Austal Limited (ASX: ASB) reports that Austal USA has been awarded a concept studies and preliminary design contract by the United States Navy (USN) for the Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.
Austal USA is one of five companies contracted by the U.S. Navy to develop LAW concept designs, with a follow-on option for preliminary design, the others being Bollinger Shipyards, Fincantieri Marine Group, Halter and TAI Engineers.
A single shipyard is expected to be down-selected for a detailed design and construction contract by the end of the third quarter of FY2022.
The new Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program envisions procuring a class of 28 to 30 new amphibious ships to support the Marine Corps, particularly in implementing a new Marine Corps operational concept called Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO). The Navy envisions the first LAW being procured in FY2023.
LAW will provide U.S. Naval forces a maneuver and sustainment capability to conduct littoral and amphibious operations. The medium-sized landing ships are expected to be approximately 60 meters to 120 meters length overall (LOA) with an ability to embark at least 75 U.S. Marines with approximately 370 – 740 sq. m of cargo area to transport weapons, equipment, and supplies to the beach or austere ports.
Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said the contract allows Austal USA to continue developing LAW designs to meet U.S. Navy requirements and further strengthens the company’s position to construct steel ships for the U.S. Navy in the future.
“Austal USA is well placed to pursue this Light Amphibious Warship opportunity, with a proven capability to deliver multiple naval shipbuilding programs and new steel manufacturing facilities now under construction,” Gregg said. “The Austal USA team will continue to develop their concept designs and ultimately provide a highly capable and cost effective LAW solution for the U.S. Navy.”