The Navy received the the first of 10 new MK VI boats from Safe Boats International in an effort to refresh its patrol boat fleet. The fleet hasn’t been updated since the 1980s.
The new MK VI boat is better equipped with modernized weapons, communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems compared to the current fleet, a Navy released in a statement.
Each 85-foot long MK VI boat can hold up to a 10-person crew and up to an additional eight passengers. The boats can travel up to 35 knots.
The MK VI boat completed sea trials over the summer and will undergo further testing before its operational deployment in spring 2015.
According to Dennis Morris, president and CEO of Safe Boats International, the company will deliver an additional boat this year and its remaining eight vessels at a rate of three per year through 2017.
The Navy is still determining how many MK VIs tit will ultimately purchase. Officials have said it could buy as many as 48 vessels. Safe Boats’ current contract has an option for two additional boats.
For more information, visit NationalDefenseMagazine.org.
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