A.R.M.D. Defense Platform 12:
Captain Perry watched his sensors as be watched hundreds of thousands of Zentraedi starships heading towards Earth. He had ordered his platform into intercept and he knew that his crew would die within the next few minutes. He knew that there was little hope for Earth either way but he had to do what he could. The Oberth destroyers were far ahead of his platform and would engage before his fighters would. He would begin fighter launch in just a few seconds and he knew he was sending his men and women to die. What choice did he have, Earth was under siege. Where could he run, all the Zentraedi would do is chase his platform down and he would rather die fighting then die running.
Before this could happen, the platforms sensors showed the huge gravity abnormality that was normally caused when multiple starships were folding in. The sensors showed what looked like a large Zentraedi force was folding into the exact position of his platform. The platform got caught in a strange twist in the fold field and the platform was flung into what might be called a wormhole by some scientists.
This lasted for what seemed less than a millisecond and at the same time like millenniums. Suddenly, the platform found itself in orbit around Earth again. There was no assaulting Zentraedi starships and the dark side of the planet was wrapped by glowing white lines. In addition, there was a scattering of small space stations similar to those built before the SDF crashed.
As the crew of the platform came to their senses, multiple ships could be seen approaching their stations. Captain Parry wondered if they would be friends or enemies.
The ARMD Defense Platform was rifted into orbit of Rifts Earth through a series of unusual circumstances. The platform was attacked almost immediately but was able to beat off attacks from the various members of the orbital community. The ARMD platform carried the firepower of a station yet was mobile. The materials used in the construction of most orbital vehicles were superior but greater range of weapon system was able to negate this. While the platform was able to get samples of the armor materials, the crew did not have the resources to duplicate it and all resources were being used to replace missiles and do repair work to fighters. This went on for almost six months with forces from every orbital group except the Ceres and Outcast groups. The captain of the ARMD platform was seriously considering making a full attack on a orbital station to stop the continuous harassment.
All of this changed when they were contacted by another stranded Robotech group from the planet below them. The leader of the Robotech group on Earth had come from a later time in the Robotech Universe but had been on Rifts Earth for longer. The leader came from the Army of the Southern Cross and was a aerospace pilot who had an intense interest in establishing operations in space. She had established her forces on the North American continent where the Kennedy Space Facility was located in the Pre-Rifts State of Florida. After a period of long distance discussions with each other, the two groups were able to establish direct contact and were able to trade with each other.
The two group were able to defeat the orbital defenses by a structured attack from both the forces on the ARMD and the forces in Florida. Previous forces had tried comparatively low key attempts to make it into space. Along with direct attacks, the group in Florida used techno-wizard enchantments on several strike craft in order to make them invisible and protected against energy weapons.
The direct contact between the two groups worked out well because the people in Florida were able to upgrade the ARMD Defense Platform's armor, weapons, and equipment. As well, the planetary group was able to keep the platform properly supplied. The ARMD platform was able to provide the REEF in Florida with a working model of the Ghost unmanned fighter to copy. In addition, the ability to have the platform plant communication satellites and orbitally map the planet are very useful.
There was some discussion of having the crew of the ARMD platform going home but this idea never got further than some low level discussions. A splinter group from the moon decided to crash an asteroid into the Earth to solve all problems with creatures living on the Earth. Patrols for the ARMD platform discovered this and warned the REEF in Florida. The leader of Florida was able to enlist the aid of the New German Republic and Larson's Brigade. Between all four groups, they were able to stop the assault and divert the asteroid. After this, it was firmly decided that the ARMD platform would remain manned. This battle, and the forces that were gathered to fight it, finally persuaded the rest of the orbital community to leave the platform alone. In addition, this has given the New German Republic the ability to operate satellites and other space platforms. They have not shared this ability with either the Coalition or Free Quebec.
The largest amount of upgrades were to the platforms armor so it could withstand greater damage. Propulsion systems were left completely unmodified but weapons and sensors had some modifications done to them. The heavy anti-ship missile were modified to fire multi-warhead missiles that can easily devastate their targets. In addition, eight short range missile launchers were added to increase the platforms defensive weaponry. A minor modification is that the long range missile launchers were modified to be able to fire standard Rifts style missiles to make reloads easier. The space platform also captured decoy and chaff systems from attacking vessels, and has copied them. One of these most effective addition to the platform was the copying of a radar system from a Hunter class destroyer. This design was built by the REEF in Florida and was shipped up in a huge number of shuttle loads.
