November 14, 2008
Austal wins potential $1.6 billion JHSV contract
As already disclosed by Alabama U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, Austal has won the contract to design and build the U.S. Department of Defense's next generation multi-use platform, the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV).
The Pentagon formally announced today that Austal USA, Mobile Ala., is being awarded a $185,433,564 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2217) for the firm quantity of one Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) with options for up to nine additional ships and associated shore-based spares for the Phase II downselect of the JHSV Program.
The JHSV Program will provide high speed, shallow draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the U. S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. Work will be performed in Mobile, Ala., and is expected to be completed by November 2010.
With the options for the nine additional vessels expected to be exercised between FY09 and FY13, the program is potentially worth over US$1.6 billion.
Similar to the Austal-built "WestPac Express" operated by the US 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.
The JHSV will have a 103 m catamaran hull (which is actually shorter than the 113 m Hawaii SuperFerry cats built by the yard) and a speed of more than 35 knots. A draft of 3.8 m will allow superior access to "austere" ports,
With a payload of 635 tonnes, its range at 35 knots will be 1,200 nautical miles.
Accommodations include embarked troop berthing for 150 troops and airline style seating for 312 Troops at 5.25 ft seating pitch.
The JHSV flight deck will be capable of handling the CH-53E, the largest and heaviest helicopter in the U.S. military. It will have a loading ramp arrangement capable of supporting M1A2 Abrams tanks.
An open, unobstructed mission deck will offer a usable cargo area of more than 1,800 sq. meters (clear height of 4.75 m and turning diameter of 26.21 m).
Propulsion power will be provided by MTU 8000 engines, as used in the LCS and Hawaii Superferry.
MTU 8000 Series diesels offer the world's highest power-to-weight ratio in their power range, delivering up to 12,200 bhp (9,100 kW) of continuous power, and a fuel consumption of less than 190g/kW h.
The JHSV will have an active motion control system with four control surfaces.
"Being selected as prime contractor for a major U.S. Department of Defense shipbuilding program demonstrates Austal's capabilities as a defense supplier," said Austal Managing Director Bob Browning. He termed the ten vessel program "an important step in Austal's strategy to create longer-term, more predictable earnings for our investors."
At Austal's Mobile shipyard, work is continuing on the first phase of a new state-of-the-art Modular Manufacturing Facility (MMF). Upon completion in mid-2009, the first half of the 70,000 square meter MMF will be available for the fabrication of all JHSV modules.
Austal USA's 1,000-strong workforce will grow to more than 1,500 as a result of the JHSV program.
Austal is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, who will design, integrate, and test the JHSV's electronic systems, including an Open Architecture Computing Infrastructure, internal and external communications, electronic navigation, aviation, and armament systems.