SSV


US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

Flag The US Department of Defense (DOD) released its Expeditionary Advance Base Operations Wargame Toolkit and options in November 2016. The unclassified document is intended to illustrate the art of the possible and does not imply DOD endorsement or funded requirements. It does however show the direction of thinking of the DOD and is jam-packed with ambitious and innovative concepts as well as some based closely on existing systems.

Submersible Support Vessel
One of the most interesting concepts in the pack (for the Covert Shores reader!) is a submersible transport with very high surface speed (50 kt!!!). The SSV would carry up to 20 passengers or five medical litters, implying that it is a dry-sub not a wet-sub. That also means that it is quite large. And the high surface speed but slow underwater speed implies a submersible boat configuration, completely different to the illustration used:
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

The document notes that this type vessel could provide logistic support, act as a battalion aid station for multiple CLTs or provide an emergency egress points for a CLT. Matched with the float Kmax like helos it could surface and resupply the helos and receive casualties and then resupply and further transfer casualties when float planes were available.

Remarkably the document cites the North Korean Improved-Submersible-Infiltration-Landing-Craft (I-SILC) (See old Covert Shores Blog), which is also used by Iran and Vietnam. Most SILC are only semi-submersible but some later examples are fully submersible down to about 50 meters but have extremely limited underwater performance.

US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores
Main Article: Taedong-B 'Kajami' ('Zulfikar') submersible boat


The ultimate book of Special Forces subs Covert Shores 2nd Edition is the ONLY world history of naval Special Forces, their missions and their specialist vehicles. SEALs, SBS, COMSUBIN, Sh-13, Spetsnaz, Kampfschwimmers, Commando Hubert, 4RR and many more.
Check it out on Amazon

The US designed solution which comes to mind is the Marion Hypersub which was recently used in a US Marine Corps’ Ship-To-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation (S2ME2) Advanced Naval Technology Exercise 2017 (ANTX17), held at Camp Pendleton in California in April 2017:
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

Another possible contender if the concept does reach the requirement phase is Juliet Marine Systems who built the Ghost reconfigurable high speed SWATH vessel which has also been proposed as the basis for an Unmanned Underwater Vessel (UUV) named Guardian:
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

The concept may be missing a trick however. Fully submerging increases complexity, weight and cost and also imposes greater training requirements on passengers (emergency escape, underwater breathing apparatus etc). Semi-submersibles, while not as stealthy, may provide a more achievable way of filling this capability gap. USSOCOM already uses the SEALION Combatant Craft Heavy (CCH) which is approximately large enough to meet the requirement and is capable of even greater speeds (60kt+):
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores
Main article: CCH (Combat Craft Heavy) SEALION and Alligator Semi-Submersible Boats


Other interesting concepts presented in the document include the Ghostswimmer covert AUV:
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

An automated landing craft:
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

An Unmanned Surface Vessel:
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

A Rail Gun:
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores

And the Box O’Rockets multi-weapon container launcher, shown here on the helideck of a Littoral Combat Vessel (LCS):
US DOD Expeditionary Advance Base Operations - Covert Shores


Related Articles
Flag Flag CCH (Combat Craft Heavy) SEALION and Alligator Semi-Submersible Boats
Flag Specialized Marine Craft (MSC) Sepcial Forces intercptor
FlagFlagFlagFlag World survey of Special Operations Craft
Flag WP-18 Tactical Strike Craft
Special Forces Jet Skis