List of active Royal Marines military watercraft

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List of active Royal Marines military watercraft is a list of landing craft and other watercraft in service with the Royal Marines. It consist of a varied fleet of transport vessels, patrol vessels and special forces watercraft (I.e mini submarines etc) maintained by the Royal Navy and designed to transport the Royal Marines or special forces from ship to shore as well as conduct river or estuary patrols.[1]

Landing Craft[edit]

A Royal Marines Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) MK5.
Royal Marines Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC).

As of 2014, there are presently 33 Landing Craft in service with the Royal Marines; 10 LCUs, 19 LCVPs and 4 LCACs. Total displacement is approximately 3,000 tonnes.[2][3]

Offshore Raiding Craft[edit]

The Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC) is a recent addition to the Royal Marines inventory. The ORC is primarily employed for 'Strategic Raiding' where speed and covertness is desired, however, the Offshore Raiding Craft is equally as capable when conducting amphibious operations alongside the larger and more traditional LCACs, LCUs and LCVPs. The ORC is fitted with several general purpose machine guns as well as protection against enemy fire for the troops inside. The ORC can be under-slung from a helicopter or deployed from ships of various sizes.[6]

Raiding Craft[edit]

The Raiding Craft (RC) are operated in large numbers by the Royal Marines and can be divided into two groups; The Rigid Raider (RRC), and the smaller Inflatable Raiding Craft (IRC). Despite being the smallest of the amphibious craft, the Raiding Craft are the most widely used due to their mobility and versatility. As such, the RCs often find themselves deployed in amphibious and riverine operations around the globe, in environments ranging from the Arctic to the tropics. Examples of these craft are not only embarked on all amphibious warfare vessels, but are also carried aboard other Royal Navy ships for use on patrol duties, such as searching ships or anti-piracy.[6]

Specialist Craft[edit]

The Royal Navy operate three SDV Mk8 Mod 1 mini-submarines for use by the Special Boat Service. They are designed to deliver special forces personnel and their equipment for covert special operations missions on hostile shores. The British SDV Mk8 Mod 1 is the same as used by the United States Navy SEALs.[7]

Since 2011, the Royal Marines have leased four CB90-class fast assault craft from the Swedish Armed Forces to gain operational insight into the design and capabilities of such a craft. The CB90 or a similar vessel may in future fulfil the Royal Marines concept of the 'Future Force Protection Craft'. It is intended that such a vessel would provide a Task Group in the littoral zones protection from hostile fast attack craft.[3]

The Fast Insertion Craft (FIC) is in use with the Special Boat Service. It has a reported maximum speed of up to 55 knots and its hull features a highly stealthy design and advanced 'wave piercing' qualities. It is similar to the American Mark V Special Operations Craft.[3]

Patrol[edit]

The Royal Marines operate two dedicated patrol vessels of the Island-class based at HMNB Clyde. They are tasked with protecting high value Royal Navy ships such as the Vanguard-class submarines. The vessels -called Mull and Rona- are ex MoD Police boats and were handed over to the Royal Marines during 2013.[8][9]

See also[edit]

Lists of ships operated by or in support of the Naval Service

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Royal Navy Handbook, p. 106
  2. ^ "The Military Balance 2012", International Institute for Strategic Studies, pp. 170-171
  3. ^ a b c Bush, Steve (2014). British Warships and Auxiliaries. Maritime Books. p. 35-39. ISBN 1904459552. 
  4. ^ The Royal Navy Handbook (2003), Conway Maritime Press.
  5. ^ Jim Dorschner (27 May 2009). "Special Delivery". Janes Defence Weekly, Vol. 46, Issue 21: 28. 
  6. ^ a b Royal Marines - Landing Craft, royalnavy.mod.uk, Retrieved 15 June 2014
  7. ^ Jim Dorschner (27 May 2009). "Special Delivery". Janes Defence Weekly, Vol. 46, Issue 21: 28. 
  8. ^ Royal Marines take delivery of new Island Class vessels, royalnavy.mod.uk, 07/03/2013
  9. ^ 15m Police Boat, holyheadmarine.co.uk, Retrieved 15 June 2014

External links[edit]