Austal USA has secured a contract to maintain the US Navy’s littoral combat ships (LCS) deployed to the Western Pacific.

The maintenance award is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for the repair and maintenance of several Independence-class LCSs.

It involves performing emergent repair and continuous maintenance on LCSs deployed to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, as well as the countries and ports within the region.

The $72.5m (approximately A$100.4m) contract value could increase to $215.9m (nearly A$298.9m) if all options are exercised by the US Navy.

It includes a one 24-month base period and three additional one-year option periods.

Austal CEO Patrick Gregg said that the deployed LCS contract adds to Austal’s recent inclusion in the ‘Sustainment Execution Contract’ panels in California and Florida, and the company’s pending lease of a ship repair facility in San Diego.

The company recently announced that it will assume the lease of the ship repair site of Marine Group Boat Works (MGBW) in the Port of San Diego in California.

Gregg said: “This award is an important milestone in growing Austal’s vessel sustainment business, and positions Austal USA to be the prime contractor for all continuous and emergent maintenance on the LCS as they transit and operate in the region.”

Work on the current LCS contract will start by January next year and is expected to be completed by December 2023.

If all options are exercised, work will run until December 2026.

Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center in Singapore is serving as the contracting activity.

In June, Austal USA secured a contract modification from the US DoD under the previously awarded LCS programme.