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British Thatcher class Land Attack Destroyer:


Although the Audacious class Frigates performed well, and their M.D.C. conversion was progressing satisfactory, the Royal Navy of the sixties needed a new class of ships for the fleet. Some of the Daring class Destroyers were also being converted to M.D.C. ships, but it was clear that a new, more capable class of ships was needed. Since the Audacious class had shown that the Trimaran hullform was a reliable shape for a ship, it was decided that the new ships would also be Trimarans, and that they would borrow many of the design characteristics of the Audacious class.


At the same time it was recognized that although some of the new ships would have to be primarily airdefense ships, some would have to perform land-attack missions to support marine landings. Although it was at first envisioned that both missions would be performed by the same ships, it became clear that the old saying "Jack of all trades, Master of none" still held true. Ultimately two different designs were born, both sharing a common hull, propulsion system, engineering, and many weapons, yet quite different in ultimate capabilities (and cost). The Thatcher class ships were to have mostly land attack capabilities.


The Thatcher was a sleek trimaran, with her two secondary hulls set about halfway her main hull. Her deckhouse was a single massive block, upon which the radar tower of a Audacious with its mini-Sampson array was set. Behind the deckhouse there was a large flightdeck, very suitable for the four large Merlin helicopters the class would carry. At the rear of the ship there was a deck for a large towed passive sonar array. The ship was powered from the outset by nuclear gas turbines and an indirect electric propulsion. All in all she looked quite a bit like a enlarged Audacious class, which in actuality she was: In order to speed up the design process much of the layout and systems of the ship had been taken from the previous class of trimarans. The most visible outward changes apart from size were the addition of a Surface Search radar, and two 155 mm cannons located forward and aft, and the adoption of a clipper bow to improve seakeeping. The Audacious class had proven to be good but rather wet seaboats.


The weapons fit was very complete, much like that of the Audacious Class. The Thatcher carried two 155 mm cannons for fire support, one forward, one aft and a 48 cell MK-41 Tactical length (short) VLS for its medium and long range missiles in front of the bridge, and two 32 cell MK-41 Strategic length (long) VLS systems for anti surface missiles mounted in the superstructure (one over each secondary hull). There were three combination railgun / missile launcher units of American design for close in defense. Solely for anti ship purposes there were also eight Long Range Missile tubes located on the superstructure, between the radar towers. These were loaded with surface skimming missiles. Lastly the ship carried two 30 mm cannons, and two double tubed torpedo launchers.


To complement this weapons fit there was room for up to 160 Marines and their power armors.


The electronics fit was also quite impressive. The main radar was a slightly simplified (mini) Sampson phased array radar, which had excellent range and power. Complementing this was a reduced Marconi/Signaal Air/Surface search radar, with good tracking capabilities. There was a Ferranti bow sonar, and a very large passive towed array sonar. A good ECM suite was also fitted. All of this made the ship very well equipped for both anti submarine operations and Air Defense.


The ship carried a number of small vehicles including four medium zodiac style boats, and four Merlin helicopters either fitted for ASW operations or variants for troop and material transport. The larger amount of helicopters and marines (in comparising to the Hood class ships) was made possible by having a larger hangar. Instead of the Merlins the Thatchers can also carry three Chinook helicopters. This seldomly done, because the hangar is then severely crowded, and maintenance work is hampered.


Ultimately three batches of three ships each would be build of these proud and powerful ships.


The nine ships of the Thatcher class served with various small upgrades until the beginning of the third Falklands war in 2073, which was to end Argentine as both a military and a economic world power. At the time all but three of the Destroyers were at sea. The Thatcher, the Churchill and the Blair were all attached to the Taskforce escorting the Ark Royal, and at the time it was believed that the entire force was lost due to a limited Argentinian nuclear strike, whereas in reality the nuclear explosion triggered a leyline storm which projected the entire taskforce into the Rifts era.


