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06/02/2010

US Coastguard Gets First of Two New Zodiac Hurricane RIBS

The first of two top-of-the-range Zodiac Hurricane RIBS (Rigid Inflatable Boats) has been delivered to the US Coastguard Maritime Security Response Team at Chesapeake, Virginia. The boat is the first of a new model from Zodiac that is classed as; Special Purpose Craft - Boarding Team Delivery (SPC-BTD). It has been designed to carry a boarding party of 12 armed officers and three crew at speeds reaching 50 knots up to 100 miles offshore. It can operate in extreme conditions with up to 12-foot seas and it gives the USCG a new capability because it has not owned any boats offering this level of performance before.

The BTD can carry 264 US gallons of fuel which gives it a range of 260 nautical miles. A further twenty–six miles is available if the RIB’s speed is limited to 30 knots. The second of the new RIBs will be delivered in June after when they will be used for a wide range of applications including anti-drug intervention, immigration control and for providing a security response to terrorism or piracy incidents.

The new SPC-BTD craft is 11 meters long and powered by three Mercury 300 Verado outboard engines. It is equipped with the latest edition Shockwave ICE (Integrated Control Environment) console which incorporates shock mitigating seating for the coxswain, navigator and engineer. This is contained within one unit so all equipment in the RIB’s comprehensive navigation and communications suite moves together. It is also fitted with a separate installation of 12 Shockwave shock reduction seats for the boarding team.

The new RIB’s design features the unique aluminium Zodiac Military Air Channelled Hull (MACH 2) hull designed by Michael Peters to direct air to the keel and reduce drag and increase boat speed. It is equipped with a foam and air collar and a raised foredeck for boarding operations. Zodiac RIBs are well known for their strength and durability which is why they are considered ideal for such demanding operations. The deep-V aluminium hull of the MACH II Hurricane is sufficiently buoyant to support the crew and its equipment by itself and the inflatable collar only contributes to the RIB’s buoyancy in extreme sea conditions or when the boat heels in a turn. Because of this, Zodiac RIBs are widely used by the world’s defence forces and emergency services.

The new RIB is manufactured by Zodiac Hurricane Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is part of Zodiac Military and Professional (MILPRO) based in Paris. Zodiac Milpro is part of the Zodiac Marine & Pool Group which operates in three sectors that provide a comprehensive service to their specialised markets. The Zodiac Military and Professional (MILPRO) sector supplies inflatable and semi-rigid craft for professional users such as police, coast guard, special forces, anti-terrorism units, fire teams, the offshore industry and other military users. The boats manufactured by Zodiac MILPRO range from 4. 7m to 12m long and are available in configurations that include inflatable and rigid inflatable boats with aluminium or fibreglass hull designs, inflatable or foam tubes, diesel inboard or petrol outboard engines. The Zodiac SOLAS sector supplies life rafts for merchant ships, ferries, and cruise ships and complete rescue systems combining escape slides and rafts. The Zodiac Recreational sector manufactures inflatable and semi-rigid craft that are distributed under the Zodiac®, Bombard® and Avon® brands.


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