The agreement adds to the US$21.1 million drydocking contract Austal received for support and sustainment of LCS 14 (USS Manchester).
“Building a significant service and support business has been one of Austal’s major business objectives,” Austal CEO David Singleton said.
“The award of this contract, combined with being announced as the prime contractor for the drydocking of LCS 14 and other previously announced sustainment contracts, demonstrates our ability to build the services and support business into a material segment for the company.”
The agreed program for LCS 20 includes:
- dry docking services
- engineering prefabrication
- material procurement
- execution of work items
Work of this kind would usually be undertaken in San Diego, California; however, Austal USA and the US Navy have agreed that in order to “streamline production, support and sustainment for the LCS program”, work instead will be completed at Austal’s facility in Alabama.
The LCS is a high-speed, agile, multi-mission combatant, with the Independence variant open ocean capable but designed to “defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace”.
The 127m, frigate sized vessel is designed for critical missions, including mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, with the program in “full rate of production” at Austal’s facilities in Alabama.
Austal USA also confirmed they are “currently expanding” their naval offering to include additional small surface combatants, auxiliary support ships, autonomous vehicles and worldwide post-delivery support and sustainment.