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Thursday, May 26, 2016

U.S. Navy: Mark VI Patrol Boats in Arabian Gulf

As reported by Defense News here
"The Mark VI patrol craft can go up to speeds in excess of 35 knots and has a robust communications system, nine weapons platforms, including three remotely operated systems that are two .50-caliber machine guns up top, and a 25mm cannon up front," Weinreb said at a preview of the boat at the 5th Fleet base in Bahrain.
More from Sea Power magazine (June 2016) from the U.S. Navy League:
The MkVI is the Navy’s first true patrol boat, larger than riverine craft, introduced since the mid-1980s. The Navy operated a large number of small riverine craft and Swift boats in Vietnam during the 1960s and early 1970s. It also operated some Norwegian-built Nasty-class patrol boats — similar in design to World War II-era PT boats — in support of special operations
forces in Vietnam and later.
The MkVI is a variant of SAFE Boats’ 780 Archangelclass patrol boat, which has been in service since 2005 and currently serves in the navies of more than a
dozen nations. It has an overall length of 85 feet anda waterline length of 78 feet, and is powered by twin diesel engines driving water jets. The boat is able to
reach speeds of 35 knots and has a range of 600 nautical miles.

The boat features a pilothouse, flying bridge and main-deck cabin. The pilothouse is configured with
shock-mitigating seating with integrated work stations for the crew. The climate-controlled cabin has berthing, galley and head/shower facilities for the crew to
endure extended operations.

The Mark VI is heavily armed for a boat of its size, with two BAE Systems-built remote-controlled Mk38 Mod2 25mm Bushmaster rapid-fire cannons, plus two stabilized small-arms mounts and multiple crew-served weapon mounts.
The Navy is incorporating some upgrades in the MkVI.

“The MkVI PB has incorporated two emerging requirements, an unmanned underwater vehicle launch-and-recovery system and a wideband satellite communications system,” Rozicer said. “Both systems provide the MkVI PB broader capability in the mine countermeasures mission area and communications with other nearby Navy assets.”

An older video:


  1. It seems like a lot of boat and firepower for a boat that will end up surrendering to 2 Iranians in a dinghy the next time it goes east of the Bahrain Bell.

  2. Replies
    1. Mark, the wonder is that we don't know each other at all. I never heard of you until I saw your blog a long time ago. I was the last ops at NCWG1 and the first ops at MESG1. I was there at the creation of NECC and Bullard's transformation.

    2. I was in the IUW world for 5 years - was CO of MIUWU 108 for Desert Storm when RADM Vaughn was Commodore, then had other reserve units that ended with 5 years in the old NCAPS/NCAGS community. All of it probably long before your time.

    3. I went to Bell Thunder with Ed Mergele and did the next ORE at 108 using the gear in Corpus Christi. As I said, in a small world of us and those like us, I honestly can't remember. I wasn't part of the mafia back then since I was at 107 when the war broke out but I worked for Denny and Ray McKewon was my first CO in the IUW world at 107. I'll admit, back when I joined I kept asking myself, 'how do all these guys know all these guys at other units?' I barely knew the guys at 106 and they were right next door. I knew Greg Dillon from the MSOs but the rest, it took a few years to meet them all.

      I was not impressed with our Riverine counterparts back at the beginning. My previous job before being drafted was SPECBOATRON 1 and to be honest, they were crazy.

    4. Ed was with us for ODS and was OIC of the Det we sent north in support of ops in Kuwait City. He was my relief as CO about a year later.

      There followed some big issues of MIUW structure that lead to some changes which I was against, but not in much of a position to influence. Since we were some of the few reserve units called up, lots of folks decided it would be a good thing to "take over,: I guess. I it was controversial and some folks got caught on the what came to be the wrong side of the issue.

      I left the IUW world for -uh - fun and more typical reserve units.

      Best 5 years of my reserve experience was with the MIUWU as CO and XO.

  3. This class of patrol boat is in essence a Super Swift boat. Patrol Boat in character, main mission is force protection of amphibs and sealift ships. Able to operate a little further offshore and maybe complement the PCs?
    BUT..... it is not an attack boat. Armed sufficiently to slow down a swarm of boats, but not completely (hence the two boat patrols). And while the USN has mentioned several different weapons can be mounted, what is actually installed is NOT much greater than an RCB.
    So once again the USN fails to fully outfit a boat that most assuredly will go into direct combat at some point in time.
    Logistical note: This class is difficult to transport to an AOA, because there are insufficient wet well dock landing spots available (most likely will get there by Lo/Lo on sealift ships). And it is another boat with insufficient endurance and weak logistic support plans.
    Historical note: this class is larger and heavier than WW2 PT boats