ARLINGTON, Va. — The Department of Defense has added two more modern patrol boats for Ukraine in a new security assistance package.
“The Department of Defense announces a new $125 million package for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative that includes training, equipment, and advisory efforts to help Ukraine’s forces preserve the country’s territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO, the department said in a March 1 release. “This action reaffirms the U.S. commitment to providing defensive lethal weapons to enable Ukraine to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.
“The USAI package includes two additional armed Mark VI patrol boats to enhance Ukraine’s capacity to patrol and defend its territorial waters,” the release said. “To date, the U.S. has committed a total of eight Mark VI patrol boats.”
The Mark VI boats are being built by SAFE Boats International LLC of Bremerton. Washington.
The U.S. State Department has approved the possible foreign military sale of up to 16 Mark VI patrol boats and related equipment to Ukraine for an estimated cost of $600 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a June 17, 2020, release.
The patrol boats will be operated by the Ukrainian navy to defend territorial waters and other maritime interests. They each will be armed with two MSI Seahawk A2 gun systems and two Mk44 cannons and equipped with electro-optical/infrared sensors and loud-speaker systems.
The sale will “improve Ukraine’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a modern, fast, short-range vessel,” the DSCA said.
Mark VI patrol boats are used by the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command for escort of high-value ships, coastal patrol, and other maritime security missions.