Austal has received a contract for the design, construction and integrated logistics support of 72m-long high-speed support vessels (HSSVs) for an undisclosed naval customer in the Middle East.

Under the $124.9m contract, Austal will construct two HSSVs at its shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

The HSSVs will be deployed by the customer for supporting similar missions to the joint high-speed vessels, which are being constructed for the US Navy at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

"We have a proven ability in designing, constructing and supporting defence vessels."

Austal chief executive officer Andrew Bellamy said that the new contract represents the utility of high-speed support vessels by international naval forces, following on from the ten-ship joint high-speed vessel contract for the US Navy.

"I am delighted that we have been awarded this contract, which is in line with our strategy of leveraging our revolutionary intellectual property and technology to new defence markets, particularly for underpinning the Henderson shipyard," Bellamy said.

"At Henderson, for example, we have a proven ability in designing, constructing and supporting defence vessels, including our current eight-ship cape class patrol boat contract for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service."

The HSSVs are capable of supporting naval operations, can carry out helicopter operations, rapid deployment of military personnel and cargo, and search and rescue operations.

The company will begin the construction of the first vessel this year, while the second vessel is scheduled to be delivered to the undisclosed customer in 2016.

Defence Technology