In an effort to help Ukraine to better protect its coastline, waterways, and ports, the United States is providing the country with a range of defense articles, including 23 welded-aluminum military vessels built by Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark.
The 18 boats being sent to Ukraine under the $450 million security assistance package announced last week include six U.S. Navy Metal Shark maritime combat vessels.
Meanwhile, at Metal Shark’s Franklin and Jeanerette, La., production facilities, production is well underway on 17 additional vessels for Ukraine, including ten 38-foot Defiant pilothouse patrol vessels, four 38-foot Defiant center console patrol vessels, and three 36-foot Fearless high-performance military interceptor vessels. Each of these vessels are proven military platforms optimized for the Ukraine mission.
The boats are being built and delivered as part of a long range foreign policy strategy years in the making, but recent events in Ukraine have caused an acceleration of the timelines. As a result, vessels will begin shipping immediately.
“Metal Shark has been working closely with the U.S. 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 to assure 24/7 operational readiness.”
“We have built an efficient production machine capable of delivering high quality, next-generation military vessels, faster, and at higher volume, than anyone else in the business,” said Metal Shark’s CEO Chris Allard. “Metal Shark stands ready and able to support our warfighters with game-changing lethality, delivered via conventional or unmanned platforms, anywhere in the world, whenever needed.”