In 2018, the Northwood Pontoon Boat Company and its competitor, the Honda Manufacturing Corporation, were awarded a contract worth $2.8 million by the U.S. government to develop a pontoon boat that will allow the company to make new pontoon models for the military and commercial market.
Northwood says its new pontoons will be designed with the Navy in mind.
“The Navy has made a decision that we should develop our own pontoon, that they will buy it,” said David Houser, Northwood’s vice president of marine products.
“The Navy is saying we need this pontoon for the Navy and we want it here in the United States, and we’re willing to work with them to make that happen.”
But the Navy doesn’t necessarily want to develop its own pontoons.
The U.A.E. has several competing maritime programs, including the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which operates the U-2 and U-1 spy planes, and the United Arab Emirates, which runs the UH-1H Blackjack and the UG-12.
Northam said the Navy is looking to buy up to 20 new ponton boats, which will allow it to test the new models against competing models that have been developed for the past several years.
North and Housers have also agreed to spend $2 million to test their new pontons against the UB-1A and UB 1B, which were designed in the 1970s, while Northam and Houlihan are working on a new pontonic, which is about 30 percent lighter and designed to be flown by a small helicopter.
Northwoods new pontona will use the same hull and design as its existing model, but it will be built from the hulls of the UBS-2 helicopter, which Houlahan is developing to replace the UBC-1.
“We’re looking to get this into the Navy, so that’s where we’re going,” Houlahans chief executive officer, James Houlimans, told Reuters in an interview.
The pontoon’s main advantage is that it’s designed for maximum payload, Northam said.
That’s because the pontoon has a much shorter range than a helicopter.
The Navy, which has about 2,500 pontoon ships in service, has said it will use them to support the UAS and other military missions, but has said they will not replace its existing pontoon fleet.
The Northwood and Hontons new pontones will be able to fly for a total of 20 hours before needing refueling, and they will be equipped with four large fuel tanks.
North said the new pontono models will be manufactured at a plant in Florida that will be part of a U.B.A.-led program to convert existing UBS and HBS-3 ponton vessels to water-tight hulls.
“This is a great opportunity for the Northwoods to be able manufacture a new fleet of pontons for the Army and Navy and to sell those,” Housing said.
The new pontoni ships, which cost between $5 million and $10 million, will be used for training and other functions by the Navy’s amphibious task force, the amphibious warfare training unit (AWTFU), according to Houlis spokesman, Brian Caudill.
North Woods said it has been working on the project for several years, and that it expects to produce between 20 and 30 pontoons for the new fleet by 2019.
Northwood is also working on designs for the UMB-3, which can carry more than 20 passengers.
The company is also developing a new UH 1B that will take advantage of the improved underwater capabilities of the ponton.
H 1A, which was designed by the Marine Corps, was initially designed to support special operations and the Marine Corp’s Sea Base Command.
“Our goal is to get the UOB-3 out of the water, but we are very excited about the new UOB3,” Haugh said.
“It is an exciting time for the underwater vehicle industry.”
Houliimans hopes to build his ponton at the Northam Shipyard in the Uptown section of Miami.
The Hontones new pontonies will cost between about $50 million and about $60 million, North and Haugh explained.
The company will start with the hull and add some of the hull components, then work out a manufacturing contract with a manufacturer, North said.
North and Southam have agreed to sell Northam to the North American Marine Corp (NAM), a marine-manufacturing firm based in Annapolis, Maryland.
North, who is also a professor at Miami’s University of Miami, is the first U.N. member to build a ponton and will have to start the construction work by 2019 or 2020.