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Old June 6th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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tbeard1999 tbeard1999 is offline
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Post IMS Tarawa-Class Marine Assault Transport

IMS Tarawa (others in class include Guam, Normandy Beach, Bandar Bushehr, Tripoli, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Prometheus, Klendathu, Nassau, Pensacola, Port Royal, Pisagua, Gallipoli, Suez, Oran, Bandar Abbas, Latakia, Jiddah, Farhaven)

Type: Marine Assault Transport, Heavy (MAT-H)

A Tarawa class ship typically carries a complete Marine Expeditionary Group. Along with the Winters-class Drop Assault Transport, the Tarawas are the main delivery system for the rapid deployment ground forces of the Commonwealth.

MEGs are very flexible in organization, but the typical structure is a reinforced Marine company with integral infantry, artillery, gunship, artillery and fighter elements).

3000 tons, all drives-Z, Jump-4, Maneuver-4 and Power-4. Streamlined. 22 triple missile turrets, 6 triple beam laser turrets, 2 triple sandcaster turrets. 1240 tons fuel, 962 tons cargo. Computer-7. 59 staterooms, 435 low berths. Price before discounts MCr1435.75

Crew:
Captain 1
XO 1
Computer 1
Navigation 2
Medical 1
Communications 1
Ratings 4
Chief Engineer 1
Second Engineer 1
Engineer PO 2
Engineers 3
Chief Gunnery 1
Gunners 30
Pilots 2
Flight Crew 2
Service 26

Marine Expeditionary Group
CAG 1
Pilots 15
Flight Crew 10
Marine Officers 6
Marines 216
Marine Support 219

Note – this is enough marines for a Marine Rifle Company of 218 troops, plus support troops totaling 219. The NAC Marine Corps has a high teeth to tail ratio; 1 to 2 is common for most high tech armies.

Typical Vehicles (tonnage and cost is for total number of vehicles carried):

2 SB-7 Ship's Boats.

8 D-7 Warhawk dropships. The Tarawa class typically carries 4 passenger, 8 cargo and 2 medical modules. Modules take up 20 tons each when in storage. Cargo modules are pre-loaded with cargo.

6 FA-52M Hellcats.

6 LAV-40. Enough to motorize one Marine platoon of 54 men in battledress.

6 AV-22 Hellhound tiltrotor gunship. Aircraft requires about 2 hours for reassembly after normal landing, 30 minutes after combat landing.

6 TV-12C Lancaster Tiltrotor transport. Aircraft requires about 2 hours for reassembly after normal landing, 30 minutes after combat landing.

6 M-72 11cm Rocket Howitzers or M-91 12cm Mass Drivers.

6 M-526 5 ton hovertrucks.

Note – no grav vehicles in my campaign, so the Marines use tiltrotor aircraft. Also, the Marines (but not officers) are carried in low berths. In my campaign, low berths are much safer and only fail once every 10,000 trips or so.

Vehicles are carried at their rated tonnage and can have troops in them. So the 8 dropships can land the entire Marine Expeditionary Group in about 4 drops – 1 to land the combat troops, 1 to land support troops, 1 to land most vehicles, 1 to land remaining vehicles and supplies.

In a "hot" landing, the troops and vehicles go down "combat loaded", which means they take up more space in the dropships, but can start fighting immediately (or very quickly in the case of tiltrotor craft). Combat loaded dropships carry 15 tons, rather than 19.9 tons. Also, the landing order is changed to speed up operations. To save time switiching between passenger modules and vehicle modules, 4 dropships are typically configured for passengers and 4 for vehicles. A mix of troops and vehicles goes down with each wave.

So a "hot" assault might look like this:

1st Wave
Dropship 1&2 -- MEG HQ, 2nd Platoon
Dropship 3&4 -- 3rd Platoon
Dropship 5-8 -- 4 x LAV; 1st Platoon (most embarked on LAVs)

2nd Wave
Dropship 1&2 -- 4th Platoon
Dropship 3&4 -- Artillery and Engineer Troops
Dropship 5-8 -- 2 x LAV; 6 x Howitzer

3rd Wave
Dropship 1-4 -- Medical and Support Troops
Dropship 5-6 -- 2 x AV-22; Critical Supplies
Dropship 7-8 -- 2 x TV-12C

4th Wave
Dropship 1-2 -- Support Troops
Dropship 3-4 -- Conversion to Cargo Carrying
Dropship 5-6 -- 2 x AV-22; 2 x Hovertrucks
Dropship 7-8 -- 2 x TV-12C

5th Wave
Dropship 1-2 -- Support Troops
Dropship 3-4 -- 2 x AV-22; 2 x Hovertrucks
Dropship 5-6 -- 2 x Hovertrucks; Supplies
Dropship 7-8 -- 2 x TV-12C

6th Wave
Dropship 1-2 -- Support Troops
Dropship 3-8 -- Supplies

Casualties are flown back to the Tarawa in empty dropships. In rare instances, a dropship may be commandeered to provide tactical transport or even close air support. As this plays havoc with landing timetables, this is a rare occurence.

It takes a dropship about 30 minutes to land and debark combat loaded troops. It takes another 30 minutes to return to the Tarawa. It takes about 30 minutes to load troops, supplies or vehicles, re-fuel, and repair minor damage. Given the friction of normal combat, force planners plan for 3 hours between waves. This means that an entire MEG can be landed within 15 hours of the first landing. Once the MEG is landed, dropships will be used to land supplies, evacuate wounded and (rarely) to provide close air support and tactical transport. And of course, they will evacuate troops if necessary.

During a hot landing, the fighter group will secure air superiority and provide whatever close air support it can. Typically, the first wave will be accompanied by 4 fighters with CAP loadouts. They will be relieved by 2 fighters. From that point on, the MEG commander will attempt to have fighters covering the landing at all times during the first 24 hours of the operation. Ideally, 2 fighters will cover the group, but casualties may reduce this to 1. Needless to say, this exacts a heavy burden on the fighters, pilots, and ground crew.

Missile fire from the Tarawa will provide heavy artillery support (usually, the landing will be preceeded by a heavy missile bombardment of the landing zone, nearby enemy troop concentrations, enemy c3i assets and enemy air bases). Tarawas usually carry about 800 missiles in their 66 missile racks and magazines. 75% of these are ground support missiles, usually the SGM-21A-D multipurpose missile.

The SGM-21 is a 15cm missile roughly comparable to a heavy artillery shell in effect. It's a "brilliant" munition, with multiple engagement modes ("fire and forget", target designation, autonomous ground engagement, autonomous air engagement). The "A" model has a TDX multipurpose high explosive warhead. The "B" model is a "bunker buster" designed to penetrate heavy concrete or deeply buried bunkers. The "C" model has an anti-tank warhead capable of penetrating all modern main battle tanks from the top. The "D" model is a proximity fused antiaircraft warhead. The exact mix of missiles will depend on the mission.

Last edited by tbeard1999; June 27th, 2007 at 03:22 PM..
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