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New border patrol boat features high-tech surveillance
Paul Egan / The Detroit News

Detroit -- The U.S. Customs and Border Protection today unveiled what could be its newest weapon in fighting the smuggling of drugs, weapons, goods and illegal immigrants across the Detroit River and other coastal borders.

The new 43-foot boat, still a prototype that's in the testing stages, can hit speeds of 75 mph (65 knots) and is loaded with high-tech features such as a camera that can see a mile away at night.

The Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator vessel is being tested in various waters around the U.S. and has been in Detroit for a little over two weeks.

The boat's high speed could be particularly effective in the Detroit area, said Thomas Norton, director of Customs and Border Protection's National Marine Center.

"You've got relatively short distances between countries, so you've got to be able to react quickly," he said.

The boat is powered by four 350-horsepower outboard motors.

In addition to greater speed -- 20 miles per hour faster than the Border Patrol boats now in use -- the thermal camera is a feature not found on the 39-foot Midnight Express boats now used by the federal agency. The new boat also features mounted machine guns in addition to handguns carried by the four-member crew, though Norton said it's not clear whether the mounted guns will be used on the boats that will eventually replace the Midnight Express.

The prototype costs about $550,000 and contains another $350,000 worth of electronics, Norton said.

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090921/ME...0413/1361/rss41
 

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QUOTE(canaller @ Sep 21 2009, 07:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Dos mangos @ Sep 21 2009, 07:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(pquest29 @ Sep 21 2009, 06:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>350HP Outboards; Japanese made motors protecting US borders


I dont believe the American brands make a 350 hp yet


How about 5 mercury Optimax 250's. Money is no object.


how wide is the beam of the boat ? and what is the power to weight ratio for five outboards vs 2?
 

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QUOTE(Dos mangos @ Sep 21 2009, 07:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(canaller @ Sep 21 2009, 07:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Dos mangos @ Sep 21 2009, 07:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(pquest29 @ Sep 21 2009, 06:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>350HP Outboards; Japanese made motors protecting US borders


I dont believe the American brands make a 350 hp yet


How about 5 mercury Optimax 250's. Money is no object.


how wide is the beam of the boat ? and what is the power to weight ratio for five outboards vs 2?


Actually the article says it is powered by four 350 HP outboards. If you can fit four, why not five? There has to be a way to do it. Maybe stagger them in a vee shape. When you are spending other peoples money and it is not an obstacle you should be able to design just about anything.
 

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QUOTE(canaller @ Sep 21 2009, 08:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Actually the article says it is powered by four 350 HP outboards. If you can fit four, why not five? There has to be a way to do it. Maybe stagger them in a vee shape. When you are spending other peoples money and it is not an obstacle you should be able to design just about anything.

1 - Money can't defy physics, no matter how much you have

2 - There is always a budget, and money is usually an obstacle. If the boat costs more, they can't buy as many of them.
 

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QUOTE(sleeper @ Sep 22 2009, 08:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(canaller @ Sep 21 2009, 08:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Actually the article says it is powered by four 350 HP outboards. If you can fit four, why not five? There has to be a way to do it. Maybe stagger them in a vee shape. When you are spending other peoples money and it is not an obstacle you should be able to design just about anything.

1 - Money can't defy physics, no matter how much you have

2 - There is always a budget, and money is usually an obstacle. If the boat costs more, they can't buy as many of them.


$900K for a 43'. I want that budget.
 

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Have you looked at the prices of boats lately? A top of the line production 43' boat with 4 350's will cost nearly the $550k this boat cost. And start looking up prices on .50 cal machine guns, thermal cameras, stabilization systems for thermal cameras, and all the other fancy sh*t they have on that boat and that's just what it costs. If this is actually a purpose built boat, or a production boat with any real degree of modification, that's a pretty good price.

Yes it does get driven up by the fact that the government does it, because they have so many acquisition rules that they have to follow to ensure fairness and competition, and so many requirements that they have to impose on the contractor, that it is inevitably going to drive cost up. Just a function of the way the government is forced to do business in the name of transparency, fairness, and competition.
 
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