Market Overview

Metal Shark and ASV Global Introduce Sharktech Autonomous Vessels


Louisiana, USA-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has joined forces with
autonomous vessel technology developer ASV Global to introduce
"Sharktech" Autonomous Vessels.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

A SHARKTECH-equipped 38 Defiant autonomous vessel testing near Metal Shark's Jeanerette, Louisiana h ...

A SHARKTECH-equipped 38 Defiant autonomous vessel testing near Metal Shark's Jeanerette, Louisiana headquarters. (Photo: Business Wire)

Metal Shark is now offering Sharktech autonomous technology on its
entire portfolio of vessels, which range from 16' to over 300' in
aluminum, steel, and composite. Sharktech autonomous vessels may be
custom configured for military, law enforcement, fire rescue, and the
full spectrum of applicable commercial markets.

"The industry has watched and waited as autonomous technology has
matured from its fledgling stages, and today we're offering ASV Global's
fully proven autonomous capability on our entire model lineup," said
Metal Shark CEO Chris Allard. "We are demystifying and streamlining the
process of autonomous technology integration by bringing this capability
to market in turnkey form straight from the OEM. Check the box and get
the option, on our full range of globally proven designs."

"As the world's largest and most experienced unmanned vessel technology
company, ASV Global is proud to partner with Metal Shark to bring our
industry-leading ASView unmanned vessel control technology to market,"
said Thomas Chance, CEO of ASV Global. "The ASView control system offers
multiple modes including unmanned operations, reduced manned operations,
or conventional manned operations. In addition, ASV Global can assist
with mission payload and sensor integration, control, and remote

"Sharktech autonomous vessel technology opens up myriad opportunities
for operators in all sectors," said Mr. Allard. "Similar to how
advancements in aviation technology reduced aircraft cockpit crews,
Sharktech offers crew reduction at the flip of a switch. Sharktech is
ideal for dangerous missions in remote or hostile environments, for
endurance missions where it may be necessary for vessels to loiter in a
holding pattern for extended periods, or for any mission simply
undesirable for a human crew."

Beyond simple waypoint navigation or the execution of pre-programmed
mission routes, Sharktech's ASView onboard digital control system
features dynamic collision avoidance with robust decision-making
capability. Depending on configuration, the system considers data from
multiple situational awareness inputs, including multiple radars,
360-degree daylight and thermal cameras, and AIS to safely identify and
steer clear of stationary and moving obstacles.

Sharktech's ASView system allows for autonomous or remote operation of
navigation and safety lighting, hailers and sirens, pumps, and other
components. The system also supports the integration and autonomous or
remote operation of a near-infinite range of specialized equipment,
including fire pumps, monitors, and other fire-fighting equipment;
hydrographic survey equipment; equipment for acoustic, oceanographic, or
meteorological monitoring; and the full spectrum of FLIRs and other
specialty cameras.

"While autonomous technology is perhaps most commonly associated with
military applications, its value to commercial operators cannot be
overlooked," said Mr. Allard. "Sharktech's benefits for safety, crew
reduction, endurance, and CONOPS flexibility are unprecedented in our
industry, and we are only scratching the surface of its potential

The vessel's operations may be monitored from a mother ship via radio
link, or from shore via satellite link. In the instance of lost primary
and backup communications, the vessel will assume pre-programmed
behavior, such as station-keeping. Other safety features include
geo-fence tools, emergency-stop buttons, and the ability to switch from
autonomous to manual control at any time.

To showcase the new technology, Metal Shark and ASV Global are taking a
Sharktech-equipped Metal Shark 38 Defiant patrol boat to the 2018 Multi
Agency Craft Conference (MACC) in Baltimore, Maryland for demonstration
on July 18th and 19th. The Sharktech demo vessel
showcases multiple layers of autonomy, as it also carries a Shearwater
aerial drone from Planck Aerosystems that may be launched, flown, and
landed autonomously from the moving vessel thanks to an integrated
navigation and guidance system.

In order to rapidly meet anticipated demand, Metal Shark has
pre-engineered its most popular models for Sharktech autonomous
capability, and has also added Sharktech vessels to its Stock Boats
program, which utilizes staged hulls and repurposes in-production units
to drastically reduce lead times.

"Depending on propulsion and desired equipment, we can currently deliver
a fully-autonomous Sharktech-equipped 38 Defiant in as little as 60
days," said Mr. Allard.

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