Texas Preparing Its Own Riverine Navy

We don’t often write about law enforcement tech here at DT but this is almost paramilitary. The Texas Highway Patrol is getting a small fleet of 36-foot armored speedboats, hell they’re almost riverine patrol boats, each one armed with three M240 7.62 machine guns, a pair of Barrett .50 cal sniper rifles and a bunch of carbines, submachine guns and pistols.

The state recently took delivery of the first of six of the “Shallow Water Interceptors” — powered by three 300-horsepower outboard motors — that are meant to serve protect the state’s waters from Mexican drug cartels. As Jalopnik notes, this is very Texas.

Click through the jump to see more pics of the gunboats.

Via Marsec4.


  • Gunther

    Aww Yeaah Texas!!!

    I’m glad of this purchase, as the tag says, You can run….

    • Musson1

      All we need now is a pony keg and some water skis!

  • Skyepapa

    Don’t mess with Texas. Other border states pass laws playing with immigration enforcement; Texas buys gun boats. I rather like being a Texan.

  • JEFF

    I love Texas. These people get it.

  • Kevin

    I had less firepower on my humvee in both Iraq AND Afghanistan.

  • elportonative77

    As a Californian I sigh in defeat and acceptance….GO TEXAS! Damn that was hard to type. I think a bit of me died with that oh well.

    • guess

      As a fellow californian I feel your pain. Live in louisiana now and spend allot of time in texas. I have to say its nice to be in the south. Common sense its a nice change

  • Andrew

    What, no Mk-19?

  • LtKitty

    .50 cal? Might as well slap a cannon on the bow! Awesome. It’s good to see the Texas Highway Patrol getting what it needs to do its job.

  • BorderClaymore

    They need about 100 more. And the should buy a dozen more IR equipped helicopters. More cameras and outposts as well.

    But any who saw the recent YouTube video of the AZ border fence being lift jacked open by the drug mules knows what we are up against. Infuriating.

  • Lance

    Taking over from the Coast Guard. Heck for less maintenance and more surplus parts id use M-60s and M-2 machine guns rather than the expensive M-240 that is heavy regulated by the Government. I doubt this plan will fly the USCG will start protesting domestic Law Enforcement getting mixed in there job and have the feds stop it.

    • Skyepapa


      This is Texas’s hot poker in the USCG’s rump.

    • Mastro

      M-60’s? Yeah- they’re cheap for a reason-

      What regulation applies to the M-240 but not the M60 and M-2-? they are all full auto-

      What’s the price difference $500-maybe $1000? For that I’ll take a gun that 3-4X’s as reliable.

      Jeez- most of the gear on this site- $500 won’t get you an email back from a salesman- let alone a visit- pay the money-

    • Nicky

      Isn’t the Rio Grande a Federal Waterway and if so, then Texas may have violated some federal law in buying a boat and doing a job that the US Coast Guard should have done with armed boat. Also isn’t the M-60, M-2 and M-240B illegal for domestic Law enforcement to posses and own. I think Texas highway patrol may have violated that as well.

      • STemplar

        It’s not a federal waterway and police boats aren’t something new, every town/city with a significant body of water has law enforcement boats.

        MGs are not illegal for private citizens to own if they get their tax stamp, so law enforcement certainly can have them.

        • Nicky

          I always though it was illegal for domestic law enforcement to posses and own military grade hardware and equipment such as Machine guns and military grade Nightvison gear. Only Federal Law enforcement such as the US Coast Guard could own Machine guns. Maybe this is something that borders on Mission Creep and Domestic Law enforcement try to pretend to be Spec ops and pretending to be a military force.

      • blight_

        Re machineguns…even California has this exemption to their Dangerous Weapons Control Law.

