This story was updated on 28 June 2022 to shed light on the boats set to be delivered to Ukraine (see bottom of the page).
The U.S. DoD statement issued June 23rd reads:
Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) announces the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $450 million to meet critical needs for Ukraine’s fight. This authorization is the thirteenth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021. Capabilities in this package include:
• Four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems;
• 36,000 rounds of 105mm ammunition;
• 18 tactical vehicles to tow 155mm artillery;
• 1,200 grenade launchers;
• 2,000 machine guns;
• 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats;
• Spare parts and other equipment.
The United States has now committed approximately $6.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including approximately $6.1 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked invasion on February 24. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $8.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
The United States continues to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its evolving battlefield requirements.
Mark VI patrol boats ?
While the exact type of patrol boats which will be sent to Ukraine is not specified, those will likely be Mark VI patrol boats. The United States’ State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of up to 16 Mark VI Patrol Boats for Ukraine back in June 2020. SAFE Boats International LLC, the Mark VI shipbuilder, received an initial contract for two Mk VI in January 2021, followed by a contract modification for six more boats in September 2021.
Some of the Mk VI boats however will likely come used: The U.S. Navy recently decommissioned its fleet of twelve Mark VI patrol boats. A U.S. Navy spokesperson told Naval News in August 2021:
“The MK VIs will be returned to the Boat Inventory Manager in the continental U.S. for final disposition. The Navy continues to assess options for final disposition, including the potential transition to another service or another U.S. government agency, nomination for Foreign Military Sales, or placement into long-term storage.”
About the Mark VI patrol boat
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. The rear deck is able to launch and recover a small UAV or UUV. The U.S. Navy is the only user of this class of boat and owns twelve of them.
- Displacement: 72 tonnes
- Length: 25.8 meters
- Draft: 1.2 meters
- Propulsion: 2 x MTU 5200 horse power
- Speed: 45 knots
- Range: 750 nautical miles at 25 knots
- Crew: 10
- Weapons: 2 x MK 38 Mod 2 25mm chain guns (It can change depending on the mission)
It turns out the vessels will actually be smaller patrol boats than the Mark VI: Three types of aluminum vessels built by Louisiana based shipbuilder Metal Shark: