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Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC)

The Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC), the replacment for the Rigid Raiding Craft, provides Marine forces with a small craft designed to provide tactical waterborne lift for the conduct of conventional Military Operations in a riverine environment (MORE). SURC provides the USMC with a combat craft capable of transporting a 13-man infantry squad primarily in support of operations on inland waterways as well as in a variety of conditions on the open sea. The primary function of the SURC is to provide tactical mobility and a weapons platform for the Ground Combat Element (GCE) of a Marine Air GroundTask Force (MAGTF) in a riverine environment. In performing its primary mission, the SURC provides the mobility, speed, endurance, firepower, payload, survivability, and command and control capabilities to support sustained operations in a water dominated environnment.

The new boat can out-perform any other craft on the water. This boat can go from zero to 25 knots in 15 seconds. A top speed of 40 knots means Marines can move in and out of kill zones faster. Because of the twin 440 horsepower six-cylinder diesel engines, it can move and turn faster than our other boats. Additionally, it is the only boat with ballistic protection even around the engine compartment. "The old Raider craft could travel 75 nautical miles whereas the SURC can travel for 250 nautical miles. This boat is great both on (seaside and riverine) operations. Because of the way it is designed, it performs well both on the ocean and on rivers.

The SURC: - Integrates with the Global Positioning System (GPS) capability for position location - Integrates with currently fielded and future Combat Net Radio Systems (CNR) systems - Is interoperable with current and future universal weapon mounts and pintle adapters for tactical vehicles System Characteristics: * Maintains an average speed of 30 knots (threshhold), 35 knots (objective). * Is capable of beaching bow first on unobstructed shorelines with mud, sand, silt, and gravel surfaces (threshold) at one-quarter cruising speed (objective). * Remains afloat as a survival platform when filled with water. * Has a hull and propulsion system with a draft of 24 inches or less when operationally loaded in a stationary position. * Transports 13 combat loaded Marines plus 2 crew (threshold) and 18 combat loaded Marines with 2 crew (objective). * Hull: rigid * Has an organic heavy machinegun (threshold) mount(s) to integrate both organic medium and heavy machineguns (objective). * Capable of external tactical lift by a CH-53D (threshold) and MV-22 (objective).

The United States Marine Corps need to conduct raids, Noncombatant Evacuation, reinforcement, deception, show-of-force, security, peacekeeping, counter-drug, reconnaissance and surveillance operations in a riverine environment. The Marine Corps had three main small craft currently used to accomplish these missions: the Riverine Assault Craft (RAC), Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) and Rigid Raiding Craft (RRC). Marine Corps Riverine Assault Craft can be used for armed escort, command, control, and communications, transport, armed reconnaissance and pursuit. The RRC is nearing the end of its service life and was originally purchased as an Over-The-Horizon raid craft. The RRC was not designed for operations in a riverine environment. The Marine Corps needed to replace the RRC. This replacement craft will be called the Small Unit Riverine Craft and is intended to augment the RAC in riverine operations. Craft are needed in sufficient quantity to move a battalion (520) of Marines (~40-60 craft) plus spares for shore establishments.

The Rigid Raiding Craft (RRC) was employed to perform the functions and missions delineated for the SURC. This non-system item, however, was not designed to perform this role. It had performed marginally as a riverine craft due to its limited payload, slow speed, lack of self protection, and excessive noise signature. Additionally, the RRC had exceeded its 10 year expected service life and developed reliability problems in several major subsystems that have significantly degraded readiness. The RRC were over 10 years old and must be overhauled or replaced to ensure the continued viability and sustain ability of the system. Conducting required maintenance and refurbishing efforts to extend the service life of this craft continued to necessitate the expenditure of significant unit O&M funds. Although the refurbishing of these craft is nearing completion, this approach provided only an interim riverine capability until the SURC reached Full Operational Capability in FY 03.

The SURC transports combat loads as defined in the MAGTF Warfighting Center Troop Load Study, dated 26 June 1990. The minimal combat load is based on transporting a Marine rifle squad. A planning figure of 285 pounds per crewman/passenger was utilized. Objective payloads reflect the additional weight requirements associated with reinforcing the rifle squad with crew served weapons teams. The SURC passenger configuration is also be flexible to allow an increase in the number of passengers based on lighter individual combat loads and should readily accommodate the transport of noncombatants to support MOOTW.

Following a successful Milestone I Review, a formal Request For Proposals (RFP) for the SURC program was announced with full and open competition. Anticipated RFP release was in 2nd QTR of FY00. On January 5, 2000 the draft Operational Requirements Document for the Small Unit Riverine Craft was removed from the Marine Requirements Oversight Council agenda and returned to Marine Corps Combat Development Command for more information.

The Source Selection process consisted of two parts. First, from proposals received, two contractors were to be selected under formal source selection procedures to construct one prototype craft each for Developmental Testing. Selection of contractors was to be evaluated on best value and ability to execute the total program. The two contractors were to utilize the system specification to develop, build and deliver to the Government one craft each. Following a contractor shakedown period, each contractor was to deliver the prototype craft with test support for the conduct of Development Test & Evaluation (DT&E). DT&E was to serve as the second phase of the source selection to identify the contractor who can provide the best value to the Marine Corps. The contractors were to receive reimbursement for their efforts in the source selection process.

