Austal has been awarded a contract valued up to US$3.3 billion for the design and construction of up to 11 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC) for the US Coast Guard (USCG).
According to the company, Austal has been awarded the contract for their first vessel for the USCG, with the option to develop an additional 10.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.
The OPCs are 110-metre steel ships and are designed to operate in between the National Security Cutter and the Fast Response Cutters that operate in the open ocean and closer to shore, respectively.
The OPCs are designed to undertake either individual or group tasks across humanitarian relief, mobile command and control capabilities or emergency scenarios, possessing a range of 10,200 nautical miles at 14 knots with a 60-day endurance period.
“The United States Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutters are an outstanding opportunity for Austal USA to further demonstrate the shipyard’s new steel shipbuilding capability; based on years of proven construction experience through the delivery of the LCS and EPF programs for the United States Navy,” Paddy Gregg, chief executive officer of Austal Limited, said.
“The Offshore Patrol Cutters are a critical capability in the United States’ homeland security and the Coast Guard’s most important acquisition program, and the Austal USA team is very excited and proud to be delivering this major shipbuilding program for the USA.”
President of Austal USA Rust Murdaugh explained that the contract followed significant investment in building the company’s local offerings.
“This contract award is the result of our continued investment in our people and our facilities. We are thrilled for the opportunities this will bring to our local community and our tremendous supplier base, as this program will provide our shipbuilding team the stability for continued growth.”
Currently, Austal USA is building the Independence-variant littoral combat ship, Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport program and the Navajo Class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship and Auxiliary Floating Drydock Medium.
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[Related: Austal secures $300m in shipbuilding work]