Ribcraft USA announced that it recently entered the production phase on its five-year IDIQ $80 million contract with the Navy to build the standard seven-meter RIB.

Under the multiyear contract, Ribcraft, Marblehead, Mass., will build up to 278 of the seven-meter rigid inflatable boats. This is purported to be the largest single contract based on number of boats ever awarded by the Navy.

“With this additional multiyear contract, we’re proud to continue our long collective partnership with the U.S. Navy,” said P. Brian Gray, president and CEO of Ribcraft. “We are committed to delivering the most reliable, safe, and exceptional boats to the dedicated men and women serving our country around the world.”

These 24’ RIBs will serve as the ready service lifeboats on all Navy ships sailing around the world and are an essential component of the fleet. As multipurpose platforms they serve several secondary missions including anti-terrorism/force protection operations, search and rescue, vessel boarding search and seizure (VBSS), and maritime interdiction operations.

A critical operational requirement for the shipboard seven-meter RIB is that each boat must be carried aboard and deployed from a variety of Navy ship classes. To accomplish this, Ribcraft will build three variants under the contract. Two variants are specific to the launch, recovery, and handling systems found on the classes with the third variant being a Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) certified craft intended for the Military Sea Lift Command. This is the only SOLAS boat currently built in the U.S. Each vessel is powered by a single Steyr SE266E40 diesel engine with Bravo Two X Mercruiser outdrive and equipped with a Briartek man overboard indicator system (MOBI), and forward M60/M240 weapon foundation.

With a full load of 18 sailors, the seven-meter RIB will have a sprint speed of 25 knots. These boats will be built alongside the Navy expeditionary 11-meter RIB that Ribcraft is currently building at its Massachusetts facilities. Together these contracts have a total value of over $120 million.