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MP Landing Ship

Page history last edited by Michael 1 year, 1 month ago

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drawing at Shipbucket scale




     In addition to the four reconstruction ships available to the Project, four landing ships are available -- two on each coast of North America. They were, in part, to be the connection between the large Fort Ross class vessels, and the many coastal and inland locations where supplies and support would be needed. Other uses were as mobile hospitals and military sealift resources.

     Each landing ship was stored at a Maritime Base; these had nearly 100 persons assigned (including the ship crews). The assigned Project members would all be in cryosleep from before the Atomic War, until awakened by Prime Base.

     The landing ships had to be stored out of the water and safe from discovery, attack, contamination or deterioration; they would be powered by Project fusion reactors, and equipped to protect their crew and passengers from radiation, and chemical or biological contamination. The proposed form for the Maritime Bases was similar to a submarine pen, with a sealed door at one end to make the interior also a drydock. Construction of the bases began in 1975, when the Project's fusion generator program had just begun.

     Converted from military designs, five of these ships were built at a cost of $80 million each in the late 1970s for United Consolidated Corporation (a Project "front" company). They were announced to be "hazardous waste transport vessels" -- this partly explained their extensive washdown systems, air and water filters and scrubbers, etc. One of them had diesel-electric propulsion, and was used for training (and as part of the cover story); it did not go into an underground base.

     The vessels assigned to the West coast were Endeavor and Enterprise; to the East coast, Venture and Quest. They were all finished before 1983; the Maritime Bases were complete and sealed in 1985.






     Length 136 meters.

     Beam  19 meters, although with the pontoons attached the ship is 22 meters wide.

     Height  20 meters with mast lowered, 33 meters with mast raised.

     Draft  5 meters fully loaded, 3.8 meters light.

     Displacement 7950 tons fully loaded, 3200 tons light.


Powerplant and Performance


     The power plant contains eight Mk2 fusion generators, each producing 3 megawatts of electrical power; the propulsion system has two 4.5 megawatt electric motors, each driving a propeller shaft with a controllable-pitch propeller. Only three of the generators are needed to operate the motors at full power; the other five provide power for other non-propulsion systems (see below), and are spares and backups. A thousand Morrow Project vehicle batteries are installed at various points, enough to operate the vessel at top speed for about ten minutes.

     The fusion generators and electric propulsion motors are water-cooled; the generators can produce full power without the water cooling system, but will warm up the air in the engine room quite a lot. The electric propulsion motors can only run at about 10% of their rated output without water cooling -- any more will damage the winding insulation, though in an emergency the propulsion motors can operate up to 70% of their rated output (while reducing their lifespan, but not catching fire). Both motors operating at 70% of their maximum rated power will propel the vessel at about half speed; the motors are dust- and gas-tight and protected against the effects of continuous submersion in water (although the ship's electrical system may not be).

     Power required for fire mains, rudder and windlass motors, ballast pumps, lighting and ventilation is 5 megawatts maximum; auxiliary service loads, heating, air conditioning, and the production and heating of fresh water total about 5 megawatts peak power. Actual load will vary a lot by how many embarked troops or passengers are aboard; the battery system is designed to assist in power supply at peak loads.

     Top speed 18 knots (32 kilometers per hour), cruising speed 15 knots (28 kilometers per hour).

     There are two rudders, one behind each propeller; the propellers are protected by sturdy skegs to keep them from contacting the seabed. Powerful winches and several anchors are fitted, to allow the ship to pull itself onto, or off of, beaches and sand bars.

     Note that these vessels take on about 1,000 liters per day in general "bilge fluids" (mostly salt water) when at sea.


Armor and Armament


     Armament is four Cadillac-Gage turrets (two with 90mm cannons on the fore deck, two with 20mm cannons aft), and four Mk 2 Mod 1 mounts (each with a .50 cal M2HB machine gun and an 81mm mortar). A Project Autonav Model A1B can act as a central fire control system for the turrets. Several more M2HB machine guns, and Mk20 grenade launchers, are carried in the arms lockers, along with small arms, rocket launchers, demolitions items, and other "infantry" weapons.

