The US Naval Sea Systems Command has ordered an additional 40 patrol boats from Louisiana-based boat-builder Metal Shark.
According to a US Defense Department announcement from July 27, the additional pilothouse patrol boats are to be built under an $18.4 million contract modification with work set to conclude by April 2021.
Metal Shark was first contracted in September 2017 to build the first eleven of a new generation of patrol boats for the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command’s Coastal Riverine Forces (CRF).
Under the latest contract modification, Metal Shark will also provide basic boat equipment, shipping, long term preservation, boat familiarization and waterjet training.
Designated as PB(X), the new 40-foot patrol boats will replace 100 to 160 of the existing 25-foot and 34-foot CRF patrol boats over the next fifteen years.
PB(X) is powered by twin diesel inboards and water jets. Metal Shark say the moderate aft deadrise, wide-waterplane, sharp-entry hull form can achieve 35+ knot sprint speeds and offers enhanced handling and reduced operating cost at the 10-15 knot escort and cruise speeds. The PB(X) features ballistic protection and can be armed with a range of crew-served and remotely operated weapons systems.