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Steller Systems reveals trials of offshore insertion craft scaled demonstrator

A screenshot showing the scaled demonstrator beached during testing. (Steller Systems)

UK ship design house Steller Systems has performed sea trials of a subscale concept demonstrator intended to prove a novel hullform that could be exploited as the basis for a future high-speed offshore insertion craft.

Funded by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) through the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Novel Amphibious Craft competition, the demonstrator has “successfully proven the innovative features” of a full-scale craft designed to improve the performance and safety of beach landings, Steller Systems announced on 2 April. As well as revealing details of the trials, the company also released accompanying video footage.

Launched in January 2023 the DASA Novel Amphibious Craft competition has set out to demonstrate and de-risk a series of candidate concepts and innovative technologies potentially applicable to a future Commando Insertion Craft (CIC) planned to enter service later this decade. The CIC has been conceived as a new-generation medium-lift amphibious craft to replace the Royal Marines' current Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel Mk 5 landing craft.

Under the DASA Novel Amphibious Craft programme, Steller Systems in April 2023 received a 12-month Dstl contract valued at GBP400,000 (USD502,424) for the build and test of a 6 m demonstrator scaled so as to be representative of a larger 19 m offshore insertion craft design capable of delivering personnel and equipment over large distances with minimum fatigue. Construction of the demonstrator was undertaken during mid-2023 in conjunction with an industry team that also included Golden Arrow Marine, SR Structures, GSD Technologies, and EMS Engineered Marine Systems.

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