SAFE Boats International, Bremerton, Wash., has been awarded a $35 million contract to build five MK VI patrol boats for the U.S. Navy.
The MK VI PB is the Navy’s next generation patrol boat and will become a part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.
The vessel will patrol shallow littoral areas beyond sheltered harbors and bays and into less-sheltered open water.
The 78′ MK VI PB is based on SAFE’s 780 Archangel-class patrol boat and has a hull optimized for performance, fuel economy, and fire power.
The boats will be powered by twin diesel engines and waterjets, which will push the patrol boats to over 30 knots at full load. The engines will be able to burn both diesel and JP-5 aviation fuel. Range will be at least 600 nautical miles. Berthing accommodations, galley and head/shower facilities will allow for extended missions.
The MK VI is configured with both a pilothouse and a main deck cabin. The pilothouse will be equipped with shock-mitigating seating with integrated work stations that bring controls and displays into suspension with the operators, which helps reduce fatigue and prevent injuries. The main cabin will be reconfigurable for the accommodation of remotely operated vehicles, a temporary medical triage area and/or shock mitigating seating for a boarding team.
SAFE will produce the MK VI in its new production facility on the water at the Port of Tacoma, Wash. Originally developed to build ships for the Navy during World War II, the size and configuration of the facility will permit the concurrent construction of up to six large craft. Situated on the water, the facility provides SAFE with a new location to produce and support large craft. The boatbuilder’s primary facility near Bremerton is inland and boats have to be trailered to and from launching ramps and docks.
SAFE Boats said it expects to hire 100 new employees, in addition to the company’s existing 275 workers, to build the Navy boats.
The Archangel class is offered in sizes from 44′-78′. “We will be introducing a 38-footer soon and also have plans for larger craft up to 100 feet,” said Mike Page, project manager for SAFE Boats. — Bruce Buls