The US Navy’s new-generation Metal Shark-designed ‘40 PB’ patrol boat platform is set to transition to full-rate production.

Shipbuilder Metal Shark said that the 40ft mono-hull patrol boats are close to completion of operational test and evaluation (OT&E) trials.

The 40 PB platform is intended to replace up to 160 US Navy patrol vessels deployed around the globe.

The US Navy selected the company’s 40 Defiant design in 2017. Metal Shark produced two boats for testing.

Metal Shark intends to undertake full-rate production of the boats at its manufacturing site in Jeanerette, Louisiana. The plan is to deliver one boat every four weeks.

The 40 Defiant provides improved capabilities and firepower compared to boats used by the navy’s Coastal Riverine Forces (CRF).

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The platform includes foundations for MK 16 weapons and remote-operated, optically-guided MK 49 / MK 50 weapons systems.

Furthermore, the boat is fitted with ballistic protection systems to sustain firefights and provide protection against hostile fire.

The system allows the crew to respond to swarm attacks. The armoured pilothouse can accommodate a crew of five.

An advanced communications and sensor suite has been incorporated in the vessel to provide the crew with increased situational awareness and fleet connectivity.

Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard said: “The need for more advanced and capable vessels designed to discourage asymmetric threats and to respond to them with overwhelming force has led to the development of this radically different patrol boat platform.

“While we designed the 40 Defiant to meet the US Navy’s PB-X mission requirements, this vessel is driving the evolution of our entire military patrol boat lineup and offers a glimpse into the future direction of military patrol.”