The Shell Enchilada platform in the Gulf.

Metal Shark has won a contract worth up to $90 million to build its PB(X) patrol boats for the U.S. Navy.

Metal Shark, Danos announce new contracts

Two area companies have announced that they’ve received new contracts, including Metal Shark’s deal worth up to $90 million to build the next generation of patrol boats for the U.S. Navy.

Danos Co. of Gray says it has a new contract with Shell Exploration and Production Co. to provide mechanical and automation maintenance for “production hubs and associated subsea infrastructure located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Danos said it expects to mobilize nearly 100 Louisiana-based employees for the project.

“Danos is committed to providing world-class, competitive project management services to our clients like Shell so they can continue to safely operate their Gulf of Mexico deepwater assets,” said Mark Danos, vice president of project services for Danos. “With this contract, we are providing Shell with a fully integrated team that can maximize efficiencies and share best practices across facilities.”

Under the terms of the contract, Danos will provide project management, construction, automation, fabrication and scaffolding services for Shell’s Auger and Ram Powell tension-leg platforms and the Enchilada and Salsa fixed-leg platforms. Danos will mobilize nearly 100 Louisiana-based employees for this project.

The Navy contract awarded to Metal Shark, based in Jeanerette with a dockside construction facility in Franklin, is the result of a multiyear bid process to select a replacement for protection boats with the Navy Expeditionary Combad Command’s Coastal Riverine Forces. Subject to annual appropriations, the Navy intends to replace approximately 100 to 160 of its existing 25-foot and 34-foot CRF patrol boats with the larger and more modern PB(X) platform over the next 15 years, Metal Shark said in a news release.

Metal Shark will build up to 50 PB(X) vessels for the Navy, along with trailers, spares and training packages, and technical support.

“PB(X) was one of the most challenging and most sought-after U.S. military boat procurement opportunities in recent history; the result of a years-long process pitting Metal Shark’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities against multiple leading U.S. naval architect firms and nearly all of our competitors,” said Metal Shark’s CEO Chris Allard. “The award of PB(X) to Metal Shark is the result of a tremendous team effort and I couldn’t be more proud of our people.”

The winning PB(X) design is a 40-foot, welded-aluminum pilothouse patrol boat designed by Metal Shark’s in-house engineering team, the company said in its press release.

Immediately identifiable thanks to its chiseled, angular profile and a unique faceted hull, the PB(X) is powered by twin diesel inboards and water jets. Metal Shark designed a moderate aft deadrise, wide-waterplane, sharp-entry hull form that not only achieves 35+ knot sprint speeds while displaying superb dynamic stability in a range of conditions, but also offers enhanced handling and greatly reduced operating cost at the 10-15 knot escort and cruise speeds where the vessel will spend the bulk of its operational life. The PB(X) features ballistic protection and can be armed with a range of crew-served and remotely operated weapons systems.

In order to fully optimize the hull and propose a more mature design, Metal Shark built a PBX running prototype hull, designated PB(X)-P1, which was extensively tested in a wide range of operating conditions. This test platform became the basis for Metal Shark’s resistance, powering, and weight testing, and determined the final configuration proposed to the Navy.

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