U.S. CVEN-146 Gambier Bay class Nuclear Stealth Escort Carrier:
Since the 1970s, the United States Navy had appalled the notion of building small aircraft carriers. Large carriers were more capable ships and presented a large national presence overseas. Despite their dislike for small carriers, the Navy was forced to accept the Avenger class of escort carriers in the 2030's. These small escort carriers proved to be invaluable, and were heavily employed as light task force escorts and as the centerpiece of submarine hunting units. By the 2050's, the US Navy wished they had built the three additional Avengers that has been cancelled. On several occasions, Tripoli class LHDNs were pressed into service as sea control ships. The commissioning of the American Ranger, Canadian Magnificent, and Mexican Quetzalcoatl classes relieved some of the burden of the three Avenger CVENs; however, the resurgence of Cold War in the 2080s and 90s dictated the need for additional vessels of all classes, especially aircraft carriers. A new class of escort carriers was proposed just before the coming of the Rifts. These ships could be built in smaller yards and could be completed in a much quicker timeframe. like the Saratoga class, the design was designed to be stealthy unlike the previous escort carrier class. The name Gambier Bay (CVEN-146) was selected for the first ship with the five other carriers being named St Lõ (CVEN-147), Liscome Bay (CVEN-148), Block Island (CVEN-149), Ommaney Bay (CVEN-150), and Bismarck Sea (CVE-151) after the escort aircraft carriers that were sunk during World War II. All had been authorized by Congress, and construction was nearly complete on the Gambier Bay and St Lõ. The Gambier Bay was scheduled for ship-building trials in January 2099 and the trials for the St Lõ were planned for around May. However, the Great Cataclysm prevented the later ships from every being laid down.
The design of the Gambier Bay class was to follow similar lines to the Saratoga class CVN and Japanese Amagi class CVEN. The ship had a nose that is pointed like racing boats with a control bridge in the front of the vessel. Behind the control bridge, the vessel had a single non-angled flight deck. Like the Avenger and Amagi classes, the ships had no catapults but did have a bow ski-jump ramp to enable the easier take-off of aircraft and arresting gear to allow the landing of damaged aircraft and non VTOL aircraft. The arrangement for take-offs was not the standard American practice and actually was derived from the concept of the Russian Kuznetsov, Chinese Chang Jiang, and Indian Vikramaditya classes. Rather than have a single aircraft preparing to utilize the ski-jump, the flightdeck was arranged and marked in such a way that up to three aircraft could prepare to launch simultaneously. With one aircraft approaching the ski-jump head-on, two additional aircraft would approach it from slight angles to the left and right of the jump. If landing operations were underway, the center launch path would not be utilized. The two angled launch paths provided enough clearance for landing aircraft to fully utilize the flightdeck if necessary. A single elevator was located on each side of the ship partially indented into the main flight deck. The two were parallel to each other to reduce the obstruction to the hanger deck and were located to the rear of the angled launch paths. The hanger bay was underneath the central flight deck and had all the necessary equipment to make aircraft repairs. On the right side of the vessel near the stern was a small superstructure used for flight control.
As opposed to the Avenger class, this new class of escort carriers was to have a very complete sensor suite. The Gambier Bay class was to mount the new SPY-7B light-weight radar system derived from the Japanese SPY-5J radar system. With the four fixed panels mounted in the superstructure, it was to give better performance than the SPY-6S system while retaining that systems light weight. There were plans that the system would be mounted on the next generation of frigates as well. Although operational data from the Avenger and Ranger classes showed that sonar systems fitted to aircraft carriers suffered severe degradation due in part to the carriers' large hull shape, the Gambier Bay class experimented with a hull sonar system. Data gathered from the Saratoga class showed that the streamlined racing boat style hull design negated the issues with those classes. Both the St Lõ and Gambier Bay were fitted with the hull mounted system. Both ships were to be examined thoroughly to see whether the sonar arrays would be compatible with the design. If they were not successful, the sonar systems would be removed altogether, and not installed in the incomplete ships. As with the Avenger class, the ships were not intended to operate alone, and the Gambier Bay was to have at least one destroyer (usually Raymond Fox class) and two frigates (Francis Darcey or later classes) assigned as escorts for support at all times.
For self defense, the carrier was much more heavily armed than the Avenger class, but was still considered capable of self-defense only. The class mounted a pair of 48-cell Mk 59B VLS launchers were incorporated on the port side opposite the island and on the bow. These launchers used medium-range missiles almost exclusively to provide self-defense for the carrier. Four Sea Sabre defense systems were mounted in retractable platforms at the corners of the ship for close-in defense. Of course the carriers carried decoy, chaff and jamming systems for self-defense.
