Small boats are riding high | BAE Systems | International

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Small boats are riding high

The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are supported by our Pacific 24 RIBs.
When the 65,000 tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier sailed into her home port of Portsmouth she had on board two of the tiniest craft in the Royal Navy’s fleet: BAE Systems’ Pacific 24 Mark IV Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).
They have already taken part in a number of successful exercises during HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden sea trials, practising how she’ll rapidly deploy her embarked forces for anti-piracy, counter narcotics or rescue missions.

The RIBs are designed, produced and tested at our dedicated Small Boats Centre of Excellence at Portsmouth Naval Base. 

Highly manoeuvrable, the state-of-the-art RIBs can be deployed from ship or shore and have speeds of up to 38 knots (44 miles per hour).

Paul Berry, BAE Systems Small Boats Production Manager, said: “It’s fantastic to know that our RIBs have such a vital role to play, not just on the magnificent new aircraft carriers but across the whole of the Royal Navy fleet.

“For my production team the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth created a strong sense of pride and a very poignant reminder of our contribution to this very important strategic UK asset.”

Pacific 24

Mark IV Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs)


The two RIBs on board are part of a £13.5million order to supply 60 such craft to the Royal Navy for use across the fleet.  

At the historic homecoming of HMS Queen Elizabeth, another of the Pacific 24 Mark IV RIBs carried members of the media on board to witness at close quarters the carrier’s first entry into Portsmouth, while a Mk III version owned and operated by Hampshire Marine Police escorted the aircraft carrier.

Les Gregory, BAE Systems Product, Training and Services Director, said: “More than 50 years of high performance boat building experience is encapsulated in the Pacific 24 Mark IV RIBs. It’s a source of tremendous pride to see our RIBs already deployed on HMS Queen Elizabeth and we look forward to seeing them on board her sister carrier HMS Prince of Wales.”

The BAE Systems’ small boats team has now completed the thirtieth Pacific 24 Mark IV.