Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) and Kvichak Marine Industries
(KMI) have recently been awarded a $600m contract for the production of up to 250 Response Boat Medium (RB-M) boats for the United States Coast Guard
It has been over three years since the Marinette-Kvichak spec boat underwent testing at the USCG base in Norfolk, VA.
Mackay Marine, Inc will be outfitting the 45 ft. RB-M vessels with a state of the art marine electronics package. The main suite of electronics will consist of Furuno’s Navnet Vx2 radar/plotter/sounder system with Ethernet capability so the crew will truly have an integrated electronics package. The autopilot system will be comprised of the Simrad AP25 autopilot, and be fully integrated into their marine electronics platform. The RB-M infra red camera will be interfaced to Furuno’s Navnet system so that vessel crew members may view infrared video directly on all Navnet monitors. Crew members may also plug-and-play waypoints and routes onto the chart plotter screen as well as view echo sounder information. RB-M will also be using the Furuno FM-8800S DSC VHF with built-in channel 70 watch receiver for both safety as well as search and rescue (SAR) purposes. Crew members will utilize the JMC DF5500 RDF in order to track down recreational boaters in distress via the signal from their VHF radio.
RB-M was initially designed to replace the existing 41 ft. platform primarily for SAR but since September 2001 their mission statement has grown to include both the homeland and national security interests of the United States. The vessel will also be outfitted with the category 2 USCG approved McMurdo EPIRB with built-in GPS for the safety of the boat’s crew. A Furuno LH3000 loud hailing system will also provide additional communications and safety for the boat.
The 45 ft. craft is being hailed as a vital part of national and homeland security with a range of up to 25 miles offshore. One or two of these boats will be stationed at every Coast Guard station located throughout the entire United States of America. “This is a very proud moment for everyone involved in this project, being one of the largest new build projects for Mackay Marine, Inc, with a contract estimated in $9 - $12 million over a 10 year period”, says Phil L’Esperance, West Coast Sales Manager for Mackay Marine.
Full production will commence in late 2007-early 2008 and is expected to run through 2016-2018.