The MK VI patrol boats are designed and built by American boat manufacturer, Safe Boats International (SBI) to serve as the next-generation patrol boats for the US Navy. The 85ft patrol boats will replace the ageing patrol boat fleet of Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) and will support the Coastal Riverine Force (CRF).
SBI was awarded an initial $36.5m contract for six MK VI Patrol Boats in May 2012. The US Navy signed a $34.5m firm-fixed-price agreement with SBI for four additional MK VI patrol boats in July 2014. The agreement includes options for two more boats, bringing the total value of the contract to $52.2m. The US Navy plans to acquire a total of 48 Mark VI Patrol Boats.
The U.S. Navy quietly updated its fleet last month, adding its first new patrol boat since the mid-1980s. The Mark VI Patrol Boat is an 85-foot vessel that seats 10 crewmen and eight passengers, reaching a sprint speed of more than 35 knots.
Built by Safe Boats International, a military supplier with the motto, “God, Country and Fast Boats,” the Mark VI is designed to patrol shallow littoral areas, support search-and-seizure operations, and function as a high value shipping escort, among other duties. The Navy expects to deploy its first 10 MK VI boats next year and expand the fleet starting in 2018. Source bloomberg.com
SBI received a contract modification in July 2015 to supply two additional boats to the US Navy, bringing the total number of orders to 12.
Navy orders two Mark VI patrol boats with on-board networking and flat-screen displays: Here
U.S. Navy surface warfare experts are ordering two 85-foot patrol boats that have surveillance and battle-management networking, as well as flat-screen monitors mounted throughout the vessels.
Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $17.8 million contract modification Friday to Safe Boats International LLC in Bremerton, Wash., to provide two Mark VI patrol boats.
The boats are being built at SBI’s large craft production facility (LCPF) situated in the Port of Tacoma, Washington. SBI hired 100 new employees in addition to the existing 275 workers to build the boats.
The first of 12 MK VI patrol boats was delivered to the US Navy in August 2014. The boat successfully completed sea trials and was handed over to NECC for operational deployment in 2015. The remaining 11 boats are expected to be built by March 2018.
Coastal Riverine Group 2 (CRG 2) of the US Navy received two MK VI patrol boats in September 2015.
US Navy Patrol Boat Mark VI Debuts in Arabian Gulf: Here
The US Navy’s latest patrol boat, the Mark VI, has made its operational debut in the Arabian Gulf this month.
The patrol boat was designed and built by American boat manufacturer Safe Boats International to serve as the next-generation patrol boats for the US Navy. Mark VI arrived at the 5th Fleet base of operations in Bahrain in March, according to the ship’s program manager, US Navy Lt. David Weinreb.
MK VI patrol boat missions
The MK VI patrol boat is the first mission-specific patrol boat designed for the US Navy since the mid-1980s. It will replace the smaller 68ft Mark V and 34ft Sea Ark to defend the green-water navy. The CRF will deploy the patrol boats for critical infrastructure protection (CIP) in and around foreign ports across the world.
The boats can operate in brown, green or blue waters, and will be deployed to patrol shallow littoral regions beyond the harbours and bays. They can conduct missions in the open ocean for protecting defence forces.
The versatile patrol vessels can support search-and-seizure operations, maritime intercept operations, theatre security cooperation operations and other clandestine security force activities. They can function as escorts for high value assets and also take part in mine hunting and fast attack combats.
The boat is ideal for coordinated efforts with Naval Special Warfare and Naval Special Operations operators such as Navy SEALs and Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD).
