Commencing this June, U.S. Navy patrol craft Typhoon (PC-5) and Scirocco (PC-6) made a Mediterranean deployment, the first overseas voyage for units of the still-building Cyclone (PC-1) class. The Typhoon had been repainted in a three- tone light blue/light gray/dark gray camouflage scheme that was nonetheless unlikely to conceal the 331-ton ship from modern sensors or alert lookouts. Canvas covers the main armament, a Mk 38 Pintel mounting forward for a Mk 88 Bushmaster 25-mm chain gun and a newly installed, stabilized Mk 96 mount with the same gun plus a co-mounted 40-mm Mk 19 grenade launcher atop the after deckhouse. Crewed by 4 officers, 2 chief petty officers, and 24 other enlisted personnel, the Navy’s smallest commissioned ships carry a “payload” of nine SEALs and their six-meter rigid-inflatable raiding boat. At the end of 1995, only one ship of the class, the Shamal (PC-13), remains to be commissioned. Under still-extent regulations, the class should have been numbered PC-1651 through PC-1663 in a series extending back to World War I.
By A. D. Baker III, Editor, Combat Fleets of the World