Louisiana-based boatbuilder Metal Shark is building a welded-aluminum 115'x27' (35m x 8m) monohull patrol vessel for the Guyana Defense Force (GDF).
Construction is underway at Metal Shark’s Franklin, La., shipyard on the new 115 Defiant, a multimission vessel designed by Metal Shark. The vessel is being acquired by Guyana via direct purchase. Once complete, the new vessel will join the eight other Metal Shark interdiction and patrol vessels currently in service with the GDF.
“Due to increasing maritime security concerns, we continue to see increased demand among military operators for larger patrol vessels capable of extended missions at sea,” Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard said in a statement. “Considering the relatively few options available in this size range, we felt that clients in this market segment have been underserved. We are now giving operators an entirely new option with this next-generation platform.”
The 115 Defiant has been designed to project power while offering unmatched performance, with a subtle reverse raked-bow offering reduced resistance for improved seakeeping in higher sea states, Metal Shark said.
A prominent breakwater and elevated wheelhouse with nearly 360° visibility assure confident all-weather operation, the boatyard said. The vessel will carry a crew of 24 on extended missions at sea, and has been designed to accommodate 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.
For mothership operations, the 115 Defiant carries a 5.2-meter (17') Metal Shark-built aluminum rigid inflatable boat (RIB) on the aft deck. The RIB carries up to 10 persons and is powered by twin 50-hp four-stroke outboard engines. For the GDF, the RIB will be launched and retrieved via a PS11000M-5m Palfinger stiff boom marine crane. The 115 Defiant is also offered with an integrated stern slipway for underway launch and retrieval.
Powered by twin 1,600-hp Caterpillar diesel inboard engines turning conventional propellers through Twin Disc marine gears, the vessel is expected to deliver a cruise speed of 12 knots, and a top speed in excess of 20 knots. At cruising speed, the vessel boasts a 2,000-nautical-mile range and 10 days’ endurance. A range of propulsion choices are offered to accommodate the performance requirements of other clients.
“The Guyana Defense Force and Metal Shark have been strategic partners for nearly 10 years, and we are pleased to continue to build on our relationship,” said Metal Shark’s vice president of international business development, Henry Irizarry. “The United States ambassador and U.S. Embassy staff in Guyana were crucial in advocating for Metal Shark and our American-made products ..."
“As with the other nearly 1,000 Metal Shark Defiant-class vessels now in service worldwide, the new 115 Defiant combines modern, crew-friendly features in a durable and functional package designed for performance,” said Allard. “With this new platform we’re delivering a custom-tailored solution that will serve the Guyana Defense Force for years to come, while at the same time presenting a compelling and capable new offering to all of our military clients.”