New vessels support the US Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales Program
Damen Shipyards Group has entered a partnership with US shipbuilder Metal Shark for the construction of up to 13 Damen SPa 2606 patrol boats. The US Navy recently selected Louisiana-based Metal Shark to build Near Coastal Patrol Vessels (NCPVs) for United States partner nations through the Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program.
Under the terms of the contract Metal Shark will build up to 13, 85-foot Defiant-class welded aluminum cutters for the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala and other United States partner nations.
Additionally, Metal Shark will supply electro-optical infrared sensors, diagnostic equipment, in-country reactivation, crew familiarisation and test support to NCPV operators.
The new vessels are based on Damen’s Stan Patrol 2606 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) design, which will be tailored by Metal Shark to suit the requirements of the NCPV mission. The cutter can carry out a wide range of mission profiles including search and rescue, border patrol, police and customs duties, counter-narcotics operations, and securing waters of economic importance.
Jan van Hogerwou, Vice President New Construction Damen Shipyards North America comments: “Damen Shipyards Group is very pleased to be able to confirm this important partnership. We are convinced that Metal Shark is probably the best and most efficient aluminum yard in North America today and this is a perfect design for them.”
Carl Wegener, Commercial Director Metal Shark, says: “We have been promoting the Damen Patrol Boat designs for the last three years and are very excited with this first order. We expect a lot of great things from our partnership with Damen and we are convinced that this is the first of many more joint projects.”
Key attributes of Damen’s Stan Patrol 2606 include excellent performance, large payload capacity, economical operating cost and proven durability. Metal Shark has applied its own enhancements to Damen’s patrol platform to provide the crew-friendly functionality found on other Metal Shark patrol craft.
Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard adds: “The Damen team has consistently provided us with outstanding technical support, their designs are thoroughly proven in service across a range of markets, and their global service network has proven to be a very powerful selling feature. Metal Shark is eager to begin NCPV construction and showcase our capabilities as we quickly and efficiently build and deliver these state-of-the-art patrol cutters.”
“Metal Shark has long impressed us with their ambitious growth and their considerable engineering resources,” Mr van Hogerwou says. “Damen is proud to now become a part of the Metal Shark growth story as we work together to deliver this newest fleet of Stan Patrol vessels to military operators worldwide.”
The NCPV fleet will be built at Metal Shark’s Franklin, Louisiana waterfront shipyard. Established in 1986, Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, and its government/commercial boat entity Metal Shark Boats are leading suppliers of custom boats for defense, law enforcement, and commercial entities. Under the direction of its owner/operator Allard and Gravois families, Metal Shark has produced over 500 vessels in the past three years. Metal Shark produces a wide range of custom monohull and catamaran vessels up to 250’.