The U.S. Coast Guard placed a delivery order for seven response boats-small II (RB-S IIs), worth approximately $3.0 million, with Metal Shark Boats of Jeanerette, Louisiana, Sept. 26.
The boats are targeted for delivery starting in spring 2019 and will be primarily stationed in the Seattle, Washington area. This brings the total of RB-S IIs ordered to 350; 318 RB-S IIs have been delivered.
The response boat-small II is a high-speed, easily deployable asset designed to operate year-round in shallow waters along coastal borders.
The Coast Guard currently operates more than 400 Defender-class RB-S boats, making it the largest vessel class in the Coast Guard fleet. The 29-foot RB-S II, designed with an increased emphasis on function and crew comfort, will gradually replace the Defender-class RB-S as the older assets reach the end of their service life.
The new boats can reach a top speed of over 40 knots and are used for a range of missions, including search and rescue (SAR), vessel boarding team deployment and law enforcement missions, port security, drug and migrant interdiction, and environmental response operations.
The RB-S replacement is one of the largest boat buys of its type for the Coast Guard. Under a phased, competitive procurement, the Coast Guard selected two vendors’ designs to compete in a down select process, testing each design against Coast Guard requirements and to verify industry’s ability to deliver to those requirements at a reasonable price.
The Coast Guard awarded a delivery order valued at approximately $13 million Sept. 26, 2011, to Metal Shark Aluminum Boats for the production of 38 RB-S IIs. The contract allows for the procurement of up to 500 boats. Up to 470 boats will be delivered to shore units throughout the Coast Guard to perform port and waterway security, search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, environmental and other law enforcement missions. Up to 20 boats may be ordered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and up to 10 by the U.S. Navy.