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Royal Navy Dreadnought class Ballistic / Cruise Missile Submarines:


Back at the end of the twentieth century, the United States strongly considered converting a number of Ohio class Ballistic Missile Submarines into cruise missile submarines which could carry more than 160 tomahawk missiles. In the end, the first four vessels of the class were converted to carry slightly fewer missiles, 154 Tomahawk missiles, as well as a large number of troops. These conversions gave the Royal Navy the inspiration to construct one basic hull for both a ballistic missile submarine and a cruise missile carrying submarine.


The Dreadnought class ballistic missile submarines were originally considered a replacement for the Vanguard class. Because of the poor military environment of the first half of the Twenty-First century the Vanguards had been kept in service for much longer than their intended service life of thirty years, and when the money for military expenditures finally did become available, it was spent on the M.D.C. revolution programs.


Ultimately the Vanguard class served until the early fifties, at which point they were so old that their hulls and reactors were in some cases dangerously close to forcing the British Navy to pull the whole class out of service. Some press reports indicated that the vessels were in danger of catastrophic failure. While this was an exaggeration, it was closer than the Lords of the Admiralty wanted to admit. When this became public, the outcry was so great that there was concern that British government might fall. While this was also an exaggeration, the outcry was huge. The public would not allow the government to lose Britains nuclear deterrence. Several newspapers had been quick to point out that the loss of the nuclear ballistic submarines would lower the country to the level of France, which had given up its nuclear force a decade before . . .


The shipbuilders of BAE had, at the beginning of the Mega Damage revolution in the thirties, proposed a hull design that could be used for either a Ballistic Missile submarine or a Cruise Missile submarine. The project was shelved due to lack of funds. Now, acting upon the public outcry, the government ordered four of the Ballistic Missile variety of the subs to be laid down at once with upgrades to the design being done while the vessels were under construction and some upgrades would be done when the vessels come in for refits. Any later models of the class would be constructed using more modern systems, but the first four had to be finished fast. As soon as the first four were completed, two Ballistic Missile Submarines along with two Cruise Missile Submarines were laid down. As well, the entire Vanguard class was decommissioned as soon as the first four ballistic missile submarines were completed. The eventual goal was for eight Ballistic Missile Submarines and four Cruise Missile Submarines. The first of the Cruise Missile configured submarines was the HMS Thunderer and was a welcome addition to the fleet.


The Dreadnought class, as they became known, was of roughly the same size and general shape as the United States Ohio class ballistic missile submarines. The major visible external differences were that the Dreadnoughts had X shaped control surfaces aft for better maneuverability, the dive planes being relocated into the hull from the main sail, and a pump jet propulsor standard. The Dreadnought was designed to carry twenty ballistic missiles, which while greater than the sixteen carried on the Vanguard but still four less than the twenty-four ballistic missiles carried on the Ohio class. The United States Navy was working on the development of a new ballistic missile but the British Navy decided not to wait and instead simply updated the Trident Missile. The Thunderer was designed with forty cruise missile launchers identical to those carried on the Upholder class fast attack submarine with reloads bringing the total number of missiles to four cruise missiles per launcher. The 160 missiles were normally divided between land attack missiles and multi-purpose missiles. The Thunderer also has a slightly different sail which is designed to carry some of the gear for special forces which were expected to be carried onboard. The forty cruise missile launchers and magazines require less space than the twenty ballistic missiles and the space below the magazines is converted to support marines. Along with quarters for forty troops, the space store twenty power armors and a significant amount of other gear. There are hatches forward and aft of the missile launchers for the troops' use. Both submarines' designs are equipped with a retractable laser turret in the sail of the submarine and four torpedo tubes in the bow. The number of torpedoes was significantly increased in the Dreadnought compared to previous ballistic missile submarines. Sensor systems and other electronics are mostly identical to the Upholder class and systems originally to be mounted in several Upholder class were instead used in the fitting of the first four submarines of the Dreadnought class. This caused delays in the fast attack program but the ballistic missile submarines were considered far more important. The gel layer system first pioneered by the Upholder class was used to give the submarine incredible stealth characteristics although the general hull design was less efficient.


