The Italian Navy’s elite COMSUBIN Special Forces unit has a reputation for being ten years ahead of everyone else in the development of underwater craft. It has been that way since they invented the dark art of waterborne Special Forces during World War One. Their underwater craft are a well-guarded secret with few details available in public. And the same goes for their surface craft. Consequently, the RHIB (Rigid Hulled inflatable Boat) shown in this article is not something you can find information about on the web.
The large 11m (36ft) air-droppable (!) RHIB has twin inboard diesel engines driving waterjets and distinctive secondary inflatable sponsons lower down the hull. The crew position is towards the bow of the craft, although there is ample space for a working deck forward. Immediately behind the pilot’s console are six collapsible shock-resistant seats in three rows of two - two for the crew and four for passengers. Behind them, and above the engines, is another large working deck with folding railing. The radar / FLIR mast folds flat between the rows of seats.
COMSUBIN's submersible boat
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World survey of Special Operations Craft
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