Model Type: Thatcher Class Destroyer
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Guided Missile Destroyer, Land Attack.
Crew (Cruiser): 175; 12 officers, 20 Chief Petty officers, 20 Command Crew (various),and 123 enlisted
Troops: 28 Merlin crew members, 160 Marines.


Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

50Gypsy Moth Power Armors (With Flight Pack)
20Gypsy Moth Power Armors (With Underwater Thruster Pack)
4Westland Merlin HM 1 helicopters


M.D.C. by location:

Bridge:650
[1] Sampson B Active Phased Array Radar System:400
[1] Marconi/Signaal S1650M Air/Surf. Search Radar:300
Vickers 6.1 inch/55 MK 3 Naval Guns (2, one Forward, one Aft):180 Each
30 mm cannon (2):50 each
MK-41 Tactical 48 cell VLS (1, Forward):300
MK-41 Strategic 32 cell VLS (2, sides of superstructure)220 each
Missile Canisters (8 total, 2x4)100 each
Torpedo Launchers (2, sides):50 each
Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (3):200 each
Hangar (Aft):530
Outer Hull (per 80 ft area):85
[2] Primary Hull (Main Body):2,400
[3] Secondary Hulls (2, either side of Primary Hull):750 each


Notes:
[1] Destroying both Sampson and S1650M Air Search System radar system will eliminate the ship’s long range air search ability but weapon systems have backup fire control systems. Both air search systems are separate so both systems are not likely to be disabled from a single hit.
[2] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. If the Secondary Hulls are still intact, the ship will sink very slowly and will take a full twenty four hours to sink. This may give the ships crew time to patch the damage to an extent that the ship will float but all propulsion will be destroyed but the ship may be repairable. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.
[3] Destruction of one secondary hull will reduce stability and negate bonuses due to quiet design and for piloting. Destruction of both secondary hulls will give the ship a -20% penalty to piloting and give a bonus of +20% to be detected. Ships speed is also reduced to 30 knots (34.5 mph/ 55.6 kph)


Speed:
Surface: 60 knots (69 mph / 111.1 kph)
Maximum Effective Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies and consumables on board.


Statistical Data:
Length: 615 feet (184.5 meters)
Height: 118 feet (35.4 meters)
Width: 110 feet (33 meters)
Displacement: 9,500 tons standard and 12,100 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 720 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 ships spaces are take up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear Turbines, average life span is 20 years
Market Cost: Not available.


WEAPON SYSTEMS:

