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PC-1 Cyclone class
Patrol Coastal Craft

The primary mission of these ships is coastal patrol and interdiction surveillance, an important aspect of littoral operations outlined in the Navy's strategy, "Forward...From the Sea." The craft are able to transport small SEAL teams and their specialized delivery craft or Coast Guard boarding teams for counter-drug inspections. These ships also provide full mission support for Navy SEALs and other special operations forces. The Cyclone class ships are assigned to Naval Special Warfare. Of the thirteen ships, nine operate out of the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Special Boat Squadron Two, and four operate from the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado at San Diego. These ships provide the Naval Special Warfare Command with a fast, reliable platform that can respond to emergent requirements in a low intensity conflict environment.

They have limited endurance for their size, and their combat systems and ammunition allowance do not compare well with similar ships in most other navies. They are about ten times the size of their predecessors but carry about the same payload. It was belatedly discovered that they are too large for the close inshore work for which they were intended.

Smaller than most Navy vessels, at 180 feet, PCs still pack a lot of punch. With a top speed of 35 knots and two 25mm chain guns capable of pumping out a blistering 175 rounds per minute, as well as many other small arms, a would-be terrorist should think twice before trying to make a run past these guys.

The craft have Vosper fin stabilization system and a stern wedge to improve trim at high speeds. Kevlar armor is fitted to the command space. PC 5 and later use heavier superstructure plating. The minimum speed is 3 kts. They were to carry two 16-ft. SEAL CRRC (Combat Rubber Raiding Craft) and one 18-ft rigid inflatable swimmer delivery craft, but on completion carry only the RIB. There is a recessed platform at the stern for swimmer debarking and embarking. Displacement has grown about 15 tons during construction, but they are still much lighter than their missile boat half-sisters in the Egyptian, Omani, and Kenyan navies. Further modifications are expected to raise the full load displacement to 341 tons. They can refuel at sea, using astern fueling rigs. An active radiated noise cancellation system is to be added.

The Sperry Vision 2100M combat system employs the navigational radars and the Sperry Voyage Management System integrated navigation and control system as a combat data suite. Ammunition supply includes 2,000 rounds 25-mm, 2,000 rounds .50 cal, 2,000 rounds 7.62-mm, and 1,000 40-mm grenades. Plans to fit Hellfire missiles have been dropped. The after Mk 38 mounting has been replaced with a stabilized Mk 96 mount with combined 25-mm gun and 40-mm grenade-launchers in lieu of previous plan to fit a stabilized multi-purpose mount fore and aft; the unwieldy Mk 38 mount forward will be retained.

There were initially four interchangeable mountings for .50 cal and 7.62-mm machineguns or Mk 19 40-mm grenade launchers: one to starboard at the stern, and three on the bridge (two port, one starboard); two bridge positions are now occupied by twin .50 cal mounts. The radar intercept equipment was developed for use on helicopters. Each Mk 52 decoy rocket launcher carries 12 ready-service rounds, and 15 more rockets per launcher are carried in adjacent lockers. The decoy launchers in one unit are to be replaced by two 12-round, 102-mm ML Aviation Super Barricade rocket launchers mounted on superstructure platforms for trials.

Navigation systems include Global Positioning System and Loran receivers. Radio gear includes LST-5C SATCOM/line-of-sight UHF transceiver, A5 Spectra VHF radio, ICM120 Marine Band radio, and RF 5000 HF, VRC-92A VHF, and VRC-83(V)2 VHF/UHF transceivers. AN/SAT-2A infrared signaling systems are fitted, and the Marconi Vistar stabilized FLIR sensor with integral low-light-level television camera is mounted on the mast. Have IFF transponder but no interrogation capability, although it may be added later. The sonar transducer is retracted within the hull at speeds above 14 kts.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:51:06 ZULU