Metal Shark To Supply 23 Military Vessels For Ukraine Defense Effort

Metal Shark, a Jeanerette, La.-based shipbuilder with additional shipyards in Franklin, La., and Bayou La Batre, Ala., has announced it will send 23 military vessels to Ukraine as part of ongoing direct security assistance from the United States.

Six maritime combat vessels from Metal Shark will be sent to Ukraine as part of a recently announced $450 million security assistance package. In addition to that, work is already underway at Metal Shark’s Franklin and Jeanerette facilities on 17 welded aluminum military vessels bound for Ukraine, including 10 38-foot “Defiant” pilothouse patrol vessels, four 38-foot “Defiant” center-console vessels and three 36-foot “Fearless” interceptor vessels.

Metal Shark expects to begin shipping vessels immediately.

The vessels will be used to patrol and protect Ukraine’s coastline, waterways and ports, which have been targeted during Russia’s now four-month-old war there. Besides security and defense concerns, the months-long war and blockade of Ukraine’s ports have kept an estimated 20 million tons of grain in Ukraine and away from world markets.

“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, the company’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.”

The patrol and interceptor vessels are just a small part of Metal Shark’s portfolio of military vessels, said Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard.

“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,” Allard said. “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.”