Metal Shark said on Tuesday it is helping send 23 of its aluminum military boats to Ukraine as part of the latest U.S. security assistance package announced last week.

The company said these boats are part of the $450 million security assistance

package the White House announced last week to help Ukraine defend itself from the Russian invasion. At the time, the U.S. government said the equipment included 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats but did not specify which ones (Defense Daily, June 23).

In its press release, Metal Shark confirmed the package includes six maritime combat vessels it has produced.

Separately, Metal Shark is also building 17 more vessels to be sent to Ukraine that were already planned for Ukraine before the Russian invasion. The company said it accelerated their timelines due to the invasion, so they will begin shipping immediately when they are completed.

These 17 vessels include 10 38-foot Defiant pilothouse patrol vessels, four 38-foot Defiant center console patrol vessels and three 36-foot Fearless high-performance military interceptor vessels. This makes 23 Metal Shark boats headed to Ukraine when combined with the six vessels in the $450 million package.

The boats are being produced at Metal Sharks at its Franklin and Jeanerette, Louisiana production facilities.

The company argued that “each of these vessels are proven military platforms optimized for the Ukraine mission.”

“Metal Shark has been working closely with the U.S. Embassy in Kiev since 2019 to develop the strategy now being implemented to support Ukraine’s maritime capabilities, so it is fulfilling to see that the vessels will arrive when they are most needed,” Henry Irizarry, Metal Shark’s vice president of international business development, said in a statement.

“Metal Shark provides next-generation, proven platforms to partner nations, but most importantly, we create long term partnerships with end users to train boat crews and provide seamless technical support to assure 24/7 operational readiness,” he added.

After the six Metal Shark boats, it is not clear what the other 12 patrol boats are or where they are coming from. 

On June 23 a senior defense official told reporters of the 18 patrol boats, two are 35-foot small unit riverine craft, six are 40-foot maritime combat craft patrol boats, and 10 are 34-foot US Watercraft-built Sea Ark Dauntless-class medium force protection patrol boats.

The official said “these are largely to protect the riverways and to enable Ukraine to maintain its control of the riverways. They can also be used in, you know, close-in coastal areas, but the river piece was the initial impetus I believe for this — for this particular request.”