Special Operations Craft Riverine
The Special Operations Craft Riverine is the US Navy's latest vehicle fielded by the Special Boat Units ( Special Boat Teams as of Oct 2002 ). The SOCR is designed as a fast boat with a good cargo and weapons capacity and the ability to operate well within inland waterways, filling a critical gap that was brought about by aging craft that were hard to maintain or no longer in the inventory. The new craft will allow US forces to have riverine forces in place faster, with more capacity and less maintenance. Delivery began in February of 2002, with SBU/SBT-22 slated to receive 18 of the new craft. Five units total are expected to be in service by the end of 2002.
The SOCR is 33 feet long, with a nine-foot beam, and draws only 8 inches (
) of water at speed. Twin 440HP diesel engines give it quick acceleration up to its rated top speed of 42 Knots (
about 48 MPH or 78 KPH
). The aluminum hull makes it light and strong and capable of carrying up to 20,500 lbs (
) in personnel and combat gear. It is transportable by US Air Force cargo aircraft and medium-lift helicopters such as the H-47 Chinook and H-53 Stallion/Pave Low families.
The hull of the Special Operations Craft Riverine mounts some ballistic armor for protection and has mounts for five weapons ( in addition to those carried by the crew and passengers ). Weapons that can be mounted include the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun, Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher, and 7.62mm miniguns.