The fighter compliment of the station has been completely upgraded. The Lancer space fighters and old Veritech fighters were replaced by much upgraded Corsair class Aerospace fighters, advanced Logan fighters, and improved Super Veritech fighters. The Ghost unmanned starfighters are still the stations main fighter compliment and the fighters have been replaced by much upgraded models. The compliment of Ghost starfighters was slightly reduced to allow the carrying of 300 power armors for close protection of the Space Platform.
While the core crew of the ARMD platform are the crew that was original rifted with it into the space around Rifts Earth, there is a rotation of crews with volunteers from Florida. This is to keep the crew fresh and keeps the morale much higher than it might otherwise be.
The ARMD Platform follows theoretical information about starships operating non chemical propulsion in space. This has meant much greater speeds and accelerations. Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the Platform's velocity and distance traveled:
- Velocity = Acceleration x Time + Initial Velocity
Distance Traveled = Acceleration x ½ x Time ² + Initial Velocity x Time
1 G = 32 feet (9.8 m) per second ²
Vehicle Type: Space, Space Defense Platform
Crew: 3060 (160 officers and 2900 Enlisted) standard
Troops: 320 Power Armor Troops, 260 Veritech pilots & shuttle crews
|300||REEF-PA03 Katana Power Armor (Fitted for space use)|
|24||VF-1AS (I) Interceptor Super Veritechs|
|72||REEF SF-10 Super Corsairs.|
|440||REEF QF-3000 Super Ghost Unmanned Fighters.|
|4||General Purposed Shuttles (Similar to RDF Space Shuttle)|
M.D.C. By Location:
|Heavy Beam Cannons (4, Forward):||600 each|
|Point Defense Laser Cannon Mounts (48):||200 each|
|Heavy Anti-Ship Missiles Launchers (2):||800 each|
|Long Range Missile Launchers (6):||400 each|
|Point Defense Short Range Missile Launchers (8):||150 each|
| Control Tower/Bridge:||1600|
| Main Engines (2):||3000 each|
| Secondary Engines (2):||1200 each|
| Main Body:||9,000|
 While the control tower is exposed, it is well armored. The platform does not have an auxiliary control center. Even if the control center is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
 The destruction of one main engine reduces the platforms acceleration by 30% and both will reduce acceleration by 60%. Destruction of one secondary engine will reduce acceleration by 15% and destruction of both secondary engines will reduce acceleration by 30%. Destroying all Engines means that the maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the ARMD Platform out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Space Propulsion: The ARMD Platform does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The ARMD Platform can reach a top acceleration of 1.0 G but due to high fuel consumption and extra strain on the engines, the ship will normally travel at 0.25 G for any extended trips. Top acceleration is only meant for emergencies and combat maneuvers.
Because the ARMD Platform is mostly unshielded from the effects of radiation and hypervelocity atomic particles (It is not completely unshielded, the platform is not operated at speeds exceeding 20% of the speed of light.
Planet Bound: The ARMD Platform cannot operate within an atmosphere and if the platform was to ever enter the atmosphere, the ship would crash into the planet.
Maximum Range: Conditionally unlimited, while the fusion rector gives power for over two decades of service, the ships propulsion is limited by the ships reaction mass. The reaction mass consists of Deuterium (Hydrogen 2) and Helium 3. The ARMD Platform can be refueled at asteroid based facilities, space stations, and other star ships as long as they have the special facilities. The ARMD Platform can also be refueled by fuel shuttles.
The ARMD Platform carries 6 month of reaction mass for travel at 0.25 G of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for 0.5 G of acceleration and double the consumption again for 1.0 G of acceleration. The ARMD Platform will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the ships velocity. If the ARMD Platform uses more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the ship will be unable to decelerate fully and the ship will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem. If the ARMD Platform runs out of fuel then it must be refueled by another vehicle traveling faster or be lost.
If the ARMD Platform has a large amount of flight operations, the platform is limited to about three months endurance at cruising speed from the fighters using the ships reaction mass.
The ship has a hydroponic section and with ships stores and the hydroponic, the ship is capable of operating for three years without resupply.
