The Mark V SOC (Special Operations Craft) primarily serves the United States Navy's Navy SEALs special forces group as a high-speed insertion/extraction vessel with the ability to carry up to 16 SEAL specialists along with its standard operating crew of five or six. Additionally, the craft can serve as a general patrol vessel in low engagement areas and as a launching platform for unmanned aerial vehicles. Built by Halter Marine, Incorporated, the initial Mk V boats were delivered beginning in 1995 with some 20 total craft accounted for. Full operational status was achieved by 1999.
When serving the Navy SEALs, the Mark V can carry up to four CRRCs (Combat Rubber Raiding Craft) complete with outboard motors including two motors held in reserve. A handy ramp at the stern makes for easy pick up of the CRRC's and SEAL team as the vessels can come right up and unto the Mark V. Self-defense is accounted for through at least five weapon mounts that can provide a field of active fire covering all 360 degrees of the vessel (along with any personal weapons deployed by the crew). Armament initially included single-mount heavy caliber and general purpose machine guns and automatic grenade launchers but the arsenal has since grown to include a station for the (man-portable) Stinger surface-to-air missile system, miniguns, chain guns, cannons and twin heavy machine gun mounts. It should be noted, however, that the Mark V series is not an ideal offensive weapons platform and is generally reserved for low-to-medium engagement threats - it remains primarily a high-speed insertion/extraction vessel with a secondary role of coastal patrol/interdiction.
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