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Riverine Command Boat

The Riverine Command Boat (RCB) is capable of offering command and control for a range of situations. RCBs can execute a variety of operations across all phases of military operations, including port security, troop insertion or extraction, inland counter-insurgency operations, organic air and fire support, organic unmanned aerial vehicle support, maritime interdiction, and command and control. RCBs serve as part of a Coastal Riverine Force (CRF) unit, acting as liaison between shallow water riverine units and standard deep-water naval vessels.

Riverine Command Boat Copyright © Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Scott, U.S. Navy


In active service


Builder: SAFE Boats International - Bremerton, Washington, USA

Farsi Island incident

On the 12th of January, 2016, two riverine command boats were seized and their crews taken captive by Iranian forces. The boats were headed to Bahrain from Kuwait. During the 259 nautical mile transit, one of the boats suffered an engine malfunction, while passing less than two miles from the Iranian-controlled Farsi Island. Both riverine boats subsequently stopped to troubleshoot. As it was being repaired, two Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy boats approached the American boats at high speeds. Shortly thereafter, two more Iranian boats arrived at the scene.

After briefly attempting to communicate with the Iranian patrol craft, the riverine boats and 10 naval personnel were taken into custody by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. A report issued after the incident said, the Iranians “boarded, searched and seized the riverine command boats, and then searched, blindfolded and bound the crew. They struck the U.S. flag, replacing it with their own. Two sailors were forced at gunpoint to drive the riverine command boats to Farsi Island.”

On the island, the captured personnel were first interrogated as a group, then several of them were questioned individually. The following morning, the crews were given food and filmed by an Iranian television crew. The crew’s captain was forced to read off a script to the camera, apologizing for the episode. It was shown on Iranian television.

Then all the sailors were blindfolded, taken back to their boats and given permission to leave. They met up with a U.S. Navy ship and were taken off the boats and flown to an American base in Qatar, where the military interviewed them. The detention lasted for 15 hours.

The report acknowledged that the American boats were in Iranian waters, but said Iran had violated international law by preventing them from leaving the area, then holding the sailors at gunpoint, videotaping interviews with them and damaging equipment on their boats.


4-8 Operating Crew


15 Personnel

Weapon systems

4 x Gun mount (including one remote-operated small arms mount (ROSAM))
M240 Medium Machine Gun
M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun
Mk19 40mm Machine Gun


Length: 16.15 meters 53 feet
Beam: 3.66 meters 12 feet
Draft: 91 centimeters 3 feet
Displacement: 22.35 metric tons 22 long tons
Propulsion (main): two Scania DSI14 V8 diesel engines, two shafts
Propulsion (water jets): two Kamewa FF waterjets
Performance: 625 horsepower (main engines)
Speed: 40 knots » 74.8 kilometers per hour 46.3 miles per hour
Range: 261 nautical miles » 483.37 kilometers 300.35 miles