Birdon buys US shipyard to expand defence operations


Defence boat builder Birdon Group has announced that Birdon America Inc. has acquired Metal Shark Boats 32-acre shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.

This acquisition brings a fully developed shipyard into the Port Macquarie, NSW maritime engineer’s portfolio of facilities allowing the company to expand its US shipbuilding and repair services, according to a statement.

The acquisition of this shipyard will ensure the successful delivery of the Waterways Commerce Cutter (WCC) Program, a vital component of Birdon’s $1.187 billion contract to design and build 27 new vessels for the U.S. Coast Guard.

The US Marine Corps has also selected Birdon‘s advanced Heavy Landing Craft – H260 design to be part of a test and evaluation exercise.

Birdon Group CEO, Jamie Bruce said: “The investment in this facility will not only ensure we deliver on our promise to the US Coast Guard, but it will also provide an opportunity for our subcontract partners in southern Alabama to build and install all components of these vessels in one location.

“I am extremely grateful to Metal Shark CEO Christopher Allard and his team for collaborating diligently with us, in a short period, to complete this deal,” he said.

As part of the acquisition, Metal Shark’s existing workforce will transfer to Birdon, and will continue to execute the current order book of repair work.

In the near term, Birdon plans to make significant capital outlays in the shipyard’s infrastructure as a further investment in the future.

This will foster job creation, accelerate technological advancement, and provide positive growth to the region’s economy. .

Metal Shark Boats is a fully developed shipyard fronting a dredged deepwater inlet.

It includes five steel buildings for fully self-contained fabrication and construction work, with over 1,700 feet of waterfront, a 660-ton Travelift, multiple cranes, and equipment for the construction of steel and aluminum vessels up to 300 feet in length and 1,500 tons launch weight.

The shipyard is situated just minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Further reading:
Birdon completes 12th lifeboat for U.S. Coast Guard
Birdon Group vessel selected for US Marine Corps tests

Picture: Birdon Group

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