The following is the text of a news release from Damen Shipyards Group:
(GORINCHEM, Netherlands) — Damen Shipyards Group has entered a partnership with U.S. shipbuilder Metal Shark for the construction of up to 13 Damen SPa 2606 patrol boats. The U.S. 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 familiarization 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.
“Damen Shipyards Group is very pleased to be able to confirm this important partnership," said Jan van Hogerwou, vice president, new construction, Damen Shipyards North America. "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.”
“We have been promoting the Damen patrol boat designs for the last three years and are very excited with this first order," said Carl Wegener, commercial director, Metal Shark. "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.
“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," said Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard. "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.”
The NCPV fleet will be built at Metal Shark’s Franklin, La., waterfront shipyard.