Acquisition Update: First Response Boat-Medium Delivered
March 31, 2008
On March 31, 2008, the U.S. Coast Guard took delivery of its first Response Boat–Medium from Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC). Following completion of underway trials on March 17 near Tacoma, Wash., RB-M 45601 was trailered cross-country for delivery in Portsmouth, Va. After one week of familiarization for the Coast Guard Transition Team (responsible for facilitating the introduction of the planned 180 boats to the fleet) Station Little Creek, Va. will take delivery of RB-M 45601 on April 7, 2008.
Upon arrival at Station Little Creek RB-M 45601 will start Operational Testing and Evaluation (OT&E). OT&E will continue for twelve months after delivery of the sixth RB-M. The first six stations to receive RB-Ms and planned delivery dates are:
USCG Station Little Creek, Va. - March 2008
USCG Station Cape Disappointment, Wash. - August 2008
USCG Station Key West, Fla. - September 2008
USCG Station Milwaukee, Wis. - October 2008
USCG Station New York, N.Y. - November 2008
USCG Station Port Aransas, Texas - December 2008
The RB-M acquisition was initiated to replace the aging 41’ Utility Boats and other Non-Standard Boats. On June 21, 2006, a contract for up to a maximum of 250 RB-Ms was awarded to Marinette Marine Corp. The RB-M is a self-righting, 45-foot all-aluminum boat with twin diesel engines and water jet propulsion. The RB-M is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots (46 miles per hour) with significantly improved maneuverability. With a full cabin providing protection from the elements, it is equipped with a robust navigation system, heating and air conditioning, shock mitigating seats, and a communication system capable of communicating with other federal, state and local agencies. Primary RB-M missions include Search and Rescue; Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security; Defense Readiness; and Marine Environmental Protection.
With 30 of a planned 180 RB-Ms on order, deliveries will occur at a rate of approximately one boat per month starting with the second RB-M in August 2008. RB-Ms are currently being built by Kvichak Marine (a subcontractor of Marinette Marine) in Kent, Wash. To increase production Marinette Marine has initiated opening a second production facility in Wisconsin and when in full production (anticipated in late 2010), deliveries will be at a rate of 30 boats per year.