The U.S. Coast Guard’s Long Range Interceptor II (LRI-II) cutter boat acquisition project was approved for full-rate production June 27, 2013, after successful operational and interface testing with Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf This achievement paves the way for new LRI-II production orders, the first of which is anticipated to occur before the end of fiscal year 2013.
In addition to typical testing activities, which simulate operational situations and scenarios, the LRI-II and its crew were deployed twice to successfully interdict illegal drug shipments at sea.
The Coast Guard awarded a five-year contract in June 2012 worth up to $10.2 million, to MetalCraft Marine U.S. of Cape Vincent, N.Y., to produce the LRI-II. The first LRI-II was delivered to the Coast Guard Feb. 20, 2013, and commenced testing activities soon after. The Coast Guard has contract options to procure up to a total of 10 boats. These include eight LRI-IIs to be deployed aboard the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters (NSC).
The LRI-II is 35 feet long with a range of over 220 nautical miles and capable of achieving speeds in excess of 38 knots. The stern-launched LRI-II’s high speed and extended range significantly enhances its host cutter’s ability to execute missions while underway, particularly in migrant interdiction and law enforcement operations where teams need to be put on scene quickly. Its ability to extend the reach of its host cutter is also critical to search and rescue operations, enabling NSC cutter crews to patrol larger search areas. The LRI-II can carry up to 15 passengers, including crew, and safely operate in seas up to 13 feet.For more information: Cutter Boats project page.