Like other projects in the United States Military, submarine development during the Golden Age fell on severe budget constraints. The United States Navy has constructed some quite effective submarine but some of the new developments made most of the United States designs obsolete. Chief among these were the new alloys and composites that had been developed during this time. A partial solution would be to reinforce the vessels with the new materials but this was not the best solution. New designs using the high strength materials from the keel out would be a much better way. The Tigershark was the product of this new design. The class was only constructed in fairly small numbers and might be considered an experimental design. Still, the Tigershark class was produced in larger numbers than the Sea Wolf class. It was decided that the Navy would go back to fish names for their submarines instead of states like the Virginia class.
The Navy soon developed a completely new submarine known as the Swordfish class. Within just a few years after the USS Tigershark entered the water, construction began on the first of the Swordfish class. Within a decade, the Swordfish class escort submarine became the primary United States fast attack submarine design. Due to the Tigershark being constructed from the new materials, they were retained by the United States Navy and they were the only submarines older than the Swordfish class to be retained and continued to serve in front line roles.
While further advancements in noise reduction were made for the Swordfish, the Tigershark was still a very quiet submarine. One important role was the use of the submarines in escorting slower naval battle groups. This freed up the faster and quieter Swordfish for seek and destroy missions. Their large number of cruise missile launchers made them a favorite for land strikes with the ability to carry special forces for special missions. The Navy planned to completely replace the old submarines around 2110 but the Rifts intervened before this occurred. It is interesting that several of the Tigershark class submarines survived the coming of the Rifts including some which the entire surface force they were protecting was destroyed by the Rifts energies. One of the Tigerfish class, the USS Steelhead, reported to the Ticonderoga what happened with the Battlecruiser Kearsarge. The Kearsarge is considered by some to have started the Rifts storms which engulfed the planet. The submarine had been acting as an outer picket for the Battlecruiser. Several of the Tigersharks that survived the Rifts are still in service with the New Navy. The New Navy has retained the vessels primarily for use in training although they are still commonly used to escort slower submarines including transport submarines. They are also often used to carry messages to their allies.
The Tigershark is similar in construction to the Virginia class submarine and shares features with the newer Swordfish class submarine. Many prototypes for systems carried on the Swordfish were first tested on the Tigerfish. It might be considered to be an intermediate design.
The Tigershark is cigar shaped like most previous submarine classes including the Virginia class. The Swordfish has a more flattened hull design. The sail of the Tigershark does not look like those on previous U.S. designs and looks more like those carried on Russian designs. The Tigershark was design with a fusion reactor instead of the fission reactor carried on the Virginia. The ducted pump jet gets power from the reactors through an electrical transmission system instead of geared turbines. All the features of the Tigershark, including the rubber coating, make the Tigershark a very quiet vessel. The new alloys also make the vessel be able to dive far deeper than previous designs.
The Tigershark has a longer bow than the Virginia class and carries twenty-four cruise missile tubes instead of the twelve on the Virginia class. The Tigershark has four torpedo tubes like the Virginia class although they do carry more torpedoes. The Swordfish class was designed with far more missile launchers and torpedo tubes and has a vast amount of additional firepower. The Tiger is fitted with one laser cannon in a retractable mount on the bow behind the missile launchers. The ship is fitted with decoys for self defense against torpedoes. The sonar systems are not quite as effective as the systems carried on the Swordfish and later classes but are still quite effective.
The submarine was designed with a slightly reduced crew compared to the Virginia class through additional automation. Even so, the boat is still very cramped. Like the Virginia class, the Tigershark was designed to carry a small number of soldiers belonging to special forces. The Navy had planned to replace these vessels with a combination of Swordfish Attack submarines and Greyback class transport submarines.
[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-888 Class
Class: Fast Attack Submarine
Crew: 120 total; 10 officers, 10 chief petty officer, 100 enlisted.
