Willard Ready for Defense, Commercial Contracts
Willard Marine, Inc., which is a leading builder of RIB's and other small craft for the U.S. Government, delivering more than 900 military boats during the past 20 years. The company's factory is in Anaheim, Calif., with waterfront for sea trials, testing and commissioning located in Long Beach, Calif.
Based on this experience, the staff at Willard Marine understands the importance of the relationship between the boat, and its crew, mission and payload. Willard Marine is the primary boat builder of FRP RIBs and boats for the U.S. Navy, as well as builders of U.S. Coast Guard craft, pilot boats, water taxis and other boats for the tourist industry. Currently four principal sizes of Willard RIB's are being delivered for force protection, mobile security, homeland security and Navy ship's boat use.
Most RIB's delivered are now being equipped with a force protection package of equipment, and designed and tested for C-130 air transport certification. The flagship of the Willard RIB line is its heavy weather, versatile 36-ft. (11-m) craft with twin diesels (up to 440 hp per engine), water jet or propeller propulsion, and construction available in FRP or welded aluminum, with or without full cabin enclosure. The wide beam of this RIB allows seating of up to 30 persons, or a very large area forward or aft for mission equipment and cargo. This RIB has been contracted as the ship's boat for the new Navy LPD-17 class of amphibious assault ships for the Marines. (See photograph) Next in the RIB line is a 32-ft. (9.7-m) Harbor Security Boat, which presently when delivered are immediately loaded into C-130's and flown to the Middle East for force protection duty. These RIB's have full cabins, which are quickly removable and stowed on the aft deck during air transport. Each RIB has a force protection package, which includes four gun mounts and full electronics. Also in Willard's line of RIB's is the U.S. Navy standard 23-ft. (7-m), which is carried aboard most naval ships. Cur- rently these RIB's also are being equipped with a force protection package including a gun mount that attaches to the forward bow post. Power is a single diesel engine with outdrive propulsion, and over 200 have been built by Willard for the Navy.
Rounding out the Willard RIB line are the 16-ft. (4.9-m), 17-ft. (5.4-m), and 22-ft. (6.7-m), which are built as SOLAS Rescue Boats and which have U.S. Coast Guard Certificates of Approval. The 17-ft. (5.4- m) is currently also under contract by the U.S. Navy as a ship's boat.