In 113PA, Wa-Daisho military leaders decided to invest in a new gun boat design. The purpose of this new vessel was to augment their aging fleet of Iron Heart Industries Black Eels - and eventually perhaps to replace them altogether. At first, they naturally turned to the local ship yards to acquire this new vessel. However, they were occupied fully 100% with maintenance of the two new Blackshark class patrol boats, and with the construction of the JNF Dalmir. There simply were not enough resources to put into a new vessel design - that would have to be produced in significant numbers. Shipment of small vessels from Kyatashiro was inconvenient and very impractical as well, throughout most of the months of the year. Thus the Republican Council made the stunning decision to turn to the land locked Kingdom of Desert Star for a new design!

      Desert Star had only begun production of vehicular types earlier in the year, but even in that short time, Wa-Daisho had purchased an assortment of S-Mart labeled equipment, so they knew the company produced quality designs. Negotiations were made over a half dozen different Pre-RIFTS designs over a month long deliberation process. The real issue was a balance between speed, armor protection, and armament. A couple of the designs were nothing short of miniature battleships, proposed by companies during the late 21st century to the US Government, for use in Texas against Mexico. They were tough, well armed, but entirely too slow. A few other designs were from the true Golden Age - poorly armed, lightly armored, but extremely fast - specifically meant to parade the flag of the US Government's flag around the coastal areas, and to conduct rescue operations at lightning speed. Although soundly designed, they were not what Wa-Daisho was seeking. Finally, there was the Katana. The Katana was an armored gun boat, that was eventually settled upon by the US Government, in the early 2080s to patrol the harbors and major waterways used in the United States. It was small, fast, yet tough, and reasonably armed. This then was the design the Republican Council settled upon.

      Delivery of the new vessel began in mid 114PA, and was completed a few months later. Initially 25 vessels were ordered from the factories in Desert Star. Early in 118PA an additional 17 vessels were ordered to bolster the remaining 18 vessels from their original order, finally replacing the Iron Heart Industries Black Eels.

Model Type: Katana-A.
Class: Patrol/Gun Boat.
Crew: 8; Pilot, copilot, communications/sensors specialist, three gunners, mechanic, and a boat commander. Can carry an additional 10 passengers in emergency.
M.D.C. By Location:
    Pulse Laser Turrets (2; Bow & Stern) - 75 each.
    Laser Ball Turrets (2; Bottom) - 25 each.
    Reinforced Pilots Compartment - 100.
    *Main Body - 325.

* Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body means that the Katana's hull is in tatters, and is sinking! It will take 1D4x5 minutes to sink, -1 minute for every M.D. point done over the maximum M.D.C. of the Hull. The fastest it can disappear under the waves completely is 1 melee.

Maximum Speed: 75 mph. (Twin water jet turbine powered.)
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited due to the nuclear power supply, however the vessel only carries emergency rations and supplies to keep the crew going for up to two weeks. In Wa-Daisho these supplies are rarely used unless in emergency, as the vessels never go more than 30 or so miles from shore.

Statistical Data
Height: 12'.
Width: 12'.
Length: 45'.
Weight: 18 tons.
Cargo: Can accommodate up to 10 passengers, and up to 100 pounds of equipment for each of them, or 3,500 Lbs of cargo may be carried instead. This cargo room is usually reserved for prisoners, accident survivors, or investigative divers.
Power System: Nuclear, average energy life of 20 years.
Market Cost: Wa-Daisho has no intention of selling it's Katana Gun Boats. S-Mart has only produced a handful of these vessels, most of which have gone to Wa-Daisho. An additional dozen has been sent to New Hope, a small, little known Kingdom on the coast of old California, and another half dozen have been sent to Water Point Preserve. Buyers may request for the Katana to be put back on order, for a bare tooling placement price of 10 million credits, plus 3.3 million credits per boats on the order. For an order of ten or more vessels, this tooling cost is not required.

Weapon Systems

1. Pulse Laser Turrets (2; Bow & Stern): These can be equipped with any number of weapons - because it's design is made with the specific intention of being able to mount of an assortment of weapons. Those produced for New Hope incorporated two Wilks 457 pulse laser systems in each turret. The ones equipped for Water Point Preserve were equipped with the same dual weapon configuration as found on the Wolf Assault Robot. (Stats on page 195 & 196 of RIFTS World Book 15: Spirit West.) Those outfitted for Wa-Daisho are equipped with two Type 7 VSPLR per turret, as follows;
Primary Purpose: Anti-Warship.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Sea Monster.
Mega Damage: For the standard frequency, used during regular combat, the damage inflicted is 4D6 M.D. for a single blast from both barrels, or 1D6x10+12 M.D. for a three round pulse from both barrels. For the blue green frequency, used during combat against underwater adversaries, the damage inflicted is 2D6+8 M.D. for a single blast from both barrels, or 1D6x10 M.D. for a three round pulse from both barrels.
Rate of Fire: Both barrels can fire either single blasts simultaneously, or both barrels can fire three round pulses. Single barrel shots are not possible, unless one barrel has been damaged or destroyed.
Maximum Effective Range: 1,600'.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited; Thanks to the nuclear power supply.

