May 30, 2009:
Kuwait is buying ten Mark V Interceptor, 90 foot (27 meter) patrol boats from U.S. manufacturer U.S. Marine. This outfit builds fast boats for special operations, as well as law enforcement, organizations. The Kuwaiti boats displace 54 tons and have a top speed of 81 kilometers an hour and a cruising speed of 45 kilometers an hour. At that speed, the boat can stay at sea for about 24 hours. The boat carries a crew of twelve, and has a galley and berths. The boat can mount a 27mm autocannon on the front, plus 12.7mm and 7.62mm machine-guns aft (the rear of the boat). Each of the Kuwaiti Mark Vs will cost $6.2 million.
Kuwait needs the Interceptors to deal with the increased smuggling along the coast. The Interceptors can catch up with any fast smuggler boats, and quickly get from one location to another to investigate reports (radioed in by fishing boats or cargo ships. The ten Interceptors will double the size of the Kuwaiti Navy/Coast Guard (which currently has 2,700 personnel and ten larger, and slower, boats). The existing ships are all equipped with anti-ship missiles.