Navy SEALs’ Third Heavy Combatant Craft Set for Summer Delivery

Then-Secretary of the Navy Dr. Donald C. Winter uses a remote device to bring the SEAL Insertion, Observation and Neutralization (Sealion) craft into port at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in 2007. Sealion is a Technology Demonstrator craft for the U.S. Navy. U.S. NAVY / Lt. Shawn Eklund

ARLINGTON, Va. —The third Sealion combatant craft being configured for the Navy’s SEALs is scheduled for delivery this summer, which will bring the craft up to Full Operational Capability, a U.S. Special Operations Command official (SOCOM) said. 

Known formally as the Combatant Craft – Heavy (CCH), the low-profile Sealion is designed to provide long-range insertion and extraction capabilities for special operations forces. The approximately 80-foot-long Sealion has retractable masts for sensors and communications. Jet Skis, inflatable rubber raiding craft and diving equipment can be carried and launched out the stern. The craft can be carried inside a C-17 transport. 

Capt. Randy Slaff, program executive officer – Maritime for SOCOM, speaking May 19 in a webinar of the annual National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, said the third Sealion — Sealion III — has been built and will be delivered to SOCOM during the next two months after factory delivery trials. It was the first CCH built from the keel up for SOCOM under a $17 million contract awarded in 2017.  

Slaff said the first two CCHs, Sealion I and Sealion II, which were transferred to SOCOM by the Navy and were tailored to meet Navy Special Warfare needs, “are still going strong.” 

Sealion I has been serving SOCOM since 2014. 

A fourth CCH is planned for procurement to replace Sealion I, Slaff said. 

The Sealion III was built by Vigor Industrial’s Oregon Iron Works.