US-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has been awarded the contract to produce the US Navy’s next-generation patrol boat, the PB(X).
Potentially worth more than US$90 million, the contract includes an initial order of 11 of the PB(X) vessels and up to 50 over the next 15 years.
The winning PB(X) design is a 12-metre, welded-aluminium pilothouse patrol boat with an angular profile and a unique faceted hull. It is powered by twin diesel inboards and water jets that achieve speeds of more than 35 knots.
The PB(X) features ballistic protection and can be armed with crew-served and remotely operated weapons systems.
The US Navy intends to replace up to 160 of its existing 7.6-metre and 10-metre coastal riverine forces patrol boats with the larger and more modern PB(X).
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