The Navy and Willard Marine signed a licensing agreement for a Willard Marine boat design to serve as the guideline for the Navy’s new 11-meter (36-foot) rigid hull inflatable boat government design.
“We are honored that the largest and most prestigious Navy on the globe has chosen a Willard Marine design to serve as their guideline for the new 11-meter RIB design,” Willard Marine president and CEO Ulrich Gottschling said in a statement. “The U.S. Navy and our allies who leverage the FMS program to procure this boat are assured of a proven, seaworthy design.”
Willard Marine said that for 27 years it has designed and built Navy shipboard RIBs that are 7 and 11 meters long, featuring a variety of propulsion, deck and outfitting arrangements. The licensing agreement allows the Navy to use Willard’s Sea Force 1100, Navy model RIB design to create an all-new Navy 11-meter RIB.
Willard said the new RIBs will be used in American fleets around the world; select international militaries will be able to purchase the vessels through U.S. Foreign Military Sales programs.
The Navy pursued the licensing agreement with Willard in an effort to maximize commonality between the old and new 11-meter RIB platforms and minimize time and money spent on boat operations training, maintenance, repair and service, the company said.
Through the Navy FMS program, Willard said it also has provided Sea Force 1100 RIBs to foreign militaries such as Lebanon, Mexico and Ukraine.