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R.F.S. Sea Witch (ex U.S.S. Salem) CA-139:


The U.S.S. Salem was a heavy cruiser completed just after World War Two and due to the time frame never really fought in an major actions in her first life. Even so, she was a revolutionary design with fast firing eight inch guns. One of her sisters was used for shore bombardment during Vietnam but she was retired in 1959 after only ten years of service. Nicknamed the "Sea Witch" from Salem being virtually the capital of witches, the picture of a witch over the moon was the ship’s seal. The cruiser was luckier than her sisters in that she became a museum ship while her sisters were scrapped.


Like the Coalition States, the R.E.E.F. Naval Forces combed the eastern seaboard of the United States naval vessels. This was partially to keep them from the Coalition but also for their own uses. They were able to find the old cruiser in surprisingly good shape. It was in a dry dock when found, possibly there for a restoration. With as good a shape as the vessel was in, some wonder if it had gotten leaped forward in time. All around it was the wreckage of other vessels including an old guided missile cruiser named the Bunker Hill. It had been a museum ship as well.


After some minor repairs to make the Salem seaworthy, the R.E.E.F. was able to somehow get the dry dock open and pull the old cruiser out using their frigate Wolverine. Loading some of the equipment from the wrecked guided missile cruiser such as the radar systems, they then were able to tow it the thousands of miles to their base in Florida. At around the same time, they were able to recover a mobile dry dock from the area of Boston harbor. A second trip brought this to the R.E.E.F. base at Canaveral.


Thus began a complex restoration and rebuilding process which took several years. Even though the ship required a huge amount of work, it was regarded as worth rebuilding. The rebuilding also allowed the R.E.E.F to learn much about ship construction. When completed, the ship was given the name "Sea Witch" from the ship’s nickname although they still call it the Salem on occasion. The old vessel is the flagship in most respects of the R.E.E.F. Naval Forces. It also makes them a force which is respected with its nine eight inch guns.


The whole ship was not replaced by the new high strength composites and alloys but the ship was reinforced wherever possible. The main belt was completely replaced with new materials. Much of the superstructure was also rebuild using high strength materials. Between reinforcing and rebuilding, the vessel is surprisingly rugged even though it cannot take the damage that a new build cruiser of the same size could probably withstand.


The engine room was a steam plant originally. Some techno-wizard vessels enchant these systems and allow them to run on magical energy. The R.E.E.F. does not rely much on magic but instead the propulsion system was replaced by four powerful fusion turbines. This gives the vessel decades of life between refueling as well as increasing power by around two thirds with a corresponding increase in speed of almost four knots.


The cruiser originally required what would be an impossibly large sized crew to be operated by the R.E.E.F. and they needed to cut back on crews wherever possible. Various means were employed including advanced automation with a net reduction almost down to a third of the original crew. In addition to the standard crew, the vessels have two hundred labor robots to perform a variety of manual functions such as weapon loading.


The U.S.S. Salem was one of the first warships fitted with air conditioning. This was replaced by a self contained pressurized environmental system. Berthing was also improved with the ship far more comfortable than it was originally. Part of this is due to the amount of space freed up by the reduction in crew size. Finally, relatively modern flag facilities were also part of the rebuilding.


A total of about a hundred marines are carried with the ability to embark up to two hundred if needed. As well, the ship carried fifty Katana SAMAS power armors. If needed, this can be doubled with possibly civil defense units in Wasp flying power armors. The hanger under the fantail of the ship was a bit small for helicopters but it was relatively easy to convert for Logan Veritech Fighters. A pair of them are carried in the hanger. A third could be carried on the flight deck as well. New high temperature tiles allows for vertical take off and landing without damaging the deck. In addition to emergency life boats, the ship carries three rigid inflatable boats.


As stated previously, the rapid fire eight inch guns gives the ship firepower which not many ships can match. While they fire a much smaller shell than the sixteen inch guns carried on the last generation of American battleships, the eight inch guns fire five times faster with her semi-automatic guns. With some additional automation and the use of labor robots, this was actually improved slightly. The five inch guns are also manned most by labor robots. A variety of ammunition types have been developed for both the eight inch and five inch gun mounts. This includes special rocket propelled long range projectiles and plasma warheads.


