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Metal Shark makes programme progress for Caribbean navies

3rd February 2023 - 10:30 GMT | by Wilder Alejandro Sanchez in Washington DC

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Costa Rica is the fifth nation to receive a patrol vessel under the USN's NCPV programme. (Photo: Metal Shark)

US shipbuilder Metal Shark has delivered a new patrol vessel to Costa Rica and achieved a major milestone on a project for Guyana.

A Near Coastal Patrol Vessel (NCPV) departed St Petersburg, Florida, on 30 January en route to Costa Rica – the latest platform built by US-based shipyard Metal Shark for Central American and Caribbean navies.

This is the fifth 85 Defiant vessel built by Metal Shark as part of a 13-NCPV order from the USN. NCPVs are being donated to US regional partners to improve maritime operations including patrol, search and rescue, combating drug trafficking and smuggling, as well as illegal, unregulated and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

In August 2020, the first vessel of the programme, Betelgeuse (was delivered to the Dominican Republic’s navy. Other NCPVs were delivered throughout 2021 to Honduras, El Salvador, and Panama.

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The newest vessel, built at Metal Shark’s facilities in Franklin, Louisiana, is expected to arrive in Costa Rica in early February, according to the shipyard.

The 85 Defiant carries a crew of over ten and also transports a 5.6m, Metal Shark-built aluminium RIB, 'which is quickly deployed and retrieved via an integrated stern slipway', according to the shipyard. Metal Shark was awarded the $54 million contract in 2017.

Metal Shark is also constructing a welded aluminium 35x8m monohull 115 Defiant patrol vessel for the Guyana Defense Force (GDF). On 27 January, the shipyard reported the installation of the vessel’s 'two CAT C32 main propulsion engines and two CAT C4.4 generators'. Metal Shark announced the contract on 8 August 2022 and has not disclosed when the vessel will be delivered to the GDF.

Wilder Alejandro Sanchez

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Wilder Alejandro Sanchez


Wilder Alejandro Sánchez is an analyst who covers defense & security, geopolitical, and trade issues …

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