In 2018, Metal Shark launched its Sharktech Autonomous Vessels division, a wholly owned subsidiary specifically focused on the advancement of unmanned and autonomous vessel technology, and today, Sharktech is leading the autonomous revolution. Positioned as a technology integrator merging software and hardware to develop turn-key, “check the box, get the option” autonomous-capable craft, Sharktech’s principle approach is to design, build, and deliver vessels capable of supporting multiple autonomy software systems. Sharktech bridges the gap between the shipbuilder and the software developer, streamlining the path to autonomy and simplifying the process for clients.
Sharktech is “software-neutral.” Metal Shark works with the industry’s leading software developers and a full complement of subject matter experts to integrate the complete range of autonomous solutions, and offers varying levels of capability depending on the need of the operator. Sharktech clients may choose from one of the industry’s largest and most diverse portfolios of globally proven designs. Alternately, thanks to its vast in-house engineering capabilities Metal Shark also creates clean-sheet designs in support of autonomous projects, and builds them rapidly, repeatedly, and reliably thanks to the ample production capacity of its three shipbuilding facilities in Alabama and Louisiana, USA.
Sharktech autonomous vessel technology opens up myriad opportunities for operators in all sectors. Similar to how advancements in aviation technology reduced aircraft cockpit crews, one of the most immediate benefits of autonomous technology is crew reduction. Sharktech is ideal for dangerous missions in remote or hostile environments, for endurance missions where it may be necessary for vessels to loiter in a holding pattern for extended periods, or for any mission simply undesirable for a human crew. Sharktech vessels offer autonomous or remote operation of not only the vessel itself, but also navigation and safety lighting, hailers and sirens, pumps, and other components. Metal Shark can also support the integration and autonomous or remote operation of a near-infinite range of specialized equipment, including fire pumps, monitors, and other fire-fighting equipment; hydrographic survey equipment; equipment for acoustic, oceanographic, or meteorological monitoring; the full spectrum of FLIRs and other specialty cameras, weapons systems, and other military payloads.
Metal Shark has designed, built, and delivered over 400 remotely operated vessels to date. Sharktech vessels now in service include center consoles and pilothouse vessels, with propulsion ranging from gasoline outboards to diesel inboards and waterjets, equipped with the software systems of multiple suppliers. In 2019, Metal Shark was selected by US Navy PMS 406 for the Unmanned Family of Systems Multi Award IDIQ, a blanket Navy contract covering multiple topics in the autonomous space. In 2020, Metal Shark was selected to supply an autonomous test vessel to the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. Metal Shark is actively engaged with military powers in the development of bespoke unmanned surface vessels, while at the same integrating autonomous capabilities into its entire range of existing platforms from 16′ to 300′ and above. Metal Shark’s experience designing and building boats in support of the full range of available autonomy solutions assures the greatest flexibility for our clients across all government and commercial markets.
Metal Shark’s Stock Boats Program is a result of the company’s substantial production volume, with multiple fleet builds underway at any given time, and serialized manufacturing that allows for the staging of in-process hulls that may be quickly repurposed to meet short delivery timeframes. To streamline the customer’s path to autonomy, Metal Shark has made Sharktech autonomous technology available on some of its most popular models under the Stock Boats program. Now, depending on model and equipment, government and commercial operators can take delivery of a Sharktech autonomous vessel in as little as 60 days. For more information, contact us today.
Through its projects, partnerships, and new vessel deliveries, Metal Shark continues to make headlines as an innovator and leader in the autonomous vessel space. Here’s a sampling of some of our autonomous news:
Metal Shark – September, 2020: US Coast Guard Selects Metal Shark & Sea Machines
Marine Log – January, 2020: Q&A with Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard
WorkBoat – October, 2019: Autonomous Technology Continues to Advance
Metal Shark – September, 2019: Metal Shark & Sea Machines Launch New Sharktech Autonomous Vessel
Marine Link – February, 2019: An Interview with Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard
Metal Shark – July, 2018: Metal Shark & ASV Global Introduce Sharktech Autonomous Vessels