The U.S. Navy has exercised contract options funding Austal’s acquisition of long lead-time material associated with the construction of two additional 338 ft Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV). The award is valued at $99.5m.
Austal was awarded the initial contract to design and build the first 338 ft JHSV in November 2008. The contract included options for a further nine additional vessels to be awarded between FY09 and FY13 for a total value of up to $1.6b.
Long lead-time material for the additional vessels will include diesel engines, water jets and reduction gears.
Similar to the Austal-built WestPac Express operated by the U.S. Marines for the past seven years, 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. The vessels will be a joint-use platform operated by both the United States Army and Navy.
Construction of the first JHSV is scheduled to commence at Austal’s U.S. shipyard in November.