Manufacturing News

Austal’s new contracts broaden revenue base

Manufacturing News

Perth shipbuilder will manufacture novel unmanned drone surveillance vessels developed by California’s Saildrone (pictured) as well as develop new autonomous vessels and build aircraft carrier ship elevators among a number of contracts revealed by the company that are potentially worth $108 million.

One of the contracts involves Austal staff learning and developing ways to manufacture components for nuclear submarines.

Austal told investors of seven previously unannounced contracts that ‘diversify Austal’s near-term revenue base, whilst providing the company with enhanced exposure to significant long-term growth opportunities’.

These opportunities include:

  • An ‘undefinitised contract action’ (UCA) with the US Navy to resolve the detail design for three fully funded Emergency Medical Ships (EMS) – with these ships to be valued at over US$900 million
  • Partnership with L3Harris Technologies to construct and modify autonomous capabilities in support of the US Navy’s Overlord Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) Program
  • Concept design for the US Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSV), involving a prototype of an unmanned ship that is capable of autonomous operation
  • Appointment as the exclusive manufacturer of Saildrone Inc.’s wind and solar-powered Surveyor USV, with discussions continuing as to the number of vehicles to be produced
  • A trial with the Royal Australian Navy to develop ‘PBAT Sentinel’; a patrol boat modified with autonomous systems for autonomous operation
  • Partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat to train Austal personnel in the manufacture of Command and Control Systems Modules and Electronic Deck Modules for US Navy nuclear submarines
  • And a contract with Newport News Shipbuilding in the USA to fabricate aluminium aircraft elevators for two US Navy Ford-class aircraft carriers being constructed by Newport News Shipbuilding.

    Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said: “The new contracts and partnerships demonstrate our growing capabilities across a broad range of naval shipbuilding and support programmes in Australia and the US, as we increasingly diversify our revenue base and expand our future growth pathways.

    “This is all underpinned by our modern and agile shipyards that can build in steel and aluminium, small to large vessels, and conventional crewing or autonomous capability.

    “Our shipbuilding capacity is complemented by our expanded advanced technology efforts in autonomy and
    additive manufacturing.
    Gregg said that over the longer-term, the contracts took the company another step forward towards its annual revenue target of $500 million from the support segment by FY2027.

    “Buoyed by a robust cash balance, we have the financial muscle to continue to invest in the future and achieve long term profitable growth.”

    Austal also announced contracts for design definition work for fully funded programmes for the construction of three Expeditionary Medical Ships for the US Navy.

    While US$975 million has been funded for the overall ship programme for three 110-metre long catamaran vessels, there is no certainty that Austal will win construction contracts going forward.

    However Austal builds Expeditionary Fast Transport catamarans for the US Navy at its yard in Mobile, Alabama and is the sole company awarded design definition contracts.


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