It was intended for the production for the SURC to be awarded to the E&MD contractor. The contractor executes a traditional production program with facility preparation, ramp-up, and ramp down of production, in addition to support initial fielding of the craft to include initial spares provisioning package and manuals. The Marine Corps requirement was 53 craft (based on threshold troop size carried) with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) scheduled for FY03.

The Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), Infantry Weapons Systems, intended to acquire, through unrestricted competition, up to 100 Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC) beginning in FY2002. The system would consist of the combat craft, carrying trailer, associated outfit, and specified Government Furnished Equipment. Additional requirements for Test Support, Training, Training Aids, and Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for the SURC systems at Camp Lejeune, NC were also included. The resulting ID/IQ contract would consist of one (1) base and four (4) option periods, for a total of five (5) years. Multiple contract awards will not be made. Delivery orders were to be issued throughout the duration of the contract up to the maximum quantity.

From January through June 2002, the the source selection team for the small unit riverine craft was directly responsible for executing an innovative commercial acquisition strategy that will cure chronic operational deficiencies, which currently plague Marine operations in the vital mission area of small unit riverine craft. The implemented this solution within 12 months of the contract award, while overcoming substantial program obstacles, such as schedule and budget, that had previously stalled the effort and jeopardized procurement funding.

Departing from an original acquisition strategy that was hampered by poorly constructed program requirements and lack of empirical planning data, this team mitigated the technical and schedule risk by developing a solid commercial acquisition business strategy which was based on both operational priorities and market conditions within the small boat sector. This strategy optimized competition among a pool of 10 viable vendors, integrated the results of the performance/risk modeling into all facets of the competition, and leveraged the results to execute a highly innovative contracting strategy, which culminated in a contract award in less than six months.

Throughout the entire period, under an aggressive schedule, the team implemented decisions based upon quantitative, analytical merit that factored both technical and business elements into the process. Their efforts saved the Marine Corps a potential $2.13 million over three years, accelerated the deployment schedule by three years, and realized the potential for significantly greater savings should all option quantities be purchased and the combat variant of the craft be introduced during the third option year.

The same program team was also honored by the Marine Corps Systems Command for executing the program contract. This team was established following the contract award for the small unit riverine craft in May 2002. The team established the goal "to design, produce, field, and support the best craft to transport Marines during combat operations in a littoral environment." The team formed integrated product and process teams in program management, systems engineering, and supportability that consisted of government and contractor co-chairpersons.

Despite the physical team separation of West and East Coasts, communication within the team was outstanding. This team has demonstrated the ability to plan for success and to overcome all challenges arising during testing. An example of the team's flexibility and adaptability was seen during verification testing when the displacement of the boat created a draft that was deeper than what was required.

On July 24, 2002 an industry team led by Raytheon's Naval & Maritime Integrated Systems (N&MIS) business unit has been awarded a competitively procured contract to produce Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC) for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The Raytheon team will produce up to 100 SURCs, with a nominal contract value of $30 million and a potential contract value of up to $60 million. Procured as a commercial item, the Marine Corps team used performance-based acquisition practices and an innovative strategy that reduced the procurement cycle time to less than six months.

The Raytheon team includes Safe Boats International of Port Orchard, Wash., and Boat Master of Fort Myers, Fla. Safe Boats will design and manufacture the craft at its Port Orchard, Wash. facility using patented and state-of-the-art techniques. Boat Master will manufacture specially designed trailers that meet the multiple SURC requirements. SURC operations and maintenance will take place at Camp Lejeune.

The Raytheon-Safe Boats SURC would change the way the USMC conducts future boat operations in the littorals. Under the contract, the Raytheon team will design, develop and manufacture the new craft and then provide worldwide logistics support for the SURCs. Raytheon managed the program from its offices in Poulsbo, Wash., with additional operations with the USMC at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and in Norfolk, Va.

Acceptance trials began in April 2004; testing two craft every six weeks. Six craft were fielded to Iraq in late September 2004 and saw action in the Battle of Fallujah. Four craft were shipped to Iraq in November 2004.

The force Small Craft Company brought to Iraq included a few of the new 39-foot SURC capable of carrying three weapons systems per craft, making them the most dangerous thing in the water. Not only do we have the most firepower on these boats compared with the Rigid Raider Craft, but the speed and maneuverability blows other tactical boats out of the water. Although the Riverine Assault Craft carried four weapons systems on board, the speed and maneuverability of the SURC makes it a better fighting platform.

In April 2004, the assault on Fallujah raged inside the city. There were reports of insurgent movement to and from the city via the Euphrates River, creating a liquid highway for trafficking people and weapons. It was up to 2d Marine Division's Small Craft Company to stop it. To do so they relied on the latest fusion of speedboat and warfighting craft-the Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC). The boat proved itself to be perfectly suited for the environment in Iraq. It held up well right off the shelf.

In addition to housing Marines and sailors from the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Haditha Dam is also one of Iraq's largest sources of electrical power, providing power to many parts of Al Anbar Province as well as Baghdad. The Marines use Small Unit Riverine Craft in 2006 to patrol the Euphrates River and the nearby manmade Lake Qadisiyah to search for insurgent activity and keep Iraq's waterways secure. They also protect the hundreds of fisherman and farmers who work all day long along the banks of the river and the lake. As the Marines patrol the bodies of water around the dam, they also keep their eyes open for any suspicious activity on the banks of the water.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:55:57 ZULU