Thursday 13 June, 2024
HomeNaval & MaritimeSea PlatformsRoyal Marines take delivery of revamped raiding craft

Royal Marines take delivery of revamped raiding craft

The Royal Marines have taken delivery of the Commando Raiding Craft (CRC), a redesigned version of the tried-and-tested Offshore Raiding Craft – commonly known in the Corps as the ORC.

The CRC is an upgraded version of the ORC that has been serving in the Royal Marines for two decades worldwide. The CRC has been revamped to meet the requirements of the commandos in the mid-21st century, as they return to their Second World War raiding roots. The new design is intended for coastal landings behind enemy lines with small teams causing damage to the enemy’s infrastructure and systems.

The CRC has been repainted in grey to aid concealment and has new engines that provide greater range (more than 200 nautical miles) and speed (up to 40 knots). In addition, the driving position has been moved from the back to the front for better manoeuvrability. It is now being deployed for frontline operations around the world.

The vessel is equipped with new cooling systems, mast, trim, and a sophisticated electronic suite for better protection from sea conditions, communication, and navigation. It is manned by three crew members who rotate during long journeys. Additionally, the vessel has ample space to launch drones, carry payloads and store a smaller Inshore Raiding Craft to deploy on some landings if required.

“The current fleet of craft were ageing and had limited range and capacity,” explains Major Joe Brown, from the Commando Force Acquisition team.

“An opportunity was taken to revamp this fleet to deliver a considerable upgrade to the current craft through the development of in-service hulls.

“It is an example of developing for the future through maximising the potential within existing capabilities.”

Plymouth-based 47 Commando (Raiding Group) Royal Marines will be at the controls of the CRC wherever it deploys around the globe. 47 Commando are the lead for amphibious warfare and Royal Navy board and search training. The group is tasked with training and developing core amphibious and surface assault skills and equipment.

The unit’s Commanding Officer, Colonel William Norcott, said: “The CRC is multi-purpose and more supportive of the Commando Force model, working in small disaggregated teams that are structured to deliver a lethal punch. You can configure the craft to the way these teams are operating.

“This is exciting for us, because it’s a much more powerful craft, the coxswains will tell you, it’s much more enjoyable to operate, it’s more tactical and we don’t need the different variants like we currently have.

“We are really excited to have something that does what it says on the tin.”

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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