Like most submarines, the Dreadnought class is still quite cramped and the ship only has tiny staterooms shared by multiple officers although enlisted now actually have enough bunks for the entire crew, which means that there is no more need to hot bunk. Ballistic Missile carrying submarines had two crews while the Cruise Missile variant has only one crew.


When the Ark Royal task force, the HMS Thunderer was assigned to support it along with two Upholder class fast attack submarines. The group was mainly meant for gunboat diplomacy but the possibility of conflict made the Thunderer a welcome addition. When the task force was attacked by Argentinian bombers using Chinese stealth technology, the Thunderer, along with the rest of the task force, was thought destroyed by nuclear weapons. In fact, the submarine was rifted from what was to later become the South American Sea Triangle. The Argentinian Military was lucky because it would have been unlikely that they could have destroyed the Thunderer and the Guided Missile submarine would have responded. While all of the missiles that would have hit the task force were destroyed, several exploded outside of the task forces defense and would have been considered an act of hostility in any cases. While the Thunderer carried no nuclear warheads, 160 cruise missiles could have inflicted a huge amount of damage.

Model Type:SSBN-01Ballistic Missile Submarine
SSGN-01Cruise Missile Submarine
Class: Ballistic Missile Submarine or Cruise Missile Submarine
Crew: 105 total; 10 officers, 12 chief petty officer, 78 enlisted.
Troops:SSBN-01None
SSGN-0140


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles (Cruise Missile Variant):

20Gypsy Moth Power Armors


M.D.C. by Location:

Ballistic Missile Launchers (20, aft of sail - Ballistic Missile Version):250 each
Cruise Missile Silo Hatches (40, aft of sail- Cruise Missile Version):200 each
Troop / Power Armor Hatches (2 - Cruise Missile Version):300 each
Pop-Up Laser Turret (mounted on sail):150
Torpedo Tubes (4 - Bow of submarine):150 each
[1] Bow Planes (2):250 each
[2] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):500
Main Sail:1,000
[3] Main Body:4,000


Notes:
[1] 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 piloting rolls.
[2] 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 takes are immediately blown so submarine comes to surface.
[3] 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.


Speed:
Water Surface: 26 knots (29.9 mph/ 48.2 kph)
Underwater: 31 knots (35.7 mph/ 57.5 kph)
Maximum Depth: 5,000 feet (1,524 meters)
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 30 years and requires maintenance as well). The vessel carries 9 months of supplies for the crew on board.