The U.S. Navy’s MK VI Patrol Boat is designed to carry a variety of unmanned systems. At Sea Air Space 15, the boat displayed a PUMA UAV. It will also be configured to carry two MK 18 Mod 2 Kingfish mine hunting UUVs. Source navaldrones.com
MK 18 Mod 2 Swordfish UUV
Based on Hydroid REMUS 600 (Lightweight)
Dimensions: 12‐3/4” diameter, 11‐1/2’ long / Weight: 600 lbs in air
Operating Depth: 5m‐300m (Search to 3 m)
Dynamic Focus Side Look Sonar (SLS)
Neil Brown Conductivity & Temperature Sensor (CT)
WET Labs Beam Attenuation Meter (BAM) Optical Sensor
Imagenex 852 Pencil Beam Sonar (Obstacle Avoidance)
WET Labs ECO FLNTU (Fluorometer & Turbidity measurement)
Long baseline (LBL) Acoustic (via Ranger)
Freewave Radio Modem (via Gateway Buoy)
Up/Down looking Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)
Doppler Velocity Log (DVL)
Kearfott Inertial Navigation Unit (INS)
- Body Type: Torpedo
- Size (LxWxH): 3.93m x 0.66m x 0.66m
- Body Size (LxWxH): 3.93m x 0.32m x 0.32m
- Hull Material: Aluminum
- Weight: 282.00kg
- Maximum Depth: 600.00 m
- Dynamic Buoyancy: No
- Self-Righting: Yes
- Obstacle Avoidance: No
- Endurance (nominal load): Information not available
- Manufacturer Website: Link
RQ-20A Puma AE
The Aqua Puma All Environment (AE) RQ-20A is a small tactical, hand-launched UAS produced by AeroVironment, Inc. and marinized for use by the United State Marine Corps and Naval Special Warfare. Puma is an acronym for “Pointer Upgraded Mission Ability,” indicating the vehicle’s derivation from the Pointer. The electrically-powered RQ-20A carries stabilized electro-optical and infrared cameras, an 860 nanometer laser illuminator and has a maximum flight time of two hours and ceiling of 10,000 feet. The Puma’s Ground Control Station (GCS) has a communications range of 20 km and is common with the smaller Wasp and Raven RQ-11 UAS. AeroVironment’s Digital Data Link (DDL) gives the Puma encrypted, beyond-line-of-sight voice, video, data, and text communication capabilities. The aircraft can use GPS to automatically land within 25 meters of a chosen spot, including on the water. Source navaldrones.com
|Payloads||Gimbaled payload, 360 degree continuous pan, +10 to -90 degrees tilt, stabilized EO, IR camera, and IR Illuminator all in one modular payload|
|Endurance||3+ hours with an LE battery|
|Operating Altitude (Typ.)||500 ft (152 m) AGL|
|Wing Span||9.2 ft (2.8 m)|
|Length||4.6 ft (1.4 m)|
|Weight||14 lbs (6.3 kg)|
|GCS||Common GCS with Raven® and Wasp® AE|
|Launch Method||Hand-launched, rail launch (optional)|
|Recovery Method||Autonomous or manual deep-stall lan|
Design and features
MK VI patrol boat is a modification of the 780 Archangel Class patrol boat, which was also built by SBI. The boat is designed to decrease Total Ownership Cost (TOC) and manpower. Its aluminium hull is enhanced for performance, fuel efficiency, easy maintenance and firepower.
The boat is equipped with ballistic protection, with armour plating around the engines and fuel storage. The boats are small enough to fit inside the well deck of LHD, LPD and LSD class amphibious warfare ships. Thus, they can be transported to any location in a short period of time.
The patrol boat is armed with two remotely controlled and stabilised MK-38 Mod2 25mm machine gun systems, small arms mounts and six crew served 50-calibre machine guns. It also has the provision to install other weapons such as mini guns, grenade launchers and smaller calibre machine guns.
