By Mark Edward Nero
Anaheim-based boat manufacturer Willard Marine has executed a licensing agreement with the US Navy for a Willard Marine boat design to serve as the guideline for the Navy’s new 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boat (RIB) government project.
The licensing agreement allows the US Navy to utilize Willard’s Sea Force 1100, US Navy model RIB design to create an all-new Navy 11-meter RIB.
The new RIBs would be used in the Navy’s American fleets around the world. The agreement also allows select international militaries to purchase the vessels through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programs.
The Navy said it pursued the licensing agreement with Willard Marine in an effort to “maximize commonality between the old and new 11m RIB platforms, minimize time and money spent on boat operations training, maintenance, repair and service.”
For 27 years, Willard Marine has designed and built US Navy shipboard RIBs that are 7 and 11 meters in length featuring a wide variety of propulsion, deck and outfitting arrangements.
Through the US Navy FMS program, Willard has also provided Sea Force 1100 RIBs to foreign militaries such as Lebanon, Mexico and the Ukraine.
“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 US Navy and our allies who leverage the FMS program to procure this boat are assured of a proven, seaworthy design,” he added.
Since its founding in 1957, Willard Marine has developed world-class watercraft for the US military, Department of Homeland Security, foreign governments, law enforcement agencies, search and rescue organizations and private companies. The company also builds commercial vessels originally designed by SeaArk Marine and Crystaliner.