Best-known for the vessel fleets it produces for the U.S. Armed Forces and allies around the globe, Metal Shark has expanded its focus to include state, local, and commercial operators across a wide range of markets. Today, the Louisiana-based company produces a wider range of specialty vessels than perhaps any comparable yard. What does a diversified defense contractor have to offer that specialty yards don’t? Read on to learn how Metal Shark’s unique approach to shipbuilding benefits customers across a growing list of commercial markets.
Formidable Engineering Power
Metal Shark is an engineering-centric company that has won historically large government contracts by developing solutions to challenging military criteria. To accomplish this, the company has amassed engineering resources like no other. With an in-house engineering team composed of over 60 naval architects and marine engineers, Metal Shark possesses the know-how and the bandwidth to create its own highly specialized and thoroughly engineered vessel designs and also to interface seamlessly with outside engineering firms.
Globally Proven Hulls
Metal Shark delivers over 150 vessels a year to the United States Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, and the militaries of partner nations worldwide. The performance and reliability of these vessels are continually proven through around-the-clock operation in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and all across North America. Metal Shark’s designs have been optimized to deliver maximum durability, economy, and performance regardless of operating conditions and environmental challenges.
The Latest Technology
Metal Shark refines and enhances its designs by developing crew-friendly features improving safety and increasing overall operability. Innovative features that are developed to meet a particular military requirement are tested in service and then implemented across the board, allowing state, local, and commercial operators to benefit from the latest in proven technology. A key example is Metal Shark’s signature “pillarless glass” pilothouse. This design substantially reduces the dangerous blind spots common on traditional vessels using smaller, framed windows. Initially proven on patrol craft for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, Metal Shark now provides this technology to firefighters, harbor pilots, passenger vessel operators, and others. The benefits of forward-thinking advancements such as this and others become apparent when compared to traditional offerings that have remained virtually unchanged for decades. Metal Shark’s substantial economies of scale allow for a heavy investment in R&D to solve design challenges and push technology forward.
Unmatched Production Efficiency
To meet the demanding delivery schedules required by its many government contracts, Metal Shark has implemented processes that assure efficient and repeatable builds. This begins with an engineering-centric approach that utilizes 100% digital design, cutting, and sheet metal bending, and carries through to the extensive use of jigs to guarantee precise tolerances throughout the welding process. By utilizing a completely transparent quality assurance system and robust production scheduling management tools, Metal Shark is able to satisfy the government inspectors that it hosts on a weekly basis. Applied across the board, this fanatical attention to detail results in “mil spec” precision for all customers and allows Metal Shark to meet delivery timeframes that competitive yards often cannot.
Stability Through Diversification
Metal Shark has taken the innovation, technology, processes, and sheer size developed through its military programs and implemented them across a wide range of markets. This has allowed the company to avoid reliance on any one particular market segment, which has been the downfall of many a specialty yard. Customers can trust that Metal Shark will be with them for the long haul, supporting them with best-in-class products and service.