2 x MK-38 Mod2 25mm machine gun system
The MK 38 MOD 0 25mm MGS replaced the MK 16 20mm gun system and was then later upgraded to a MK 38 MOD 1 MGS. A total of 387 MK 38 MOD 1 MGSs were procured and deployed in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). In 2003, the chief of Naval Operations (CNO) directed the Navy to pursue a simple, stabilized, low cost solution for outfitting near-term deployers to counter small boat threats. The Navy began fielding the Mk 38 MOD 2 in 2005. Due to the success of the MK 38 MOD 2 MGS, the program scope was expanded in July 2012 to add several ship classes and to develop a modification to the system. This modification is known as the MK 38 MOD 3 which is a technical refresh of the MK 38 MOD 2. The first MK 38 MOD 3 is to be fielded in FY17. Source navy.mil
50-calibre machine guns
|DESIGNATION||0.50″/72 (12.7 mm) M3M FH Herstal MG|
|SHIP CLASS USED ON||Rotary-wing aircraft|
|DATE OF DESIGN||N/A|
|DATE IN SERVICE||2001-2003 (evaluation)
|WEIGHT||79.9 lbs. (35.8 kg)|
|GUN LENGTH OA||59.8 in (1.520 m)|
|BARREL LENGTH||36 in (0.914 m)|
|RIFLING LENGTH||31.5 in (0.800 m)|
|CHAMBER VOLUME||1.5 in3 (24.6 cm3)|
|RATE OF FIRE||950 – 1,100 rounds per minute cyclic
200 rounds per minute practical
M240 machine guns
The FN MAG is a gas operated, belt fed, air cooled automatic weapon. It uses the long piston stroke gas system with the gas regulator, located below the barrel.The bolt is locked using a swinging shoulder that engages the cut in the floor of the receiver. The air-cooled barrel is quick-detachable, with the carrying handle attached to it to help handling of the hot barrel. The receiver is made from steel stampings.
The M240 is fed using the disintegrating steel belts of various lengths. The rate of fire can be selected between “low” (~650 rpm) and”high” (~950 rpm), depending on the tactical situation, and the gun can be fired in full auto only. The charging handle is located on the right side of the receiver.
Caliber: 7,62x51mm NATO
Weight: 11 – 13 kg on bipod (depending on version), ~21 kg on tripod
Length: 1260 mm
Barrel length: 545 mm
Rate of fire: selectable, 650-750 and 950-1000 rounds per minute
The propulsion system consists of twin diesel engines and water-jets. The engines can burn both marine grade diesel fuel and JP-5 aviation fuel. The boats can reach a maximum sprint speed of 30kt at full load. The propulsion system enables the boat to sail up to a range of more than 600nmi.
2 x MTU 16V 2000 M94 engines
Accommodation aboard the patrol boat
The boat consists of a pilothouse and a main deck cabin. The pilothouse contains state-of-the-art shock mitigating seating for the crew. Work stations are integrated into the seats for easy access to the controls and displays, and to minimise injury and fatigue.
The spacious interior can accommodate ten crewmen and eight passengers. Basic amenities such as berthing accommodations, galley and shower facilities ensure extended missions.
The main cabin can be configured to accommodate unmanned, remotely operated vehicles and additional shock mitigating seating. It can also be converted into a temporary medical triage area during emergencies. Small boats, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and underwater unmanned vehicles (UUVs) can be launched and recovered from the rear deck and stern of the boat.
General Characteristics, MK VI Patrol Boat
|Propulsion: Installed Power: 5,200 HP – 2 x MTU 16V2000 M94 and 2 x Hamilton HM651 Water Jets|
|Length: LOA: 84.8′|
|Displacement: 170,000 lbs (full load displacement)|
|Draft: less than 5 ft|
|Speed: Cruise: 25+ Knots; Sprint: 35+ Knots|
|Range: 600+ Nautical Miles|
|Crew: 2 Crews, 5 Personnel each, plus 8 Person Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Team (18 Total)|
|Armament: MK 50 (.50 cal) Gun Weapon System (Qty 4); MK 38 Mod 2 (25 mm) Gun Weapon System (Qty 2); MK 44 Machine Gun System; Multiple Crew Served Weapon & Long Range Acoustic Hailing Device (Qty 6)|
Main material source naval-technology.com
Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated
Main image by U.S. Marine Corps / Sgt. Danny Gonzalez