SAS Boat Troops are the regiment's amphibious experts. They specialise in amphibious insertion via various small boats. They have a similar, but not identical, role to the Royal Marine's Special Boat Service (SBS).
Boat Troop's role covers many aspects of amphibious warfare, although the emphasis is on amphibious insertion/extraction. Due to their overlapping roles, there is close cooperation and cross-training between Boat Troop and the SBS. A bitter rivalvry exists between the 2 special forces units but despite this, it was a combined forces of SBS/SAS troops that intercepted and stormed the MV Nisha cargo ship in 2001.
The men of Boat Troop are highly skilled in :
- Insertion and extraction of patrols via small boats
- Covert infiltration via shallow diving using rebreathers
- Underwater demolitions, including attacking ships in harbours with magnetic limpet mines
- Maritime Counter-Terrorism (MCT) - likely to be joint SAS/SBS operations.
SAS Boat Troop diving equipment includes close-circuit LAR-V Draeger rebreather devices.
The range of boats available to Boat Troop include :
- Inflatable Raiding Craft
Small rubber Inflatables, usually powered by single outboard motors. They can be stowed deflated aboard motherships until just before launch, or airdropped into the sea before inflation. They can also be inflated on the decks of surfaced submarines.
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- Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS)
RIBs are soft-skinned inflatable tubes attached to rigid hulls made of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). Known models include Arctic / Pacific boats in 22 ft / 28 ft versions. RIBs can carry up to 15 fully laden troopers at speeds up to 35 kt. Weapons and secure communications gear can be installed on the RIBs. Boat Troop use RIBs for river patrols, shore insertion/extraction and ship boarding.
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- Rigid Raiders
These fast and light boats with hulls made from GRP are almost unsinkable.
read more : rigid raiders