Perhaps the most visible legacy of the US AFRICOM’s Africa Partnership Station maritime safety and security cooperation with African navies is the RBS Defender response boat.
Everywhere from Nigeria and Senegal to Liberia, Ghana to Benin, Cameroon to Gabon, Kenya to Tanzania, among other countries, the Defender class response boats have practically become the totem of the US Navy’s maritime security assistance and cooperation with navies across East, West and Central Africa.
The Nigerian Navy is by far the foremost user of this aluminium hull platform. In addition to an initial batch of four units presented to the Nigerian Navy in line with the established trend observable in the Africa Partnership Station, the Nigerian Navy acquired many more units of this useful platform. (see thread “On Riverline Warfare Combatants of the Nigerian Navy”)
The 9-metre Response Boat – Small (RB-S) first entered service in 2003. They are powered by twin 225 hp (168 kW) outboard motors and are capable of speeds in excess of 46 knots (85 km/h) and have a range of 150 nautical miles(280 kilometres).
RB-S Defender boats are manufactured by SAFE Boats International (Secure All-around Flotation Equipped) of Port Orchard, Washington.