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The Boat Acquisition Program completed delivery of cutter boats-large (CB-L) on Feb. 5, 2024. The 39th and final CB-L arrived at Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore and will be assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia.  

The Coast Guard gave a presentation on the organizational overview, current fleet composition and future programs at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans, on Dec. 1, 2023

The Coast Guard completed service life extension work on a ninth and 10th 47-foot motor lifeboat in June 2023. These were the first vessels to incorporate design modifications resulting from operational test and evaluation findings.


Boat Acquisition

The Coast Guard Boat Acquisition Program includes five active projects in two major categories: cutter boats and response boats. Under cutter boats, the Coast Guard is actively acquiring long range interceptor generation II, over the horizon generations IV and V, and the cutter boat large. Under response boats is the service life extension program for the 47-foot motor life boat. Currently there are no active aids to navigation boat acquisitions.

The Coast Guard’s fleet of boats supports a range of Coast Guard missions, directly contributing to eight of the 11 statutory Coast Guard missions, including drug interdiction; living marine resources; migrant interdiction; defense readiness; search and rescue; other law enforcement; aids to navigation; and ports, waterways, and coastal security.

In fiscal year 2018, the Coast Guard’s fleet of response boats, aids to navigation boats, cutter boats and special purpose craft was responsible for 44% of all Coast Guard resource hours, 65% of search and rescue missions, 71% of lives saved, 76% of property saved and 80% of maritime law enforcement boardings.

Strategic investments in boat recapitalization expand the service’s mission readiness.

Cutter boat


The Coast Guard is actively acquiring three types of boats to complement its cutter fleet. The long range interceptor II (LRI II) is deployed on the national security cutters (NSCs), providing a semi-enclosed cabin for extended cutter boat missions to help cutter crews extend their interdiction range. The over the horizon IV (OTH IV) boats are deployed across the major cutter fleet ranging from fast response cutters (FRCs) to NSCs, providing a high-speed, highly maneuverable cutter boat with the ability to operate outside the visual range of the cutter while delivering boarding teams to vessels of interest. The cutter boat large (CB-L) is a high-speed, maneuverable boat primarily focused toward law enforcement support for the 225-foot seagoing buoy tender and the 210-foot medium endurance cutter fleet.

Why this program?

Cutter boats provide the critical final link in mission execution for the cutter fleet. Cutter boats allow the deployment or transfer of personnel and equipment when the transfers cannot be performed directly from the cutter. A typical service life for a cutter exceeds 25 years, while the service life for a cutter boat ranges from seven to 10 years, requiring replacement of the cutter boat once or twice during the expected service life of the cutter. Each time the cutter boat is replaced, the program works to take advantage of state-of-the-market advances and incorporate improvements into the new generation of boats. This typically results in more capable cutter boats that provide increased or enhanced mission-capability for the parent cutters.

For the three current cutter boat programs, marketplace advances support enhancements in the following areas in comparison to boats they replace:

The LRI II features increased passenger carrying capability, a semi-enclosed cabin, improved dynamic stability, higher speeds, ballistic protection systems, robust logistics support infrastructure, improved navigation systems and appropriate hull design for stern launch and recovery.

The OTH IV features increased top speed and passenger capacity, improved navigation systems, and an appropriate hull design for stern launch and recovery.

The CB-L features similar high-speed capability and crew accommodation as the OTH IV, with reduced complexity in the communication and navigation systems. Its design allows for full interoperability among four classes of cutters without the need for variants or modifications.

How are the boats being acquired?

The cutter boat program will acquire up to 11 35-foot LRI II boats for deployment on NSCs. The program will procure up to 114 26-foot OTH IVs, which the Coast Guard will deploy aboard the NSC and other major cutters including the legacy medium endurance cutter fleet and the FRC platforms. A new project to acquire the next generation OTH, the OTH V, has been initiated to meet future cutter boat needs, including the introduction of the offshore patrol cutter and the polar security cutter classes. Additionally, the program will procure a new fleet of up to 36 22-foot CB-Ls, which will replace the current boats onboard 210-foot medium endurance cutters, 225-foot seagoing buoy tenders, and Coast Guard Cutters Alex Haley and Mackinaw.

Long Range Interceptor II

The LRI II extends the NSC’s mission reach with over the horizon capability, providing high-speed pursuit, interdiction and rescue capabilities.


  • Length: 35 feet
  • Maximum Speed: 40 knots
  • Range: 240 nautical miles

Over the Horizon IV

The OTH IV is the quick response boat for the NSC, FRC, medium endurance cutter and operational units.


  • Length: 26 feet
  • Maximum Speed: 40 knots
  • Range: 200 nautical miles

Cutter Boat Large

The CB-L provides capability to multiple cutter classes as a high-speed cutter boat focused on law enforcement missions.


  • Length: 22 feet
  • Maximum Speed: 35 knots
  • Range: 200 nautical miles

47-foot motor lifeboat service life extension program

The Coast Guard is working to extend the service life of the 47-foot motor lifeboat (MLB) – the service’s primary boat to conduct search and rescue missions in surf and heavy weather conditions.

A service life extension program (SLEP) addresses specific systems and major maintenance to extend the service life of the vessel beyond the original design service life. A SLEP is not designed to increase a vessel’s capability; it continues to provide the current capability for an extended service life by replacing obsolete, unsupportable or maintenance-intensive equipment, and by seeking standardization of configuration issues.

The Coast Guard on Aug. 5, 2019, awarded a firm fixed price indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to Birdon America Inc. of Denver, Colorado, to perform work supporting the service’s 47-foot MLB SLEP. The initial award to complete the detail design and service life extension work on the first vessel is valued near $6.5 million. The total projected contract value is close to $190 million to complete the SLEP over the 10-year contract period. The work will be performed on between 107 and 117 MLBs.

