The U.S. Department of Defense on 5 January 2021 reported that SAFE Boats International LLC has been awarded a US$ 19 million order to launch production of Ukraine’s Mk VI first patrol boats. Work is expected to be completed by December 2022. In June 2020, the U.S. approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of Ukraine of up to 16 Mark VI Patrol Boats and related equipment in June last year for a estimated cost of US$ 600 million.
The first six of these Mk VI patrol boats will be supplied to Ukraine on basis of US military aid, and the remaining ten will have to be paid for by Ukraine from its own budget. Ukraine also had requested for the boats along with 32 MSI Seahawk A2 gun systems; 20 Electro-Optics-Infrared Radar systems (16 installed and 4 spares); 16 Long-Range Acoustic Device five-kilometer loudspeaker systems; 16 Identification Friend or Foe systems; and 40 Mk44 cannons (32 installed and eight spares).
The Mark VI is a class of patrol boat designed and built by SAFE Boats international since 2015. Their main purposes are littoral and riverine surveillance but is reconfigurable to embark special forces or medical facility. Built by SAFE Boats International in Tacoma, Washington, the 85 ft aluminium-built Mk VI design is in service with the US Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and is being used to patrol shallow littoral areas, beyond sheltered harbours and bays, and into less sheltered open water out to the departure sea area.
The Mk VI patrol boat design features a pilothouse, covered fly bridge, an aft boat ramp (with space for two Combat Rubber Raiding Craft), a re-configurable main deck cabin and below-deck accommodation. The vessel includes shock mitigating seating for up to 18 crew and passengers, as well as two additional seats in the fly bridge. Powered by twin MTU 16V2000 M94 diesel engines driving Hamilton HM651 water jets through ZF3060 marine gears, the Mk VI is capable of sprint speeds in excess of 35 kt at full load and can achieve a range of at least 600 n miles without refuelling.