2008: The U.S. Coast Guard has ordered another 18 RB-Ms (Response Boat-Medium),
as part of a plan to eventually (in the next eight years) buy 250 of these
vessels. Thirty RB-Ms have been built or are on order so far. The Response
Boat-Medium is 45 feet long, 14.5 feet wide and displaces 18 tons. It's top
speed is over 75 kilometers an hour, and it has sufficient fuel to stay at sea
for about eight hours (cruising at about 50 kilometers an hour). The RB-M is
for rescue and coastal patrol. It can handle heavy seas (up to 12 foot waves
and winds of up to 90 kilometers an hour).
It has a crew of four, and a "survivors compartment" for five
passengers. There are weapons mounts for
machine-guns, but these are normally not installed. The RB-M can tow boats of
up to a hundred tons. Each one costs about two million dollars.