The 47-foot MLB fleet was placed in service during the 1997-2002 timeframe with an expected service life of 25 years.  With the planned service life ending in 2022-2027, the 47 MLB SLEP was initiated to extend the useful life of the MLB fleet by 20 years through 2047. The SLEP will reduce support costs and improve operational availability through renewal of the propulsion, electrical, steering, towing, navigation, and hull and structural systems, along with other minor work items.

Boat Acquisition Program: In the News



Feb. 12, 2024 - Coast Guard Boat Acquisition Program achieves significant milestone with delivery of final 22-foot cutter boat-large 


June 29, 2023 - First 47-foot motor lifeboats delivered following design modification to service life extension program

May 30, 2023 - Coast Guard awards contract for long range interceptor III cutter boats

April. 21, 2023 - First OTH V cutter boat delivered to Coast Guard for operational test and evaluation


Oct. 6, 2022 - Coast Guard completes service life extension work on fifth 47-foot motor lifeboat

Sept. 1, 2022 - Coast Guard releases a request for proposal for long range interceptor III cutter boats

Aug. 5, 2022 - Coast Guard selects builder for next-generation over the horizon cutter boats

March 4, 2022 - First full rate production cutter boat large delivered to Coast Guard fleet


Sept. 24, 2021 - Coast Guard inducts five motor lifeboats into Service Life Extension Program

June 3, 2021 - Coast Guard awards four contracts supporting OTH V cutter boat program

June 2, 2021 - Coast Guard accepts delivery of last LRI II cutter boat

April 12, 2021 - Coast Guard awards contract for up to 20 OTH IV boats and equipment


Aug. 14, 2020 - Coast Guard releases request for proposal for next-generation cutter boats

Jan. 22, 2020 - Coast Guard engages industry on boat acquisitions


Dec. 26, 2019 - Coast Guard orders two over the horizon cutter boats

Sept. 4, 2019 - Coast Guard accepts delivery of new cutter boats

Feb. 15, 2019 - Coast Guard orders 20 response boats


Dec. 17, 2018 - Coast Guard presents information to industry at International WorkBoat Show

Dec. 7, 2018 - Coast Guard seeks information to support over the horizon cutter boats

Oct. 11, 2018 - Coast Guard orders seven over the horizon cutter boats

Oct. 3, 2018 - Coast Guard orders seven response boats

Sept. 6, 2018 - Coast Guard awards contract for cutter boats

April 23, 2018 - Coast Guard orders long range interceptor boat

Feb. 28, 2018 - Coast Guard orders six over the horizon cutter boats

Jan. 24, 2018 - Coast Guard releases request for proposal for new cutter boats

Jan. 18, 2018 - Coast Guard orders 20 response boats


Sept. 29, 2017 - Coast Guard Cutter James aids in Maria response

Sept. 27, 2017 - Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley crew delivers supplies to Puerto Rico

Sept. 25, 2017 - Cutter Boats crucial to rescues, navigation in debris-strewn waters

Sept. 15, 2017 - National security cutter capabilities aid Hurricane Irma relief

June 5, 2017 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders 15 response boats


Nov. 4, 2016 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard completes fiscal year 2016 response boat orders

Aug. 8, 2016 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders 39 response boats

July 13, 2016 - Coast Guard accepts 200th response boat-small II

July 6, 2016 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders 11 over the horizon cutter boats

June 1, 2016 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders nine cutter boats

Feb. 17, 2016 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders 14 response boats


Sept. 15, 2015 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders 61 boats

Feb. 27, 2015 - Acquisition update: Long range interceptor boat delivered To Hamilton


Nov. 25, 2014 - Acquisition update: Long range interceptor boat delivered to Waesche

Sept. 22, 2014 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard receives 100th small response boat

Sept. 19, 2014 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders 44 additional response boats

March 28, 2014 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders six over the horizon cutter boats


Dec. 12, 2013 - U.S. Coast Guard orders four long range interceptor II cutter boats

Sept. 25, 2013 - Acquisition update: U.S. Coast Guard orders 15 response boats-small

July 3, 2013 - Acquisition update: Long range interceptor II approved for full-rate production

June 6, 2013 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders sixteen over the horizon cutter boats

May 29, 2013 - LRI II marks operational success in Pacific Area drugs bust

May 8, 2013 - Deploying to a Coast Guard station near you: the response boat-small II

Feb. 6, 2013 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard orders six over the horizon cutter boats

Response boat-small II

The Coast Guard acquired 370 response boats-small II (RB-S II) at a total contract value of approximately $150 million, making it one of the largest boat buys of its type for the service.

The RB-S II is a more easily deployable vessel with higher speeds compared to the Defender class RB-S it replaced. The RB-S II has an increased emphasis on ergonomics and crew comfort when compared to the first generation RB-S. Designed to operate year-round in waters along coastal borders, the RB-S II has proven effective in executing Coast Guard missions including port and waterway security, search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, environmental and other law enforcement missions.

The acquisition program is transitioning to sustainment, with the service’s small boat product line assuming responsibility for sustainment including change management and maintenance.

For more information: RB-S II sustainment page


Response boat-medium

The Coast Guard acquired 174 RB-Ms to replace the 41-foot utility boat class, which was in service from 1973 to 2014.

The 45-foot response boat-medium (RB-M) revitalized the Coast Guard's shore-based boat fleet, delivering improved speed, maneuverability and ergonomics over the 41-foot utility boat and other nonstandard boats it replaced. The RB-M has proven effective in performing Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue; ports, waterways and coastal security; law enforcement; and drug and migrant interdiction.

The RB-M program transitioned to sustainment in June 2015 and the Coast Guard completed an RB-M electric power generation system retrofit program in May 2017.

For more information: RB-M sustainment page