Offshore Suspension

The Royal Marines have a number of Holyhead Marine Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC) and very impressive machines they are too.

Well armed, fast, armoured.


Stable firing platform?

Suitable for long range transits in high sea states?

How about a small craft with suspension.

This technology separates the vessel’s hulls from the deck and superstructure via a ‘passive reactive’ interlinked hydraulic system which enables a significant departure from conventional naval architecture compromises and provides increased levels of ride comfort, control and stability whether stationary or travelling at speed.

Watch the video

Looks pretty clever to me, but what would I know!

Nauti Craft
Nauti Craft

Read more about the Holyhead Marine Offshore Raiding Craft

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Peter Elliott
June 30, 2014 12:22 pm

The 4 legged versions seems particularly clever. Although the construction of the prototype didn’t look super robust.

June 30, 2014 12:50 pm

Or we could just go ahead with the CB90s the RM have been playing about with in the past couple of years as the force protection craft. The Swedes even deployed some during the last big exercise up in Scotland based off one of our vessels.

Or for that matter buy them for the navy in general and man them with sailors like the US does with the the Riverine Command Boat, i.e. a CB90 with a RWS and a lot more guns on deck.

Does anybody know why the RM seem to have the monopoly on craft like this. Surely ratings are cheaper training wise than RM with all the commando training to go with it?

June 30, 2014 1:24 pm

Randomer, it’s probably because of the roles. Practically, the CB90 is a “gunboat”, using one of them as a landing craft puts it at more risk. LCUs are simple, cheap and easily replaceable, more so than a gunboat with electronics, radar and weapons. You can dual role one, but it becomes a case of putting an expensive unit into harm’s way for little improvement.

June 30, 2014 2:21 pm

Fascinating technology. For a minute I did think it’s just an expensive ride quality improved (which can be something of a tactical advantage in of itself) but if you watch the comparative loss of momentum between the yellow and while boats in a turn, and in one case as the white boat tries to learn how to fly, you can see how this could really improve a RM landing. You could also argue that the platform stability at the dock towards the end of the video could aid in loading and unloading.
Undoubtedly a better gun platform.
I think I would want some serious testing before use. If it goes wrong, I bet it REALLY goes wrong.
Probably makes a great pleasure boat, but maybe not a good design to get shot at.

The Other Chris
June 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Curious as to what Sea State this is effective to and what the capability is after that point? Worse? Same?

June 30, 2014 3:45 pm

Can’t think of a single ‘good design to get at’ in, up to and including battleships… but pedantry aside, and assuming that the mechanism could be made sufficiently rugged and reliable (although, having said that, introducing any kind of vibration dampening/stability mechanism tends to make everything more rugged and reliable, anyway), and further assuming that a good enough case can be made for spending more money on toys for the Marines when the prevailing view is that everything should be spent on aircraft and armoured things, then I see only one big hurdle to its adoption, and it’s one which has been covered on this blog, already:
Concrete Canvas looks beyond the MoD

“There were so many hurdles to jump through that just didn’t make sense. And it was impossible to talk to the actual decision maker.”

June 30, 2014 4:41 pm

I acknowledge that the RN and USN see it as more of a gunboat but originally it was designed to move Amfibiekåren around the archipelago and coastal areas rather than act as a fighting vessel in itself.

The original models don’t have that much in the way of electronics etc. compared to the command versions or the USN one.

June 30, 2014 5:23 pm

Observer re CB90 not be a landing craft.

Odd they were designed for exactly that purpose………..

Docksta Varvet offer a patrol boat with a hull design like CB90 but with the wheelhouse amidships and with capability to fit a gun on the bow.

comment image

Note the doors in the bow. Wheelhouse well forward so the embarked force are carried near to the centre of the boat to help prevent motion sickness and other effects.

June 30, 2014 5:34 pm

x, know the difference between landing craft and infiltration ships. Landing craft work on a much larger scale i.e amphibious landings, this is simply the old assault boats writ large though there is a mix of the gunboat in there too.

What was that name again? Combat “Patrol” Boat? Or Combat Landing Craft?

Randomer, if they were originally designed to be assault boats, then you probably got a case of capability creep. Which isn’t impossible or a bad thing, just that it seems like the original role got subsumed by the gunboat role.

June 30, 2014 5:40 pm

@Randomer – RM manning of Landing Craft dates from the post WW2 era. Basically after WW2 they were the only people interested in keeping them and maintaining the knowledge (unsurpisingly).

Its an arrangement that seems to have worked quite well over the years and has probably been why we haven’t the ampbihous raiding capability over the years.

June 30, 2014 5:44 pm

@ Observer


Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
June 30, 2014 5:58 pm

@ Observer – “…if they were originally designed to be assault boats, then you probably got a case of capability creep. Which isn’t impossible or a bad thing, just that it seems like the original role got subsumed by the gunboat role.” – Just like APC’s and IFV’s then? ;p

June 30, 2014 6:30 pm

ST, maybe, if you looked at it from the Russian side. :)

The west developed the IFV in a “me too!” competition against the Warsaw pact, so doubt there was really too much thinking behind it. Only the implications and the counter.