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SOFIC 2017: NSW Expands Surface Mobility

18th May 2017 - 17:00 by Scott Gourley in Tampa

SOFIC 2017: NSW Expands Surface Mobility

US Naval Special Warfare (NSW) elements are expanding the size of their surface mobility platform fleet. The fleet changes were included in an update presented at this week’s Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), in Tampa, Florida.

The surface mobility platforms fall under USSOCOM’s Program Executive Office for Maritime, which is led by Capt Kate Dolloff, USN. Dolloff was one of seven PEOs to provide a portfolio update during SOFIC.

 ‘SEALION fulfills our requirement of Combatant Craft – Heavy,’ she explained. ‘We have two of these craft now and are working on getting a third, which I am absolutely positive we are going to have under contract by the end of the week. That will give us three boats out there doing some great things.’

Manufactured by Vigor Works in Clackamas, Oregon, the Combatant Craft-Heavy is the biggest NSW surface platform.

The Combatant Craft – Medium (MK I) is also manufactured by Vigor Works and serves as a partial replacement for the Mk V Special Operations Craft and NSW rigid inflatable boat (RIB). Dolloff said that the current inventory is 11 platforms but pointed to the recent completion of acceptance trials on the 12th boat, with delivery anticipated by the end of the week.

The Combatant Craft Assault is a carbon-fiber boat manufactured by US Marine and designed for medium range, maritime assault, interdiction, insertion and extraction.

‘We do have 24 out of 28 CCA fielded right now and we are working on a new air delivery capability,’ she said. ‘So we’ll have some of these boats capable of being dropped from the air with a platform. So there’s some cool stuff there.’

The new air drop capability for CCA allows divestment of the Maritime Craft Aerial Deployment System (MCADS), which had entailed the use of four large parachutes to deliver an 11 metre RIB from the rear of a cargo aircraft.

The Special Operations Craft – Riverine (SOC-R) is currently in the sustainment phase, with Dolloff acknowledging that the command is ‘looking toward a new design here in the future.’

She added that all sustainment on the surface platforms has been shifted to the Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA), where Lockheed Martin is currently under a Contractor Logistics Support contract.

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