The U.S. Coast Guard awarded a delivery order valued at approximately $13 million on September 26 to Metal Shark Aluminum Boats for the production of 38 Response Boats-Small (RB-S).
On February 4, the Coast Guard awarded two fixed price Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contracts to begin replacement of the current RB-S fleet, which is nearing the end of its ten-year service life. The contracts were awarded to Metal Shark Aluminum Boats of Jeanerette, La., and SAFE Boats International of Port Orchard, Wash. Under the terms of the contract, each builder produced a minimum of one boat, based on a proven hull design, that was delivered in June. The Coast Guard tested and validated each boat this summer and based on the results of the down-select process, selected the boat that provides the best overall value to the government.
This 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 and up to ten by the U.S. Navy. The RB-S replacement is one of the largest boat buys of its type for the Coast Guard.
The RB-S will have an approximate length of 28 feet, be capable of at least 40 knots, a minimum range of 150 nautical miles and accommodate a crew of four. The RB-S will also have a standardized communications and navigation suite as well as an increased emphasis on ergonomics and crew comfort. The current RB-S fleet was originally procured in 2002, following the attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to bringing a higher level of standardization to the Coast Guard’s small boat fleet, the RB-S has proven to be a tremendous asset in a wide variety of Coast Guard missions, especially ports, waterways and coastal security.
For more information: Response Boat–Small project page