The U.S. Navy has ordered its third Sealion (Sea, Air, and Land Insertion, Observation, and Neutralization) semi-submersible stealth boat. This is one of the many experimental boats created for the navy SEALs and SOCOM (Special Operations Command) to help get commandos ashore without being detected. Work on Sealion was always kept quiet, in part because work on the concept began in Israel during the 1980s and the U.S. Navy began working on a SEAL version in the 1990s. In 2003 the first of these Sealion boats was delivered. Sealion 2 followed by 2008 and both were quietly used for some SEAL operations. This led to Sealion 3, which is under construction for service in 2018.
All three versions of Sealion were between 22 and 25 meters (70-80 feet) long and weighing under 30 tons (light, no fuel or cargo). This light weight and small size was so the Sealion could be quickly moved by air (in a C-17 or C-5) to where it was needed. Once in the water the Sealion carried a crew of up to seven plus twelve SEALs and their gear.