Landing craft of the Royal Marines
The landing craft
Landing craft
Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many Pacific islands during WWII...

 of the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

consist of a varied fleet of transport craft maintained by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and designed to transport the Royal Marines from ship to shore as well as conduct river or estuary patrols. The craft are generally classified according to their role. The larger vessels are designated as either Landing Craft Utility (LCU) or Landing Craft Vehicles & Personnel (LCVP). The smaller vessels are either Rigid Raiding Craft (RRC) or Inflatable Raiding Craft (IRC).


The majority of this class has been superseded by the Mk10s, and most were removed from service following the decommissioning of their mother ships, the Fearless class
Fearless class landing platform dock
The Fearless class amphibious assault ships were the first purpose built amphibious warfare vessels in the Royal Navy. The class comprised only two ships: and ....

 landing platform docks and . Three mk9s, pennant number
Pennant number
In the modern Royal Navy, and other navies of Europe and the Commonwealth, ships are identified by pennant numbers...

s 701, 705, and 709, remain in service as of 2008, and are fitted with Schottel Propulsor
A propulsor is a mechanical device that gives propulsion. The word is commonly used in the marine vernacular, and implies a mechanical assembly that is more complicated than a propeller. The Kort nozzle and Pump-jet are examples....



These operate from the Albion class
Albion class landing platform dock
The Albion class is a class of landing platform dock, and are the newest amphibious assault vessels in the Royal Navy fleet. The class consists of two vessels, and and they were ordered in 1996 under a programme known as LPD to replace the aging Fearless class...

 landing platform docks and , and the Bay class landing ship docks. Deliveries of the class started from 1998 and the fleet currently consists of ten vessels, bearing pennant numbers 1001 to 1010. This design, unlike the preceding MK9s, has both stern and bow ramps, allowing them to be loaded from both ends for the rapid embarkation of vehicles and troops.

Griffon 2000 TDX(M)

These consist of four aluminium-hulled hovercraft
A hovercraft is a craft capable of traveling over surfaces while supported by a cushion of slow moving, high-pressure air which is ejected against the surface below and contained within a "skirt." Although supported by air, a hovercraft is not considered an aircraft.Hovercraft are used throughout...

, ordered in 1993. They have a range of 300 nmi (555.6 km) at 25 knots (49 km/h). They are carried aboard the helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier
Helicopter carrier is a term for an aircraft carrier whose primary purpose is to operate helicopters. The term is sometimes used for both ASW carriers and amphibious assault ships....

 . The four craft, pennant numbers c21-24, can travel inland and over beaches to unload men and vehicles.


These landing craft came into service in 1986. Most are operated by the Royal Marines, though some are operated by the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and serve in the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

 as well as the UK. They are mostly used in independent Royal Marine formations.


These operate from HMS Ocean, Albion and Bulwark. Twenty one were ordered in 2001, and represent a considerably improved capability over the preceding MK4s. Four of the vessels can transport a full royal Marine company.

RRC and IRC operated by the Royal Marines

The Royal Marine Commandos operate large numbers of these two types of craft, deploying them in amphibious and riverine operations in environments ranging from the Arctic to the tropics. Examples of these craft are embarked on all amphibious warfare vessels. They can also be carried aboard other Royal Navy ships for use on patrol duties, such as searching ships.


Mexeflotes are large floating pontoons
Pontoon (boat)
A pontoon is a flotation device with buoyancy sufficient to float itself as well as a heavy load. A pontoon boat is a flattish boat that relies on pontoons to float. Pontoons may be used on boats, rafts, barges, docks, floatplanes or seaplanes. Pontoons may support a platform, creating a raft. A...

 that can be used independently or connected together to form a floating quay allowing equipment to be offloaded directly from ship to shore. They are operated by the Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
The Royal Logistic Corps provides logistic support functions to the British Army. It is the largest Corps in the Army, comprising around 17% of its strength...

 not the Royal Marines.

SDVs (Swimmer Delivery Vehicles)

Three of these 6-man mini-submarines are used to transport Special Boat Service
Special Boat Service
The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

 sabotage teams into enemy shorelines and harbours.
  • SDV Mk8 Mod 1
    SEAL Delivery Vehicle
    The SEAL Delivery Vehicle or is a manned submersible and a type of Swimmer Delivery Vehicle used to deliver United States Navy SEALs and their equipment for special operations missions....

External links

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