The U.S. Navy has exercised contract options funding the construction of two additional Austal Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) – as part of an existing 10-vessel, $1.6b program. Austal previously received US Navy funding for long lead-time material, including diesel engines, water jets and reduction gears, for these two vessels in June 2009. The additional work is valued at approximately $208m.
Intended as the U.S. Department of Defense’s next-generation multi-use platform, the two 338 ft high speed vessels will be constructed at Austal’s US facility, located in Mobile, Ala. Austal was selected as Prime contractor for the JHSV program in November 2008, which included construction of the first JHSV and options for nine additional vessels to be exercised between FY09 and FY13. Construction of the first Austal JHSV commenced in December 2009.
Similar to the Austal-built WestPac Express operated by the U.S. Marines for the past nine years, but with the addition of a helo deck, the JHSV will be capable of transporting troops and their equipment, supporting humanitarian relief efforts, operating in shallow waters, and reaching speeds in excess of 35 knots fully loaded.
Austal USA’s new state-of the-art 35,000 m2 Modular Manufacturing Facility (MMF) facilitates the concurrent construction of both JHSV and LCS platforms. Austal USA’s workforce is expected to grow to more than 1500 as a result of the JHSV program. Austal is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems who will design, integrate, and test the ship’s electronic systems, including an Open Architecture Computing Infrastructure, internal and external communications, electronic navigation, aviation, and armament systems