Ring Powercraft responded to Naval News via email in early February 2023.
The Ring Powercraft Tactical Water Craft (TWC) Vampire RHIB exist as VT1050 (10.5 meters/34.4 feet long by 3 meters/9.84 feet wide) and VT1250 (12.5 meters/41 feet long by 3.3 meters/10.8 feet wide). Both Vampires are made of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).
The Vampire VT1050 has the following characteristics:
- Crew: 2
- Jetskis: 2
- Top speed depending on engine selected: 40 knots
The Vampire VT1250 has the following characteristics:
- Crew: 6
- Jetskis: 4
- Top speed depending on engine selected: 50 knots
Both Vampires have the following features: “Forward console, single (VT1050) and twin (VT1250) inboard engine, jet or stern drive, lowered transom, deck tracking throughout, and the option of ballistic protection for the console.” According to Ring Powercraft, both Vampires have a “Modular tracked deck mounting system for rapid role change inter and intra mission, lowered transom to facilitate deployment/recovery, and forward-positioned console to optimize cargo space.”
“We do not supply weapons. However, gun mounts/other mounting systems can be adapted to fit to deck tracking,” said Ring Powercraft. Range is around 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers/230 miles) depending on the engine selection with the option to extend the range with larger fuel tanks.
Naval News: Is the wheel ramp powered or manual? How long does it take to launch and recover jetskis or CRRC (Combat Rubber Raiding Craft) boats from the stern wheel ramp?
Ring Powercraft: The track is manual but with fast electric winches. TWCs [Tactical Water Craft] are deployed with the boat at 10 kts and they literally roll off – so you can launch both skis in approximately 30 seconds. Recovery is at idle or stationary with winches so takes a bit longer – approximately 1 to 2 minutes to recover both skis.
Naval News: What helicopters and cargo aircraft can transport the Vampire RHIB–internally or externally slung?
Ring Powercraft: All deployment options are available – land, sea, or air insertion. Standard lifting is a three-or four-point lift so I believe underslung should be fine, but we have not done one yet. Hook or ramp loading options are available. Adaptations can be made for airdrop (recently we worked on the design for C-130) but in some cases, TWCs have to be airdropped separately (subject to the height restriction of the envelope). Worth noting that Ring’s hulls are race-derived high-performance hulls – hence they tend to be quite narrow which is great for airdrop/transport.
Naval News: What can the Vampire RHIB do for naval and special forces that other CRRCs and RHIBs cannot?
Ring Powercraft: Vampire’s modular capability is the real differentiating factor. It facilitates rapid role change inter and intra-mission. There is unlimited scope for bespoke track-mounted modules and the easy-to-operate fixing system allows for fast change at the base, on the mothership or offshore with a Vampire support vessel (subject to the module loading requirements). Modules are designed to secure specific equipment safely when underway at high speed. Examples include:
INSERTION – Troop seats
SURVEILLANCE – Drone launch/landing platform
SHAPING OPERATIONS – Dive equipment, compressor & tanks
TACTICAL MOBILITY – ATV(S) with loading ramp, canoes/inflatables
SEA CONTROL – Minesweeping (deployment of unmanned vehicles)
- Refueling for TWCs, other vessels, or dockside for land vehicles
- Emergency Maintenance
- Logistics Support
SEARCH & RESCUE – Rescue and medical equipment with shelter/cabin options
The Tactical Water Craft (TWC) Vampire variants offer vastly enhanced operational scope including:
RANGE EXTENSION: Long-range deployment factoring fuel limitations for TWCs and Whole Body Vibration (WBV) conditions for operators.
EXTENDED OFFSHORE PATROL TIME: TWC refueling capability and crew rest/recovery.
MULTIPLE POINT INTERCEPTION/SEARCH: With the Vampire able to contribute as a fast craft in the operation, the VT1050 offers three-point engagement [RHIB and two jetskis] and the VT1250 offers five-point [RHIB and four jetskis].
NO-FAIL MISSION: Multiple craft engagement mitigates redundancy risk.
FAST DEPLOYMENT & RETRIEVAL: Roll off – winch on system
LAND, SEA or AIR insertion capable.
Naval News: Have you sold any to naval units and special forces?
Ring Powercraft: Nothing operational as yet. We are in advanced talks with a number of SF/military/paramilitary clients but nothing can be publicized at this stage, unfortunately.
Naval News: Can you provide some background history and information as to how the Vampire RHIB idea came to fruition?
Ring Powercraft: Ring boats have always appealed to SF [special forces] users because of their performance and rough water handling. However, we started to notice themes coming through in tactical tenders: 1. There was increasing demand for a modular capability – So far that has really only been done with seats and we wanted to take it to the next level. 2. The range of equipment that users want to carry was increasing. The TWCs were an obvious place to start as there were clear operational advantages of being able to deploy these faster at longer-range target, or simply to extend range safely with operator conditions in mind – We had excellent support/input from end users who were keen to see the capability.
Naval News: Have you launched USVs or semi-submersibles from the stern ramp? And without a stern launching ramp, what else can the rear area do and carry…how large is that rear section?
Ring Powercraft: We have not tested that yet – but all equipment is being considered. The TWC loading track can be adapted for any type of vessel for easy launch/recovery. We are also looking at fixed-wing and rotary drones, Quad bikes/other ATVs, ballistic panels/shields, refueling/emergency maintenance modules, dive modules, and medical/ambulance modules – all of which would be track mounted to keep with the modular/change of use theme.