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Louisiana's Metal Shark Boats Lands Contract to Build Navy Patrol Boats

Metal Shark Boats 40 PB
The Metal Shark 'Defiant' platform is the basis for the military-grade 40 PB

Louisiana boatbuilder Metal Shark Boats has been awarded part of a $290 million contract with the U.S. Navy to build patrol boats for their upgraded fleet.

The contract is for up to seven years and includes the production of up to 73 of Metal Shark's 40-foot "40 PB" patrol boat. The boats will be assigned to Naval Expeditionary Combat Command.

The news comes as part of a larger movement within the U.S military to modernize its naval fleet. The U.S. Marines recently received their new Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Craft (MMRC) from Australian company The Whiskey Project Group.

The Metal Shark 40 PB features a welded-aluminum monohull pilothouse that was designed to replace the up to 160 patrol vessels deployed worldwide with Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s Coastal Riverine Forces (CRF).

Metal Shark Boats is based in Jeanerette, Louisiana and builds a variety of boats for military, law enforcement, and commercial applications.

Designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team specifically for the Navy, the 40 PB has been made by Metal Shark's in-house engineering team since the company was awarded the first 40 PB Flight 1 contract in 2017.  Now with the Flight 2 awarded, 40 PB production will continue at Metal Shark’s South Louisiana production facilities, with ReconCraft also building at its Clackamas, Ore., facility.

“Winning 40 PB Flight 2 is a huge win for the entire Metal Shark family, our suppliers, and the state of Louisiana,” Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard said in a company statement.

“We have developed our processes, built our facilities, and grown and trained our team specifically to accommodate high volume, rapid and repeatable, high quality, serialized construction of complex vessels like 40 PB. With the award of Flight 2 we will continue to showcase the skills of our Louisiana workforce while supplying these important combatant craft to our fighting forces.” 

Metal Shark will continue to build fourteen 40 PB vessels under the original 40 PB Flight 1 contract, with a total of 42 boats delivered to date. With the award of Flight 2, the Navy has placed an initial, immediate order for two additional vessels from Metal Shark, which will be delivered in 2025. Under the terms of the award, Metal Shark will supply spares, training, engineering, and technical support in addition to the vessels.

The 40 PB features a unique angular profile and multi-faceted hull. The ballistic-protected combatant craft is powered by twin diesel inboards and water jets. 

In terms of design, the 40 PB features “a moderate aft deadrise, wide-waterplane, sharp-entry hull form that not only achieves 35+ knot sprint speeds while displaying superb dynamic stability in a range of conditions,” according to the company.

The design “also offers enhanced handling and greatly reduced operating cost at the 10-15 knot escort and cruise speeds where the vessel spends the bulk of its operational life. 40 PB features an advanced C4ISR suite and can be armed with a range of crew-served and remotely operated weapons systems.”

“Winning 40 PB in 2017 was a crowning achievement for Metal Shark, and we are equally honored to have received this Flight 2 award as evidence of the Navy’s continued trust in us today,” said Allard. “As a vital part of the defense industrial base Metal Shark proudly supports those who serve and protect. We are excited to continue supplying the world’s greatest Navy with world’s most advanced patrol boat.”

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