The first two ships of the class were each fitted with different subsurface defenses to determine which would be best suited to a surface ship like an aircraft carrier. They were to defend the ship against incoming torpedoes, power armor, or submarines that came into range. If both systems were not suitable, they would be removed altogether, and not installed in the incomplete ships. If they were successful, the more advantageous system was to be fitted to all of the Gambier Bay and Saratoga class ships. It was determined that any installed system could only be used below 20 knots, or the water current could sheer off the mount and cause severe damage. They are mounted outside of the ships pressure hull in retractable mounts, but could be but can be accessed if necessary for maintenance purposes. The Gambier Bay was outfitted with two MK 58 "Interceptor" short-range torpedo launchers. These systems were also being fitted to the Inchon class submersible amphibious assault ships. There is some question as to whether this design was stolen from the SSSR or was developed by American engineers. The St Lõ was fitted with a pair of retractable laser mounts that were identical to those on the Swordfish and Trident class submarines.
The ships' propellers were both variable pitch allowing for faster changes in speed and the ability to turn quicker. They were powered by three powerful fusion reactors, and were fitted directly to the hull rather than in trainable pods. Along with stealth features, the vessel is also designed for quiet operations. In addition to this, both the propellers and the hull have a special bubble system that helps to mask noise further. The entire hull was constructed of radar-absorbing, non-corrosive, super-strength composites and alloys to ensure protection from both weather and weapons.
As with almost carriers, the main weaponry of the Gambier Bay was its aircraft. A total of forty-two aircraft were to be carried, the same as the Avenger class even thought the Gambier Bay class was a bit larger. This was partially due to the Sea Hawk being slightly larger than the Panther II fighter. The compliment included two squadrons of fighters/attack aircraft and eighteen support craft. These were to be the Sea Hawk VTOL fighter supported by Kingfisher and Osprey VTOLs. There was some consideration given to the eventual replacement of the Sea Hawk with Manta-Ray, but these were considered too valuable in the roles that they performed. Instead, the Sea Hawks would have been replaced by follow on fighter in the early 2100's.
Learning from the weaknesses of the Avenger class, the Gambier Bays were to have full flagship facilities. A small number of marines were stationed on board for shipboard and harbor-side defense as well as boarding parties. There was consideration given to carrying the new G-20 Gunbuster instead of the standard SAMAS or the Semper Fi power armor, but this idea was dropped mostly due to the Gunbuster's lack of amphibious capabilities.
Model Type: Gambier Bay class Escort Carrier
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Escort Aircraft Carrier
Crew: Ships Crew: 415 (40 officers, 50 chief petty officers and 325 Enlisted [Has a high degree of automation])
Air Wing: 385 (150 aircraft pilots & crew, 20 flight deck officers, 215 enlisted)
Troops: 100 (60 pilots for SAMAS/ Semper Fi power Armor, 40 soldiers in body armor)
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
|30||Semper Fi Power Armors (With Flight Packs)|
|30||PA-04A SAMAS / USA-106 Silver Eagle SAMAS|
|6||EVS-84A Anti-Submarine Warfare VTOL|
|4||EVE-84A Electronics Warfare VTOL|
|24||FV-45 Sea Hawk VTOL Jet Fighter|
|2||FV-45-EW Sea Hawk VTOL Jet Jamming Fighter|
|6||V-22N Utility Tilt Rotors|
M.D.C. by location:
| Elevators (2):||300 each|
|Hanger Doors (2):||300 each|
| Flight Deck:||2,500|
|Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile System (4, Sides):||200 each|
|Mk 59-B VLS Missile Launchers (2, Forward / Port Side):||375 each|
| Mk 58 "Interceptor" Torpedo Launcher (2, underneath hull):||150 each|
| Retractable Ion Pulse Cannon Turrets (2, underneath hull):||150 each|
|Chaff Launchers (4, Superstructure):||10 each|
| Phase Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):||200 each|
| Forward Bridge:||1,200|
| Bridge / Command Tower:||2,000|
|Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):||80|
| Main Body:||7,000|
 If both elevators 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.
 USS Gambier Bay carries Interceptor torpedo launchers only while the USS St Lõ carries Laser Cannons only.
 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.
 If the Bridge or Island/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: 43.7 mph (38 knots/ 70.4 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: 820 feet (249.9 meters)
Draft: 32.5 feet (9.9 meters)
Width: 200 feet (60.9 meters) including flight deck and 155 feet (47.2 meters) at waterline.
Displacement: 32,500 tons standard and 38,000 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 3,000 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have slightly 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 650 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 1.2 to 1.5 billion credits.
