NOVEMBER 5, 2014 — The U.S. Navy has awarded Willard Marine, Inc. (WMI), Anaheim, CA, a five-year contract to provide two types of 7-meter rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) that will serve as ready service lifeboats for search-and-rescue missions.
The contract includes a standard craft based on the 7-meter RIB that WMI has been producing for the Navy for 25 years, and a separate version specifically for LPD-17 class ships, which WMI has also been supplying for a number of years.
The contract specifies a 254-hp inboard Steyr diesel engine with a Bravo Two X MerCruiser sterndrive. All vessels will be delivered with a Briartek man overboard indicator system display and antenna, as well as a forward M60/M240 machine gun foundation.
Twenty-four vessels have already been ordered under the contract and the first scheduled delivery begins in March 2015.
A critical operational requirement for these shipboard RIBs is that each boat must be carried aboard and deployed from a variety of U.S. Navy ship classes. Thus, the boats will be compatible with a variety of existing shipboard handling and stowage systems, including traditional davits and stowage chocks and other class-specific launch, recovery, and handling systems.
"This contract validates Willard Marine's position as a long-time supplier of strong and reliable RIBs to meet the Navy's most challenging operational environments and sea states," said Ulrich Gottschling, president and chief executive officer of WMI. "Winning this five-year contract is testament to WMI's exceptional boat design and production capabilities combined with our long, collaborative relationship with the Navy. We consistently deliver what the Navy needs, on time and on budget."