Robots, Power Armors, and Vehicles:
M.D.C. by Location:
|Torpedo Tubes (4 - Sides of submarine):||100 each|
|Vertical Cruise Missile Launchers (24, Bow of Submarine):||125 each|
|Retractable Laser Cannon Turret (1, Bow):||200|
| Bow Planes (2):||200 each|
| Pump Jet Propulsor (1):||400|
| Main Body:||2,500|
 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.
 Destroying the submarine's 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.
 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.Speed:
Surface: 28.8 mph (25 knots/ 46.3 kph)
Underwater: 41.5 mph (36 knots /66.7 mph)
Maximum Depth: 5,000 feet (1,524 meters)
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively Unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries 6 months of supplies on board.
Height: 52.7 feet (16.1 meters) not including periscopes and antenna
Width: 36 feet (11.0 meters)
Length: 390 feet (118.9 meters)
Displacement: 6,900 tons standard and 8,100 tons submerged
Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 12 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 torpedoes, weapons, and engines.Power System: Nuclear; average energy life of 20 years. Normally refuels every 10 years
Black Market Price: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions of credits for a new and undamaged Tigerfish class Submarine.Weapon Systems:
- Laser Cannon Turrets (1): This cannon is mounted in front
of 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 system is 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: Cannon inflicts 2D4x10 MDC
Rate of fire: 4 Times per melee.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Four (4) Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the sides of the submarine are four torpedo tubes. Tubes are 21 inches (533 mm) wide and torpedoes can be used against both surface ships and submarines. For warheads, heavy torpedoes should be treated as having long range missile warheads. Along with standard torpedoes, the launcher can also fire missiles (long or cruise) in special canisters and rocket boosted ASW torpedoes. Submarine carries 44 reloads for torpedoes (in addition to four torpedoes in the tubes) and can carry up to 96 mines in place of torpedoes.Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (64 km)
Mega Damage: By Heavy torpedo warhead type can fire missiles (Long Range or Cruise) in special canisters as well.
Rate of fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2, 3, or 4. Reloading takes 1 full meleePayload: 4 Total (Has 48 torpedoes for reloads)
Twenty-Four (24) Vertical Launch Cruise Missile Launchers (MK 45 VLS): In the front of the submarine but behind the sonar dome, the submarine has a Vertical Launch Missile System for launching missiles. Missiles are launched in special canisters that enable the missiles to be used in depths down to 300 feet. Most missiles normally carried are fusion (Also smart missiles). The launchers were originally designed to carry Tomahawk missiles but were modified to fire all standard cruise range missiles.Maximum Effective Range: As per cruise missile type .
Mega Damage: As per cruise missile type . Rate of fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2, 4, 8, or 24 and can be fired at multiple target at the same time.Payload: 24 cruise missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads
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 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
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
The submarine has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:
- Advanced Hull Sonar System: Range of 60 miles (52.1 nautical miles / 96.6 km). This hull sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 24 targets at one time and has a +10% to read sensor and weapon system skill rolls. Sonar also has built in communication system and sound pulse system to detect obstacles, objects, vessels and fish (schools and large animals), as well as measure distances and depth.
- Advanced Towed Array Sonar: The system is basically a long and very sensitive sonar system carried behind the submarine on a long cable. Range of 200 miles (173.7 nautical miles / 321.9 km). This is an incredibly sensitive and is as powerful as the special purpose pre-rifts SURTASS system. This towed array sonar system has both a passive and active system built in. Sonar system can track up to 48 targets at one time.
- ESM: This system is mounted in mounted in the superstructure and is extended in a similar manner to a periscope. The antenna is very hard to detect both visually and by radar. Can detect another radar system at 125% of the range of the transmitting radar.
- Quieted propulsion and Anechoic Coating: The ship is designed with a very quiet pump jet propulsor design, the submarine's reactors make very little noise, and the boat is coated by a sonar defeating rubber coating. The submarine is -40% to detect when traveling at less that 20 knots and is at -20% to detect when traveling at greater than that speed