The CTruk Thor

In the recent Type 26 GCS project I wrote that the new adaptable mission bay could accommodate a 12m vessel weighing up to 15 tonnes, somewhat larger than the normal 8 or 9 metre RHIB.

So what is the potential of this additional capacity, bigger is not always better (stop sniggering), but for some operations it may well provide a greater uplift in capability than we might think.

CTruk has featured on Think Defence several times over the years, they are an innovative British manufacturer of composite small craft, mostly for the offshore energy industry. One of their recent developments has been to look at the defence and security applications of their composite technology and design experience.

The CTruk Thor is an 11m composite twin hull vessel that can be configured as a troop carrier, riverine or force protection craft. With a compact radar, electro-optical sensor system, remote weapon system and enclosed accommodation, it offers a longer endurance and better weather protected version of the Royal Marine’s Offshore Raiding Craft for maritime security operations, counter-piracy, force protection and extended operations away from the ‘mothership’, two or three days perhaps.

The extensive use of composites reduces weight, useful considering the 15-tonne crane limit on the Type 26 GCS.

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Am also thinking that composite construction might lend itself to the MCM mission.

However good it is though, it cannot possibly approach the coolness of the Avenger.


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October 28, 2015 10:20 pm

All nice ideas, but the perennial problem is having the stuff with you when you need it. Arguably the CTruk multi-hull might be embarked quite often – it could be configured like a mini-Combat Boat 90 and there are many inshore areas of current and future interest where you might expect to use that kind of muscle from a locally patrolling frigate. But the Avenger is just so very Thunderbirds… you’d want to have one of those at the back of the garage on a permanent basis, but it would be taking up room and never being used, and getting in the way when RHIBs and so on are being moved about or maintained until, one day, you just happen to be in range of a natural disaster…

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
October 28, 2015 10:35 pm

Shame about the CB90 but if we are doing inshore ops then to ORCs will be a great benefit. what not a lot of people are aware off is that ORCS come in 3 varieties with the “console” position aft mid or forad. this makes it more or less useful for certain types of ops. I.e. aft makes it a great gunship. forad lets a dive team carry a MIB or equivalent on the back.
the issue is not the size of the space for a CB90 it will carry a Merlin folded which is slightly longer it is the side launching space.

October 29, 2015 7:04 am

Thor looks nice; I especially like the deck area – current RHIB-types just lack proper work space for transport, treatment of casualties or equipment storage (ladders for boardings). I also like its seakeeping ability; RHIBs bounce all over the place and is very tiresome and hard on your legs and spine during hours of chasing a contact, and a SWATH design is very stable.

Unfortunately THOR is a niche vehicle; its projected naval role (SAR, boardings/inspections) is currently performed by embarked RHIBs/ORCs and ships that could carry the larger THOR prob could carry CB90s (well deck) or simply larger or more RHIBs (crane), or use an embarked helo.
(or LCUs

If however a larger ship could carry a number of these – like LPDs – these little stable boats could indeed fullfill a deployable MCM or remote USV inspection role, especially since THOR has a 3 day endurance.

October 29, 2015 12:19 pm

Never seen these before, but what a great piece of kit. Lets sell all our old kit and replace the lot with these. This would be an amazing step change in capability if the T26 and T45’s had these.

Seems to me to be a no brainer if they come in around the £1m mark or less. It just goes to show that there is some amazing kit out there and sometimes small things can add a whole new range of abilities larger vessels cost too much to provide. MCM from a mothership also springs to mind.

Clearly we won’t do this as it is off the shelf and the MOD loves to spend its money on failed R&D and crazy elongated procurement processes – but what if we were brave and ordered 100 or so. What would be the harm in that, given the normal level of waste in the MOD.

October 29, 2015 12:52 pm
Reply to  marcase

With reference to the video: at time index 0:13, is that an acoustic projector, like the LRAD?

October 29, 2015 1:04 pm
Reply to  Pacman27

Pacman, that first paragraph had my sarcasm alarms ringing, but you seem genuine… ;-)

(Edit: I’m talking about the Avenger, just to be clear)

Yes, sure, buy an even 100 and if their performance is less than stellar, rerole 50 or 60 to the RM. It would be an amphibious version of the Supacat ATMP, better able to follow the Vikings around, just as good at shifting light cargo from a helo to an FOB, or a casualty going the other way.

The remaining 40 or 50 of your notional 100 could simply be donated to SAR organisations around the UK and across the British Overseas Territories. I’m sure Morecambe Bay could use one or two. Ideal for that kind of terrain.

October 29, 2015 1:25 pm


I am very genuine here – and was talking about the Thor. Its well documented on this site the cost of FRES without delivery of a single vehicle, due to crappy procurement and strange requirements.