2. Mini Blue Green Laser Turrets (2; under sides of outer hull stabilizers.): These ball shaped laser turrets are designed to provide some underside defenses against submarine deployed torpedoes, underwater sea monsters, and anything else that might try to pull a stunt by attacking from underwater. This was a recent addition that was not part of the original pre-RIFTS design, since sea monster attacks weren't usually factored into design! Since their addition, another use has revealed itself - the turrets are under the water, which allows the Katana to strike enemy watercraft below the water line, and sink enemy vessels relatively easily! The turrets themselves, are mounted in a retractable position under the hull side stabilizers - when deployed they do provide some water resistance, and slow the vessel down to just under 70 mph as the maximum speed.
Primary Purpose: Defense.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Sea Monster.
Mega-Damage: 1D4x10 M.D. per blast.
Rate of Fire: Single blasts only.
Maximum Effective Range: 2,000'
Payload: Unlimited; Thanks to the nuclear power supply.

3. Medium Range Torpedo Launchers (2; upper sides of outer hull stabilizers.): The Katana was originally designed as an all around combat vessel, that could be used to sink foreign gun boats, and small vessels, with ease - some long before they ever came into ports being guarded by the Katana Gun Boat. Since the guns, even in pre-RIFTS days, were relatively short ranged, it was further augmented with a pair of retractable torpedo launchers in the UPPER sides of the hull stabilizers. In the picture, it may be seen near the side, as a large rectangular shape. This panel slides open, and a tube like structure is raised up. Once raised into firing position, a charge of compressed air is released, launching the torpedo from the launcher about 30' ahead of the vessel, before hitting the water, and seeking out it's target. The launcher then retracts, and the compressed air is quickly recharged by a compressor, while simultaneously a second torpedo cycles into position.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Warship.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Sea Monster.
Mega-Damage: Usually equipped with Plasma or High Explosive types. (See pg 117 of RIFTS Mercenaries for damages.)
Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire up to four in a melee. One or two may be fired at a time. (ie. one from one launcher, or two, one from each launcher.)
Maximum Effective Range: 10 miles, but usually fired within a mile or two of their target.
Payload: 12 torpedoes.

4. Mini-Missile Launcher Tubes (4; sides of the rear deck): A quartet of mini-missile launcher tubes may be found on the vessel as well, on the sides of the stern. They are visible as small rectangular panels, which slide away revealing the missile launcher tube. The vessel does not carry a large quantity of missiles, as this is only intended as a defense against airborne attackers - until air support can arrive.
Primary Purpose: Defense.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Aircraft.
Mega-Damage: Varies with missile type, but typically is outfitted with Plasma or Armor Piercing.
Rate of Fire: One missile at a time, or volleys of 2, 3, or 4 may be fired by firing more than one missile launcher tube at a time.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile type.
Payload: 8 mini-missiles.

5. Systems of Note: The Katana is outfitted with an assortment of systems to assist it in it's role as a patrol vessel.
    1. Programmed Terrain Navigational Aid: All of the waters within a 100 mile radius of Wa-Daisho has been mapped out, and programmed into these systems - and provide any Sergeant given command of his vessel, with a Navigation skill equivalent of 80%, provided that he or a member of his crew so assigned has the skill of Computer Operations.
    2. Long Range Radar & Tracking Unit: 25 mile range, and can track up to 50 targets both on or off the water.
    3. Long Range Sonar & Tracking Unit: A special imaging sonar is used, that will literally draw a picture of what is seen below the vessel. This imaging sonar is only good for 5 miles, however it's longer range sonar can detect anything larger than 20' in length, for up to 25 miles. The imaging sonar can literally give the sensors operator a birds eye view of EVERYTHING in that five mile radius - while the longer range sonar will allow him/her to track up to 50 underwater blips at a time.
    4. Integrated Combat Computer: The sensors operator, can relay information to the Heads Up Display console used by each gunner, applicable to the gunner's weapons uses. This use of information, combined with the H.U.D. system for each of the gunners, provides the gunners each with a +3 to strike on all of their attacks.
    5. Military Radio: This radio system has a broadcast range of 50 miles, but by redirecting the radio transmitter, the radio may be used to effect atmospheric bounce to achieve a fairly consistent directional range of 500 miles.
    6. Sonic Underwater Communications Device: 15 mile range. This is a special radio system currently only deployed by the affiliated navies of the Alliance. (Wa-Daisho Navy, JNF/ANF, & Kyatashiro Imperial Navy.) It is a speaker and detection system that emits a series of high frequency tones inaudible to even whales, that send vibrations through the water, which may be detected, and translated by similarly equipped vessels. This allows communications to take place between vessels which are underwater, and those on the surface of the water. The reason for the design of this system, is because radio waves simply will not pass through water, so a sonic system had to be developed for up to the minute communications.

      The image displayed in reference to this aircraft is the Blohm & Voss River Commander as shown on pg. 69 of the now defunct FASA Corporation (RPG), Shadowrun's Sourcebook, The Rigger Black Book. The rights to which are now owned solely by WizKids, Inc. WizKids, Inc. has granted permission to SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery to use the artwork but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery in any official capacity whatsoever.

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