Norwegian Skjold class Surface Effect Patrol Boat:

While the United States experimented with surface effect craft, they never built or operated a fully militarized version. Only the Norwegian and Soviet / Russian Navy built combatant surface effect craft. Surface effect ships are much faster than most conventional craft due to having far less hull area in the water to create drag. Speed in excess of 80 knots have been achieved in some designs. They also have the advantage of being able to operate in extremely shallow water.

Surface Effect Ships differ greatly from air cushion designs because they use rigid sidewalls for stability and support instead of a flexible skirt to contain the lift air. The Surface Effect Ship design does have flexible seals or "skirts" forward and aft and internal lift fans.

The first Norwegian Skjold, or "Shield", class Patrol Boat was commissioned at the very end of the Twentieth Century. Much smaller than the Soviet / Russian designs and also sometimes called a "Light Corvette", it was followed by six more vessels of the same basic design over the course of the next decade. The first boat of the class was original built without many of the features carried on later boats and had to be rebuilt. This included the replacement of the original diesels with Gas Turbine engines. Instead of grey, as with most naval vessels including those of the Royal Norwegian Navy, these boats were painted in camouflage schemes because they were designed to hide inside of bays and fiords.

Weaponry was a forward mounted 76 mm Oto-Breta super rapid gun, eight "Naval Strike Missiles" cruise missiles in a vertical launch system, and a twin Mistral Surface to air missile mount. The gun generally was for use against smaller targets while the anti-ship missiles were for use against larger targets. Basic tactic against larger vessels would be for these boats would race towards the enemy vessel, fire off their anti-ship missiles, and race away before the could be engaged. The boats used a large amount of composites and were extremely stealthy. There boats were designed with the ability to operate at speeds up to sixty knots on calm waters and forty-five knots in rough waters.

Radar gave the patrol boats a range of up to 180 km against air targets and the able to track surface skimming targets as well. Various improvements were worked into the electronics of the radar system but it was retained throughout the boat's life span. The twin mistral missile mounts could not deal with large numbers of missiles and the 76 mm cannon was also limited in this role. As a result, the vessels mostly relied on the "Softkill" decoy system against incoming missiles. They did not mount any jamming equipment although carried radar detection equipment. These boats only had a relatively small crew of sixteen with four officers.

Like many other militaries, the revolution during the Twenty-Thirties in high strength composites and alloys meant that these patrol boats were incredibly fragile. This had been the case even with conventional weaponry. Instead of building new patrol boats, it was decided to refit these boats. Trying to get authorizing for building new boats from the Norwegian Parliament was almost impossible.

Still, the rebuilding of these boats was more or less building new boats using the original frame. In effect, the entire hull was stripped from the frame and a new hull was build. The hull had to be build from composites to retain the patrol boat's stealth. Weapon systems were retained but new and more powerful ordnance was fitted.

Initially the conventional gas turbines were retained but in later refits, the original engines were also replaced by fusion turbines when they became available. Fusion turbines were initially developed for the use on aircraft, especially fighters, but were soon adapted to a number of different uses including naval vessels. These fusion turbines gave the patrol boats effectively unlimited range and increased top speed by several knots up to sixty four knots in calm water and forty-eight knots in rough seas.

Eventually the Norwegian Parliament was persuaded to build more surface effect boats as tensions increased. Both a class of similar size to the Skjold class and a far larger "heavy corvette" design were authorized. Sixteen of the smaller design were build and four of the larger vessels were built in total. The smaller design was mostly based off of the Skjold class and carried similar weaponry although has much better missile defense. The larger design was much better equipped for general purpose although still much smaller than the Soviet Perekat class Surface Effect Ship Corvette. A second batch of sixteen more of the smaller boats and four of the larger design just before the coming of the Rifts. As it was, construction was never begun on these new surface effect designs. The lighter design would have replaced the 76 mm cannon with a medium railgun.

By the coming of the Rifts, two of the Skjold class had been retired, used for parts for the remaining operation boats. Of the remaining boats, two were kept as training boats and two remained in full active service. It had been planned to finally retire the old patrol boats when the second batch was completed. Most ships and boats were destroyed with the coming of the Rifts. Most likely most of the Skjold class patrol boats were destroyed as well but at least one survived. Unfortunately, it ended up in the hands of pirates in whom hands it has been terrorizing merchant traffic. It can easily disappear back into jumbled fiords.

Model Type: Skjold class Surface Effect Patrol Boat (Project 6081)
Class: Ocean, Surface Effect Ship Light Corvette
Crew: 16 (4 officers and 12 enlisted)

Vehicle Compliment: None.

