Rebuilding the riverine fleet


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May 5, 2007

Rear Adm. Donald Bullard needs a few good boats.

Bullard is head of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and oversees the progress of the reconstituted, conventional riverine force, which deployed its first squadron to Iraq in March. Stood up in a hurry, the force inherited 20 boats known as Small Unit Riverine Craft from the Marines.

But after years of hard use in desert combat, those boats are worn out....


The Joint Mulitmission Expeditionary Craft is intended as for an array of uses off a chambered hull that can be built in varying lengths and widths. This prototype on display at a military boat show in Little Creek was outfitted with state-of-the-art electronics and remote-controlled minigun.


A blast from the past. The mini-ATC (armored troop carrier) has been out of U.S. service for years but 10 such boats have been rebuilt for the Colombian military by a Virginia company. It has a flat bottom, troop ramp and seven mounts for crew-served weapons.


Around in use by several military forces around the world, the Swedish-designed CB90 has a cabin that can be configured as an ambulance, troop carrier, command post or weapons bay. Visible here is a bow ramp that allows rapid disembarkation ashore. SafeBoats Internationa president Scott Peterson says there's a high interest among potential Navy customers.