The contract will develop the Austal Frigate design to meet the FFG(X) system specification with the goal of reducing cost, schedule and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract.
Austal CEO David Singleton said this latest contract from the US is confirmation of the Australian-founded business' technology and skills.
"Austal welcomes this contract as an endorsement of our advanced, technology-focused design; something that underpins everything we do and is at the heart of what has built our reputation over the last 30 years," Singleton said.
"Our continued investment in research and development to support the technology of our vessels is what has kept our designs at the forefront of advanced naval capabilities."
Austal's design team in Mobile, Alabama will lead the work for development on the Austal frigate, with the conceptual design to inform the final specifications that will be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X).
Singleton said Austal's design department is highly skilled in increasing its capability to offer the latest technical developments on all of its naval platforms.
"Highly technical engineering, research and development, and advanced digital design concepts are continually improved to set the standard of what is possible in naval design," Singleton said.
"With this latest announcement, the United States has recognised the importance of being able to operate the most advanced naval vessels, and we are excited to work with them to develop the technology to do this."
Austal USA is already delivering two classes of ship for the US Navy through the Spearhead Class Expeditionary Fast Transport and the Independence Class Littoral Combat Ship. Austal has designed, constructed and delivered more than 300 commercial and defence vessels for more than 100 operators in 54 countries worldwide.