The Riverine Combat Boat was introduced in 2007 and based a successful Swedish design. The boats are made locally for the United States Navy (USN) under license through SAFE Boats of Bremerton, Washington and form a fast-attack, fast-response arm for the service. The RCB is assigned to three Riverine Squadrons as part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and have seen extensive service in Persian Gulf waters to date (2016). There are six RCBs in service with the USN as part of the CB90-class.
The vessels exhibit sharp-angled lines and strong contours with draughts shallow enough to allow for operation very near the shoreline - an area where larger boats and warships cannot go. This makes the design useful in interception of enemy elements, fast assault of valued targets near the shoreline and supporting special forces missions by providing insertion/extraction services. Armor protection is rated up to 7.62mm weapons. Aboard, the crew can make use of several modern systems including thermal imaging, laser range-finding and stabilization.
The operating crew numbers five with space for an additional nineteen personnel. Dimensions include a length of 53, a beam of 12 feet and a draught of 3 feet - the latter quality utterly important for close-to-shore operations. Displacement is 22 tons. Power is from Swedish-originated Scania DSI14 V8 diesel engines developing 625 horsepower each and driving power to 2 x Kamewa FF waterjets. This arrangement propels the boat to speeds of over 40 knots and ranges out to 300 miles.
Despite their size, RCBs are well-armed across four positions located about the craft. Armament can be variable and a mix of 12.7mm Browning M2HB heavy machine guns, 7.62mm M240B medium machine guns, 40mm Mk 19 automatic grenade launchers and 7.62mm GAU-17 / 12.7mm GAU-19 miniguns. The boats are also set up to support the Israeli "Rafael" Mk 49 Remote Weapons Station (RWS) fitting a 0.50 caliber machine gun allowing operators to fire on the enemy from cover.
The RCB boats have seen regular confrontations with Iranian Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf theater.
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