M.D.C. by Location:

OTO-Melara 3 inch (76-mm)/62-cal Super Rapid (1, Bow):200
Vertical Long Range Missile Launchers (8, fantail):80 each
Sinbad Twin Short Range Missile Launcher (1, Superstructure):60
"Soft Kill" Chaff / Decoy Launcher (1, Bow):10
[1] Thales MRR-3D-NG Multi-Role Radar:50
Bridge / Superstructure:120
[2] Propulsion Water-Jets (2, Rear):60 each
[2] Skirts (2, Forward and aft):50 each
[3] Main Body:360

[1] Destroying Search Radar Tower will eliminate long range radar system. The ship still has backup systems equal to those on robot vehicles.
[2] Destruction of a Water-Jets will reduce top speed by one half by each water-jet destroyed. Destruction of a Skirt will reduce top speed to 20 knots (23.0 mph / 37.1 kph)
[3] 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 -100 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.

On Water, Hull Borne: 11.5 mph (10 knots/ 18.5 kph)
On Water, On Air Cushion: Calm Seas: 73.7 mph (64 knots/ 118.6 kph) Rough Seas: 55.3 mph (48 knots / 89.0 kph)
Range: Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 5 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries one week of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Draft: Hull Borne: 8.20 feet (2.50 meters), On Air Cushion: 3.28 feet (1.00 meters)
Width: 44.29 feet (13.50 meters)
Length: 155.83 feet (47.50 meters)
Displacement: 274 tons fully loaded
Cargo: Can carry 5 tons (4.53 metric tons) of extraneous cargo. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have some 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 four gas turbines, converted to four nuclear reactors with an average life span of 5 years.
Black Market Price: 100 to 150 million credits on the black market for an intact model.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) OTO Melara 76mm/62 Super Rapid Naval Gun: The ship mounts a rapid fire three inch gun mount near the bow of vessel. The gun is very reliable and fires very rapidly (About 120 rounds per minute). The main weaknesses of the gun are its relatively short range and the fact it cannot use rocket assisted projectiles. The gun was carried on many ship classes around the world until well into the twenty first century. The guns can be used against other ships, ground targets, aircraft, and even missiles. These guns were among the smallest that could use a proximity fuse for their warheads.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4.9 miles (4.3 nautical miles/8.0 km) for standard projectiles
    Mega-Damage: High Explosive: 1D4x10 MDC with 10 ft (3 m) blast radius per single shot and 3D4x10 MDC with 20 ft (6.1 m) blast radius for three round burst. High Explosive Armor Piercing: 1D6x10 MDC with 4 ft (1.2 m) blast radius per single shot and 3D6x10 MDC with 8 ft blast radius for three round burst. Plasma: 2D4x10 MDC with 12 ft (3.7 m) blast radius per single shot and 6D4x10 MDC with 25 ft (7.6 m) blast radius for three round burst.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to Gunners Hand to Hand (Three round bursts count as one attack).
    Payload: 85 Rounds ready to fire. Ship normally carries usually carries and additional 85 rounds.
  2. Eight (8) Long Range Vertical Launch Tubes: On the deck near the fantail of the patrol boat are eight vertical launch tubes. The boat will usually race towards an enemy craft, fire off all of its missiles, and then race off as fast as possible before being engaged. 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 table.)
    Mega Damage: As per long range missile type (Go to Revised bomb and missile table.)
    Rate of fire: One at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) [All launcher operates together]
    Payload: One missile each launcher for a grand total of eight (8) long range missiles (Has no missiles in storage for reloads).
  3. One (1) Sinbad Twin Short Range Missile Launcher: Mounted on the superstructure, the Sinbad launcher is the only active defensive system aboard the Skjold class. Manually aimed, the launcher has two short range missiles ready to fire. Afterwards the launcher needs to be manually reloaded as well. Some consideration was given towards replacing the launcher with an autonomous system but was never refitted. These missile mounts main purpose is for inner anti-missile point defense and was originally designed to deal with helicopters. SAM type missiles are often carried.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (Go to Revised bomb and missile table.)
    Mega Damage: As per short range missile type (Go to Revised bomb and missile table - SAM missiles normally).
    Rate of fire: One at a time or in volleys of two (2). Requires two melee rounds to manually reload
    Payload: two (2) 2 missiles ready to fire (16 additional missiles carried)
  4. One (1) Multi Ammunition Softkill System: Located on the bow of the boat, this system is designed to confuse incoming missiles. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.) Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference.
    Range: Around Ship
    Mega Damage: None
      01-35 Missile or Missile volley detonates in chaff
      36-60 Missile or Missile volley loses track of target, may lock onto another target
      61-00 No Effect; Missile Still on target
    Payload: 6 total; Carries 12 reloads total.

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

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Image drawn and copyrighted by M Conrad.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2011, Kitsune. All rights reserved.