I am pleased to be invited to go behind the scene of the National Day 2014 ‘s Dynamic Defence Display (D3). Part of the D3 is the Sea display by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), featuring the Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB). The D3 segment simulates a seaborne intruder, who is intercepted by the elite Naval Diving Unit (NDU) on the RHIB and the PK Class Interceptor Craft from the Police Coast Guard.
The RHIB (Madera make?) is commonly used in patrol duties and especially in ship boarding operations. Powered by two inboard water jets, it is capable of travelling over 30 knots to reach its objective. Depending on its mission layout, it can carry up to 13 operators (a full section), and mounts a CIS 0.50Cal (12.7mm) Machine Gun in front of the coxswain and depending on tis variant and mission, a FN MAG 7.62mm Machine Gun by the aft.
A chat with the NDU revealed that while we were hanging on to dear life and speeding down Marina Bay, we were only travelling at 25 knots, which was considered slow to them. It is evident that the NDUs are fully at ease with the water and the equipment they master. The below was stopped at the last couple of seconds in order to protect my camera from the back splash made during the emergency stop.
The Deep V rigid Hull nature,seen above, of the RHIB allow the vessel to cut to waves with ease and with the air tubes, the RHIB can remain afloat even if it has taken it large amount of water. The air tubes also allow it to easily go alongside ships for boarding operations without damaging its hull. The water jet also ensure high manoeuvrability, speed and the ability to ”emergency stop” which we were able to experience the full effect from. Below, you can see the diver utilising the dual feed system of the CIS .50 MG, feeding the rounds from the right, instead from the standard left, a feature that only the CIS .50 is capable of.
Also with us are the Police Coast Guards’ PK Class Interceptor crafts “Swordfish” and “Spikefish”, with its top speed of 50 knots , they have no problem catching up with us and the ‘intruder’. On board with them are the Special Task Squadron, the sea counterpart to the Special Operation Command operatives. Seen below is the M4 Beneilli shotgun for maximum personnel stopping power. They later have the task of apprehending the intruding boat, while we provide cover from the back.
By the time out five runs were over, we were all soaked with Marina water. Many thanks to Mindef, Republic of Singapore Navy, and Singapore Coast Guard for putting up such a good show and featuring the NDU and PCG’s professionalism and proficiency The Dynamic Defence Sea Display is part of the Dynamic Defence Display segment after the parade marches off. More on the D3 segment soon.