We have however found really innovative and great products right here at home (the husky and now this) that can and should be bought and used. I am a believer in getting off the shelf, buying cheap and moving it from Front line or in theatre to reserves rather than sustainability programmes. There is literally nothing wrong with us purchasing these in the various configurations and having 4 of these around a T26 or T45 would be just great, not least for the occupants. Seems like a no brainer for me. As for the Avenger I would also buy 100 of these as they will come in handy when we have the next big flood somewhere in the UK at the very least.

This doesn’t need a massive 5 year procurement exercise – someone just needs to make a decision and order them. It really is a no brainer to get this or something similar and better.

October 29, 2015 6:59 pm

The CTruk Thor for me is a no brainer for the T26 as it would give a broad spectrum of capabilities especially in the area of force protection but also an option as a platform for shallow water ASW.

October 29, 2015 8:47 pm

option as a platform for shallow water ASW.

Local control node for ASW USVs and UAVs. Bandwidth in the future worries me. Local WiFi networks might work for a swarm that can generate its own hotspot, but individually deployed vehicles without a tether will surely be increasingly vulnerable to EMCON in the future (I imagine it’s a growth area among those areas that are not much talked about in the public domain – i.e. the really interesting and profitable areas!).

Thus, just as it doesn’t take a genius to see that the F-35 will rapidly evolve into a local control node for UCAVs, so might the Thor might serve as an extension of the Type 26’s CiC in a contested electronic environment.

October 29, 2015 9:15 pm

I’m not really sure on the fighters controlling UAVs potential. The problem is that you can only do one thing at a time, fly the UAV or fly your plane. Not to mention the performance difference. Your FJ is going to be shackled with the performance of the UAV as it can’t get too far from its charge.

I’m also a bit ambivalent on the CTruk. Sure, it is a nice vehicle, but if you want to ship stores to the beach, why not an LCU? That hull looks like it loses a lot of volume. If you want ASW ships, volume is one thing you need too. I really can’t see the proposed benefit for such a change other than to look nice.

October 30, 2015 12:48 pm

There was a time when even the smallest of proper ships carried proper boats not just RIBS.
It is amusing that we now find it novel. I know the Finnish border guards biggest ship carries an 11m boat. And Germany’s “RNLI” prefers to launch daughter boats from larger boats over using intermediate sized boats. As for THOR well it’s not that novel really. Lots of companies worldwide building small multihulls out of plastics and aluminium. And the blurb always says they are “innovative”. T26’s mission bay will probably be used for additional storage and somewhere for Clubs to torture the crew more than anything ” exciting”………..

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
October 30, 2015 1:31 pm

I think The Type 22 was the last FF to carry a boat, a 24 foot Cheverton. Not quite the same level of capability as modern boats :) It is interesting that with differing tasks and capabilities as well as advances in hav and weapon systems that we may be looking at “boats” again to complemt rather than replace rhibs.

October 30, 2015 6:45 pm

we should get a couple of dozen Ctruk Thor’s for the T26. look awesome.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
October 30, 2015 7:14 pm

Since the Archers are hitting 30 years old, it seems to me that the Thor 11’s bigger brother, the Thor 19 might be a good replacement, when the time comes (though I guess the Archers probably have quite a lot of life left in them, as they probably don’t get used as hard as other vessels.

October 31, 2015 10:45 am

The Watercat M11 would also be an interesting addition.

October 31, 2015 2:44 pm

Also, didn’t realise that the CB90 was sub 12m also:

October 31, 2015 2:53 pm

Storebro SB90E

Length: 10.8m
Beam: 2.90m
Draft: 0.7m
Displacement: 7.2t
Range: Approx. 200 nm
Max. speed: Approx. 42 knots

October 31, 2015 2:58 pm

Stridsbåt 90 H(alv) (Combat Boat 90)

Length: 15.9m
Beam: 3.8m
Draft: 0.8m
Displacement: 20t
Range: Approx. 240 nm
Max. speed: Approx. 40 knots

October 31, 2015 3:04 pm

Marine Alutech WATERCAT M12 (Jurmo-class)

Length: 14.2m
Beam: 3.65m
Draft: 0.9m
Displacement: 14t
Range: Approx. 180 nm
Max. speed: Approx. 37 knots

October 31, 2015 4:05 pm

Olimp Nautica of Croatia M-46 high speed interceptor

Length overall 14.25 m
Beam overall 4.45 m
Project Draft 0.50 m
Draft (propeller included, trim in position high) 0.75 m
Displacement (with full fuel, no payload) 7300 kg
Max speed +55 Knots

November 1, 2015 7:12 pm

I like the Thor-11… Much as all the others are funky too, and the avenger is a bit ‘Thunderbirds’. The Thor seems to be a practical option, especially when, from what I’ve seen, the RHIBs are getting bigger and bigger.

The Avenger is more the RNLI bag I think