Length: 1,890 feet (576.1 meters)
Height: 210 feet (64.0 meters)
Width: 380 feet (115.8 meters)
Weight: 678,000 tons
Power System: Combination nuclear fusion with 25 year life span and solar power with an indefinite life span.
Cargo: Platform has multiple cargo holds that can carry a total of 80,000 cubic feet (2,265.3 cubic meters).
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, engine, reaction mass, equipment, and hydroponics.
Cost: Any station in orbit would spend billions of IOU to purchase this defense platform.
- Heavy Beam Cannons (4): This is the main beam weaponry of the ARMD Platform and is copied from recovered technology from the SDF-1. These guns replaced the original mounting and are capable of damaging or destroying the heaviest armored vessels in the Orbital Community around Earth. The weapons are mounted in front of the platform and arc of fire of cannons are limited to 15 degrees to either side or up and down.
- Point Defense Laser Cannon Mounts (48): The weapons are mounted on the top and bottom of the ARMD Platform with 24 mounts on the top and 24 mounts on the bottom. Weapon mounts are long ranged and capable against both fighters and missiles. In a pinch, the weapons being fired at a large target can inflict considerable damage.
- Heavy Missile Anti-Ship Launchers (2): The main armament of the ARMD Defense Platforms, not including fighters, consists of two heavy anti-ship missile launchers. These missiles are larger than cruise missiles, about the size of an ICBM, and each missile has eight long range missiles as payload. Each long range missile normal has a nuclear warhead and inflicts incredible damage. These missiles are about the size of a large starfighter and are designed to be used against large starships and space stations. Missile are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space (Mach 5 in an atmosphere / 10 Gs for Heavy Cruise Missiles). Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself. Each of these launchers can be targeted and fired at multiple targets. All missile are considered smart missiles
- Six (6) Long Range Missile batteries: These launchers are mounted on the main deck of the defense platform. These launcher are both used to launch anti-ship strikes and to launch against starfighters. Missile are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Missiles can be launched at non moving targets beyond the powered range of the missiles to hit targets without the chance of the launching ship being hit by missiles itself. Each of these launchers can be targeted and fired at multiple targets. The missiles normally used are Smart Missiles.
- Eight (8) Short Range Missile Launching Systems: This weapon system was added by the REEF after the platform got rifted into the system and is similar to those carried on several REEF Navel vessels. System has been modified to operate in space. These launchers primary purpose is to shoot incoming missiles with a secondary purpose of anti-fighter defense. These launchers are located on the corners of the vessel but have a 360 rotation and 90 degree arc of fire. Each launcher carries 36 missiles and usually 50% of the missiles are AP and 50% or the missiles are Plasma. Each launcher operates independently and can track multiple targets.
- Four (4) Chaff Throwers: This system launches clouds of chaff around the platform. The chaff are canisters of thousands of small highly reflective aluminum. The chaff will remain around the platform for a period of time unless the platform accelerates, decelerates, or changes course which will take platform out of the chaff cloud within one melee. All launchers must launch or platform will only have partial effects. Each reduction of a launcher will reduce effects by 25%. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
- Has a 50% chance of confusing or deflecting ordinary missiles,
- Disguises platforms radar signature
- Defuse and reflect laser fire so that lasers do half damage
- Advanced Decoys (8): The platform carries eight advance decoys drones. The are a small automated vehicle that projects a false radar image designed to mimic the ARMD Platform's radar signature. It also has a small transmitter to transmit false radio signals and has a small propulsion system that can simulate movement and maneuvers. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (64.4 km) in an atmosphere and 320 miles (515 km) in space.
Damage: 1D4x100 M.D. each, or 4D4x100 if all cannons are fired simultaneously at the same target.
Rate of Fire: Each cannon can fire up to 5 times per melee.
Maximum Effective Range: 5 miles (8 km) in an atmosphere and 40 miles (64.4 km) in space.
Mega-Damage: Short Burst: 1D4x10. Long Burst: 3D4x10. Continuous Burst for Entire Melee: 4D6x10.
Rate of Fire: Short Burst: 6 bursts per melee. Long Burst: 3 bursts per melee. Continuous Burst for Entire Melee: Once per melee. This is per individual mount, each mount fires independently
Payload: Effectively Unlimited
Maximum Effective Range: Heavy Anti-Ship Missile: 2,000 miles (3,184 km) in an atmosphere and powered range of 16,000 miles (25,800 km) in space. Long Range Missile: varies with missile type, long range missiles (Powered range is x 8 in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Each heavy missile have 8 long range missiles for a payload and each of those has a nuclear warhead (See revised bomb and missile tables for details - nuclear missiles inflict damage of fusion warhead when used in space).
