The River Delta Combat Support Vessel, or RDCSV in short, was a vessel designed around an unique set of requirements. It was meant to be a ship that could support the boots on the ground in any riverine environment and support them in any task a modern military has to do: disaster relief, peacekeeping, assaults, anti-terrorism etc. The requirements for the vessel were born from the fact that warfare these days is not country against country, but a far more complex and confusing situation. Because of that, it was seen as likely that a ship operating before a coast would not be enough in many circumstances and it was required for the ship to move inland and provide support there.
The resulting RDCSV, commonly called Rivercat or Bargecat, was an vessel that could do many things, but most of them not at the same time.
- The catamaran hull and waterjets give the ship a top speed of 20 knots
- The MONARC gun forwards can provide fire support
- By lowering the 'barge' under the hull, the ship can reduce it's draft to less then 2 meters (aft) and 1,2 meters (forwards), reducing the safe top speed to 5 knots.
- The 2 schottel jet thrusters under the bows serve as emergency propulsion and allow for operations with the ship with a draft less then 1 meter, allowing use as a landing craft.
- When the barge is lowered, the area under the superstructure can be used as cargo deck, increasing cargo deckspace by 200% while the lowered barge also increases the available displacement for additional cargo.
- When lowered, the forward cargo door is accessable from the aft barge cargo area, allowing Ro-Ro operations when in low draft mode.
- The stern 'barge' has very little submerged volume as it has no bulwarks, so can be used for Flo-Flo operations or for the launching of boats and amphibious vehicles. When in raised position, it can be used as additional cargo area but has no direct rolling access to the forward cargo door (the crane can transport cargo between the 2 'barges' though)
- The ship is equipped to be seagoing, but only in carefully ballasted and stowed condition. Big waves will lead to discomfort due to them slamming the bottom of the barge decks, so it is not recommended (but also not impossible) to make ocean transfers with the ship.
All in all, the ships highly modular cargo deck makes her capable of taking on containerised equipment for any role that would be required of her. Having traits of an old-fashioned gunboat, a landing craft, an workvessel and a patrol boat, the RDCSV is a true spiritual successor to the historical gunboats operating on the worlds coasts, lakes and rivers in both war and peacetime. The small class of 5 ships was commissioned from 2012 onwards.