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Two-person amphibian MK 3 folding kayak.

Date: 1987
750 x 900 x 5200 mm
Medium: Fibreglass, fabric, plastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Peter Pool, PJP Consultants Pty Ltd
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Kayak
Object No: 00039883

User Terms

    This two person MK3 folding kayak was built for Australian Special Forces military operations. It features a cockpit deck, spray skirts, bladed paddles, two flotational devices, a camouflage net and green beret with the Special Forces badge. This kayak was ideal for operations that required stealth, portability and reliability. It is one of 120 kayaks manufactured for the Australian Defence Force between 1986 and 1988. It was used by No 1 Commando Unit of the Australian Special Forces.
    SignificanceThis amphibian kayak is a unique example of Australian-designed and built maritime technology. It highlights covert operations by Australian Special Forces in the late 20th century and is manufactured to utilise materials and construction techniques purely for military purposes.
    HistoryAustralia established its first Special Forces unit during World War II. Known as Special Operations Australia (SOA) they were made up of small units of men who undertook surveillance, intelligence work, recovery, guerilla warfare tactics and secret raids. These types of missions required equipment that supported secrecy and stealth, such as the kayak.

    The Australian-designed and built amphibian MK3 folding kayak was specifically developed for the use of Special Forces units throughout the world. The operational role of this type of craft is to provide special Commando forces or SAS teams a platform to carry out operational missions without being detected. The British SBS Commandos who used kayaks during the Falklands War and some 200 SBS operations during WWII, found that they could successfully send in reconnaissance teams, secure beach landing positions, set up communication bases and provide an initial fighting force prior to a main invasion.

    The Amphibian MK3 with its composite skeletal frame and Hypalon hull skin, is capable of evading radar, heat seeking and noise detection devices. It has the capacity to transport two fully equipped commandos with 200 kilograms of extra equipment if required and can easily be stored and launched from Collins class submarines. It is also able to be deployed from other defence transport systems such as Landing Fall Parachute (LFP) or high-speed coastal patrol vessels.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Two-person amphibian MK 3 folding kayak

    Assigned title: Two-person amphibian MK 3 folding kayak.

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