20 Mei 2017
The RSN is in the process of replacing existing RHIBs used by its elite ‘Frogmen’, with this 11 m example built by Zodiac Milpro under evaluation. (photo : Jane’s, Shephard)
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) took the opportunity at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) Asia 2017 in Singapore to showcase a new type of rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) currently undergoing operational test and evaluation (OT&E) and destined for the service’s elite Naval Diving Unit (NDU).
Designated the Combatant Craft Medium (CCM), the RHIB measures 11.5 m long and 3.25 m wide and is powered by a pair of 400-hp inboard engines that enable it to reach a maximum stated speed in excess of 40 kt. It can carry up to 15 personnel, although Jane’s has learned that crew seating can be reduced in order to accommodate other mission payloads if necessary.
The CCM is typically armed with a 7.62 mm general purpose machine gun (MG) located near its bow, although heavier weapons such as a 12.7 mm MG could also be fitted.
“The new boat can be configured and optimised prior to a mission for much improved tactical versatility,” an NDU team member told Jane’s on 18 May, adding that the first example was received in December 2016. It is understood that the CCM is expected to eventually replace the service’s current fleet of 11 m RHIBs, which were built by Mississippi-based United States Marine, Inc. (USMI) Boats.
The CCM is built by Zodiac Milpro and customised for the RSN’s specific mission requirements, which can include seaward interdiction as well as boarding operations. It appears to be based on the company’s ZH-1100 CDO Military Air Channelled Hull II (MACH II) design, which features an aluminium hull and foam-filled sponsons that maximise deck volume for improved configurability and usable space.
The company also claims that its patented MACH II hull design reduces resistance while offering improved directional stability for gains in fuel economy and speed.