Defence shipbuilder Austal USA will construct three Landing Craft Utility 1700 Class craft for the United States Navy under a $143.4 million contract.
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The contract follows a previous agreement for the detailed design of the steel hull LCU 1700 Class vessels and includes options for manufacture of an additional nine vessels and associated support arrangements.
The 170-tonne payload capacity, 13-crew craft are expected to be deployed with the Navy’s amphibious assault ships to support delivery of troops, cargo, tracked and wheeled vehicles between ship and shore. Each transport has a top speed of 11 knots and transit a range of 1,200 nautical miles.
The independent open ocean craft have a roll-on and off monohull design with hydraulically controlled bow and stern ramps, and have capability to connect and form a causeway for fast and secure unloading or loading.
Austal Limited chief executive officer Paddy Gregg said the new contract reinforces Austal USA’s position as a critical capability partner to the United States Navy and further diversified the company’s steel shipbuilding portfolio.
“The LCU are an essential capability of the US Navy and we’re proud to be contributing to this important shipbuilding program with up to 12 vessels to be constructed,” he said.
“Austal USA continues to diversify its product portfolio, with production continuing on two Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships and the 8,500 square metre auxiliary floating dry dock medium on the company’s state-of-the-art steel line.
“Austal USA also holds multiple ship contracts for the Navy’s TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance ship, and the US Coast Guard’s Heritage Class Offshore Patrol Cutter programs”.
The majority of work is expected to be performed in Mobile, Alabama and is expected to be completed by July 2026.