Sealion, the secret ship for US special operations

The United States Navy has three levels of stealth ships to carry out special operations. Among them, The largest and most secret is the Combatant Craft HeavyCCH for its acronym in English, also known as Sealion. It currently has three of them and it has recently been known that it has granted a contract for the production of the fourth and with the option of a fifth of this boat whose exact capacitiesas well as the missions in which he has participated, are classified and kept secret.

The Navy's CCH modernization plans include retiring the first two Sealions produced and keeping the third, fourth and fifth operational. The first three were manufactured by Oregon Iron Workscurrently a division of Industrial Vigor.

The first two were technology demonstrators and only the third was built from scratch to Navy specifications. It is not known if Oregon Iron Works is involved in the construction of the new Sealion, but the Navy has said it will incorporate lessons learned from the production of the third, delivered in 2021. Sealion-I and Sealion-II were in the first decade of this century.

Sealion-I.Industrial Vigor.

The Sealion is a versatile vessel, designed for the US Navy's Special Warfare Special Boat Teams, which has a lead role in the long-term clandestine insertion and extraction of Navy SEALs in medium to high-level threat environments. It also has limited coastal patrol and maritime interdiction capabilities.

'The CCH is a fully enclosed, climate-controlled, semi-submersible vessel that operates in contested environments,' the Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request states. 'The CCH is NSW's (Naval Special Warfare) most versatile and rugged combat vessel and the vessel of choice for sensitive maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.'

'CCH capabilities' include a 'speed of 40 knots (74 km/h); 7 crew + 12 passengers/payload of 1,500 kilograms; and a range of 400 nautical miles (740 km)'. 'The payload capacity of CCH allows the inclusion of impact mitigation seats for piloting crewswhich is critical to ride quality, operator tactical readiness, and operator health,' the budget documents state.

Sealion-II.Industrial Vigor.

The boat is designed with thermal and acoustic insulation materials, minimizing your noise and heat signatures to further improve your stealth. More than 23 meters longthe Sealion can be transported by C-5 and C-17 cargo aircraft or well-classified L-class amphibious deck craft.

The CCHs are equipped with retractable masts, allowing them to operate discreetly while maintaining situational awareness. Furthermore, these vessels have the capacity to launch and recover jet skis, inflatable rubber assault boats and even individual combat divers through a rear hatch. They feature advanced technology, including radar and navigation systems and a variety of sensors, but their specifications are not known. The Sealion's low profile and stealth capabilities make it ideal for covert operations.