The Navy appears poised to sunset the Mk VI and Cyclone-class patrol craft programs in rapid succession, with no replacements on the horizon. The Navy has done this throughout history, only to discover after hostilities have begun that the decision was misguided. The torpedo boats of World War II were instrumental in ensuring the success of the Pacific island-hopping campaign. The Vietnam War saw a need for riverine boats to patrol deep inland and support ground troops. And the Navy needed riverine forces to patrol the Tigris and Euphrates rivers during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Yet once again, as competition with a rival great power increases, the Navy finds itself on the verge of having no small patrol craft. If the Mk VI was gone before we even knew her, perhaps it is time to ponder what a Mk VII design should entail.
The Mk VI is Dead—Long Live the Mk VII
By Lieutenant Commander Jordan Bradford, U.S. Navy