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U.S. SSVN-22 "Trident" class Submersible Carrier:

Excerpt from Fox's Combat Fleets of the World, 2096 to 2097:

Many misconceptions about this class have been said over the last few years and most information listed about this class is incorrect or at least misleading. Even most artist renditions of the class have significant errors in them. Weapon listing are often incorrect along with auxiliary equipment, vessel size, and crew compliment. Even the designation for the vessel is incorrect. It is believed that this is due to the fact that the United States Navy kept all information possible secret about the class. Some information is accurate such as the number of marines and fighters carried on board but this is the exception not the rule.

While the Trident is classified by most to be a submersible carrier, a better description would be that of an escort carrier. It has a relatively small air group and carries only twelve small Manta-Ray fighter / mini-submersibles. Still, the vessel is an incredible design and carries a relatively decent air group. In addition to the fighters, the vessel carries 40 Semper Fi power armors. The Trident class is not the largest submarines in the world but is still considered huge. It is just a bit smaller than the Key class ballistic submarines and is larger than a late twentieth century Ohio class ballistic missile submarine. Unlike most artist conceptions of the design, the Trident is hydrodynamic with none of the features shown in most drawing that would cause drag. It is considered one of the quietest submarine designs in the world and is considered one of the most advanced submarine designs in the world.

Like most advanced submarines, stealth is the most important feature of the vessel. The vessel is fitted with a pump jet propulsion system along with a variety of engine quieting systems to reduce the vessel's noise in the water. To further increase this, the vessel is covered by sound absorbing materials. All weapon systems and fighter bays are designed to either retract or are covered to reduce any drag that they would cause. Sensor systems are very advanced to enable the submersible escort carrier to be able to detect other submarines to allow the vessel to launch its aircraft without being disturbed by enemy submarines.

Weapon systems are similar to those carried in most late Twenty-First Century submarines although the vessels contain a few new systems which are rumored to be for testing before being mounted in the Ticonderoga class submersible carrier (which is many times larger than the Trident class.) The Trident mounts four torpedo tubes forward and two torpedo tubes aft. The reversion to rear torpedo tubes is for defensive purposes against torpedoes fired against the rear of the vessel. The vessel also carries four cruise missile launchers for use against ground targets and four long range missile launchers against both air targets and ground targets. The cruise missile launchers are mounted on either side of the sail / superstructure near the forward part. The long range missile launchers are mounted behind the sail / superstructure but before the fusion power plants. For energy weaponry, the vessel has four retractable energy mounts with two on the forward part of the superstructure and two on the after part of the superstructure. Two mounts are the same laser mount designs that were first mounted in the Swordfish class attack submarines but two are a new heavy ion pulse cannon only mounted in this class. They are lower powered versions of the same cannons that are carried on the Ticonderoga class submersible carrier. Contrary to some sources, the Trident class does not carry depth charges.

The vessels carry a large amount of automation to reduce crew but the crew is much larger than the 24 normally listed. The submarine can operate on a skeleton crew of 24 but actually requires a crew of 144 if it is to operate for a long period of time.

The fighter launch system is a bit different than it is listed in most previous sources of information. The fighters simply launch from the bays when the vessel is on the surface using powerful electromagnetic catapults. The often quoted ability of the vessel to launch four fighters in a minute is on the surface. Each launch requires about thirty seconds to lock a fighter on the catapult and then accelerate the fighter along the launch rails. Launching underwater requires more time, about forty-five seconds per launch. This is because the hangars have to be evacuated of air and the fighters have to be moved into the launch area while flooded. The submersible carrier does not have enough air to be wasted on launches and it is stored in tanks after the hangar has been flooded. To be retrieved, the fighters must land where the launch rails are located and then are dragged back into the landing bay / hangar.

Authors Notes: The Author suggests using this writeup in the place of the Trident class submarine in Rifts: Underseas. The amount of crew seems far to small compared to the needs of the vessel, carries more reloads of missiles than seem practical, and vessel size seems to be too small to operate fighters effectively.

Model Type: SSVN-22
Class: Light Submersible Carrier
Crew: 144, 14 Officers, 18 Chief Petty Officers, and 112 Enlisted (Has a high degree of automation)
Troop Capacity: 60 total; 20 Manta-Ray pilots and 40 Marines.

Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:

40APA-15 "Semper Fi" Power Armors
12Manta-Ray Submarines / Jet Fighters

M.D.C. by Location:

Retractable Ion Pulse Cannon Turrets (2, Superstructure):400 each
Retractable Laser Cannon Turrets (2, Superstructure):200 each
Torpedo Tubes (6 4 in front, 2 in rear):100 each
Long-Range Missile Batteries (4):150 each
Cruise Missile Launchers (4):200 each
Manta-Ray Launch Bays (2):500
[1] Bow Planes (2):200 each
[2] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):500 each
Main Sail:1,200
[3] Main Body:3,200

[1] Destroying the submarines bow planes will reduce the submarine's ability to change depths but will not eliminate it. It also makes it difficult for the submarine's crew to control the submarine giving a penalty of -25% to all piloting rolls.
[2] Destroying the submarines Pump Jet Propulsor causes serious problems. 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. Note: The vessel's bridge is not on the mainsail but is instead deep within the submarine's hull.

Water Surface: 40 knots (73.6 km/46 mph)
Underwater: 40 knots (73.6 km/46 mph)
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). The vessel carries 12 months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Height: 50 feet (15.2 meters)
Width: 65 feet (19.8 meters)
Length: 560 feet (170.7 meters)
Displacement: 19,400 tons
Cargo: 60 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, fighters, and engines.
Power System: Nuclear; average energy life of 20 years.
Market Cost: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions to billions of credits for a new and undamaged Trident class Submersible Carrier.

Weapon Systems

  1. Retractable Ion Pulse Cannons (2): One cannon is mounted forward of the submarine's sail and the other is mounted behind the submarine's sail. Experimental system mounted in the Trident class and are larger than the laser cannons but are still fully retractable under concealing deck plates so that they do not disrupt water flow at high speeds. The weapons have a variety of purposes and can be used against other ships, aircraft, missiles, and even torpedoes.
    Maximum Effective Range: In Atmosphere: 2 miles (3.2 km) Under Water: 1 mile (1.6 km)
    Mega-Damage: Each cannon inflicts 4D6x10 M.D.C.
    Rate of Fire: Two (2) times per melee.
    Payload: Effectively unlimited.
  2. Laser Cannon Turrets (2): Smaller than the Ion cannons. These cannons are mounted in front of the main sail and behind the main sail both above the ion pulse cannons 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: Four (4) times per melee.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Heavy Torpedo Tubes (6): The ship is designed to carry torpedoes as it main offensive weapon except for aircraft. While smaller torpedoes can be fitted as well, the New Navy mostly carries heavy torpedoes that inflict maximum damage. Four torpedo tubes are mounted in the front of the sub and two torpedo tubes are mounted in the rear 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: 72 total: The New Navy's subs normally carry only the heaviest warheads available
  4. 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 bomb and missile tables for details.)
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. Advanced Decoys (8): The submarine carries eight advanced decoy drones. They are a small automated vehicles that creates a false sonar image designed to mimic the submarine's 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 decoy 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
  7. 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 submersible carrier has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2001, Kitsune. All rights reserved.