     3600 rounds of 90mm ammunition is carried (HESH-T is the most common cartridge), along with 27,000 rounds of belted 20mm ammunition (mixed HEI and API) 1800 rounds of 81mm mortar ammunition (including a lot of M301A3 illuminating rounds), 24,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition, and "a lot" of small arms ammunition.

     Armor consists of Resistweave dodgers on most railings above the main deck, and polycarbonate windows 8mm thick, with Resistweave curtains available. The main deck and most of the hull are 9.5 mm thick mild steel, while the hull around and under the bow are 25 mm thick.


Game effects: windows armor value 10, dodgers armor value 9, decks and most of hull armor value 15 points, bow armor value 22 points.  




     The superstructure aft has four enclosed levels, with an open bridge and lookout position at the top; forward, the forecastle contains winches and anchor machinery, plus the ammunition storage for the two 90mm turrets.

     Large vents, resembling engine smokestacks, are exhausts for keeping the well deck ventilated when operating internal-combustion vehicles.

     The second and third decks, below the main deck, contain most of the crew quarters, and the enclosed vehicle well. The hold deck contains the engine rooms and various storage compartments, along with ballast, fuel and water tanks, and magazines.


Auxiliary Systems


     Sensors, electronics, and built-in accessory equipment includes four search lights, identification and navigation lights, LSS-40 loudspeakers, siren, horn, two 6" signal lamps, two AutoNavs and a Mk 23 gyrocompass, a Raytheon DE736 fathometer, a Lowrance X-3 sonar, an SPS-59 radar, some sort of automated radar plotting aid, an AN/APR-38 radar detector (the same used on early Wild Weasel aircraft, but with some different frequencies and modes being scanned for), and an emergency transponder beacon (turned off and powered down normally). A Gavilan SC computer,  several Project PCs, and two laser disc drives, are carried, along with a couple of printers, lots of "regular" maritime radios, and several of the smaller "team" devices - night vision goggles, range finders, etc.. A desalination and purification plant can produce 40 tons of fresh water each day.


Since the propulsion machinery requires very little attention,

and the Autonav units can remotely control the 20mm and 90mm guns,

one person could operate the vessel (poorly) for a brief period.


Cargo Storage and Handling


     Cargo is loaded either through the bow ramp (which can accommodate vehicles 4.6 meters wide and 5.2 meters high), or through either of the two cargo hatches on the main deck (aft. 9.5 meters by 4.6; forward, 11.6 meters by 4.6 meters), or down the ramp from the main deck. There are two 7 ton capacity cargo cranes next the rear hatch. 28 large vehicles up to 75 tons weight can be carried in the well deck (the central compartment below the main deck, on the levels of the second and third decks); there is a turntable for rotating vehicles with a wheelbase of 7.8 meters or less and a weight of 75 tons or less. The well deck is 88 meters long and 9.14 meters wide; the arrangement of compartments on either side of the well deck allows it to be open to the sea and partly flooded without endangering the vessel (much). A hinged ramp allows vehicles to be driven onto and off of the main deck from the well deck.

     Vehicles that won't fit inside the landing ship:  Scientific-One or any of the other Overland Train vehicles; MARS-One, unless special transport wheels are fitted; and the SK-5 (although an SK-5 can be disassembled to fit as cargo).

     Tanks for 27,000 liters of petrochemical fuel and lubricants are available, along with tankage for 18,000 liters of fresh water.


Small Craft and Vehicles


  • four 11 meter LCVP-type landing craft carried on gravity davits -- when the ship is at the Maritime base, these are instead stored dockside

  • two fully-enclosed motor lifeboats, each with a 40 person capacity

  • four 21.8 meter long causeway/barge units (each 6.7 meters wide, weighing 40 tons, and designed to carry a load of 120 tons with 33 cm of freeboard) carried on the sides of the hull (after the ship leaves its Maritime base). Note that these pontoons are "3x12" assemblies of modular P-series pontoons used elsewhere by the Morrow Project.

