The Pentagon provided more details on Friday of the 18 boats heading to Ukraine as part of the latest withdrawal of $450 million in US weapons supplied to the beleaguered nation.

Included in the listing are two 35ft, Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC), 10 34ft Dauntless Sea Ark-class patrol boats and six 40ft maritime combat patrol boats.

“A lot of it is about protecting the waterways and allowing Ukraine to retain control over the waterways,” a senior US defense official told reporters on Friday morning. “They can also be used in near coastal areas.”

The Small Unit Riverine Craft, like those used by the Marine Corps, can transport infantry squadrons of up to 13 soldiers to support operations on inland waterways as well as in various conditions on the high seas, according to GlobalSecurity.org.

Riverines attached to Riverine Squadron 2 in an SURC at Forward Operating Base Haditha Dam conduct a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Dec. 20, 2007. Members of RIVRON 2 patrol the Haditha Dam and waterways surrounding areas, denying their use by insurgents, which in turn provides safety to the local fisherman. Location: FOB Haditha Dam, Anbar Province, Iraq. (United States Navy, MC2 Kirk Worley)

Their main function is to provide “tactical mobility and an armament platform” in the river environment. “The SURC provides the mobility, speed, endurance, firepower, payload, survivability, and command and control capabilities to support sustained operations in a water-dominated environment.”

The SURC can go from zero to 25 knots in 15 seconds, with a top speed of 40 knots. It is usually equipped with two six-cylinder diesel engines of 440 horsepower. It also has a range of 250 nautical miles.

The Dauntless Sea Ark is an aluminum vessel with a deep-V hull, according to its manufacturer, US Watercraft. It has a beam of 12 feet, a draft of 3.2 feet and can carry up to seven tons with a maximum power of 850 horsepower. These boats are very commonly used for force protection in port areas from which Navy ships operate.

A Dauntless Sea Ark patrol boat operating in San Diego. The type is very common in places where US Navy ships have been operating for years now. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Moriatis/Released

While the Pentagon has not specified which 40ft combat patrol boat is being shipped to Ukraine, the Naval Sea Systems Command has purchased six 40ft patrol boats River patrol boats in 2020 for a Pacific ally under a Foreign Military Sales Agreement, according Sea Power magazine. It is quite possible that it is the same type.

This type of vessel is described as “extremely robust, center console and powered by twin 440 HP Yanmar engines and water jets. They are armed, armored and were designed to carry 20 people or a typical crew of six with 14 soldiers and additional cargo.

Ukraine urgently needs all of these types of vessels, especially to help protect its inland waterways.

Its current river force, called the Ukrainian Navy Squadron on the Dnipro River, is made up largely of converted fishing and pleasure vessels, said Andrii Ryzhenko, a retired captain in the Ukrainian navy and a former state member. -major of this country. The war zone.

The Ukrainian Navy squadron on the Dnipro River consists largely of converted fishing and pleasure boats. Photo courtesy of Andrii Ryzhenko

This force, he acknowledges, is no match for the vastly superior Russian fleet.

The ships, he said, will most likely be used in the Dnipro River near Kyiv.

The list provided by the Pentagon puts an end to speculation that the 85-foot Mk-VI patrol boats, which the United States wants to get rid of anyway, are part of this latest tranche of military aid.

The murky future of this ship is something The war zone was the first to report and you can read more here.

Before Russia launched its full invasion in February, the US government had approved a potential sale of 16 Mk VIs in a slightly different configuration from US Navy boats to Ukraine and the country’s navy expected to receive the first three This year.

Ryzhenko said Ukraine could still use the Mk-VIs.

It remains to be seen when and if this transfer will take place.

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