Metal Shark to Supply 23 Combat Boats to Ukraine
The U.S. will be buying a total of 23 combat / patrol boats from Louisiana-based builder Metal Shark for delivery to Ukraine, where they will be used to defend coastlines and waterways.
Six of these Metal Shark units were announced by the White House last week as part of a $450 million assistance package. The package includes 12 other patrol boats from existing U.S. inventory, including two 35' Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC) and ten 34' Sea Ark patrol boats. The Sea Ark model is being phased out in favor of a Metal Shark 40' model in U.S. Navy service, according to Sea Power.
All of the boat transfers are intended for riverine patrol and combat duty, a senior U.S. official told USNI News.
Metal Shark also has an additional 17 more aluminum-hulled vessels for Ukraine under construction, all in the range of 36-38 feet. They are all popular designs for military/patrol applications and have a history of service for other clients. The 36' Fearless is a center-console interceptor designed for speed, and the 38' Dauntless is a patrol boat designed as a versatile working platform for multiple missions.
All of these hulls were already in the works for long-term U.S. assistance to Ukraine, and a portion of the package was previously announced in January. However, the delivery timeline has been accelerated.
“Metal Shark has been working closely with the US Embassy in Kiev since 2019 to develop the strategy now being implemented to support Ukraine’s maritime capabilities, so it is fulfilling to see that the vessels will arrive when they are most needed,” said Henry Irizarry, Metal Shark’s Vice President of International Business Development. “Metal Shark provides next-generation, proven platforms to partner nations, but most importantly, we create long term partnerships with end users to train boat crews and provide seamless technical support."