Austal wins $300m in new orders, begins steel shipbuilding in the US

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has announced signing of $300 million in new contracts as well as a big step forward for the company with the commencement of steel shipbuilding in the United States.

CEO Paddy Gregg told investors that in recent weeks the company has been awarded contracts to:

  • Sustain two Cape class patrol boats the company built for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard in country
  • Construct an additional two Evolved Cape class Patrol Boats (ECCPB’s, main picture) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), announced by the Australian Government in April 2022
  • Undertake the Detailed Design and Construction (DD&C) of the United States Navy’s new Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM) under a US $128 million contract.

In total the now awarded contracts are worth more than Au$300 million.

Gregg said: “The new contracts are a great demonstration of Austal’s capability to take on multiple projects across diverse naval shipbuilding and support programs, in Australia and overseas”.

Gregg said the floating dock contract was the second contract awarded for the company to build steel-hulled vessels at its naval shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Austal is already building steel and aluminium vessels in Perth, but to date the Mobile yard has been building two classes of multi-hulled aluminium vessels.

Capabilities to build steel ships Mobile were recently added to the Mobile yard through a US$100 million investment funded 50:50 by Austal and the United State Government.

Gregg announced that steel vessel construction had begun in the US with the US$145 million T-ATS programme now under way to build two ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue vessels to support US Navy fleet operations.

They are built on a multi mission common hull platform capable of towing heavy ships.

The second steel order in the US is for the USN’s new Auxiliary Floating Dock Medium (AFDM) – this is a ‘Rennie’ type floating dock and will incorporate features to improve operability and maintainability, based on Austal USA’s experience from owning, operating and maintaining a similar dry dock at its repair facility in Mobile.

With a lifting capacity of over 18,000 tonnes, length overall of 211 metres and working area of nearly 8,500 square metres, the dry dock will have the capability to service large vessels such as Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), Guided Missile Destroyers (DDG), Guided Missile Cruisers (CG) and Landing Ship Docks (LSD’s).

Meanwhile the additional two ECCPB’s, announced by the Australian Government in April 2022 and valued at A$110 million, bring the total number of this class of vessels to be delivered to eight and extend production at the shipyard through to 2024.

Picture: RAN Evolved Cape class Patrol Boat

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