Tuesday, June 23, 2009

DTN News: US Navy Orders Material For Additional Austal JHSVs

DTN News: US Navy Orders Material For Additional Austal JHSVs *Sources: DTN News / Austal ~ Australia (NSI News Source Info) HENDERSON, Western Australia - June 23, 2009: The US Navy has exercised contract options funding Austal’s acquisition of long lead-time material associated with the construction of two additional 103-metre Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV). In October 2005, Austal/General Dynamics was awarded a contract to build the first of their design for a Littoral Combat Ship. The keel of the future USS Independence (LCS-2) was laid on 19 January 2006 at Austal USA's yard in Mobile, Alabama, and the naming ceremony was held on 4 October 2008. The LCS 2 is the first ship built by Austal USA for the U.S. Navy and the Navy’s first Trimaran Littoral Combat Ship. It is the first naval warship constructed in Mobile, Alabama since World War II. The basis of Austal's seaframe design is the 127 metre trimaran hull 'Benchijigua Express'. In November 2008, Austal has won the contract to design and build the US Department of Defence’s next generation high-speed catamaran, multi-use platform, the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), as part of a program potentially worth over US$1.6 billion. As Prime contractor, Austal will design and construct the first 103-metre JHSV, with options for 9 additional vessels expected to be exercised between FY09 and FY13. The new JHSV is similar to the Austal-built WestPac Express operated by the US Marines for the past seven years. Austal was awarded the initial contract to design and build the first 103 metre JHSV in November 2008. The contract included options for nine additional vessels to be awarded between FY09 and FY13. Each JHSV is valued at approximately AUD $225 million, with the potential 10-vessel program valued at approximately AUD $2.3 billion. Austal USA President and COO, Joe Rella said, “Due to on-time performance and high quality results during our design reviews with the Navy, and the efficiency of our material procurement to date, we have earned the confidence of the Navy to make this award. This is a testament to the quality products of our Program, Design, Production Control and Procurement teams.” Long lead-time material for the additional vessels will include diesel engines, water jets and reduction gears. Similar to the Austal-built “WestPac Express” operated by the US Marines for the past seven years, the JHSV will be capable of transporting troops and their equipment, supporting humanitarian relief efforts, operating in shallow waters and reaching speeds in excess of 35 knots fully loaded. The vessels will be a joint-use platform operated by both the United States Army and Navy.Construction of the first JHSV is scheduled to commence at Austal’s US shipyard in November.

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