The US Navy has contracted Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark to build rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), as part of future foreign military sales (FMS) requirements.
The $15.3m contract includes options that, if exercised, will bring the total value of the award to $47.4m.
Metal Shark president Chris Allard said: "Metal Shark is proud to count the US Navy among its top customers, and with the award of this newest contract, we look forward to continuing and strengthening this relationship for years to come.
"Large orders such as this one benefit Metal Shark customers large and small by way of increased production efficiencies and economies of scale that keep our pricing competitive, our workforce stable, and our technology on the leading edge."
Metal Shark’s new 7m-long RHIBs will be constructed using a flexible baseline configuration to enable quick alterations, which will support specific FMS case requirements of customers across the globe.
The boats will be used to support a variety of operations, including personnel and cargo transfer, search and rescue, vessel interdiction and boarding, plus insertion and extraction of force, and open water patrol.
The company is also under contract to deliver the US navy’s Force Protection Boat – Medium (FPB-M and High Speed Manoeuvrable Surface Target Boat (HSMST), as well as the US Coast Guard’s Response Boat – Small (RBS).
Metal Shark also produces vessels for state and local law enforcement agencies, pilot associations, port operators, and several other commercial interests.
Image: Metal Shark’s 7m rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs). Photo: courtesy of GRAVOIS ALUMINUM BOATS LLC DBA METAL SHARK.