Bremerton’s SAFE Boats International has been chosen to build a line of speedy river patrol vessels for the ColI mbian military.
The Colombian Navy/Coast Guard awarded a contract to the manufacturer for the new 30-foot boat, designated as the Type-F Riverine Interceptor Vessel.
“The vessel will perform missions of offensive patrolling, combat drug trafficking, piracy, arms and explosives smuggling and can conduct vessel-to-vessel boarding operations to guarantee the security of commercial shipping lines within Colombia,” according to a news release.
The interceptor can carry a crew of up to 10. The boat is powered by twin Yamaha outboards and is capable of reaching 37 knots.
It features a retractable canopy, and front and rear machine gun mounts.
SAFE Boats has completed the first riverine interceptor, which will be delivered this month. The company expects to build as many as two-dozen of the boats for Colombia in coming years.
The Colombian military already has more than 20 SAFE Boats in service, including 41-foot coastal interceptor vessels and 38-foot coastal cabin patrol vessels.
“We have worked very close with the Colombian military to understand just how aggressive and remote their missions can be and to develop a boat that will significantly enhance their patrol and interdiction capabilities on the large rivers of Colombia,” John Hotz, director of sales for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in the release.
SAFE Boats builds its smaller aluminum vessels at a facility in the Port of Bremerton’s Olympic View Industrial Park. A larger line of Navy patrol boats is being built in Tacoma.