Special Missions Craft Demystefied

Discussion in 'Naval' started by Sven, May 5, 2016.

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  1. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    Special Operations Stealth Semi-Submarines demystified

    *My notes:

    I'm going to be doing a few posts on naval special warfare around the world, starting with a look into the world of special missions craft. I'll be doing Swimmer delivery vehicles (both SDVs and DPVs) and special missions submarines as well.

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    The recent revealing of the Singaporean Navy's stealth Specialized Marine Craft Type-II (SMC Type-II) highlights the gradual maturing and adoption of certain US designed semi-submersible and stealth technologies for Special Forces. The craft may be designed with assistance of Oregon Iron Works on the Colombia River in Oregon, USA, making it closely related to the SEALION family of stealth boats operated by Naval Special Warfare and the Israeli Navy.
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    The main visual difference to the US service craft is the low-signature unmanned machinegun turret (Italian OTO Melara Hitrole with 12.7mm FN M2HB-QCB machine gun at 450 rounds per minute) on the bow and cut-down aft section. Dimensions are almost identical to the SEALION-II at 25m. The main configuration difference to the SEALION is the placement of the exhausts on the sides of the boat. The engines and waterjets are almost identical to the American boat however.

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    The type is produced by Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) with a fleet of eight units planned (two Type-I, see below, and six Type-II). Design and construction started in 2003 with the first unit entering service in 2009. The type is capable of 30kt and has a range of 250nm.

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    Last edited: May 5, 2016
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  2. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    SEALION and Alligator stealth boats

    Various ‘stealth boats’ have been trailed by Naval Special Warfare (NSW, now part of USSOCOM) for use by the Special Boats Units and SEALs. Although always under the radar (groan!), several types have been noticed by bystanders over the years. More recently USSOCOM has sought to operationalize the SEALION family of semi-submersible ‘stealth boats’ as the Combatant Craft Heavy.

    Alligator Class

    The first boat, now known as Alligator class, was not produced until the mid 1990s and to a significantly modified design. After testing with US forces the Alligator was transferred to Israeli military.

    Displacement: 23.4 tons
    Max Speed: 30kts (8 submerged)
    Length: 19.81m, Width 3.96m

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    History

    Oregon Iron Works, a small specialist manufacturer has designed and produced a series of special forces infiltration boats currently employed by Israeli special forces and USN SEALs/SOCCOM. The original patents were filed in 1990 and may have been influenced by knowledge of Italian submersible boats. Illustrations from the 1993 Patent (US Patent 5,215,025, assigned to K10 Corporation):

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    SEALION (I & II) COMBAT CRAFT HEAVY (CCH)

    The Alligator class has been followed by the Sealion (SEAL Insertion, Observation and Neutralization) class which was intended for special forces insertion and extraction in medium/heavy threat environments. Leveraging Oregon Iron Work's patented technology, it was designed in collaboration with the Combatant Craft Division of the US Navy's Naval Surface Warfare Center.

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    The SEALION-I was delivered in January 2003 and together with the enhanced SEALION-II underwent protracted trials with the US Navy special forces (SEALs) until 2013. The program cost about 10m USD. In 2013 the two hulls were refurbished and transitioned to fully operational status. The Sealion is slightly longer than the Alligator and has a larger cabin at the rear which can accommodate two rigid inflatables (RIB). The masts are retractable and jet-skis and Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs) can be carried in storage lockers.

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    Follow-on Alligator Class semi-sub for Israeli Navy

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    A new semi-stealth was built by Oregon Iron Works in 2013 and has since entered service with the Israeli Navy, presumably as a replacement for the original Alligator.

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    ...

    @Technofox can you move this thread to a naval warfare section for me? I was only going to do the bit about the Singaporean craft, hence why it's in the East Asia section, but decided to expand upon the subject instead.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    COBRA Semi-SWATH hybrid hull Small Tactical Craft

    Lockheed Martin’s COBRA (Common Off-Board Reconfigurable Asset) Small tactical Craft (STC) is a tactical transport/utility craft designed with extremely compact dimensions in order to be compatible with the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The square shape and small size also suit air transportability and it would fit within the relatively small C-130. The lightweight aluminum catamaran hull is actually semi-SWATH (Small-Waterplane-Area Twin Hull) with wave-piercing hulls below the waterline. The hybrid hull form is intended to combine the sea-keeping of a SWATH with the high speed of a catamaran. Two waterjets are mounted in the stern producing impressive performance.

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    The prototype was developed as a private project self-funded by LMS’ research and development budget.

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    Primarily pitched to USSOCOM as a medium Special Forces transport (Combatant Craft Medium), the highly configurable detachable aft section of the COBRA offers the potential to switch to Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) or other missions, possibly while the boat is at sea aboard a mothership (e.g. LCS or LPD). The COBRA was unsuccessful in USSOCOM’s CCM competition however.

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  4. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    Russian Triton-NN SDV

    The Russian Triton-NN Submersible Boat made a few waves during Sweden's submarine saga of a few years ago. Fortunetly for the Swedes, the Triton-NN isn't believed to be in active service.

    Submersible boats are a subcategory of Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) in the broadest sense. The basic concept is to travel as far as possible as a regular boat and then use its ability to run awash (partially submerged) and fully submerged as you get closer to enemy radars. In general submersible boats are more versatile than regular SDVs (like the US Mk.VIII) because they have the range to operate without a mother-ship in many cases. They are also faster above the surface and can generally carry more passengers. But they are also less stealthy and slower underwater so it is a compromise.

    As you can see it is essentially a boat hull with a box-like upper section with access panels on the roof. Pop-out thrusters act both as underwater propulsion and steering.
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    Triton-NN is a Russian firm's attempt to re-enter the SDV market. It is up against stiff completion and is not thought to have sold any units. The main competitor in fact is the Swedish developed SEAL Carrier:
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    Another similar offering is the South Korean VOGO SDV-1000W:
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    Both the SEAL Carrier and SDV-1000W are actually based on SubSkimmer technology and incorporate a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) configuration. Subskimmer are currently the market leaders but their products are more photo-shy!

    Another submersible boat which is the US made Stidd MRCC:
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    Last edited: May 5, 2016
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  5. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    These little boats and submersible highlight an aspect of naval warfare and special operations we don't hear discussed very often. Often times we are distracted by the large big dollar, big bang boom boom platforms and we forget about these little boogers and the bad asses they transport. These are necessary for infiltrating other nations in a covert manner. They can be used to insert special operations forces and spies that can provide nations with valuable intelligence.
     
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