The 45-foot response boat-medium has revitalized the Coast Guard’s shore-based boat fleet, delivering improved speed, maneuverability and ergonomics over the 41-foot utility boat and other nonstandard boats it has replaced. The RB-M makes boat crews more effective in performing multiple Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue; ports, waterways and coastal security; law enforcement; and drug and migrant interdiction.
The Coast Guard acquired 174 RB-Ms to replace the 41-foot utility boat class, which entered service in 1973 and was retired in 2014. The RB-M’s design as a high-speed, multimission platform has also allowed it to supplement or replace other nonstandard utility boats. The RB-M program worked closely with operational commanders and has delivered a platform with significantly increased speed and maneuverability, improving response time and agility for missions. The boats were ergonomically designed, decreasing crew fatigue on extended patrols.
The RB-M program achieved full operational capability in March 2015. After the boats entered full-rate production in 2008, the Coast Guard delivered at least 30 boats per year – more than one boat every two weeks – until all 174 boats were delivered. The RB-M program transferred full responsibility for supporting the boats to the sustainment community June 1, 2015. The program will continue warranty execution and contract closeout until 2017.