High-speed Mark VIs for Ukraine with M2 Browning have been ordered
WASHINGTON – On December 30, 2021, the US Department of Defense awarded the US company SAFE Boats International a new contract worth $ 25.5 million for the construction of another two high-speed patrol boats type Mark VI for further supply to Ukraine. The work, according to an official statement from the Pentagon, should be completed by March 2026, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express.
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This agreement is an exercise in an $ 84.2 million contract option issued to SAFE Boats International by the Defense Ministry on September 30, 2021 [the manufacturer later announced an increase to $ 89.7 million] for the construction of six Mark VI boats for Ukraine.
The new contract is to be fully funded by the US government from Ukraine’s Building Partner Capacity Assistance [BPC] programs in the fiscal year 2021, with a deadline of March 2026.
It is worth noting that the contract issued on December 30 last year is the third for SAFE Boats for the construction of Mark VI patrol boats for Ukraine. In January 2021, the company received its first contract from the US Department of Defense for $ 19.9 million to begin construction of the first two Mark VI boats for Ukraine with a deadline of December 2022 [the second, as mentioned above, was September 30, 2021].
Thus, so far, the United States has contracted 10 Mk VI boats for further supply to the Ukrainian Navy under the US Foreign Military Sales [FMS] intergovernmental foreign military sales program.
It will be recalled that in June 2020, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA] sent a message to the US Congress about the planned sale of Ukraine under the US FMS program for a total of 16 Mark VI high-speed patrol boats. The total cost of the estimated supply was estimated at $ 600 million, including training and technical support packages.
At the same time, at the end of last year, the Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, announced that a total of 12 such patrol boats are currently planned to be delivered. In turn, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Markarova in an interview with “Radio Liberty” said that in 2022 it is planned to send to Ukraine “from three-plus” Mark VI.
Mark VI patrol boat
Mark VI are high-speed patrol boats used by the US Coast Guard. Mark VI is a completely new model patrol boat. The first two produced entered service at the end of 2015. So far, only the United States is the operator of this type of patrol boat, so Ukraine is becoming the first foreign country in the world to own them.
The boat has a displacement of 144,000 lb, is nearly 26 meters long, and is a little over 6 meters wide. Develops a top speed of 45 knots or 45 km / h. Its range of action is different depending on the speed at which it moves – at 25 knots it can operate up to 1390 km, and at 30 knots 1280 km. The crew of the boat consists of 10 sailors.
Mark VI is armed with two chain guns and one light and one heavy machine gun. Impressive is the heavy 50mm caliber machine gun M2 Browning, which for Mark VI patrol boat is a variant of M2HB.
M2HB is a heavy machine gun, which, in addition to the navy, is used and integrated into heavily armored vehicles of the ground forces. This machine gun has an improved air-cooled heavy barrel and fires a 50mm cartridge. M2HB is extremely precise and popular, which makes it a widely used product in dozens of countries around the world.
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