- Metal Shark is to build new PB(X) patrol boats for the US Naval Expeditionary Combat Command
- The initial order, valued at USD29.8 million, covers the delivery of 11 craft
Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has won out in a seven-way competition to build a new fleet of patrol boats for the US Naval Expeditionary Combat Command.
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC – of which Metal Shark Boats is the government/commercial boat entity – a contract worth a potential USD90.27 million for the construction of up to 50 PB(X) vessels for the navy, along with trailers, spares and training packages, and technical support. The design solution is based on Metal Shark’s 40 PBX monohull platform.
The initial order, valued at USD29.8 million, covers 11 craft in addition to the initial engineering and design of the patrol boats and data rights to the design. Work under the first order is expected to be completed by March 2020; the PB(X) will be built at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, Louisiana, production facility.
The PB(X) is intended to replace the fleet of force protection boats currently in use with Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s Coastal Riverine Forces (CRF). Subject to annual appropriations, the navy intends to replace approximately 100 to 160 of its existing 25 ft and 34 ft CRF patrol boats with the larger and more modern PB(X) platform over the next 15 years.
40 PBX – as the winning PB(X) design – is a 40 ft, welded-aluminum pilothouse patrol boat designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team. Characterised by a chiselled, angular profile and a faceted hull, the PB(X) design is powered by twin diesel inboards driving water jet propulsors.
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