Statistical Data:
Draft: 38 feet (11.4 meters)
Width: 43 feet (12.9 meters)
Length: 612 feet (183.6 meters)
Displacement: 17,764 tons standard and 19,750 tons submerged
Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 12 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 torpedoes, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear; average energy life of 30 years. Normally refuels every 15 years
Black Market Price: Not Available.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Pop-Up Laser Cannon: The weapon is mounted in the top of the Sail, and has complete coverage of the sky. The turret fully retracts to not interrupt water flow while the submarine is underwater. This was a relatively light gun which could be used against small vessels, power armor, and missile volleys. Actually many commanders felt that the turret was one of the most useless items on the subs, since more than 99% of each deployment was spent underwater anyway, making the use of the laser moot. The turret had its own gunner and could rotate 360 degrees and had a 90 degree arc of fire.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6000 feet ( 1828.8 m).
    Mega-Damage: 6D6 M.D. per single blast.
    Rate of Fire: Five blasts per melee round.
    Payload: Effectively unlimited.
  2. Four (4) Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the lower bow of the submarine are four torpedo tubes. 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 missiles warheads. Along with standard torpedoes, the launcher can also use rocket boosted ASW torpedoes. Submarine carries 28 reloads for torpedoes.
    Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (64 km)
    Mega Damage: By Heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details), can fire missiles (Long Range or Cruise) in special canisters as well (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) torpedoes. Reloading takes 1 full melee
    Payload: 4 Total (Has 28 torpedoes for reloads)
  3. Missile Launchers: The hull behind the sail carries 20 Trident ballistic missiles in the ballistic missile version of the submarine and the cruise missile variant of the submarine carries 40 cruise missiles instead of the ballistic missiles along with two hatches for troops.
    1. Twenty (20) Upgraded Trident D-5 Strategic Ballistic Missiles: Behind the submarines sail are two rows of ten ballistic missiles. These missiles make the Dreadnought class one of the most dangerous ship classes on the Earth. Missiles can be launched at depths up to 300 feet. The Brits simply bought the designs from the United States, but fitted British electronics. Missiles have a range of 6,000 nautical miles but essentially enter a low orbit to do so they would probably either be destroyed by the debris rings or by defense satellites. Missiles can be launched at targets less than 1,000 nautical miles without entering a ballistic trajectory. Each missile has 14 warheads that are each the equivalent of a nuclear long range missile warhead. The missiles can hit targets up to 100 miles away from where the missile breaks into its multiple warheads and can target multiple targets. Each warhead has independent guidance and is considered a smart missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,904.7 miles (6,000 nautical miles / 11,112 km ) but must be launched ballistically, 1,150.8 miles (1,000 nautical miles /1,852 km) with missiles being launched sub ballistically. Missile warheads can hit targets withing a 115 miles (100 nautical miles /185 km) of where the missile breaks into fourteen warheads.
      Mega Damage: Each missile have 14 warheads which each are equal to a nuclear long range missile warhead (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), eight (8), or ten (10) missiles and can be fired at multiple target at the same time.
      Payload: 20 Trident Ballistic missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads.
    2. Cruise Missile Launchers (40): These silo-style launchers are located aft of the submarines sail and face up toward the sky. The system is the same as that carried on the Upholder class fast attack submarine but the Dreadnought class has more launchers. System has an automatic reload system and is located within the pressure hull of the submarine. All launchers operate as one system and are used to engage enemy ships and ground targets. The cruise missile usually carried was the hypersonic Fasthawk in its sea skimming anti ship and semi ballistic land attack guises.
      Maximum Effective Range: As per Cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      For Cruise Missile type go to: Fasthawk Cruise Missile.
      Mega Damage: As per Cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      For Cruise Missile type go to: Fasthawk Cruise Missile.
      Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or volleys of two (2), four (4), six (6), eight (8), ten (10), twelve (12), fourteen (14), sixteen (16), eighteen (18), or twenty (20) once per melee round.
      Payload: 160 in launch system, with usual complement being 80 land attack and 80 sea skimming anti ship Fasthawk cruise missiles.
  4. Advanced Decoys (8): The submarine carried eight advanced decoy drones. These were small automated vehicles that created a false sonar image designed to mimic the submarine's sonar signature. It has a small propulsion system that can simulate movement (had a top speed of 10 knots) and maneuvers. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
    M.D.C.: 20
    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 the decoy has a 25% 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)
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
    Rate of Fire: Ship can launch one drone per melee.
    Payload: 8 Decoys
  5. Noisemakers: The submarine carries noisemakers to decoy torpedoes. These noisemakers are similar to those used by Coalition submarines. The noisemakers are launched from the middle of the submarine.
    Effect: 50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying smart torpedoes.
    Rate of Fire: 2 at a time (Can be reloaded in one melee)
    Payload: 20 Noisemakers
  6. Gel Coating: The submarine could form a Gel coating around itself by running a low powered electric current through its hull and releasing a set of chemicals into the water surrounding it. Under the influence of the electric current the chemicals bonded with the seawater, forming a thick gel that clung evenly to the hull. This coating absorbed both in and outgoing noise, which made the sub virtually impossible to detect by both passive and active sonar.
    The drawback was that the gel would slough off if the sub exceeded 15 knots of speed, and that the sub only had a limited supply of the gelating chemicals aboard. In order to listen past the coating the sub reeled out a towed sonar array through the gel layer.
    M.D.C.: 15
    Effects: The gel layer absorbs, deadens and distorts all sounds from and to the submarine. The sub is -30% to detect (comes in addition to other penalties).
    In addition to that, if detected there is a 20% chance that the sub will be mistaken for a large school of fish or a whale due to the gel layer having a density much like flesh or whale blubber.
    Gel layer has a duration of 4 days(!) at speeds below 15 knots. Above 15 knots the layer peels off in 3 melees, negating its effects.
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
    Rate of Fire: Sub can form a new gel layer in eight melees, but must be at a speed of 5 knots or lower!.
    Payload: 6 applications.


Special Systems:
The submarine has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune) & Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).


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