A light weaponry was stripped when the ship was rebuilt. In the place of these, a variety of point defense weaponry and missile launchers were added to the vessel. Replacing a three inch gun mount and fire control mounts, a vertical launch system is mounted on either side of the stack. The system has a total of eighty cells each with each cell able to carry one long range missile or two medium range missiles. Usually the ship mixes missiles with eighty long range missiles and one hundred and sixty medium range missiles. Mounted in the superstructure, sixteen additional missiles are carried in canisters similar to the old Harpoon missile.


The platforms for the other three inch gun mounts were retained. Five (One on the bow, one to either side of the superstructure, and two on the fantail) have short range box launchers for short range missiles. Similar to Pre-Rifts Mk 49 RAM Missile launcher although with a higher capacity (36 missiles each.) Four platforms, two to either side of the superstructure, mount CIWS type mounts with a Vulcan laser replacing the original 20 mm cannon. Finally, six light point defense mounts are carried. These are modified from the basic Kittani K-1000 Spider Defense System although each mount is fixed instead of mobile.


A large part of rebuilding the superstructure was to mount the phased array radar panel copied and modified from those recovered from the U.S.S. Bunker Hill. While more advanced system were later developed by the United States Navy, the system was still surprisingly capable. The radar system was modified to be more light weight and later a smaller version was developed for the R.E.E.F. frigates. The SPS-49 radar carried on the Wolverine was copied for the cruiser to give the vessel long range air search ability even though not a height finding radar. A high mast was build to support the radar system. A sophisticated electronics warfare package was also added to the vessel along with missile decoy systems.


It was not considered practical to mount a hull sonar but a towed array system was considered easy enough to mount to be worth fitting. It is a copy of the sonar fitted mounted on the Wolverine and is an older United States Navy system although surprisingly capable. Even so, the sonar is mainly meant for self defense. The cruiser does not mount torpedo tubes although rocket boosted torpedoes can be fired from the vertical launch missile launchers. The ship does have a towed decoy system to give some protection against torpedoes.


Model Type: Modified CA-134 class Cruiser
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Heavy Cruiser
Crew: Human: 650; 35 Officers, 45 Chief Petty Officers, and 580 Enlisted. Robots: 200 Labor Bots. (Original crew was around 1800)
Troops: Normal: 50 pilots for Katana SAMAS Power Armors, 50 soldiers in body armor, 2 Logan Pilots
Maximum: 100 pilots for power armors (Katana SAMAS / Wasp Power Armors), 100 soldiers in in body armor, 2 Logan Pilots


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

50REEF PA-03 Katana Power Armors (100 Power Armors maximum)
4Aqua-Tech LEA-50
2ADCAP Logans


M.D.C. by location:

Eight Inch (203 mm) 55 Caliber Barrels (9, 3 each turret): 200 each
Eight Inch (203 mm) Triple Turrets (3, 2 forward / 1 aft):800 each
Five Inch (127 mm) 38 Caliber Barrels (12, 2 each turret):60 each
Twin Barrel 5 inch (127 mm) 38 Caliber Guns Turrets (6):300 each
Phalanx Laser CIWS (4, sides of superstructure):100 each
[1] Light Point Defense Systems (6, superstructure):50 each
VLS Missile Launchers (2, 80 cells each - amidships):300 each
Missile Canisters (16 total, Superstructure):100 each
Short Range Missile Launchers (5, 1 forward, 2 sides, and 2 aft):150 each
[1] Chaff Launcher (4, superstructure):10 each
Bridge / Superstructure:1,000
Hanger:500
[2] Search Radar Tower:400
[2] Phase Array Radar Panels (4, Superstructure):300 each
[3] Main Body:4,000


Notes:
[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 Phase Array radar panels will destroy the ships main fire control systems but guns and missiles have backup systems and panels can compensate for each other. Destroying the SPS-49 radar system eliminates long range radar coverage. Vessel still retains backup fire control sensors.
[3] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship has a large amount of reserve buoyancy that allows the ship to withstand up to -800 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Speed:
Surface: 43.8 mph (38 knots/ 70.4 kph)
Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and require maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies on board.


