Austal wins $584m contract to build US Navy's Independence-class LCS 28
Austal has secured a new A$779m ($584m) contract to construct the Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS 28) for the US Navy.
The 127m-long vessel will be the 14th LCS to be built at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, US.
Austal CEO David Singleton said: “While I am obviously happy for Austal I am also delighted in the vote of confidence this delivers for Australian shipbuilding and design.
“We won this award following a direct competition with the Freedom-class LCS, which says much for our cost efficiency on this programme.
“Austal’s work on the LCS programme at our advanced module manufacturing facility (MMF) has seen efficiency gains of 20% with an ambitious target of 35 set for the end of the build cycle.”
Manufacturing work of certain contracted subsystems will be carried out at Austal’s Henderson facility in Western Australia, as part of a continuation of its successful subcontract collaboration with the US.
The navy is expected to order up to two additional LCS vessels from Austal before the end of the current US financial year.
Austal’s orders for Independence-class vessels have totalled nearly A$8bn ($6.07bn) to date, which is equivalent to about 75% of the approximate value of the entire Australian Government's frigate construction programme.
The company previously delivered two ships to the US Navy last year, while two more are slated to be supplied this year.
The Austal-built fifth LCS USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) was commissioned into the fleet last weekend, and seven more LCS vessels are currently under various phases of construction.