Austal Australia has completed the keel laying for two 72-meter High Speed Support Vessels (HSSVs) for the Royal Navy of Oman. The occasion was formally recognized at an event held today at Austal’s Australian Shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.
Keel-laying traditionally marks the first significant milestone in a ship’s construction. In old Maritime tradition, historically keel-laying was the “laying down” of the main timber making up the backbone of a vessel. Austal’s advanced modular shipbuilding techniques means fabrication of ship modules begin well before they are actually joined.
Today’s achievement is based on 3% of total net structural weight being assembled. This is acknowledged by the classification society stamping a section of the assembled structure. The achievement was witnessed by the resident onsite Royal Navy
of Oman Representatives (RNOR) Captain Abdulhameed Al Sinani, Commander Mudhafar Al Riyami and Lieutenant Commander Mubarak Al Kasbi.
Captain Abdulhameed Al Sinani said, “this is a very important occasion of the keel laying milestone of Project Bahr Oman.”
Austal was awarded a $124.9 million contract for the design, construction and integrated logistics support of two HSSVs in March 2014. The vessels are being designed and constructed at Austal’s Australian Shipyard. Construction commenced as planned with both vessels expected to be delivered in late 2016.
In addition to the HSSVs, Austal Australia is also prime contractor for eight Cape Class Patrol Boats being constructed for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
; four of which have now been delivered as part of a $330 million contract.
In Mobile, Alabama, Austal USA is a prime contractor for the design and construction of ten Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and ten Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) for the United States Navy.