Statistical Data:
Length: 716.5 feet (218.4 meters)
Draft: 26 feet (7.9 meters)
Width: 76.5 feet (23.3 meters)
Displacement: 16,500 tons light load and 20,800 fully loaded
Cargo: 500 tons (453.6 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. 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.
Power System: Originally conventional steam propulsion with 120,000 shaft horsepower with four shafts, steam plant is converted to a four nuclear reactors with an average life span of 20 years.
Market Cost: Not for Sale but would sell if available for two billion or more credits.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Three (3) Mk 16 Triple Barrel Eight Inch (203 mm) Naval Guns: Two eight inch turrets are mounted on the ship forward of the main superstructure ship and one turret is mounted behind the ship’s superstructure. These cannons are a more advanced cannon design than those carried on the Sea King Cruiser and the Sea King's cannons design seems to be a double barrel version of those carried on the World War Two Baltimore class design and Salem classes eight inch guns are a special semi automatic cannon design that can fire faster and use special cased ammunition. The weapons are mostly crewed by labor robots. The barrels can elevate up to 41 degrees and the turrets can rotate 280 degrees. While designed for engaging air targets, with advanced fire control radars can theoretically engage air targets even though better suited to engaging other vessels or shore targets. The cannons can also use rocket assisted projectiles for striking targets at extended range.
    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (17.4 nm/32.2 km) for standard projectiles. 30 miles (26 nautical miles/48.2 km) for rocket propelled rounds.
    Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 50 ft (15.2 m) for High Explosive, 6D6x10 to a blast radius of 10 ft (3 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 8D6x10 to a blast radius of 50 ft (15.2 m) for Plasma. Rocket projectiles: 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 30 feet (9.1 m) for High Explosive, 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 ft (2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 5D6x10 to a blast radius of 30 feet (9.1 m) for Plasma. Cannons can also use special purpose warheads, use the statistics for 203 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate).
    Rate of Fire: Three shots per barrel per melee (Can fire up to 9 shots per turret per melee or up to 27 shots with all three turrets).
    Payload: 1350 Rounds (450 per turret), usually carries 300 High Explosive, 300 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 300 Plasma, 150 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 150 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 150 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds. The ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.
  2. Six (6) Mk 12 Double Barrel Five Inch (127 mm) Naval Guns: All of the double five inch gun turret mounts are part of or next to the ship’s superstructure. One is on the superstructure behind and above the forward eight inch gun turrets and the other is on the superstructure in front of and above the eight inch gun turret in the rear of the ship. The ship also has two double barrel five inch gun mounts on each side of the superstructure. The barrels can be elevated up to 85 degrees and the turrets can rotate 360 degrees. The weapons are mostly crewed by labor robots. The guns can be used against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft but does have modern fire control systems added. The five inch guns can also use rocket assisted projectiles for extended range.
    Maximum Effective Range: 12 miles (10.4 nm/19.3 km) for standard projectiles, 20 miles (17.4 nm/32.2 km) for rocket propelled rounds.
    Mega-Damage: Standard Projectiles: 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for High Explosive, 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 6 ft (2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 4D6x10 to a blast radius of 25 ft (7.7 m) for Plasma. Rocket projectiles: 2D4x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for High Explosive, 2D6x10 to a blast radius of 4 ft (1.2 m) for High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 3D6x10 to a blast radius of 20 ft (6.1 m) for Plasma. Double weapons damage if the gun is firing both cannons simultaneously and for special purpose warheads use the statistics for 105 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate).
    Rate of Fire: Four shots per barrel per melee (Firing both barrels counts as one attack)
    Payload: 6000 rounds (1000 rounds per weapon mount). Ship normally carries usually carries 1500 High Explosive, 1500 High Explosive Armor Piercing, 1500 Plasma, 500 Rocket Propelled High Explosive, 500 Rocket Propelled High Explosive Armor Piercing, and 500 Rocket Propelled Plasma rounds. Ship will carry special rounds when employed in artillery roles.
  3. Four (4) Phalanx CIWS Vulcan Cannons: These are is a copy of the fire control from a Pre-Rifts US Navy CIWS with upgrades and a powerful laser replacing Vulcan cannon. The Laser is a knock off of the weapon used by the Iron Hammer Tank. It is excellent for both taking out missiles and aircraft and can be targeted at ocean level targets. Vulcan cannons are mounted where the two most forward and aft of the three inch guns were originally mounted on each side of the superstructure of the ship. The laser system can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft). The system has a 360 degree rotation (although restricted in fire by the ship’s superstructure) and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4000 feet (1212 m)
    Damage: 3D4x10 MD (burst)
    Rate of Fire: 6 Attacks per melee (Has +3 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft)
