Super Yacht Builder delivers Special Operations Craft

Builder Launches New 25 Metre Special Operations Craft

The first of two MKV Special Operations Craft has been launched for United States Marine, Inc. (USMI) of Gulfport, Mississippi, USA for Naval Sea Systems Command, (NAVSEA).

The first craft will undergo dock and sea trials leading to a July delivery. The second is to be launched and completed in August 2009 and delivered later to NAVSEA in September. The two craft will eventually be used by the Bahrain Navy through a US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.

The aluminium hull, deck and cabin top are built by a sub-contractor Trinity Yachts at their New Orleans facility. These sections are then transported to USMI’s facility in Gulfport for final assembly, outfitting, painting, sea trials and delivery.

The design is owned jointly by USMI and VT Halter and is part of an original contract awarded in 1990’s for USSOCOM.  With an overall length of 25 metres and a beam of 5.3 metres the 57 ton displacement vessel draws just 1.5 metres. Propulsion is provided by two MTU 12V396TE94 engines each driving Rolls Royce 50SII Waterjets, providing a cruise speed of 25 – 35 knots and a maximum speed of 45 plus knots.

The lightweight craft provides seating for 5 crew and up to 16 passengers, all in shock mitigating seats.  The boat will carry tactical radio, Navigation, Communications and Ship Control in an Integrated Console. There is a stern ramp for rapid deployment and recovery of AVON F470 boats. Armament includes a MK38 25mm Weapon System aft with 4 additional Gun Stations that can accommodate M2HB .50 Cal or M60/M240 Machine Guns.

USMI, which employs over 200, specialises in the construction of high-performance, special mission capable boats for military and other agency use.  The company also produces the Special Operations Craft Riverine (SOC-R) and the Naval Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boats (NSWRIB’s) that have seen extensive use by the U.S. special operations forces in the fight against terrorism.