The Navy issued a Request For Information (RFI) on Nov. 9 to conduct market research for plans to potentially buy 90 40-foot Patrol Boats, called the 40PB.

The 40PB is planned to operate in day and night, in all weather and patrol green water littoral zones. This includes coastal water approaches, bays, major rivers, ports and harbors.

A Metal Shark 38-foot Defiant patrol vessel like one Ukraine has ordered and is receiving in 2022. (Photo: Metal Shark)
A Metal Shark 38-foot Defiant patrol vessel like one Ukraine has ordered and is receiving in 2022. (Photo: Metal Shark)

The notice said this craft is aimed to specifically support “maritime security operation missions and tasks” like harbor approach defense; high value unit transit escort operations; visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations and overwatch; critical infrastructure protection; amphibious operations support; riverine operations; mine warfare support; embarked forces support; and, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief support. 

The Navy said the overall mission objective for the 40PB craft is called “presence and deterrence.”

The boats are expected to have a cruise speed of at least 25 knots and spring speed upward of 35 knots with a crew of five. The only armament will consist of crew service weapons.

The Navy plans to award a contract to one or more builders of the 40PB in fiscal year 2023 for up to 90 boats to be delivered to both San Diego and Williamsburg, Va. According to a document attached to the RFI, the schedule would start with a 21-boat base order in fiscal year 2023. It would be followed by options for 11 more in ‘24, 13 in ‘25, 14 in ‘26, 12 in 2027 and 2028 and seven in FY ‘29. 

This includes up to 10 40PBs for an undisclosed foreign military, split between orders in FY ‘25 and ‘26. 

The notice said a future contract for these boats would include construction of the aluminum hull structure, installation of machinery and electronics using a government-provided Technical Data Package (TDP) with integration of Government Furnished Equipment (GFE).

“The TDP consists of the specification and associated non-deviational and deviational drawings, test procedures, technical manuals, and a GFE list,” the notice said.

A TDP generally allows the government to award separate vendors a contract using the same design and support elements, like having multiple companies build the same type of ship.

The notice says this RFI is a follow-on to a $30 million contract awarded to Metal Shark Boats for 11 patrol boats in September 2017, which included options that could raise the value to over $90 million. That contract included the data rights for the boat design.

The notice underscored this RFI is being used to identify contractors with the required expertise and capabilities that could construct, integrate GFE and deliver the 40PB craft. 

Responses are due by Dec. 9.