four twenty-one inch torpedo tubes, mostly used to engage other submarines, although can be used to engage surface targets as well. The submarine normally carries over sixty torpedoes. In addition, the submarine has a pair of multiple cell long range missiles launchers forward of the submarine’s main sail. While the Greyback class only carries half as many long missiles as the Swordfish and Trident classes, it is still considered adequate to most tasks. One of the more common roles is to launch a preliminary bombardment before any forces come onshore. For a final weapon system, the Greyback class mounts a pair of retractable blue-green laser mounts that are used primarily for close range defense. One is mounted forward of the superstructure between the two missile launchers and one is mounted just behind the submarine’s main sail.

As the primary role for the Greyback class submarine is troop transport, there is a large troop bay situated between the main sail and the fusion reactor compartments. The submarine is designed to carry either one hundred and twenty troops in “Semper Fi” power armor or one hundred and sixty troops equipped with standard body armor and rifles. The submarine is also designed to embark four Manta-Ray submersible aircraft. Their vertical hanger located just in front of the fusion reactor compartment, these will normally act as scouts and as air support for the power armors or armored troops once they make landfall.

The vehicles and troops are launched in a special lock system that allows them to be launched without any loud noise. It takes about two minutes per Manta-Ray submersible aircraft to launch them while underwater. Troops or power armors can be launched far more rapidly with each airlock being able to cycle in thirty seconds, allowing up to sixteen troops or power armors to be launched per minute.

Extensive automation allows the submarine to be operated by a crew of just under one hundred. Of course, the boat is still considered quite cramped. In large part the crew is as large as it is in order to operate and support the embarked Manta-Ray submersible fighters. While the New Navy and their marines are used to these extremely cramped quarters, United States Marines back before the fall of the country fell were not used to such conditions and often complained about the situation.

Authors Note: While Rifts: Underseas indicates that the New Navy operates only the USS Ticonderoga, Trident class Submersible Carriers, and Stingray and Sea Dragon class submarines, this writeup (and other new Navy Submarine designs) is designed to give the New Navy a larger variety of submarine classes.

In addition 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: SSTN-01.

Class: Ocean, Amphibious Transport Submarine.

Crew: 96; 8 Officers, 12 Chief Petty Officers, and 76 Enlisted (Has a high degree of automation).

Troop Capacity: 4 Manta-Ray pilots and 120 Semper Fi power armor pilots or 160 Standard troops in body armor.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

Power Armor Compliment:



APA-15 “Semper Fi” Power Armors.

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:



Manta-Ray Submarines / Jet Fighters.

M.D.C. by Location:


[1] Sail mounted SPX-2S Active Phased Array Radar System (sail):



533 mm (21 inch) Torpedo Tubes (4, front sides):

150 each.


Long Range Vertical Launch Missile Batteries (2, forward of sail):

250 each.


Retractable Blue-Green Laser Cannon Mounts (2, forward / aft of sail):

200 each.


Troop / Power Armor Hatches (8, 4 each side aft of sail):

200 each.


Manta-Ray Launch Hatch (aft of troop / power armor hatches):



Main Sail:



[2] Bow Planes (2):

200 each.


[3] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):



[4] Main Body:



[1] Destroying the SPX-2S rotating phased array radar panel will destroy the vessel’s main fire control systems against air target but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors.) Note that the submarine does not need to surface in order to use the radar system but only the radar had to be brought above the surface.

[2] 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.

[3] 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.

[4] 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.


Water Surface: 35 knots (40.3 mph/64.8 kph).

Underwater: 35 knots (40.3 mph/64.8 kph).

Maximum Depth: 1.5 miles (2.4 km).

Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Vessel carries 8 months of supplies for crew and troops on board.

Statistical Data:

Height:  40 feet (12.2 meters) not including periscopes and antenna.

Width:   60 feet (18.3 meters).

Length:  410 feet (115.8 meters).

Displacement: 10,500 tons surfaced and 14,200 tons submerged.

Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 60 tons (54.4 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies (normally used for equipment for marines). 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 10 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions to billions of credits for a new and undamaged Greyback class submersible troop transport. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) Retractable Blue Green Laser Cannon Mounts: These cannons are mounted with one in front of the main sail and one behind 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: Each cannon inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.C. per blast.

    Rate of Fire: Each can fire four (4) attacks per melee round.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. Four (4) 533 mm Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the sides of the submarine, forward of the main sail, are four torpedo tubes with two on each side. Tubes are 21 inches (533 mm) wide and torpedoes can be used against both surface ships and submarines. For warheads, heavy torpedoes should be treated as having long range missile warheads. Along with standard torpedoes, the launcher can also theoretically fire missiles (long or cruise) in special canisters and rocket boosted ASW torpedoes. As far as is known, missiles have never been carried aboard the Greyback class in this manner. Submarine carries sixty reloads for torpedoes (in addition to four torpedoes in the tubes) and can theoretically up to eighty 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 theoretically 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), or four (4) heavy torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee round.

    Payload: Four (4) heavy torpedoes total [Has sixty (60) additional heavy torpedoes for reloads.]

  3. Two (2) Long Range Vertical Launch Missile Batteries: A pair of launcher is in front of the main sail. As with similar cruise missile batteries, the long range missile batteries are located outside of the pressure hull. While developed mainly to engage surface and land targets, the system is also effective at engaging aircraft. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes also can be fired from the launchers (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.) Designed to be able to engage one than one target at the same time. Long range missile batteries can be used on the surface or fired while the submarine is underwater with a maximum depth of around 150 feet (45.7 meters.)

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

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

    Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) long range missiles per launcher per melee round. Maximum total between launchers is sixteen (16) long range missiles per melee round and can be fired at multiple target at the same time.

    Payload: Thirty-two (32) long range missiles per launcher for a total of sixty-four (64) long range missiles.

  4. Eight (8) Advanced Decoy Drones: The submarine carries eight advance decoys 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: Eight (8) 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 submersible troop transport 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 Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2003, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.