American boats manufacturer RIBCRAFT USA has revealed that its $80-million contract with the US Navy to build 278 rigid inflatable boats (RIB) has now entered the production phase.
Purportedly the largest single contract by quantity ever awarded by the US Navy, the standard seven-meter RIB will serve as lifeboats on all navy ships.
They will support a variety of missions, including anti-terrorism, search and rescue, vessel boarding search and seizure, and maritime interdiction operations.
The US Navy requires RIBCRAFT USA to produce RIBs that can be carried and deployed from a variety of US Navy ship classes.
A Steyr SE266E40 diesel engine will power the boats to carry up to 18 sailors at a maximum speed of 25 knots (46.3 kilometers/28.7 miles per hour).
Additionally, each vessel will be equipped with a Briartek man overboard indicator system.
“RIBCRAFT is well respected as a top builder of the most reliable commercial rigid inflatable boats available,” company official P. Brian Gray said.
“We’re extremely proud to have received the largest Navy boat contract ever awarded and are equally proud to be building these boats in Marblehead, MA – a fitting tribute to a town that lays claim to being the birthplace of the US Navy.”