    • while the landing ships aren't initially fitted with them, a 2x30 P-series pontoon causeway about 46 meters long can be carried on one side, instead of the two barges. Probably other combinations of P-series pontoons could be carried on the sides of the ship, or on the main deck; a Maritime Base will have a large number of spare P-series components in storage.

  • ten large self-launching life rafts, each with a 20 person capacity

  • a 7 meter rigid inflatable boat (top speed 40 knots, capacity 7 persons) on a small crane for quick "man overboard" rescue and crew transport.

  • two Allis-Chalmers electric forklift trucks, capacity 4 tons; these are battery powered, NOT fusion powered.


     In service, the boats assigned to the Maritime Base may also be carried aboard the landing ship -- the largest of these is the LCU-1466 type landing craft. The LCU is loaded aboard the landing ship by a heavy crane (capable of a 164 ton lift), and unloaded by sliding off the side (over a sturdy cradle of lumber and angle iron).




     The actual number of bunks is 188, far in excess of what the crew requires. Up to 630 troops can be carried for a few weeks; presumably at least a couple thousand men could be carried without bunks or messes for a few hours.

     The galley equipment includes a large refrigerator and freezer, along with:


  • two electric griddles

  • electric fry kettle

  • electric roasting oven

  • vegetable peeler

  • three 150 liter capacity steam kettles

  • meat and vegetable steam table

  • electric food mixer

  • electric coffee maker

  • several coffee urns

  • dishwasher

  • ice maker

  • garbage grinder

  • electric hot plate

  • ice cream machine

  • beverage dispenser

  • milk dispenser


Medical Facilities


  • the sick bay, with a small surgical theater, laboratory, pharmacy, refrigerator, Med Unit, Bio-Comp

  • four battle dressing stations, each with a folding operating table, a Large Med Kit, a supply locker, water tank, scrub sink, and castle lights.

  • four medical store rooms:  #1 is parenteral fluids (IV infusion of various solutions to maintain adequate hydration, restore and/or maintain fluid volume, reestablish lost electrolytes, or provide partial nutrition), and bulk supplies; #2 is surgical instruments, battle dressings, and non-organic supplies; #3 is medications and ointments; and #4 contains mount-out boxes (items for Morrow teams in the field) and I.O.L. supplies (replacements for items in sick bay).




     The crew in normal Project service is expected to be 80 persons, composed of the following:


  • captain (team leader)

  • first mate - second in command, and in charge of cargo loading

  • operations officer

  • community relations officer

  • 3 deck officers - in charge of navigation watches

  • weapons officer

  • chief engineer

  • 3 engineer officers

  • damage control officer

  • 2 supply staff

  • doctor

  • dentist

  • 4 medics

  • 3 communications specialists

  • 3 electronics and computer specialists

  • 6 gunners and loaders

  • 11 engineers/machinists

  • 6 electrical repair, maintenance and fabrication specialists

  • cook

  • steward

  • bosun

  • 22 sailors/quartermasters/small craft crew/light weapons crew

  • 5 security staff (MARS-trained; mostly for duty on beaches, piers, etc.)


     Note that most of the crew had skills and qualifications well in excess of what's required for their position. There's a lot of duplication and over-manning, both to deal with combat situations, crew sent with small craft, casualties and illness, etc.

     Actual crew assigned was up to 188 persons in the U.S. Navy version.


Provisions and Stored Equipment


     The landing ships are not filled to the brim with supplies while stored. There are some items assigned to them, however:


  • two Allis-Chalmers electric forklifts, with capacities from 907 to 5443 kg. These would be for use shipboard and dockside. These had their original lead-acid batteries replaced with Project vehicle batteries.

  • one Case model M4K articulated rough-terrain forklift (Army model MHE-237). Fusion-powered, 1800 kg capacity. Includes tow hitch.

  • various P-series pontoon components -- at least four propulsion units, for example


     In addition,  2.5 kg of food per person per day had to be provided; and spare clothing, laundry soap, etc. for the crew. One year of supplies for the 40 person crew is 36.5 tons of preserved food, and 12.7 tons of other consumables.

      Stored either aboard the ship or at the Maritime base are the hundreds of bunks and other items needed to carry troops aboard the landing ship.

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