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Austal USA secures $1.28bn contract with US Navy

Austal USA has secured a contract for the final design and construction of three Expeditionary Medical Ships from the United States Navy, valued at $1.28 billion.

Austal USA has secured a contract for the final design and construction of three Expeditionary Medical Ships from the United States Navy, valued at $1.28 billion.

The Expeditionary Medical Ship is a variant of the Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship, designed for patient holding, stabilisation, evacuation, and transport in support of distributed maritime operations.

To date, Austal USA has delivered 13 Expeditionary Fast Transport ships to the US Navy.

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According to a release from the shipbuilder, the vessel features a shallow draft that enables the ship to access austere ports, with a flight deck that is able to accommodate the V-22 Osprey and CH-53K heavy lift cargo helicopter, a release from the company read.

“The new Expeditionary Medical Ship further extends the capabilities of the proven Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) platform, designed and constructed by Austal, to enable more complex medical procedures and operations to be performed onboard, at sea and underway,” Paddy Gregg, chief executive officer of Austal Limited, said.

“These three new EMS will enhance the US Navy’s capability to provide effective medical and surgical support anywhere in the world, quickly, safely and efficiently.”

The announcement came as Austal has signed a memorandum of understanding with NSW shipbuilder Birdon to jointly deliver the Australian Department of Defence Landing Craft-Medium (LC-M) Project.

Under the agreement, commencing in late November, both companies will develop Defence shipbuilding capability in Western Australia to deliver the LC-M craft, jointly develop a costed proposal for the LC-M Project and explore potential Defence shipbuilding opportunities.

Last month, the federal government announced a heads of agreement to establish a Strategic Shipbuilding Agreement between Austal and the Commonwealth. Austal was named as the preferred vessel constructor, while Birdon was selected as the preferred designer for the LC-M Project.

“Austal has a very good track record of working effectively with third-party vessel designers, and we look forward to working with Birdon to develop the MOU into a more substantive partnership so that we can deliver a capable and cost-effective LC-M program for the Army,” said Gregg.

Birdon chief executive officer Jamie Bruce said the memorandum of understanding signalled the intent of both companies to form a collaborative relationship for the design and build of LC-Ms.

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