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  4. Six (6) Light Point Defense Systems: Based on the K-1000 Spider Defense Systems. Fully automatic defense system. Two are located on the Forward Superstructure above the bridge and two located on either side on what were originally search light platforms. The systems are connected to the ships power supply so that it has unlimited shots. Weapon system normally is used as an anti-missile defense. Weapon system also has 4 smoke grenades although of limited use.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) for light blasts, 3,000 feet (915 meters) for heavy blasts, 20 feet (6 meters) for electrical current, 100 feet (30.5 meters) for smoke grenades.
    Mega Damage: 4D6 for light blasts, 1D4x10 for heavy blasts, 3D6 S.D.C. for electrical current
    Rate of Fire: On automatic has Six (6) Attacks per melee (+2 to strike)
    Payload: Effective Unlimited (has 4 smoke grenades each)
  5. Two (2) Vertical Launch Missile Launchers: These mounts take the place of one of the central three inch gun mounts and one of the fire control mounts on each side. These launchers are a slightly redesigned version of the original Mk 41 vertical launch system and have more missile launching cells although each cell is slightly smaller and cannot fire cruise missiles. The launchers each have a total of 80 cells for missiles. Each cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missile. Long range missiles are normally used against aircraft and other large targets, and medium range missiles are normally used against closer targets such as incoming missiles. Anti-Submarine rocket launched torpedoes are also can be fired from the launcher (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
    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), (4), eight (8), sixteen (16), twenty (20), or forty (40) missiles per melee for each launcher per melee and at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: 80 missiles cells in each VLS launcher (Can carry a total of 160 long range missiles). One long range missile or two medium range missiles may be carried per cell. Usual load is 80 long range missiles (40 per launcher) and 160 medium range missiles (80 per launcher). Ship carries no reloads.
  6. Sixteen (16) Long Range Missile Launchers: These launchers are special canisters that are located on the superstructure of the ship in four groups of four. These canisters were copied from Old United States Harpoon canister launchers. While the launchers are reusable, they are still inexpensive and are easily jettisoned. While any long range missile type can be carried, usually special surface skimming missiles will be carried in launchers and are used against surface targets only.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (Surface skimming missiles have 25% less range than normal long range missile, Go to 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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) missiles. All launcher operates together.
    Payload: One missiles each launcher for a grand total of sixteen (16) long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads).
  7. Five (5) Short Range Missile Launching Systems: One is mounted on the bow, two are mounted on each side of the superstructure behind the laser CIWS mounts, and two are mounted on the fantail. Each launcher has a 36 Short Range Missiles and fills a similar role to the Pre-Rifts RAM missile launcher. These launchers' primary purpose is to shoot incoming missiles. Missiles are usually 50% AP and 50% Plasma. Each launcher operates independently
    Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per short 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), six (6), or twelve (12) missiles. Each launcher operates independently.
    Payload: 36 missiles each launcher for a grand total of 180 missiles (Has 360 missiles for reloads kept in storage)
  8. Chaff Launcher (4): Added to the ship when refitted by the REF, two are located on the superstructure near the bridge and two are located in the rear hart of the superstructure. They are designed to confuse incoming missiles. All chaff launchers must be fired at the same time or effects will be reduced. The efficiency will be reduced by one quarter for each launcher not operating. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    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 48
  9. SLQ-25A Nixie Towed torpedo decoy (1): A special decoy which is towed behind the ship. The Coalition has not seen a need for this system so has not equipped their ships with it. It generates a sound like the ships propellers in order to confuse incoming torpedoes. Only effective at speeds below 18 knots. Otherwise, the noise of the ship’s systems and propellers is too powerful to mask. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
    Effects: The decoy has a 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military sonars and non smart guided torpedoes, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level sonars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military sonars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart torpedoes.
    Decoys have a duration of 30 minutes (120 melee rounds)
    Payload: One, with four more as reloads. It takes three minutes (twelve melees) to reel out another decoy.


Special Systems:


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




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Picture by Mindnightnova and Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune). Click on line drawing for a better view.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 1998 to 2001, & 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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