Metal Shark has been awarded a $15 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the construction of 7-meter rigid hull inflatable boats in support of future Foreign Military Sales (FMS) requirements. The award includes options that, if exercised, will bring the total contract value to over $47 million.

Jeanerette, La.-based Metal Shark will produce the boats in a flexible baseline configuration that can be rapidly adapted through minor post-delivery alterations and delivered to support specific FMS case requirements worldwide. The 7-meter RIBs will support a range of missions including personnel/cargo transfer, search and rescue, open water patrol, vessel interdiction and boarding, and insertion/extraction of forces.  

The Navy contract is the latest in a series of military fleet contracts landed by Metal Shark. These include Navy Force Protection Boat – Medium (FPB-M) and High Speed Maneuverable Surface Target Boat (HSMST), as well as the U.S. Coast Guard’s Response Boat – Small (RBS). In addition, Metal Shark routinely builds vessels for FMS cases, state and local law enforcement agencies, pilot associations, port operators, and numerous other commercial interests.

“Metal Shark is proud to count the U.S. Navy among its top customers, and with the award of this newest contract we look forward to continuing and strengthening this relationship for years to come,” said Metal Shark president Chris Allard. “Large orders such as this one benefit Metal Shark customers large and small by way of increased production efficiencies and economies of scale that keep our pricing competitive, our workforce stable, and our technology on the leading edge.”

Established in 1986, Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC, and its government/commercial boat entity Metal Shark are leading suppliers of custom boats for defense, law enforcement, and commercial entities. Key customers include the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, foreign militaries, port operators and pilot associations, fire departments and commercial entities worldwide.

From its two fully self-contained facilities in south Louisiana, Metal Shark manufactures a wide range of custom monohull and catamaran center console and pilothouse patrol boats, fireboats, pilot boats, passenger vessels, and other specialty vessels up to 250’.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.