U.S. CVEN-140 Avenger class Nuclear Escort Carrier:
In the beginning of the "Mega-Damage" revolution, as many people call it, the leaders of the United States were convinced that peace would rule the future and as such was reluctant to finance large military expansion. While Russia had gone back to a Communist style government, it was not seen as a threat by most government leaders. In general, military leaders did not agree with their government leaders but did not control finances. The United States Navy, with virtually all of their navy becoming obsolete with the introduction of new materials and new weapon systems, wanted to construct a new super carrier class. As well, the Nimitz class carriers were simply getting old and refitted them would not be cost effective. The president did not want to finance a new class of super carriers and instead had his defense secretary work on some less expensive alternatives. One project was for a conventionally powered carrier which was much smaller than a fleet carrier and would be a minimalist design. While the carrier would have only a fraction of the capabilities of the larger carriers, it would be far less expensive to build. This vessel was selected by the president as a replacement for the decommissioning large carriers. The Navy generally did not like the concept but were overruled and the project went forward. The class did have one major advantage over super carriers for the navy that they were much quicker to build than super carriers. It was first planned that six of these carriers would be built with the program being later cut down to four vessels in order to finance the rebuilding of existing carriers to new standards. Later, the program was cut to three carriers with the change of political leadership in favor of funding the next call of super carriers, which later became the Ranger class carrier. The name "Avenger" (CVE-140) was selected for the new escort carrier class with the two other carriers being named "Corsair" (CVE-141) and "Dauntless" (CVE-142) after famous World War fighter classes.
Even though the Navy preferred super carriers over the lighter Avenger class, the escort carriers were employed heavily. In many ways, they worked far harder than the super carriers. Roles performed by the escort carriers included those that a super carrier was seen as not needed and too large. These roles included escorting task forces, supporting of amphibious operations, and for anti-submarine hunting groups. With combined with fighters from amphibious carriers, the ships could preform admirably in the support of amphibious operations. Their shallower draft also means that they can support operations closer to shore in many cases. In the roles of task force escort and submarine hunting, the escort carrier performed in a similar role to the Sea Control Ships which were proposed in the later part of the Twentieth Century. It is interesting that a new class of escort carriers were proposed just before the coming of the Rifts. The reason was because they could be built in smaller yards and could be built much quicker. There was seen as a pressing need for more carriers due to the new cold war. They would have been a much more stealthy like the Saratoga class but none were ever laid down before the coming of the Rifts. The status of the Avenger class carriers with the coming of the Rifts is unknown. The U.S.S. Avenger was in port in Australia, the U.S.S. Corsair was escorting an amphibious task force in the North Atlantic, and the U.S.S. Dauntless was in home port in Florida preparing to get underway.
While called an escort carrier, the Avenger class completely outclasses the escort carriers of World War Two. It is much faster, carriers a larger air wing, and is far larger. In size, it is larger than a World War II Essex class fleet carrier. A similar situation can be seen in early American fleet carrier development, the Lexington class carrier was far larger and about twice as fast as the previous U.S.S. Langley. Still, when compared to the American super carriers which preceded and followed them, the Avenger class are much smaller and can be considered escort carriers when compared to them.
When the ships were first built, power was provided by four gas turbine engines which provide about twice as much power as earlier gas turbine engines. The four gas turbine engines also provided more power than the engines of the old Essex class fleet carriers. The propulsion used electric drive and two podded propellers like most vessels being built around the same time. Top speed of the escort carrier was almost thirty knots at full power. These were later replaced by fusion turbines which provided even greater power and speed increased to around thirty-two knots. Virtually all gas turbine powered vessels had their old engines replaced by fusion turbines with the introduction of viable small fusion engines. In addition to increasing the speed of the vessel, the new engines also gave the ships unlimited range and allowed the conversion of fuel tankage for other purposes. In the case of the Avenger, several of the fuel tanks were converted to improve the ability of the escort carrier to withstand damage. The Avenger class was one of the first carriers built using the new composites and alloys. A secondary advantage of the material was that the ships no longer had the corrosion problems of previous steel vessels and the crew required for deck maintenance was reduced. While not a true stealth ship, the Avenger class escort carrier was designed with a reduced radar cross signature so that it would be harder to detect than it would be otherwise. Still, the hull of the vessel is based on a commercial hull design for a freighter to reduce costs in a similar fashion to the Italian NUM class carrier.
The sensor suit is very limited and there have been several proposals to upgrade the radar systems to more modern standards. The radar system carried is the SPS-88 carried on the Richard E. Byrd class frigates. Just before the coming of the Rifts, the Navy had begun planning to replace the radar system with the SPX-1 radar system but the destruction of the United States intervened. In most cases, the radar carried on the carrier was adequate to controlling the escort carrier's air group and usually a destroyer was assigned to provide better air coverage. The normal support for the Avenger class escort carrier was one Rosette class destroyer and two Richard E. Byrd class frigates. While the carrier has the mounting for a hull sonar, sonars were never fitted in an effort to keep costs down.
Like most carriers, the main weaponry of the Avenger are its aircraft. A total of forty-two aircraft could be carried. This included two squadrons of fighters / attack aircraft and eighteen support craft. The first fighters carried were the VTOL versions of the Joint Strike Fighter. These were replaced by the FV-38 Panther II in later service. The older fighter was retained instead of replacing them with the FV-45 Sea Hawk because it would mean a reduction in the number of fighters carried. There was some consideration given to the eventual replacement of the Panther with Manta-Ray but these were considered too valuable in the roles that they performed. Unlike previous carriers, the Avenger class does not have catapults or arresting gear and can only carry VTOL aircraft. The escort carrier does have a bow ski-jump ramp to enable the easier take-off of aircraft.
