U.S. LSDN-53 Point Defiance class Dock Landing Ship:
In the late Twentieth Century, the design for the San Antonio class Amphibious Transport Dock was finalized. These fine ships were built over the next couple of decades and were an important component of the United States Navy amphibious forces. Many of the ships were later refitted with new alloy and composite armors to extend their operational life. The Whidbey Island class dock landing ships were considered to old to be worth refitting and it was decided that a new vessel would be developed to replace the old vessels. As a result, the Point Defiance class dock landing ships were one of the few United States Naval vessels laid down soon after what is often called "The Mega-Damage Revolution." To reduce design costs, it was decided that the design would be based on a smaller San Antonio type design. Design changes included the reduction of troops, removal of forward missile launchers, removal of 30 mm cannon mounts, and no helicopter hanger. These ships formed the bulk of the United States Navy Amphibious forces with the San Antonio class for the next several decades. A total of twelve of these vessels were built and they served until the coming of the Rifts along with the later and more numerous Cape Lobos class amphibious transport docks. The Point Defiance class was upgraded several times in its service but were not as fast as later amphibious vessels such as the Tripoli and Cape Lobos classes. The status of these vessels after the coming of the Rifts is unknown but their composite construction makes them virtually immune to corrosion and it is quite possible some are still intact.
Initially, the Point Defiance class were built with gas turbine engines due to the engines being smaller than diesel engines which gave the vessel a maximum speed of 24 knots. Initially, diesel engines were considered due to greater fuel efficiency but gas turbine engines late won out. The gas turbine engines were later replaced by fusion turbine engines which increased top speed to 26 knots and gave the amphibious vessel virtually unlimited range. The propulsion system uses variable pitch propellers and used an electrical drive system. Like most American vessels built since the close of the Twentieth Century, the dock landing ships were built with a reduced radar cross signature. The composites and alloys which the hull and superstructure were introduced just a few years before construction of the amphibious vessel and the vessel greatly benefitted from the new materials. To reduce the cost of the vessel, old SPS-49 radar systems were mounted instead of the more advanced phased array radar systems mounted on most combat vessels around the same time. These systems were from decommissioned vessels. The radar system is mounted in an enclosed mast to protect the sensitive equipment from corrosion. These was much debate about upgrading the radar system to a single array phased array radar system but was never implemented and the dock landing ships were usually escorted by frigates or destroyers anyway. The weaponry of the dock landing ships was designed around self defense. Originally, two RAM Missile launchers were fitted but these were upgraded to combination point defense mounts which mount both short range missiles and a long range rail gun. One is mounted on either side of the ship’s superstructure.
Unlike the larger San Antonio class Amphibious Transport Dock, the Point Defiance is designed mostly to carry vehicles and supplies and has a smaller troop compliment. Maximum troop compliment is around 500 soldiers. Still, the vessel has a huge amount of cargo and vehicle capacity and has a floodable well deck for two air cushion landing craft or a larger number of smaller landing craft. Later tranport vessels substituted a dry deck for a well deck. While the Point Defiance does not have a hanger, the vessel has a landing deck aft of the superstructure which can up to four helicopters or other VTOL aircraft for limited periods of time. While not originally designed for power armors, the ships were modified to carry up to sixty power armors to help support amphibious operations. Medical facilities are scaled back compared to the San Antonio class but the ship still has an effective medical center with a single operating room and twenty patient beds and fifty overflow beds. The Point Defiance class vessels carry more automation than the San Antonio class and with the reduction in secondary systems, the crew is considerably smaller. The crew is only around 280 which is only about 40% that of the larger vessel. These ships were not designed to act as flagships for amphibious operations.
Model Type: LSDN-53 Point Defiance class Dock Landing Ship
Vehicle Type: Ocean, Amphibious Transport Vessel
Crew: 285 (16 officers, 16 chief petty officers, 253 enlisted [Has a high degree of automation])
Troops: 40 pilots for Semper Fi Power Armors, 40 pilots for SAMAS power Armor, 200 vehicle crew members, and 250 soldiers.
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles (Standard):
|30||Semper Fi Power Armors (With Flight Packs)|
|4||Helicopters or other VTOL Aircraft (No Hanger Facilities)|
|2||Air Cushion Landing Craft|
|8||USA-M-7 Jackson MBT|
|16||USA-M-8 Maverick IFV|
|10||USA-M-9 Morgan Missile Vehicle / USA-M-10 Galahad Self Propelled Howitzer|
M.D.C. by location:
| Rear Flight Deck||400|
|Rear Vehicle Doors:||300|
| Main Bridge / Superstructure:||600|
| Enclosed SPS-49 Long Range Radar Mast:||160|
|Mk 44 Combination Anti-Missile Defense System (2, Superstructure):||200 each|
|Chaff Launchers (4, Superstructure):||10 each|
| Main Body:||3,500|
 If the flight deck is destroyed, no aircraft can be launched or land.
 If Bridge / Superstructure 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 Enclosed Radar Mast will eliminate SPS-49 radar system but the vessel has backup systems with a shorter range (Equal to robot vehicle sensors.)
 Destroying the main body destroys propulsion and power systems, disabling the ship. The ship is fitted with advanced polymer armors that allow the ship to withstand up to -500 M.D.C. before losing structural integrity and sinking. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship including marines.
Surface: 29.9 mph (26 knots/ 48.2 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.
Draft: 21.5 feet (6.5 meters)
Length: 612.6 feet (186.7 meters)
Width: 90.5 feet (27.6 meters)
Displacement: 13,500 tons standard and 17,250 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 5,000 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies (Increase to 12,000 tons without vehicles.) 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
Black Market Price: Not for Sale but costs around 250 million credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 500 million to 1 billion credits.
- Two (2) Mk 44 "Sea Sabre" Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems: One point defense mount is fitted on each side of the superstructure. 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.
- 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.)
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: 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-49 Radar: Long range air search radar system. Radar system has a range of 445 nautical miles (512.1 miles / 824.1 km). Radar system can track up to 128 targets simultaneously. Radar system is mounted in an enclosed mast to protect the antenna.
- 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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Image drawn and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.