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Wing Inflatables meets new, stringent U.S. Army requirements

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Wing Inflatables’ P Series combat rubber raiding craft (CRRC) recently met a challenging set of never-done-before requirements released by the U.S. Army for inflatable boats.

The CRRC is made with Cooley Group’s Coolthane® polyurethane fabric to provide a longer life and up to three times the puncture resistance of Hypalon® or PVC. Its patent-pending hull design creates hydrodynamic lift and compartmentalizes the running surface to reduce vacuum, allowing the craft to reach higher speeds with heavier loads.

The new Army requirements specify that the boats be propelled with lightweight 30hp multi-fuel engines (Evinrude 30HP MFEs), with heavy payloads of almost 10 times the weight of the bare boat at speeds of 18.4 mph or greater in challenging sea states. These performance requirements had to be achieved while reducing the weight from the previously-used legacy boats, all while maintaining the external dimensions of the inflated and deflated craft (to maintain 30 years of deployment equipment for ships, helicopters and submarines).

Under light load conditions of 800 pounds, with a 40hp engine, Wing’s P4.7 exceeds 30 mph. It also features 20 percent more usable deck space and is nearly 50 pounds lighter than similarly-sized models.

The 15.5-foot and 10-foot CRRCs are in validation testing at the Army testing facility in Norfolk, Va. In addition, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) recently selected the Wing P4.7 to replace all of its aging, existing line of European-made boats.

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