        12201. Nothing in this chapter shall affect or apply to any of the following:
        (a) The sale to, purchase by, or possession of machineguns by police departments, sheriff’s offices, marshals’ offices, district attorneys’ offices, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Justice, the Department of Corrections for use by the department’s Special Emergency Response Teams and Law Enforcement Liaison/Investigations Unit, or the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States for use in the discharge of their official duties, provided, however, that any sale to these entities be transacted by a person who is permitted pursuant to Section 12230 and licensed pursuant to Section 12250.
        (b) The possession of machineguns by regular, salaried, full-time peace officer members of a police department, sheriff’s office, marshal’s office, district attorney’s office, the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Justice, or the Department of Corrections for use by the department’s Special Emergency Response Teams and Law Enforcement Liaison/Investigations Unit when on duty and if the use is within the scope of their duties.

    • blight_

      And you don’t think the M-2 wouldn’t be “heavy regulated”? A machinegun that would run afoul of NFA and be designated a destructive device outside of LE hands?

      • Stormcharger

        Actually it’s designated Class III in anyone’s hands. Military and law enforcement have waivers within that law that allows carry and use, which is why private security companies can use military equipment legally, as can law enforcement. The only real impediment is civil authority and taxpayer cost.

        Texas obviously has the support and will of the taxpayers behind them and are sending the message that if someone tries to kill a Texan, they’ll kill em right back.

    • Jimmy

      Well, they can complain but Texas has a right to its own navy, part of the treaty that resulted in Texas becoming part of the United States.

  • jack

    Good 4 Texas!

    If it was California they’d tell them to only use non lethal weapons as a last resort.

  • A. Nonymous

    And on NBC this fall, you can see the new Shallow Water Interceptor in action on episodes of “Walker: Texas Water-Skier”…

  • Riles

    Beautiful. Qustion though, why have all the machine guns on one side?

  • tiger

    Next step? Super Tucanos for the Texas Naval Aviation arm…..
    Texas, been doing things it’s own way from BBQ to law Enforcement since 1836.

  • blight_

    These look like Regulators? I could be wrong.

    Go Texas for picking up the tab for border security…since DHS is apparently occupied, and doesn’t think border security is “Homeland” security. And hasn’t really since it was created in 2001. Though I suppose since the feds are hamstrung by bureaucracy and advocacy, and the state can move a little faster.

    This’ll just drive them to New Mexico and Arizona; just like Operation Gatekeeper in California drove “them” to Arizona.

  • tiger

    Obama will be not be pleased. If he had issues with the Gov. of AZ.; Rick Perry has reached the top of the White House do not invite list.

  • ty_a

    You know it would be a lot smarter to figure out why there is a well funded para-military force bringing drugs into Texas.

    This is a typical big government, big hammer, everything looks like a nail solution.

    I’ll also echo Kevin’s comment. That’s almost more firepower than I ever used in my two tours in Iraq. I was a Bradley gunner and 25mm was verboten, so we had just the coax.

  • charlie G

    Gotta love the Texans.

  • RCDC

    They probably need to make the M240 into a remote so the operator may have easy access between the boat steering wheel and the M240 joystick while driving the boat .

  • I just love these patrol boats. And although I thoroughly love the appearance of those three magnificent 300 HP Mercury Verado Outboards, I wonder if an easier approach would have been to have a couple of GMC 572 V8 inboards – each V8 easily capable of 620 to 750 HP in naturally aspirated form. Regardless, I’d just love to hear all of those three Mercury outboards running!

  • M.L. Texan

    The boats are fine and dandy but we really need a Texas Infantry.

    Oh, and tanks.

    • Steven R.

      Texas Rangers are a light infantry group of Texas, they do operations together with the coast guard, national guard, and border patrol all the time.

    • blight_

      SWAT teams can get M113’s surplus, If I recall correctly…

    • Carolyn

      you need a Texas Infantry ? that shouldn’t be too hard to do – just form one – hell, Texas doesn’t ask permission to do much – they are almost self-sufficient – I wanna live in Texas ! ! ! !

    • kristian375

      You already have Texas infantry? Texas has two National Guard infantry brigades, a battlefield surveillance brigade with it’s own reconnaisance troops AND a seperate Airborne Infantry BN. Not to mention two active duty Army divisions…

  • Black Owl

    Only Texas…

  • BigRick

    Holy Cow, That thing has more firepower then the LCS
    and I bet it doesn’t cost 1.3 billion a copy either

    • blight_

      It would probably cause twelve million dollars of damage to an LCS at close range…

  • M.L.