For self defense, the carrier is only lightly armed but still is considered capable of self protection. Originally, two eight cell tactical type Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems were planned. One was planned to be mounted on either side of the ship. These were replaced by Mk 55 medium range vertical launch systems while the escort carrier was still being built. They could carry a much larger payload than the launchers which they replaced. The ship also carried two Vulcan Phalanx CIWS mounts and two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) missile launchers. Two were mounted forward of the main superstructure and two are mounted aft towards the fantail. The mounts were replaced in refits with combination mounts which combine a powerful but compact rail gun with short range missile launchers. No ant-submarine weapons are carried but the carrier is fitted with towed decoys.
While the ships were built for minimum construction cost, they were also designed for reduced operational cost as well. One way this is done is to carry impressive automation to reduce crew requirements. One major weakness in the escort carriers is that they have no flagship facilities even though they have been often required to preform as flagships. The ship has space for a small number of marines and there had been consideration given to replacing the marine spaces with command and control facilities. This was never done and later in service a number of flying power armors were embarked in addition to aircraft. Due to a lack in number of Semper Pi with jet packs, SAMAS power armors were often substituted.
Model Type: Avenger class Escort Carrier
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Light Aircraft Carrier
Crew: Ships Crew: 425 (45 Officers and 380 Enlisted [Has a high degree of automation]) Air Wing: 261 (85 Pilots, 16 flight deck officers, 160 enlisted)
Troops: 100 (40 pilots for SAMAS / Semper Phi power Armor, 60 soldiers in body armor)
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|40||Semper Fi Power Armors (With Jet Packs) / PA-04A SAMAS|
|6||EVS-84A Anti-Submarine Warfare|
|4||EVE-84A Electronics Warfare|
|24||FV-38 Panther II VSTOL Fighter|
|8||Utility Tilt Rotors|
M.D.C. by location:
| Elevators (2):||250 each|
|Hanger Doors (2):||250 each|
| Flight Deck:||2,500|
|Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (4, Sides):||200 each|
|Mk 55 Eight Cell Vertical Medium Range Missile Launchers (2):||300 each|
|Heavy Defense Rail Guns (4):||50 each|
|Chaff Launchers (4, Superstructure):||10 each|
| SPS-88 Active Phased Array Radar System:||160|
| Bridge / Command Tower:||1,500|
|Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):||80|
| Main Body:||6,800|
 If all three are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the main flight deck.
 If the flight deck is destroyed, VTOL aircraft can be launched or land at -15% to piloting.
 Destroying the Phase Array radar panel will destroy the ship’s main fire control systems but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors)
 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.
 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: 36.8 mph (32 knots/ 59.3 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.
Length: 785 feet (229.3 meters) overall and 735 feet (224 meters) waterline
Draft: 32.5 feet (9.9 meters) including sonar mount
Width: 155 feet (47.2 meters) including flight deck and 112 feet (34.1 meters) waterline.
Displacement: 28,800 tons standard and 34,500 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 2,000 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 450 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 1.5 to 3 billion credits.
- Heavy Defense Rail Guns (4): These weapons are mounted with two on either side for defense against small boats and similar roles. Originally Bushmaster heavy machine-guns were mounted but they were later replaced with rail guns. The rail gun is much more powerful than the rail guns carried on most power armors and has a greater range. It is the same rail gun which is mounted on the Super Comanche Helicopter, Steel Tiger Attack VTOL, and Wolverine Amphibious Assault Vehicle but is mounted with the gunner behind a protective shield.
- Four (4) Mk 44 "Sea Sabre" Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: Weapons are mounted on the sides of the ship with two mounted forward of the superstructure on either side of the flight deck 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.
- 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. One launcher is mounted on starboard sides of the vessel's superstructure and the other is mounted on the port side opposite the superstructure. The launchers 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.
- 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: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters)
Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20. Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C.
Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 4-6).
Payload: 2000 rounds (200 bursts)
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 missile table).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ship has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
- SPS-88 Phased Array Radar System: Unlike systems carried by most larger naval vessels, the radar system is comprised of a single array on top of the main mast. This system is smaller, lighter, and requires less power than a system of fixed panels. If allowed by the horizon, the system can track out to 160 nautical miles (184.2 miles / 296.5 km) and can simultaneously track and identify up to 288 targets at one time. The system controls missile launched from the long range missile launchers and the system track and guide each individual missile to a individual target for up to 96 targets. If a target is eliminated, missiles are automatically guided to a new target. The system can also control missiles launched from other linked vessels as well and can also act as fire control for gun mounts.
- Radar Defeating Profile & Radar Absorbing Materials: The ship superstructure is designed so that the radar profile of the ship is reduced and the ship is covered with radar absorbing materials. Because of this, attempts to detect the ship using radar are made with a -10% penalty to read sensor rolls when attempting to detect this ship. Go to General Detection Penalties for more information on penalties and bonuses to use with stealth.
- Combination Radar Detectors and Active Jamming System: Combination of radar detection system (ESM) and an active jamming system. The system can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar. In jamming mode, causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
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