A component of the war in Ukraine is maritime operations, as Ukraine struggled to maintain control of its waters and rivers against Russian invasion. The recent evacuation of Russian forces from Snake Island off the coast of Ukraine signaled a shift in initiative towards Ukraine to protect its coastline and rivers. Now that Ukraine has demonstrated its ability to engage short- and medium-range targets, the United States has agreed to bolster some of the capabilities Ukraine needs to maintain that hard-earned control over its own waters.
The United States has pledged $1 billion in new military assistance through the Presidential Withdrawal Authority and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Among the various items included were a set of river patrol boats and maritime combat gear comprising two 35ft small unit river craft; six 40-foot sea combat craft; and ten 34-foot Dauntless Sea Ark patrol boats.
The 35ft Small Unit River Craft (SURC)
The Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC) replaced the Rigid Raiding Craft, used by Navy and Navy forces that require a small boat designed to provide tactical water lift when conducting conventional military operations in a river environment or near the beach. A SURC provides the USMC with a boat capable of transporting 13 infantrymen in support of operations on various waterways and in various conditions on the high seas. The vessel combines mobility, speed, endurance, firepower, payload and survivability, as well as command and control capabilities to support sustained maritime operations.
The SURC is a rocket and can go from zero to 25 knots in 15 seconds. With a top speed of 40 knots, troops can move in and out at high speed. Equipped with two 440 horsepower six-cylinder diesel engines, it is also fuel efficient with a range of 250 nautical miles.
With regard to on-board equipment, the SURC is equipped;
Global Positioning System (GPS) capability for position location
Net Radio Systems (CNR) Combat Systems
It uses current universal weapon mounts and has hitch adapters for Tactical Vehicle System specifications.
It can be beached first on sand, silt, mud or loose rock shores at up to 10 knots without damage.
If shot down, it will remain afloat for the survival of the crew.
It can also be transported by medium-lift helicopters on land or at sea.
For Ukraine, this boat will most likely be used by their own special operations forces or navies for raids, evacuations, mobile reinforcements and for security off the beach, in ports and for patrolling rivers .
The SURC is produced by Raytheon Integrated Naval and Maritime Systems (Does Raytheon make everything?)
Metal Shark, 40ft maritime combat vessel
The Metal Shark 40′ Defiant is a welded aluminum patrol boat designed by Metal Shark in Jeanerette, Louisiana. It’s done
43 feet but who counts?
The sharp angular profile boat is powered by twin diesel inboards and water jets achieving a sprint speed of over 35 knots with superb dynamic stability in a range of sea conditions. It is also highly fuel efficient at cruising speeds of 10 to 15 knots, which are the speeds at which these types of craft typically operate during operations. The Defiant incorporates ballistic protection and can be armed with a range of crew-served and remote-controlled weapons.
For Ukraine, this vessel can be used by police, special forces and their navy for various purposes. Given the Minnesota-like weather in the country, the enclosed cockpit and heater will keep it running even in the winter. Its all-metal construction also makes it a good platform for various radars, radios, optics, and weapons like heavy machine guns that require sturdier mounts.
34 feet Dauntless Sea Ark-class patrol boats
SeaArk Marine of Monticello, Arkansas builds a range of metal boats from 18 to 85 feet for government and law enforcement agencies. They are operated by the US Navy, Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard and other agencies. They feature Deep-V hull designs for offshore patrol, law enforcement, search and rescue, and personnel transport.
With a length of 40 feet and a width of 12 feet, they draw a shallow draft of 2 to 3 feet. Equipped with 380 hp Twin Cummins diesel engines, they can reach 35 to 45 knots depending on their assigned weight in terms of weapons and personnel.
The Dauntless has been replaced by the Defiant 40′ mentioned above, which probably means that the United States continues the practice of giving abandoned and abandoned weapons to Ukraine, which, to be honest, has been very well used so far. It should also be noted that the costs represented in these military aid figures do not represent the actual value of these weapons and materiel today, but their value when purchased new.
The relatively small number of boats (only 18) will extend its river and port security capabilities, but you really need more than 100 in total to do the job properly.