The delivery and commissioning ceremony took place on 6 August. The United States ambassador, through a communication, expressed that the government of the United States is pleased to join efforts with the Ministry of Defense of the Dominican Republic to face common challenges and contribute to the shared vision of prosperity and security of the two countries, through the development of a shared capacity with the Dominican Navy and carry out maritime security operations, drug interdiction and combat transnational criminal organizations.
The Commander of the Dominican Republic Navy, Vice Admiral Recio Segura, valued the donation as an important resource that will strengthen and facilitate the conduct of naval operations against emerging threats in the national waters.
Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark was selected, back in 2017, by the US Navy to build Near Coastal Patrol Vessels (NCPVs) for United States partner nations through the Department of Defense Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Under the terms of the award, potentially worth upwards of $54 million, Metal Shark will build up to thirteen 85-foot Defiant-class welded aluminum cutters for the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and other United States partner nations. Additionally, Metal Shark will supply electro-optical infrared sensors, diagnostic equipment, in-country reactivation, crew familiarization, and test support to NCPV operators.
The new vessels are based on Damen Shipyards’ Stan Patrol 2606 design, tailored by Metal Shark to suit the requirements of the NCPV mission. The versatile cutter can accommodate a wide range of mission profiles including search and rescue, border patrol, police and customs duties, counter-narcotics operations, and securing waters of economic importance.
Key attributes of Damen’s Stan Patrol 2606 include excellent performance and seakeeping, large payload capacity, economical operating cost, and proven durability. Metal Shark has applied its own enhancements to Damen’s standardized patrol platform to provide the crew-friendly functionality found on other Metal Shark patrol craft.