    Has anyone else ever seen people blurred out like that before?

    • Mastro

      No- it is cool- like they are going into warpspeed or something.

    • Nik

      That’s the Texas Stealth Infantry System in action!

    • Coastie

      They blur out the face of our officers so that the cartels’ don’t find out who they are and murder them or their family members.

  • R L Tacy

    Only thing missing Port & Stb Honeywells

  • DockScience

    It is terribly sad that police must become armies to deal with a problem the federal government is unwilling to address.

    But then again, the original Texas declaration of secession from the union had the federal government lack of securing the border against criminal intrusion as a major reason to leave the union and join the Confederacy.

  • jamesb

    Mission Creep…..

    • Nicky

      I do smell Mission Creep somewhere

  • MGC

    Boy now I bet we will confiscate another 2% of the drugs being shipped through Texas leaving only 88% of drugs getting through mostly by road under the noses of Feds and Texas state L.E. But heck at least some Troopers can have fun on the water. Buying working dogs with the cash and just patrolling all the Wal-Marts in the state would yield much more loot.

  • chris

    Three rounds and that lump would be dead in the water..

  • TMB

    Are there any fun lakes to party at during Spring Break in Texas? If so, maybe not for long…

  • Dr. Grzlickson

    I trust no Federal money (of which, Texas is a top recipient) is being used.

  • Stephen Russell

    Need to sell TX those Riverine boats from Act of Valor, with Dillon Gataling gun fwd.
    Now thats TX Firepower, Yes.

  • steve henry

    I normally would not support a law enforcement (DPS) having access to military weapons, like the M-240 and other automatic weapons. I believe they are fast becoming a paramilitary force, which is disturbing and unconstitutional. However, the president is NOT doing his job in adequately funding border security so It has come to this. We must secure the border one way or another, but giving state police more power and military weapons is not good. The role of law enforcement is to enforce laws and serve its citizens, not patrol borders with machine guns!

  • Zeta

    Well this gun boat will not stop us because we have plenty of $$$$$$$$$$$$$ to pay for intel from you gringos

  • Zeta

    Bring it out to the river and watch it get blow up

  • Punisher1

    I need to move to Texas, Florida f’n sucks

  • Roland

    I think Texas was doing the right thing. Threats are real from drug cartels, terrorist, Iran, rogue, socialist and communist countries . The navy, marines, coast guards should not be alone on protecting our sea, lake, river boundaries and territories.

  • Roland

    How ever Texas should coordinate their task with the navy. marines, coast guards, land patrol rangers and airforce. From my research drug trafficker use speed boats, submarines, planes and ships to ship their cargo’s.

    • STemplar

      Not many subs on the Rio Grande Roland.

  • Rupert M.

    As if firepower would stop Drugs getting into the US. These things would serve Texas well if the Gulf Cartel would call all of its sicarios and launch a frontal assault. This is so not gonna happen folks, sorry. The whole War on Drugs is as failed as the prohibition, get over it and legalize!

  • Vaporhead

    I see that it’s also illegaly parked in a fire lane, but those nice machine guns authorize that infraction. ;-)

  • WRG01

    The militarization of law enforcement is a mistake. The cost of equipment acquisition is only part of the $$$ story. You have to staff these craft. You have to maintain these craft. You have to fuel these craft. You have to store these craft. Etc… If indeed drug cartel seized money did purchase or offset the cost of these craft, then where else could those funds have better been applied in the toolbox of TX DPS? Officers conducting very dangerous felony stops along Texas’ highways may have an opinion as to where else this money could have been spent. Next, these craft cannot engage Mexican drug cartels on the Rio Grande. Border Patrol must cease pursuit when people reach the water. They cannot fire on persons or craft on the water or on the Mexican bank. These boats are “cool”…their armament possibly excessive, but also “cool”…maybe several deployments and defense work both govt and private between 2002-2011 have left me jaded…or just tired of the nonsense, but I wish Texas would get more excited about education, health care, workplace safety, etc etc etc than it does about guns and combat kit. BTW…I’m a Texan living in Texas. A green to blue to govt gray veteran who put on the private def hat.

