The Australia-based shipbuilding firm has been tapped for two US Navy projects, which include a $58.7 million modification for the Littoral Combat Ship program.
The US Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded two US Navy contracts to Austal USA, which has been tasked with supporting the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) programs.
The LCS deal is a modification to a previously awarded contract, which is expected to provide Austal with a total potential additional value of approximately US$44.3 million ($58.7 million).
The LCS modification involves options to deliver design services for all Independence Class LCS ships and the provision of the US Navy’s Integrated Data Product Model Environment (IDPME).
The design services may include program management, fitting out services, change processing, software maintenance, engineering and life cycle efforts, while the IDPME tasks would involve maintaining a system that supports Navy access to enterprise LCS data management.
Meanwhile, Austal’s LAW contract involves the delivery of concept studies and preliminary design services for a class of 28 to 30 new amphibious ships to support the Marine Corps.
The services particularly relate to the implementation of Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) — a new Marine Corps operational concept.
The US Navy aims to procure the first LAW in the 2023 financial year.
The 60-to-120-metre-long amphibious vessels are expected to provide US naval forces with a manoeuvre and sustainment capability to conduct littoral and amphibious operations.
The ships will be built to embark at least 75 US Marines with approximately 370-740 square metres of cargo area to transport weapons, equipment, and supplies to the beach or austere ports.
Austal USA is one of five firms to be approached by the US Navy to develop LAW concept designs, with a single shipyard expected to be down-selected for a detailed design and construction contract by the end of the third quarter of 2022 calendar year.
“Austal USA is well placed to pursue this Light Amphibious Warship opportunity, with a proven capability to deliver multiple naval shipbuilding programs and new steel manufacturing facilities now under construction,” Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said.
“The Austal USA team will continue to develop their concept designs and ultimately provide a highly capable and cost-effective LAW solution for the US Navy.”
These latest announcements come just weeks after Austal USA secured a US$44 million contract for the design, procurement, production implementation, and demonstration of autonomous capability on the US Navy’s future Spearhead Class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 13, USNS Apalachicola.
Austal USA is currently developing 15 EPF vessels for the US Navy, delivering 12 ships since December 2012.
Austal USA was also recently awarded a US$3.6 million ($4.7 million) functional design contract to develop the new Navajo Class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS) for the US Navy.
The firm is set to prepare a functional design for the T-ATS — an 80-metre steel monohull vessel with multi-mission capability, built to support a variety of towing, salvage, search and rescue, oil spill response, humanitarian assistance and surveillance activities.
In addition to its US operations, the Australia-based shipbuilding company recently confirmed it would submit a proposal for the Commonwealth government’s LAND 8710 (Phase 1) program.
The $800 million project aims to develop a new amphibious vehicle (AV) to replace the Army’s Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo – 5 tonne vehicle (LARC-V), and Independent Landing Craft (ILC) to replace the current Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM-8) vessels.
The shipbuilding firm has offered to design, build and sustain the locally-developed fleet, used to transport land forces with enhanced speed and protection.
The new vehicles and vessels are proposed for introduction from 2026.
[Related: Austal wins $57m US Navy contract]
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.