International Affairs (CG-DCO-I)
The 47 ft Motor Lifeboat (MLB), in service with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), is designed to perform heavy weather rescue in hurricane force winds and 20-foot breaking seas. This all-aluminum marine innovation withstands impacts of three times the acceleration of gravity, and can even survive a complete roll-over, self-righting in less than 10 seconds with all machinery remaining fully operational. The MLB is available in the USCG 47-ft. configuration or a commercial 52-ft. design; this versatile craft is attracting international attention for use in search and rescue, patrol, firefighting and other law enforcement and paramilitary activities.
Naval architects at the USCG Engineering and Logistics Command in Baltimore, Maryland designed it as the Coast Guard's next generation of heavy weather multi mission craft, and together withTextron Systems (the MLB manufacturer) over 100 MLB's have been built, with more to be constructed. The MLB is well suited to adverse weather and sea conditions and provides a safe environment for a crew to complete a mission effectively.
The MLB carries a mix of equipment to carry out its many missions. For towing other vessels, it has 900 feet of 2 3/4 inch and 600 feet of 2 inch towline for towing astern and side lines for alongside tows. Vessels that are taking on water can be pumped out with a portable diesel operated pump that is carried on board.
The MLB includes 4 control stations (two on the open bridge and two in the climate controlled enclosed bridge). Also included are amidships retrieval ports for easy personnel recoveries, boardings and rescues, and bridge windows designed for low glare and protection from wave action, as well as all stainless steel fittings for corrosion resistance
The MLB can be outfitted with an excellent array of Navigational gear, including a Global Positioning System (GPS) with charting capability, radars in the enclosed bridge and the open bridge, and radio direction finders. For communication the MLB can be outfitted with the latest VHF and Single Sideband marine radios. The MLB diesel engines are computer controlled to ensure that they are running at optimal efficiency at all times.
Increasingly, modern navies, marine police agencies, coast guards, firefighters and civil patrols require rugged vessels that can operate effectively in multi-mission roles. Because the MLB is capable in 60-knot wind conditions and 20-foot surf, the operating window for missions is much larger than in years past. The MLB is a proven multipurpose platform that offers unparalleled survivability.