U.S. SSN-981 Swordfish class Escort Submarine:

While a great many of the advanced Pre-Rifts submarine designs were built to fill multiple roles, there was still a need for a submarine to fill the role of fast attack submarine. While submarines that can fulfill role such as mini-aircraft carriers or as troop transports are interesting and are often useful, there is still a need for a pure combatant submarine. The Swordfish class submarine was designed for this role. The vessel pre-dates both the Trident and Grey back class vessels and much of the technology that was incorporated in the later classes was developed for the Swordfish class. Unlike later U.S. Navy submarines, the swordfish class is only designed for two roles. The primary role is to engage other submarines and surface vessels and the secondary roles is as a missile battery. They are often used as escorts for the other submarine classes.

The construction of this class was begun soon after the beginning of the 'new' Cold War as desperately needed replacements for obsolete submarines. Because of the rush of construction, several submarine shipyards that had been closed were re-opened and production facilities were increased in others. As a result, more of these submarines were commissioned at the time of the Rifts than all submarine classes combined and as such became an important component when the New Navy was formed. After the New Navy formed, underwater construction facilities were built to produce more of these submarines. The New Navy operates 58 Swordfish class submarines divided between the New Navy's various fleets. Construction of vessels is designed presently to keep up with losses of submarines only.

The Swordfish uses many of the same components as the later Trident and Greyback classes. Because of this, the New Navy construction of vessels is far simpler than it might be otherwise. The Swordfish class is incredibly quiet but is still quite fast. The Swordfish is well armed and is quite capable of dealing with the Coalition and other post Rifts navies. The main weaponry are the eight forward torpedo tubes with 120 torpedoes. These tubes are not directly in the bow but are actually to the sides of the submarine. The missile weaponry is identical to that carried on the Trident class. The submarine has four long range missile batteries and four cruise missile batteries. The Swordfish does not carry the heavy side cannons carried on the Trident class but has two retractable laser turrets on the top of the vessel. The heavy beam weapons were a later development but it was decided to incorporate in later vessels of the class. The Submarines crew was reduces as much as possible with the use of automation but the boat is still quite cramped.

[Authors Note: While Rifts: Underseas indicates that the New Navy operates only the USS Ticonderoga, Trident class Submersible Carriers, and Stingray and Sea Dragon class submarines, this writeup (and other new Navy Submarine designs) is designed to give the New Navy a larger variety of submarine classes.]

Model Type: SSN-981
Class: Fast Attack Submarine
Crew: 108; 10 Officers, 14 Chief Petty Officers, and 84 Enlisted (Has a high degree of automation)
Troop Capacity: None

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

M.D.C. by Location:

Retractable Laser Cannon Turrets (2):200 each
Torpedo Tubes (8 in front):150 each
Long-Range Missile Batteries (4 forward):250 each
Cruise Missile Launchers (4 aft):300 each
[1] Bow Planes (2):200 each
[2] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):500
Main Sail:800
[3] Main Body:3,500

[1] Destroying the submarines bow planes will reduce the submarines ability to change depths but will not eliminate it. It also makes it difficult for the submarines crew to control the submarine giving a penalty of -25% to all piloting rolls.
[2] Destroying the submarines Pump Jet Propulsor causes serious problem. The submarine will no longer be able to use forward momentum and the bow planes to keep the submarine level. It is recommended that ballast takes are immediately blown so submarine comes to surface.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the submarine's structural integrity, causing it to sink. If the submarine is underwater, the entire crew will die unless protected by environmental armors that can withstand the pressure that the submarine is under. If on the surface, there are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.

Water Surface: 35 knots (40.3 mph/64.8 kph)
Underwater: 45 knots (51.8 mph/ 83.3 kph)
Maximum Depth: 2.5 miles (4 km)
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Vessel carries 8 months of supplies for crew and troops on board.

Statistical Data:
Height: 40 feet (12.2 meters)
Width: 52 feet (15.8 meters)
Length: 370 feet (112.8 meters)
Displacement: 8,800 tons
Cargo: 40 tons of nonessential equipment and supplies (normally used for equipment for marines). Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ships spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear; average energy life of 20 years. Normally refuels every 10 years
Market Cost: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions to billions of credits for a new and undamaged Swordfish class Submarine.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Laser Cannon Turrets (2): These cannons are mounted in front of the main sail and behind the main sail and fully retractable under concealing deck plates so that they do not disrupt water flow at high speeds and are useful both underwater and on the surface. The weapon systems are used mainly as close defense and against aircraft when on the surface.
    Maximum Effective Range: In Atmosphere: 2 miles (3.2 km) Under Water: 1 mile (1.6 km)
    Mega Damage: Each cannon inflicts 2D4x10 M.D.C.
    Rate of Fire: 4 Times per melee.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Heavy Torpedo Tubes (8): The ship is designed to carry torpedoes as it main weaponry. While smaller torpedoes can be fitted as well, the New Navy mostly carries heavy torpedoes that inflict maximum damage. All eight torpedo tubes are mounted in the front of the sub.
    Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (64 km)
    Mega-Damage: By Heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Each tube can fire once per melee round
    Payload: 96 total: The New Navy subs normally carry the heaviest warheads available
  3. Long-Range Missile Batteries (4): These launchers are used to engage enemy aircraft or missiles as well as against surface ships or land targets. All missile launchers can only be used on the surface, or from up to 30 feet (9.1 m) below the water's surface. A similar missile to the modern ASROC missile is available for launchers as well. System can target more than one target at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per long range missile type (See revised missile table).
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per launcher per melee (32 total).
    Payload: 128 long range missiles total with 32 per launcher.
  4. Cruise Missile Batteries (4): A powerful but limited missile systems. Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets and the ship cannot carry a very large number of them. Long range missiles can also almost get the same effect for damage as cruise missiles, making them not as useful as they once were. System can target more than one target at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per cruise 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), three (3), or four (4) missiles per melee.
    Payload: 8 total; two per launcher. Does not carry any extras missiles for reloads.
  5. Advanced Decoys (8): The submarine carries eight advance decoys drones. They are a small automated vehicles that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the submarines sonar signature. It has a small propulsion system that can simulate movement (has a top speed of 10 knots) and maneuvers. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoys 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.
    Decoys have a duration of 30 minutes (120 melee rounds)
    Maximum Effective Range: Not Applicable
    Rate of Fire: Ship can launch one drone per melee.
    Payload: 8 Decoys
  6. Noisemakers: The submarine carries noisemakers to decoy torpedoes. These noisemakers are similar to those used by Coalition submarines. The noisemakers are launched from the middle of the submarine.
    Effect: 50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying smart torpedoes.
    Rate of Fire: 2 at a time (Can be reloaded in one melee)
    Payload: 20 Noisemakers.

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

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Image drawn and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune). & Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, & 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.