Thursday, 8 October 2015

PACIFIC 2015

Willard Approaches New Markets

The joint display of Willard Marine, Ullman Dynamics, and Wing Inflatables at Pacific 2015.
(Photo: Mitchell Sutton)
SYDNEY / 7 October 2015 - Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) producer Willard Marine Inc. has continued to expand its product line and customer base, as it moves to capture new clients internationally and augment its traditional military sales. Willard has historically focussed on producing Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) for domestic customers in the United States, such as the US Navy and US Coast Guard, and on a limited international basis through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. As demonstrated by its presence at the PACIFIC 2015 Expo in Sydney, the boatbuilder has turned to selling directly to international clients, which now include military and law enforcement agencies in the Ukraine, Nepal, the Philippines, and yet unnamed countries in the Middle East. Opportunities for future sales are also being discussed in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
As well as new clients, Willard also appears to be diversifying its product line. According to the company, investment has been made in new aluminium boat designs, such as its 8.7m Riverine search-and-rescue (SAR) boat, 10m DAUNTLESS 30 boarding craft, and 8.5m Hydrographic Survey Launch. It has also recently attempted to expand its reach into the international law enforcement market, producing specialised police and SAR vessels including its 12.5m Open Ocean Fast Response design and the 9m and 10.3m aluminium patrol boats which the company sold to the Philippines National Police Maritime Group in late 2015. Change is also afoot in the military RIB market, with Willard’s clients shifting their purchases to larger vessels in the 11m to 18m range, for use as soldier rescue vessels and assault boats.
By Mitchell Sutton

(Ed.:) At PACIFIC 2015, Willard Marine unveiled its new SEA FORCE 777 RHIB. According to the boatbilder, this is a military-grade, fibreglass RHIB designed with a deep-V hull for maximum stability in the roughest sea conditions. The platform has a Steyr SE306J38 diesel engine with ZF 63 marine gear powering a HamiltonJet HJ-274 drive. The latter delivers 300hp to achieve a maximum speed of 32 knots. Additionally, the RHIB is equipped with nine Ullman Dynamics shock-mitigating seats that are installed for crew comfort and safety. The SEA FORCE RHIB is an "exceptionally durable vessel", which is necessary abroad to support a variety of 'Blue Water' missions, including rescue, patrol, and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS).

International military representatives can now rely upon the new 777 the same way the US Navy has relied upon similar shipboard RHIBs from Willard Marine over the last 25 years.
(Photo: Willard Marine)
Willard Marine's President and CEO Ulrich Gottschling explained that “Willard Marine has built hundreds of mission-proven boats for American and international militaries around the world, and the new SEA FORCE 777 is a larger version of our military-grade RHIBs that government agencies can depend upon the same way the US Navy has for 25 years.”

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