Alaskans living on Kodiak Island created a bit of a buzz online recently when the US Navy decided to seemingly perform some testing on their Combatant Craft Assault boats, more commonly known as CCA’s.
Photos of the boats being unloaded from a C-17 Globemaster III, backed down a boat ramp, and ultimately floating in the water looked like the beginnings of a wild movie featuring a good looking action hero sporting a British accent known as ‘007’.
It appears that there were two different types of boats playing around the icy waters of Kodiak Island. The first vessel in question is known as the Combatant Craft Assault (CCA) which is a 41-foot long craft that is highly versatile, but small enough (by military standards) to be dropped out of and directly into the water from one of the aforementioned C-17 aircraft. The second appears to be a Combatant Craft Medium (CCM) Mk1, which is the 60-foot long variety.
CCA’s have the main purpose of running mid-range interdiction missions, deploying and extracting Navy SEAL and other special operations type individuals from sensitive or dangerous situations. Other tasks for the combatant craft will include special reconnaissance; combating terrorism; foreign internal defense; unconventional warfare; preparation of the environment; combating narco-terrorism; personnel recovery; and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS).
The contract to produce the single hull, twin-diesel-engine powered CCM Mk.1 was awarded to Oregon Iron Works, Inc. of Clackamas, OR who is purported to deliver a maximum number of 30 of these for 400 million dollars, putting these at roughly 13.33 million for each CMM Mk.1.
Likely by design, its hard to put a clear spec-sheet together for the CMM Mk.1, but other than knowing the 60-foot length, we know that the hull is made entirely of a composite material. Removable modular paneling may help aid the boat in additional protection from enemy fire, and the overall design will make the medium combat craft largely undetectable to enemy surveillance, even for close to shore operations. Additionally this CMM Mk.1 has a cruising speed of 40 knots (46mph) in a ‘sea state 3’, which means wave height from 1.25-2 meters (4.1-6.5 feet).
I think its safe to say that photographers on Kodiak Island don’t often take photos of local Sea Lions with a 13 million dollar boat in the background.