Japanese Taiho II (Great Phoenix) class Aircraft Carrier:

As the Twenty-First Century progressed, the Japanese Navy expanded at a rate that had not been seen since the Second World War. Immediately after World War II, severe restrictions were put on Japan's armed forces and were officially not a military but a 'Self Defense Force.' The Japanese Navy was also restricted in size and carriers were specifically prohibited. With the expansion of the Chinese Navy along with Japanese concerns about the new Soviet military and the already large Indian Navy, the Japanese government pushed to get the restrictions on their military lifted. Along with this, Japan made mutual defense treaties with Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan. There was strong concern by each of them that the United States could not protect the Far Eastern nations.

The carrier was laid down in the late Twenty-Forties with the second vessel, the Ryuho, in the class laid down a few years later. Only two vessels were built and there were concerns that the United States would become belligerent if Japan laid more than two large carriers. The design was similar in many ways to the British carriers that had been launched earlier in the Twenty-First Century but the Japanese carriers were slightly smaller. It also has many similarities with the United States Escort / Light Carriers built a little more than a decade earlier. The carriers were armed for self defense only but were considered very useful. The two carriers were upgraded several times within their service lives. The Taiho was underway when the Rifts consumed the world and is believed to have been lost but the Ryuho was in port in Kure at the time of the Rifts and was carried forward in time.

One major difference between the Japanese design and the British carrier is that the Taiho is not equipped with Catapults and Arrester Gear. The carrier has a ski-jump on the bow to allow VTOL aircraft to carry higher payloads on takeoff. The carrier has three elevators with one forward of the superstructure, one aft of the superstructure, and one on the after port side. The superstructure is designed for a reduced radar cross signature. The whole carrier uses radar absorbing composites to further reduce the carrier's ability to be detected on radar. Still, the carrier is heavily armored and can withstand a huge amount of abuse before being sunk.

The ship’s propulsion was twin pod design driven by electric motors. The propellers were designed with variable pitch blades. The power was initially provided by four Gas Turbine engines which were replaced in refit by nuclear aircraft engines. The initial gas turbine engines had more than twice the horsepower of the original LM-2500 Gas Turbines and gave the vessel a top speed of 30.5 knots. The upgraded engines increased the top speed by more than four knots and allowed speeds of up to 34.8 knots. The propellers have bubble masking system to make the vessel harder to detect on sonar.

The carriers are well defended with multiple types of missile launchers. Aft of the main superstructure is a Mark 41 tactical length vertical missile launcher with thirty-two cells. Normally, the launcher carriers exclusively long range missiles but in some cases, anti-submarine rocket launched torpedoes are carries as well. The carrier does not mount any torpedo tubes. For medium range defense, the carrier carries a pair of small vertical missile launchers on the starboard side of the superstructure. These launchers are identical to those carried on the United States Ranger class carriers and fire at a slight angle to the starboard side so missiles that fail on launch do not crash onto the flight deck. There was some consideration to mounting two mount mounts on the port side but they were deleted in the later stages of the design process. On either side of the hull at the front of the superstructure are two combination point defense mounts. In addition, two mounts are on the sides of the ship near the fantail. Originally, two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) mounts and two Vulcan CIWS were mounted.

Several different radar systems were examined when developing the carrier. American four panel phased array systems and British steerable single array phased array radar systems were also examined. Eventually, the American SPY-3H Phased Array Radar system was selected. While actually mounted mostly on cruiser and destroyer classes, the system was still quite effective and less expensive than the latest systems developed in the United States. A powerful hull sonar is mounted as protection against submarines but the carrier does not have a towed array sonar. Towed decoys and chaff launchers are mounted to protect the ship from incoming torpedoes and missiles.

The actual weaponry of the carrier are its aircraft. Although the carrier does not carry as many aircraft as American super carriers and only VTOL aircraft can be operated from the carrier, the air wing is still impressive. The vessel was designed to embark three squadrons of fighters and attack aircraft. In addition, eighteen support aircraft are carried. Originally, the VTOL version of Joint Strike Fighter was the main strike fighter carried on the carrier and were supported by Ospreys and helicopters. The fighters were quickly replaced by the F-38 Panther and the Ospreys and Helicopters were replaced with newer designs which were nuclear powered. The final generation or aircraft carried include the Sea Hawk and Kingfisher class VTOL aircraft but fighter squadrons had to be cut from twelve aircraft per squadron to ten per squadron.

The crew is much smaller than one might expect due to automation but the ships were designed to carry marines as well and can act as amphibious carriers in a pinch. The crew of the carrier is around eight hundred and the ship can carry up to three hundred marines. Up to a hundred of the marines normally are equipped with flying power armors. The ships are fitted to act as flagships.

