Stevensville company to build Army boats

Maryland Watch

November 22, 1997

Zodiac of North America Inc., based in Stevensville, will build 570 inflatable assault boats for the Army during the next five years, the company said this week.

The exact value of the contract is difficult to compute because it will depend on how many boats the Army orders each year. But it should be in the neighborhood of $5 million, said Jackie Taylor, the company's contract administration manager.

Zodiac also will supply the Army with information and materials for maintaining the boats, as well as spares and repair kits.

Called the F530, each assault boat is 17 feet 5 inches long with a 7-foot beam and can seat 15 people. Though it is inflatable, the F530 has a rigid hull and aluminum floorboards.

Army combat engineers and special forces will use the boats for maritime operations and diving support.

The boats are produced by the Zodiac Hurricane Technologies Inc. unit of Zodiac of North America, which is a division of Groupe Zodiac of France.

The company also supplies a smaller assault boat to the Army, and inflatable vessels to the Navy and the Coast Guard.

Pub Date: 11/22/97

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