The U.S. Coast Guard took delivery of the first new Response Boat-Small (RB-S) II at the Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center at Camp LeJeune, N.C., on June 5, 2012. The RB-S II will gradually replace the Defender-class RB-S as the older asset reaches the end of service life. The RB-S II is built by Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Jeanerette, La. The Coast Guard currently has 38 boats on order that are scheduled to be delivered by April 2013.
The Coast Guard currently operates over 400 Defender-class RB-S, making it the largest vessel class in the Coast Guard fleet. The RB-S is assigned to various units including the Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST), the Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT), Marine Safety Units (MSU), and to shore stations throughout the coastal United States.
The RB-S is a multi-mission platform, used for the full range of Coast Guard missions, including: search and rescue; vessel boarding team deployment and law enforcement missions; port security; drug and migrant interdiction and environmental response operations.
The new RB-S II has a length of 29 feet, is capable of a top speed of over 45 knots and has a range of 150 nautical miles. The RB-S II is outfitted with a standardized communications and navigation suite and was designed with an increased emphasis on functional design and crew comfort. The RB-S II will be operated by a crew of four.
For more information on the RB-S, please visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/rbs/default.asp.