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The Coast Guard’s 370th, and final, response boat-small II (RB-S II) entered the water for the first time following delivery to Station Honolulu, Hawaii, in December 2019.

The Coast Guard placed a delivery order for two over the horizon IV (OTH-IV) cutter boats Dec. 13, 2019.

The Coast Guard released requests for information (RFIs) for two upcoming cutter boat acquisitions. On Nov. 7, 2019, the service released an RFI in support of the OTH-V acquisition, available here. On Nov. 18, 2019, the service released another RFI in support of the long range interceptor III acquisition, available here.

One RB-S II was delivered to Station Charleston, South Carolina, on August 27, 2019 and one was delivered to Station Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sept. 6, 2019. One RBS-II was delivered to Marine Safety Detachment Quad Cities, Illinois on Sept. 12, 2019 and one was delivered to Station Washington, D.C. on Sept. 19, 2019.

Boat Acquisition Program

The Coast Guard boat acquisition program includes six 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. Active projects under response boats are the response boat-small generation II, and the service life extension program for the 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:

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, with reduced complexity. 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



The response boat-small II is a high-speed, easily deployable asset designed to operate year-round in coastal and inland waters.

Why this program?

The Coast Guard operates more than 400 response boats-small (RB-Ss), making it the largest vessel class in the Coast Guard fleet. The RB-S II, designed with an increased emphasis on function and crew comfort, has gradually replaced the Defender-class RB-S as the older assets reached the end of their service life.

How is the RB-S being acquired?

The RB-S replacement is one of the largest boat buys for the Coast Guard. Under a phased, competitive procurement, the Coast Guard selected two vendors’ designs to compete in a down select process, testing each design against Coast Guard requirements while verifying industry’s ability to deliver to those requirements at a reasonable price. The Coast Guard awarded a delivery order valued at approximately $13 million Sept. 26, 2011, to Metal Shark Aluminum Boats for the production of 38 RB-S IIs. A total of 370 boats have been ordered and are being delivered to shore units throughout the Coast Guard to perform port and waterway security, search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, environmental and other law enforcement missions.

The response boat-small is a multi-mission platform, used for the full range of Coast Guard missions, including: search and rescue; vessel boarding team deployment and law enforcement missions; port security; drug and migrant interdiction and environmental response operations.


  • Length: 28 feet 8 inches
  • Beam: 8 feet 5 inches
  • Draft: 1 foot 8 inches
  • Displacement: 8,300 pounds
  • Maximum Speed: 40+ knots
  • Range: 150 nautical miles at cruising speed


  • Functional design and focus on crew comfort
  • Standardized communications and navigation suite
  • 360 degrees visibility
  • State-of-the-art shock-mitigating seats
  • Fore and aft gun mounts with a forward shock-mitigating gunners seat
  • Crew restraints
  • Lowering cabin windows
  • 2 NAVNET 3D displays for secondary navigation
  • Cabin integrated ballistics panels for crew protection
  • Left-side coxswain placement

Boat Acquisition Program: In the News


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


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