Metal Shark is a trusted and proven technology leader in the unmanned vessels space, with a well-known and thoroughly documented track record of success. Launched in 2018 as a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on the advancement of autonomous technology, Metal Shark’s Sharktech Autonomous Vessels division serves as a technology integrator, merging software and hardware to develop turn-key, “check the box, get the option” autonomous-capable craft. Sharktech designs, builds, and delivers vessels capable of supporting multiple autonomy software systems, bridging the gap between the shipbuilder and the software developer, streamlining the path to autonomy and simplifying the process for all clients, whether government or commercial. This approach provides maximum flexibility, allowing Sharktech to offer clients the complete spectrum of autonomous offerings from the industry’s leading software developers. Key Sharktech clients include the United States Marine Corps and the United States Coast Guard Research and Development Center, and our autonomous technology partners include Sea Machines, Spatial Integrated Systems (SIS) / Huntington Ingalls Industries, and L3 Harris (previously ASV Global).
Whether providing commercial operators with technology for crew reduction and improved safety, or helping militaries develop tomorrow’s unmanned weapons systems, Sharktech is technology-focused while remaining 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. Key Sharktech collaborating technology partners to date include Sea Machines, L3 Harris (previously ASV Global), and Spatial Integrated Systems (SIS), recently acquired by Huntington Ingalls Industries. 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. In 2021, the U.S. Marine Corps selected Metal Shark to develop its future autonomous naval defense system, the Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessel (LRUSV) system. 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.
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:
Forbes – February 2021: Robot Motherships to Launch Drone Swarms from Sea
Metal Shark – January 2021: US Marine Corps Selects Metal Shark to Develop Autonomous Naval Defense System
Marine Link – December, 2020: Top Maritime Trends: Autonomy (Q&A with Metal Shark and Sea Machines)
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
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.