  • 4FingersOfBourbon

    They should get issued javelins…

    • blight_

      I think they need more boots on the ground before we start throwing out weapons.

      If we had soldiers for every 100 meters we’d run out of people before we ran out of border.

  • Taggert

    900 hp of Mercury power, gotta like that.

  • domingo

    Texas, should commercialized that boat probably with additional more weapons like anti-ship missile and sell that to poor Philippines Navy to guard its coastal territories without breaking its back.

  • AlC

    Am sure I will get flamed, but it has to be said:

    This is wrong.

    But the root cause is that it is needed by the Texas police.
    The Feds should be doing this job.

    Go far enough back and the US Cavalry used to patrol the borders. Local cops were for local matters.

    We need to get back to these standards. This is a work around solution.
    The more we do it, the more the Feds can ignore their responsibilities.

    Let’s fix the real problem.

    • blight_

      The jurisdiction of law enforcement ends at the state border. Where does the state border begin and end when the national border equals the state border?

  • Hell yeah Don’t ya Mess With TEXAS NOW !!!

  • kjatexas

    Don’t mess with Texas

  • Roland

    I think each state should have a armed Mark V speed boat say 1000 each for defense and to police each state against drugs,crimes, terrorist gangs, facing threats from rogue, socialist and communist countries.

  • I think you need to mount a 7.62mm minigun just for that little something extra and a towable tree mulcher to get rid of the bodies so we dont infuriate the liberal left and most of the politicians in america!

  • Hunter78

    Toys for cowboys.

    All we need now is a riverine drug cartel navy, and break out the popcorn.

  • Charles

    If you look there are three per side for a total or six. The writer needs to watch what he says.

  • Iowa Don

    Now you know why they say don’t mess with Texas–we’ll blow your ass away! Are there alligators in the Rio Grande? Seems like that would be a “green” and very natural disposal system for what ever is leftover. Leftovers?

  • Pubic Enemy #1

    We need some of them things here in Kentucky, to help keep those goons from Ohio on their side of the river.

  • cam

    Why spend the money on fast boats to begin with? Why not reactivate the old USS Texas (BB35) which is sitting at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds park? With ten 14-inch/45 caliber guns; six 5-inch/51 caliber guns; ten 3-inch/50 caliber guns; ten 40mm quad-mounted guns; forty-four 20mm guns, those puny drug cartel boats would be blown out of the water, and if you wanna make the Texans real mad, those ten 14 inch guns would level anything over 12,000 yards….

    • Roland

      Its a good idea but it needs some overhall and paints

    • Roland

      I’m for more armed speed boats and USS Texas BB35 reactivation for defense.

    • Roland

      And instead of cannon balls fit it with long range gps guided missiles on ever turret of USS Texas BB35 .

  • Jsmith

    Go Texas! Drive them Okies into the sea!

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    That’s a great start. Now, if the other 56 states, including my home state of Maryland, could do the same thing…

  • Wakko

    What is not reported around the country is that the Mexican army is being used to help run drugs across the border in Texas. The national media does not and maybe will not report this. There have been shoot outs on the border between sherif deputys and smugglers. What shows up to help the smugglers a Mexican military APC. I say if the FEDS will not do their job its time for the states to take over and show them how its done.

  • Screw funding for schools!

  • CommentatorandPoet

    “I Love Texas” She has no rival as a great state in our union.

  • guess

    NBC Nightly news talked bout these boats tonight. they are only 3 plus months behind

  • CAJeffO

    Ya gotta love it!!! Texas get’s it and responds to Obama closing border patrol stations = LOL http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/10/closur

  • Behr Schitte

    Be happy to work as a deckhand, had some experience in the late 60’s and early 70’s

  • Cecil

    The Texas Navy will prevail in spite of Obama and his crybaby rules…As a retires weapons specialist, I might have to volunteer my services…

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