If you have ever been to Bellingrath Gardens along Mobile Bay or driven the long way to Fort Gains at the mouth of the Bay itself, you have passed a quiet little tan-yellow warehouse/workshop in Theodore with an aluminum patrol boat on display up front. Blink and you miss it.
That is Silver Ships.
While you may not have heard of them, you have probably seen their work as they have made hundreds of small aluminum-hulled workboats and RHIB style fast boats over the years that have been used by marine patrols, conservation, and fire agencies around the country, as well as the U.S Corps of Engineers and all five branches of the military, especially in the Gulf South region.
With that being said, this just came out on the DOD’s Contract announcements (emphasis mine):
Silver Ships Inc.,* Theodore, Alabama, was awarded an $8,239,095 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity single award contract (N00024-21-D-2205) for design and construction of up to 110 Navy 8-meter and 11-meter Surface Support Craft and Coast Guard Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement Generation II (SPC-LE II). Work will be performed in Theodore, Alabama, and is expected to be completed in August 2023. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $51,663,787. Fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,242,628 (39%); fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,187,680 (39%); and fiscal 2021 other procurement (Coast Guard) funds in the amount of $1,808,787 (22%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a small business set-aside. This contract was competitively procured via the beta.sam.gov website, with four offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. (Awarded Sept. 30, 2021)
Via Silver Ships’ presser on the award:
The NSW SSCs are 8- and 11-meter aluminum deep-vee hulled boats with a protective collar. Variants of the SSC include both open center console and cabin versions. These craft are used from inland bays and waterways to deep water over-the-horizon transits, in all operating conditions and weather. The Navy SSC vessels will support the Naval Special Warfare community via ocean diver and swimmer support, medical transport, vessel towing and water airdrop training, among other missions.
The 11-meter craft has a multipurpose deck for carrying various payloads or mission gear. The 11-meter Coast Guard SPC-LE vessels are armed and will be operated in varying conditions along the length of the borders of the United States and the Caribbean. Typical SPC-LE missions involve intercepting suspicious vessels entering U.S. waters; the boats will also be used for port security. In addition to the U.S. Coast Guard, other agencies within the Department of Homeland Security will operate some of the boats.
More details on the 11-meter Surface Support Craft, via Silver Ships.
“Silver Ships has been building the AM1100 11-Meter Naval Special Warfare – Surface Support Craft (SSC) RHIB for the past seven years. There are three variants of the vessel; the most recent delivery is the Open Center Console version. The U.S. Navy uses these vessels for training and support of swim and dive operations, among other missions.”