24 Maret 2016
Special Operations Craft - Riverine (photos : Shephard, TAF)
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) received six Special Operations Craft - Riverine (SOC-R) on 18 March to replace aging Patrol Boat Riverine (PBR).
These 10m-long SOC-R boats were built by Marsun, the Thai dockyard that also built the first three M10 Mk I SOC-Rs in 2012. These latest M10 Mk II boats are designed to operate along inland waterways and in coastal areas, chiefly to support special operations.
Propulsion comes from two 420hp engines with waterjets offering maximum speeds of 40+kt. They carry five crewmen and eight troops. The heaviest possible armament consists of three .50-cal machine guns.
These new SOC-Rs of the Riverine Squadron will operate in inland and boundary waterways like the Mekong River and Golden Triangle.
Their missions are to keep the peace, prevent illegal immigration, human trafficking, drug smuggling or any actions that harm homeland security. The SOC-Rs also provide fire support in combat situations.
Additionally, the boats will be used in humanitarian relief missions and to protect the royal family and VIPs.
Old Patrol Boat Riverine (photo : TAF)
The RTN needs more than 40 SOC-Rs to replace the Riverine Squadron’s 39 aging PBRs, some of which are more than 30 years old. All will be locally built.