BAE Systems, the UK-based shipbuilder, was awarded a £13.5m ($20.4m) contract for 60 new Pacific 24 Rigid Inflatable Boats.
The announcement was made by the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon during his visit to Portsmouth Naval Base on December 14.
This Pacific 24 Mark-4 will be deployed on Royal Navy ships such as the Offshore Patrol Vessels, as well as the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers due to arrive in Portsmouth in 2017.
The RIBs are the workhorse of the Royal Navy, deploying from ship or shore at speeds of up to 38 knots (44mph) as a rapid response craft to perform fast rescue, anti-piracy and counter-narcotics missions.
BAE Systems said a team of 19 employees would start work in early 2016 to build the boats over the next four years at the Company’s small boats manufacturing facility at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “These 60 new RIBs provide a vital capability to the Royal Navy and are a clear benefit of the £178 billion this government is investing in new military equipment.”