Navy exercises option with Willard Marine for more RIBs

The U.S. Navy has exercised an option on its contract for 11-meter rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) with Willard Marine, requesting five more RIBs in addition to the 10 that the Navy had previously ordered in 2014.

Willard will provide three 11-meter open center console (OCC) boats that will be equipped with twin Cummins QSB6.7 380-hp engines, and two visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) boats equipped with twin Cummins QSB6.7 480-hp engines. Both RIB versions will be paired with HamiltonJet HJ292 waterjets.

For 37 years, the Navy has purchased a variety of boats from Willard including nearly 700 11-meter and 7-meter RIBs that are primarily stored aboard and launched at sea from large naval ships deployed around the world. Many 11-meter RIBs have been procured by the Navy and Coast Guard in support of their Foreign Military Sales (FMS) divisions.

“The United States Navy and other military agencies have relied upon Willard Marine vessels for nearly 40 years to safely transport service men and women and enable them to successfully complete their missions, often in very challenging sea conditions,” said Ulrich Gottschling, president and CEO of Willard. “It is with great pride and commitment that we continue building boats that our military can rely upon in all situations.”

Since its founding in 1957, Willard Marine has developed watercraft for the U.S. military, Department of Homeland Security, foreign governments, law enforcement agencies, search-and-rescue organizations and private companies. Willard is the exclusive builder of commercial vessels originally designed by SeaArk Marine and Crystaliner.