Page 31: of Marine News Magazine (June 2021)

Combat & Patrol Craft

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Shipbuilding the marine market is ripe, and needs to be led that way so and military applications where the technological and that people that have a job to do, whether it’s law enforce- safety advantages are most pronounced. In January, Metal ment or commercial, can go and buy the asset they need Shark was selected by the U.S. Marine Corps to develop in days, weeks or months, not months, years or decades.” and implement the Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessel (LRUSV) System, continuing a long string of high-tech

The leading edge projects for the company’s Sharktech autonomous vessels

While the number of vessels Metal Shark is able to pro- subsidiary launched in 2018. According to Allard, Metal duce is impressive, the product is too, and growing more so Shark has designed, built and delivered more than 400 au- as technologies and capabilities continue to evolve. Allard tonomous and remotely operated vessels to date, including said that despite challenges brought on by the COVID-19 boats for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.

pandemic Metal Shark delivered about the same number of “I am captivated by how the evolution of this technol- vessels in 2020 as it did the year prior, but with a marked in- ogy will completely change the maritime sector. I think crease in value—a trend that is expected to continue. “The the impact on the maritime world will be seismic in scale, average size and cost of our deliveries continues to trend Allard said. “I am thrilled by the small role we’ve been able higher as the boats grow in size and complexity,” he said. to play in the journey so far, and I am really excited about “It’s the natural evolution of our company. Our techno- new projects in that space.” logical capabilities and ability to deal with complex prob- lems, and in turn projects, have grown. We’ve been able to participate and be successful in higher dollar projects that are more complicated.”

This evolution, combined with the quality of the prod- uct, is also helping to drive Metal Shark’s strong sales num- bers abroad, Allard said. “It can be challenging to compete overseas, especially on price. Once you get overseas, there’s no Jones Act. You’ve got potential competitors that are in lower-cost portions of the world, and dozens of different countries that are capable of building boats,” he added. “What has made us successful overseas is our technology and our innovation. We’re building a product that is a step above, and it’s not easy to ? nd comparables around the world. There aren’t 70-knot interceptors anywhere else. So, we ? nd our success is around countries that are looking for the highest quality product or the next generation product.

The next step in maritime patrol technology, and boats that otherwise that isn’t really available in the world scene.”

Allard and Metal Shark have managed to stay on the lead- ing edge of new boatbuilding developments. “This requires investment in technology, not only in the boats, but in the build process. Whether that’s automation in the build pro- cess, or autonomy in the operation of the boats. I think that the incorporation of technology into the company, tran- scending just the boat is something that’s really set us apart.”

Autonomous vessels are quickly gaining acceptance across the maritime sector, but especially in government MN 31|

Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.