Posted on February 5, 2024
On 31 January 2023, Birdon America Inc. acquired Metal Shark Boats’ 32-acre shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. This acquisition brings a fully developed shipyard into Birdon’s growing portfolio of facilities throughout the US and will allow us to provide a further range of shipbuilding and repair services.
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.
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 Chris 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. A direct result will be the creation of 300 new jobs in the area over the next two years.
This 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′ of waterfront, a 660-ton Travelift, multiple cranes, and all required equipment for the construction of steel and aluminum vessels up to 300′ 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.
Established in 1977, Birdon is an experienced prime contractor with an operational footprint that includes five established locations across the United States as well as locations within Australia, Europe, and Asia.
Birdon has been engineering and manufacturing defense solutions since 1992 and is a leading global supplier of army watercraft.
Birdon creates certainty for its customers by engineering and delivering the right whole-of-life solutions across many sectors key to global security and prosperity.
They are an established and trusted partner of the United States Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Australian Defence Force, and a number of other international militaries. Birdon is successfully delivering on major projects for the U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy as well as the Australian Navy and Australian Army.
At the heart of Birdon’s operations lies a steadfast commitment to strengthening the USA’s industrial base capabilities and local manufacturing, as evidenced by over 98% of our team being domestic supply chain partners.