- Four (4) Mk 44 "Sea Sabre" Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: These were mounted in retractable mounts on the main flight deck. This was done to increase usable space on the carrier. This anti-missile defense system combined both a rapid fire rail gun and a short range missile launcher. While mounted in one system, both defense systems had separate tracking systems. The short range missile launchers could target up four targets and can fire a volley up to twice per melee. The rail gun was capable of destroying any missile or inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The rail gun could fire on automatic at up to six targets per melee (Has +3 to strike missile and +2 to strike aircraft). The rail gun was 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 could be used against other ships and ground targets. The system had a 360 degree rotation and can elevate up to 90 degrees to fire at targets directly overhead.
- MK 59-B Vertical Launch Missile Launcher (2): These systems were located forward of the bridge and on the port side opposite of the island/command tower. The launchers are smaller and carry half as many missiles as the launcher on the Darcey and Fox class ships. The system is similar to the vertical launch system employed on many ships in the late twentieth century to launch the SM-2 series missile, but since the missiles are smaller they have a reload system that reloads from under the launcher and can reload within 15 seconds. The launcher has a total of 48 individual cells and is six missile cells longs by eight cells wide. The launcher can fire up to half its total payload per melee. The launcher can use a vast variety of missiles including surface skimming missiles and rocket propelled torpedoes. Each cell can carry one long range missile or two medium range missile. The reload for the cell must carry the same load as the main cell. Long range missiles are normally used against large targets and aircraft further out where the medium range missiles will normally be used to engage closer targets. About half of all long range missiles carried are fusion warheads and most missiles are normally smart missiles.
- MK 58 "Interceptor" Short Range Torpedo Launchers (2) (USS Gambier Bay only): Changing from the standard practice of firing interceptor torpedoes from their standard torpedo tubes, these weapons are designed for defensive measures. They fire small interceptor torpedoes, designed primarily for intercepting and hitting incoming torpedoes, with a secondary function against small submersibles and submersible power armors. Other torpedoes can be used but are very rarely used. The launchers are mounted outside of the submarines pressure hull in retractable mounts, but can be accessed if necessary for maintenance purposes.
- Laser Cannon Turrets (2) (USS St Lõ only): Experimentally mounted on the USS St Lõ only, these cannons were mounted underneath the ship on the hull and were fully retractable under concealing deck plates so that they do not disrupt water flow at high speeds. The weapon systems were used mainly as close defense and against torpedoes and submerged power armor units. The weapons were automated with sonar sensors (+3 to strike torpedoes, +2 to strike power armor). The mounts had the ability to rotate 360 degrees and had a 90 degree arc of fire.
- Chaff Launcher (4): Located on the sides of the hull of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. All four launchers must be operated or effects will be reduced. Reduce effects of launchers by 50% per launcher not used. Rifts Earth decoys 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.)
- 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.
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.
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), eight (8), sixteen (16), or twenty-four (24) missiles for the whole launcher per melee. Missile cells are automatically reloaded and are ready to fire next melee.
Payload: 48 missile cells in each launcher with reload systems for each cell (1 reload each cell). One long range missile or two medium range missiles may be carried per cell but reload must be the same load out as well. The ship will often carry 32 cells each launcher with two medium range missiles each and the other cells loaded with one long range missile each.
Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (609.6 meters) using interceptor torpedoes, other torpedoes use standard rules (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
Mega-Damage: By Short Range Torpedo Type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire salvos of up to eight (8) short range interceptor torpedoes per melee.
Payload: 64 Interceptor Torpedoes each for 128 interceptor torpedoes.
Maximum Effective Range: 1 mile (1.6 km)
Mega Damage: Each cannon inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.C.
Rate of Fire: 4 Times per melee.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
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: each for a total of 96
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:
- SPY-7B Three Dimensional Search Radar System: Phased array radar system designed from the Japanese SPY-5J and American SPY-6S, this miniaturized version of the system is comprised of four panels that each emits radar waves. If allowed by the horizon, the system can track out to 720 miles (1160 km) and can simultaneously track and identify up to 920 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 an individual target for up to 324 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. The system gives a +10% to read sensory rolls, +2 on initiative, and +1 to strike.
- Advanced Hull Sonar: Mounted under the bow of the ship. Range of 25 miles (21.7 nm / 40.2 km). This hull sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 32 targets at one time.
- ESM: This system is mounted in mounted in the superstructure and is extended in a similar manner to a periscope. The antenna is very hard to detect both visually and by radar. Can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar.
- Command and Control Facilities: The carrier carries extra communications equipment and command facilities, to enable the ship to operate as the flagship for a flotilla. When operating in a flotilla, all ships get a +1 on sensor rolls, +1 to strike on all weapons, and +10% on communications.
- 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 -30% 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.
- Sonar Masking System: The Ship uses water bubbles to form a barrier against sonar as well. Gives a -10% penalty to any Read Sensory Instrument rolls to detect this ship using sonar.
- 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 Kamikazi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Minor revisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2006, Kamikazi. All rights reserved.