Austal has secured a contract to procure long-lead time materials for the US Navy's eleventh expeditionary fast transport (EPF 11), formerly known as the Joint High-Speed Vessel (JHSV).
Valued at $53.5m, the latest contract covers the purchase of materials including main propulsion engines, generators, water jets, main reduction gears, and other long-lead time items.
Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said: "It is timely that the US Navy has directed Austal USA to move forward with the procurement of the long lead items for EPF 11.
"We can now anticipate finalisation of a shipbuilding contract for EPF 11 in the coming months."
The JHSVs are designed for fast, intra-theatre transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies, and equipment.
The vessels will be able to transport 600t for approximately 1,200nm at an average speed of 35k, with berthing space for up to 104 personnel, and airline-style seating for up to 312.
In addition to the ability to support overseas contingency operations, these vessels will be able to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, support special operations forces, and emerging joint sea-basing concepts.
With 20,000ft² open-mission and flight decks, JHSVs will support day and night launch and recovery missions.
In August, Austal authenticated the keel of the US Navy's future USNS Carson City, the seventh vessel under the navy's JHSV programme.
Image: The US Navy's JHSVs are designed for fast, intra-theatre transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies, and equipment. Photo: courtesy of Austal.