Model Type: Taiho II class Aircraft Carrier
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Aircraft Carrier
Crew: Ships Crew: 525 (65 Officers and 460 Enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]) Air Wing: 350 (120 Pilots, 20 flight deck officers, 210 enlisted)
Troops: 300 (100 pilots for SAMAS power Armor, 200 soldiers in body armor)

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
Power Armors:

Fighter/Aircraft Compliment:
2EV-84A General Cargo / Search and Rescue
6EVS-84A Anti-Submarine Warfare
4EVE-84A Electronics Warfare
30FV-45 Sea Hawk VTOL Jet Fighters
6Utility Tilt Rotors

M.D.C. by location:

[1] Elevators (3):400 each
Hanger Doors (3):400 each
[2] Flight Deck:3,000
Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (4, Sides):200 each
Mk 41 32 Cell Vertical Tactical Missile Launchers (1):220
Mk 55 Eight Cell Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):300 each
Chaff Launchers (4, Superstructure):10 each
[3] Phase Array Radar Panels (4, Superstructure):200 each
[4] Bridge / Command Tower:2,000
Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):80
[5] Main Body:8,500

[1] If all three are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the main flight deck.
[2] If the flight deck is destroyed, VTOL aircraft can be launched or land at -15% to piloting.
[3] Destroying Phase Array radar panels will destroy the ship’s fire control systems but secondary systems have backup systems and panels can compensate for each other. All Bonuses are lost if panels are destroyed.
[4] If Bridge/ Control Tower is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but with a -15% to piloting rolls. Communication and sensor equipment are not concentrated on the bridge to reduce the effectiveness of bridge hits.
[5] Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with an advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -2000 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.

Surface: 39.7 mph (34.5 knots/ 63.9 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 on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 846 feet (257.9 meters)
Draft: 34 feet (10.4 meters) including sonar dome
Width: 186 feet (56.9 meters) including flight deck
Displacement: 38,200 tons standard and 46,500 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 4,000 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: Nuclear Reactor, average life span is 20 years
Market Cost: Not for Sale but costs around 800 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 2 to 5 billion credits.


  1. Four (4) Mk 44 "Sea Sabre" Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Weapons are mounted on the sides of the ship with two just forward of the superstructure and two on the sides forward of the fantail. This anti-missile defense system combines 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 to twice per melee. The rail gun 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 rail gun is very similar to those carried on the Sea King Cruiser and it is likely that the Sea Kings rail guns came from a prototype of this system. The system also can 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.
  2. One (1) Tactical MK 41 Vertical Launch Missile Launchers: The carrier mounts a single 32 cell launcher behind the superstructure. This is are the shorter tactical version of the missile launcher and cannot carry the longer cruise missile. From the beginning, the launchers have been found to be very flexible and adaptable. The launcher was originally design for the Standard SM-2 Missile. On Rifts Earth and in the Pre-Rifts United States Navy, the launchers have been adapted to hold two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles per cell. 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.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range, or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per long range, 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), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) missiles for both launchers per melee and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.
    Payload: 32 cells missiles in after launcher (possible total of 64 long range missiles). Two long range missiles, or four medium range missiles may be carried per cell. Ship carries no reloads.
  3. Mk 55 Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2): Unlike most vertical launch systems, these launchers fire the missiles on a 6 degree angle to the side. This is because the system was initially designed for carriers and is to prevent a missile that fails on its launch from crashing into aircraft on the flight deck. The missiles are arranged in an 2 by 4 pattern, and each launch cell has eight reloads. Both launchers are mounted on starboard sides of the vessel's superstructure and require much less space than a Mk-41 or MK-49 VLS. Each system can launch up to 8 missiles simultaneously each and the launcher is automatically reloaded. These launchers often act as the ships middle point defense and are normally used to engage incoming air targets and missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per 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 eight (8) missiles (Each launcher operates independently)
    Payload: 8 missiles in each launcher, with 48 missiles in each magazine for automatic reloads, for a total of 112 Medium Range Missiles including missiles in launcher.
  4. Chaff Launcher (2): Located on the superstructure of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. Both launchers must be operated or effects will be reduced. Reduce effects of launchers by 50% per launcher not used. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (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: 24 each for a total of 48
  5. Advanced Towed Decoys (4): The vessel carries four advanced towed decoy drones. They are each a small automated vehicle that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the vessels. The decoy is dragged behind the destroyer using a cable. 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.
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
    Rate of Fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires 2 minutes to deploy (Reel Out) another decoy
    Payload: 4 Decoys.

Special Systems:

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

[ Altarian 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, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani 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, 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. ]

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.