The US Navy’s Coastal Riverine Group Two has taken delivery of the first of two 12 Mark VI patrol boats, providing the capability of patroling shallow littoral areas.
The 85ft-long combatant craft will be deployed for the protection of friendly and coalition forces, as well as critical infrastructure.
The vessel will be capable of conducting missions including mine counter measures and theatre security cooperation.
US Navy commander Peter Berning said: "Globally transportable, the MK VI Patrol Boats can operate from amphibious ship well decks to forward locations, while partnering with allied navies at a new and more effective level than at any time in recent history."
Berning also added that the boats, with their configurability, will allow installation of future systems directly supporting the operational commander.
In addition, the boats will be capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 35k, and will have range of more than 600nm.
With its redesigned pilothouse and a reconfigurable, modular main deck cabin, the vessels will deliver enough space for a sizeable crew and their payload.
The first deployment of the MK VI PBs is scheduled for early 2016. The Coastal Riverine Force (CORIVFOR) is expected to receive more patrol boats over the next few years.
Part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, CORIVFOR operates in harbours, rivers, bays, and ashore. The unit is assigned to perform maritime security operations across all phases of military operations.