Thunderstorm Class Air Assault Carrier (RIFTS)
- Manufacturer: Coalition States
- Type: Air Assault Carrier
- Class: Thunderstorm Class
- Crew: 4,320: flight officers (240), flight enlisted crew (2,700), air group officers (180), air group enlisted crew (1,200)
- Troop Capacity: 1,000 total, divided into four Reinforced Mechanized Infantry Companies, one SAMAS Company, the air squadrons and a Headquarters & Intelligence Group
- Aircraft Capacity: 124: 4 Coalition Death's Head Transport, 24 Scout Rocket Cycles (2 squadrons), 48 Wind Jammer Sky Cycles (4 squadron), 48 Warbird Rocket Cycles (4 squadrons)
- Main Body M.D.C.: 13,000
- M.D.C. by Location:
- Forward Observation Windows (2 eye shaped) - 800 each
- Top Flight Control Tower - 2,000
- Lower Flight Control Tower - 2,000
- Flight Deck - 4,000
- Main Flight Deck Elevators (2) - 500 each
- Lower Drop Hatches (8) - 300 each
- Rail Gun Turrets (4) - 500 each
- Tail Fins (2) - 1,250 each
- Rear Jets (3) - 2,000 each
- Lower Jets (12) - 1,000 each
- Laser Turrets (12) - 120 each
- Missile Launchers (4) - 250 each
- Maximum Speed (flight): 100 mph (160 kmph); cruise speed 50 mph (80 kmph); can hover indefenitely
- Maximum Altitude: 15,000 feet (4,500 meters)
- Maximum Range: Unlimited; 6 hours at max speed before engines must cool off.
- Bonuses: None
- C-500AA Rail Gun (4): Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D. (burst). Rate of Fire: Equal to number of attacks per melee round. Range: four miles (6.4 km). Payload: 10,000 rounds each (100 bursts)
- CR-51 Medium-Range Missile Launchers (4): Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D (plasma). Rate of Fire: Single shot or volleys of two or four. Range: 80 miles (128 km). Payload: 20; 5 per launcher.
- CR-6T Laser Turrets (12): Mega-Damage: 3D6 M.D. (single blast). Rate of Fire: Equal to the number of attacks per melee round. Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 m). Payload: Unlimited.
- Other Weapons: Smoke Dispenser (makes the large carrier disappear in a cloud)
- Black Market Cost: No way!
The Thunderstorm Class Air Assault Carriers are large skyships, that resemble flying aircraft carriers. They are 720 feet long, 200 feet wide and 130 feet high. Only two Air Assoult Carriers exists at the moment - The GLORY and the STALWART.
On the top side, they have a large flat area with landing, starting and other markings, two large elevator plattforms on the rear side (port and starboard) and several smaller hatches and elevators distributed accross the deck. On the rear center, between port an starboard sections of the plattform there is a 3 storey high building (about 30 feet wide and at the base 100 feet long) where the flight control section is housed. Built into the top of that building are one of the four missile launchers.
The aft section is dominated by 3 large jet thrusters (about 30 feet in diameter) separated by two large maneuvering fins (about 200 feet high, protuding more than 30 feet at the top and the underside).
Right under the flight deck at the bow is the pilot section with the typical skull shape. The forward observation windows are the eyes of that skull and the complete deck is about a hundred feet wide. Implemented in this section are two missle launchers.
At the four corners of the roughly rectangular shaped skyship are the large rail gun turrets with the long barrels protuding about 15 feet. Since the lower section has a smaller base than the flight deck the laser turrets are mounted around the underside edges of the flight deck, mostly to protect from incomming missiles and other small targets.
The underside is divided into a port and a starboard section where the main hovering jet-thrusters are built into - six in a row at each section. Between these sections are the drop hatches located where the SAMAS Jumptroops and the Sky and Rocket Cycles usually swarm out into combat.
At the rear end the carrier has a similar flight control tower as on the flight deck to control deployment. This tower is directly beneath the upper tower (seperated by several other levels inside the carriers superstructure) so this is basically one enclosed section of the carrier. There is also one missile turret attached to that tower.
This flying monstrosity is not intended to land out of the specially equipped landing areas in Coalition Armed Forces Shipyards - it has no landing gear and the underside is not build to support the weight of this flying fortress (more than 100,000 tons!). To pick up troops it relies solely on transport aircraft such as the Death's Head Transport.
The inside is divided into several decks from top to bottom to provide cargo space for machinery and provisions, accomodations for flight, air group and ground assault personell and for the vehicles deployed in combat. It also has some space for prisoners and special tasks (like interrogation, special research operations, ...).
Boarding the large Transports is usually done inside the hangar deck (by far the biggest open space on board) and the Transports use the elevator to elevate to the flight deck where they can start.
Even though the smaller flying crafts are deployed through the drop hatches on the underside they land on the flight deck to be brought to the hangar deck by several small elevators. The lower drop hatches also open to the hangar deck. When combat preparations beginn the hangar deck is the place where everyone runs (or drives with some of the many small electrocars) to their designated vehicles who are kept and maintained on the hangar deck.
Only at combat preparations the crew boards the vehicles and the vehicles board larger vehicles. So the SAMAS pilot put on his power armor, enters the APC and the APC drives into the Drop Ship. This means that before combat prep beginns a massive amount of more than 140 combat vehicles plus 96 power armors plus four very large flying transports plus spare parts and munitions are packed into this vast hall, waiting for a battle.
The Air Assault Carriers usually hover high in the air, covered by a self produces smoke screen that makes them look like a normal cloud. When a combat operation commences, the carrier drops to a lesser height level to deploy its troops (usually 3,000 feet and less) and flies up again after deployment. On rare occasions the carrier doesn't drop that far at all but remains at high altitude. So some vehicles have to start deployment with the risky maneuver of a controlled fall to a certain height bevore they can engage thrusters to maneuver normally (sort of a jet powered HALO insertion maneuver).
Reinforced Mechanized Infantry Company
Each Reinforced Mechanized Infantry Company consists of:
- Two Mark V APCs (5 crewmen, 20 armored troops and 4 SAMAS power armor units each)
- Two UAR-1 Enforcer Robots (2 crewmen each)
- One CR-003 Spider Skull Walker (2 crewmen and 6 armored soldiers)
- 96 infantry soldiers
- 166 soldiers in total
>> One AFC-050 Death's Head Transport (with 9 crewmen) is assigned to each Reinforced Mechanized Infantry Company
Each SAMAS Company consists of:
- 8 squadrons of SAMAS Jumptroop soldiers (112 in total)
- Each squadron is divided into three wings with 4 SAMAS (12 per sduadron, 96 in total)
- Apart from the SAMAS flying solders, two technicians are assigned to each suqadron for maintenance purposes (16 in total)