Rate of Fire: Two volleys of two anti-ship missiles per launcher per melee (maximum of 8 anti-ship missiles per melee).
Payload: 40 missiles per launcher for 80 anti-ship missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: varies with long range missile type (Powered range is x 8 in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega-Damage: varies with long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire:Two volleys of two long range missiles per launcher per (maximum of 24 long range missiles per melee).
Payload: 40 missiles per launcher for 240 anti-ship missiles.
Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (Powered range is x 8 in space - Go to 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 288 missiles (Has 576 missiles for reloads kept in storage)
Mega-Damage: any vehicle flying through take 2D6 M.D.C.
Maximum Effective Range: Protects Platform
Rate of Fire: Once (1) Per Melee (Uses 4 canisters each time used)
Payload: 200 Cylinders of chaff (50 per launcher).
Mega-Damage: Self Destruct system does 2D4x10
Effects: The decoy has an 80% chance of fooling ordinary non military sensors and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 50% chance of fooling military level sensors, and the decoy has a 25% chance of fooling advanced military sensors and smart missiles.
Decoys have a duration of 5 minutes (20 melee rounds)
Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
Rate of Fire: Platform can launch one drone per melee.
Payload: 8 Decoys
The platform has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
- Hardened Circuitry and Electromagnetic Shielding: All electronics and computers on the platform are constructed with hardened circuitry and the platform itself is built with shielding to prevent EMP and jamming from damaging circuitry. The effect is that jamming and EMP will not damage any system while it can blind the platform's radar and radio communication system. Laser systems will not be affected by jamming.
- Jamming System: This system scrambles all electronic signals for a range of 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in space and will penetrate an atmosphere for a distance of 80 miles (128.8 km). The system can also confuse missiles. It has a 45% chance of confusing missiles but some missiles can home on jamming signals.
- Three Dimensional Search Radar: This systems is a derivative of the radar systems they found on the Hunter class destroyer and provided by the REEF in Florida. The system images all targets in three dimensions, can plot all targets on a holographic display. The system can also give three dimensional images of targets. The system has a range of 1200 miles (1931 km) in an atmosphere and 120,000 miles (193,100 km) in space. The system can track and identify 4096 targets at on time. Can also target each individual missile to a separate target at up to 1024 targets. This system will normally not be detected by Rifts Earth / Mutants in Orbit ESM because it operates on an unusual frequency. This system give the ship +25% to read sensory, +2 addition to strike with missiles, +4 to initiative, and treat Jamming as only 10% as effective (These are all compared to Rifts Earth systems, in phase world all bonuses would be eliminated and could not cut through the Jamming of an Avenger Power Armor for example).
- E.S.M.: Radar Detector, Passively detects other radars being operated.
- Neutrino Sensor: All fusion and fission reactors output neutrinos (So do stars and anti-matter systems as well). The ship uses a specialized magnetic field to capture and focus neutrinos into a sensor designed to detect neutrinos. The system also eliminates neutrinos from the sun although it is impossible to detect a target if the target is between the sensor system and the sun due to the overloading the ability of the system to detect neutrinos. The Neutrino sensor has a range of 100 miles (160 km) penetration of an atmosphere and has a range of 10,000 miles (16,100 km) in space. The sensor has a 35% chance of being able to be able to differentiate between fusion and fission reactors.
- Gravity Sensors: This system is no where near as advanced as systems used in the Three Galaxies and used only to track the most massive objects and vessels coming out of space fold. System can only detect objects of 500,000 tons or greater and space folds. There is hope that combining the technology of these sensors and the gravity sensors carried on the Hunter class destroyer will create far more accurate and discriminatory sensors. Range: 10 million miles (16.1 million km)
- Internal Gravity: Unlike other ships and space stations in the Orbital Community, the ARMD platform has artificial gravity that does not need rotation to generate.
- Command and Control Facilities: The battle cruiser carries extra communications equipment and command facilities, to enable the ship to operate as the flagship for a flotilla. When operating in a flotilla, all ships get a +1 on sensor rolls, +1 to strike on all weapons, and +10 % on communications.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2000 & 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.