  1. Two (2) Vickers 6.1 inch/55 MK 3 Naval Guns: This gun was designed in the early days of the century, and was designed to replace the old 4.5 inch naval gun. It features increased reliability and firepower, is fully automated, and is usually aimed by radar. The latest version of this gun made use of advanced M.D.C. materials, and used a Electrothermal Cannon which used a vaporizing dot of metal to propel its projectiles, at considerable savings in munition size and weight.The gun can be used against other ships, against ground targets, and against aircraft. The use of rocket assisted projectiles is also possible. One turret is located in front of the large MK-41 launcher, while the other is located aft, just before the towed sonar array. The turret can rotate 360 and has a 90 arc of fire.
    The turrets can rotate 360 degrees and have a 90 degree arc of fire.
    Maximum Effective Range: 30.2 miles (48.5 km)
    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. Use the statistics for 155 mm artillery warheads (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information - standard or rocket assisted as appropriate).
    Rate of Fire: Up to four single shots per melee.
    Payload:750 rounds each, for 1500 total.
  2. Three (3) Mk 44 "Sea Sabre" Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Bought from the United States as a replacement for aging systems like the Sea RAM and Phalanx CIWS. One is mounted over the bridge, while the other two are located on the sides of the ships superstructure, next to the long range radar. These anti-missile defense systems combine both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking systems. The short range missile launchers can target up four targets and can fire a volley up too twice per melee. The railgun is capable of destroying any missile or inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The rail gun can fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft). The system can also be used against other ships and ground targets. The system has a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.
    Maximum Effective Range: Rail Guns: 11,000 feet (2 miles/ 3.2 km). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Rail Guns: 3D4x10 MD per burst of 40 rounds (Can only fire burst). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Rail Guns: 6 attacks per melee. Short Range Missiles: 2 attacks per melee, can fire one at a time or in volleys of two or four.
    Payload: Rail Guns: 8000 rounds (200 burst) each. Short Range Missiles: 16 short range missiles each.
  3. MK-41 Tactical 48 Cell VLS (1): A very reliable VLS launcher, dating back from the previous century, made in the USA, and exported to numerous countries. The tactical length version could not carry Cruise Missiles, and on the Thatcher was used to house both Surface to Air and surface to surface missiles of various sizes.
    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), four (4), or sixteen (16) missiles per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: 48 missile cells in the VLS launcher (Can carry a total of 96 long range missiles). Two long range missiles or Four medium range missiles may be carried per cell, and a usual complement was 64 LRMs and 64 MRMs.
  4. MK-41 Strategic 32 Cell VLS (2): A American design which was much more flexible than the French Sylver launcher of the same period, the Strategic length VLS cells could hold either a single Cruise Missile, two Long range missiles, or four medium range missiles. On the Thatcher these cells carried LRMs and CMs for Surface to Surface engagements.
    The launchers are located on the superstructure, just above the secondary hulls.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per Cruise or long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    For Cruise Missile type go to: Fasthawk Cruise Missile.
    Mega-Damage: As per cruise or long range 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 in volleys of two (2), four (4), or sixteen (16) missiles per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: 32 missile cells in each VLS launcher (Can carry a total of 32 cruise missiles). One cruise missile, two long range missiles or four medium range missiles may be carried per cell.
  5. Long Range Missile Canister Launchers (8): These launchers are special canisters mounted in two quadruple mounts on the superstructure, just aft of the Sampson Radar Array. These canisters were copied from Old United States Harpoon canister launchers. While the launchers are reusable, they are still inexpensive and are easily jettisoned if damaged. 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 missile have 25% less range than normal long range missile (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 missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles (All launchers operate together)
    Payload: 1 missiles each launcher for a grand total of 8 long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads).
  6. 30 mm cannons (2): Two 30 mm cannons were mounted on the superstructure, next to the bridge. These weapons had a good range and rate of fire, but lacked the punch to do damage to large targets. Since they were manually aimed, they were little good against missiles, and the crew often joked that they were only good for "Shooting life boats and survivors in the water".
    Each gun can rotate 360 degrees and has a 180 degree arc of fire.
    Maximum Effective Range: 10,000 feet (3048 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 2D6 per round, and 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 rounds.
    Rate of Fire: As per gunners Hand to Hand.
    Payload: 600 rounds (20 bursts) each. Ship carries an additional 4,000 rounds of ammunition in magazines. Autocannon requires 3 minutes (12 melees) to reload by properly trained personnel (Double for untrained crews).
  7. Two (2) Torpedo Launchers: Mainly design for anti-submarine warfare but can be used against surface targets. There is on launcher one ach side of the ship. Each torpedo launcher has 2 torpedo tubes and has automatic reload systems. Ship carries caries 80 reloads for torpedoes.
    Maximum Effective Range: 20 miles (32 km)
    Mega Damage: By Medium torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpdoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2) torpedoes each launcher per side, launcher can fire a maximum of two volleys per melee each launcher.
    Payload: Has 80 torpedoes for reloads.
  8. Sea Gnat Chaff Launchers (4): Located on the superstructure of the ship slightly beneath and below the side CIWS, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles.
    Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smartmissiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Maximum Effective 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: 6 each for a total of 36. 144 reloads are carried, reloading takes two melees.
  9. SLQ-25A Towed torpedo decoy (1)A decoy which is towed behind the ship. 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 ships systems and propellers is to powerful to mask. This decoy can only be used when the Towed Sonar Array is not in operation.
    Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
    M.D.C.: 10
    Effects: The decoy has an 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.
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
    Payload: 1, with five 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:


Bonuses:




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