WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy reports its receipt of the first of 10 MK VI patrol boats ordered from Safe Boats International for use by the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.
The 85-foot long boat, which will be the Navy's first patrol boat introduced into service since the 1980s, will enter operational service next year.
"This versatile platform leverages a proven, quality design and will provide enhanced capabilities to patrol and protect shallow coastal areas," said Frank McCarthey, program manager for auxiliary ships, boats and craft in the Navy's Program Executive Office, Ships. "This delivery is a significant achievement for the program and we look forward to delivering more of these flexible, capable craft in the next few years."
MK VI patrol boat has a maximum sprint speed of more than 35 knots. They will be used to patrol shallow littoral areas beyond sheltered harbors and bays for force and infrastructure protection, and for support of maritime intercept and search missions.
The Navy said the remaining nine boats ordered will be delivered by Safe Boats International through fiscal year 2018.