Austal seeks to identify new opportunities for Alabama shipyard

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Austal USA has been developing variants of the Expeditionary Fast Transport Vessel (above) and unmanned vessels (Image: Austal USA)

The Navy’s decision to award the FFG (X) guided missile frigate contract to Fincantieri Marinette Marine leaves three other shipyards feeling disappointed, including Austal USA, in Mobile, Ala.

In a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange today, Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) said it had been advised that it had not been awarded the contract to construct Guided-Missile Frigates FFG(X) for the U.S. Navy.

Austal was in a four-way competition to construct the FFG(X), proposing an enhanced version of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) it is currently manufacturing for the U.S. Navy.

Austal CEO David Singleton said while the award of the contract to an alternate bidder was disappointing, Austal would focus on existing construction program and identifying new opportunities for its Alabama shipyard.

“We have contracted orders for Littoral Combat Ships and Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) that extend through to 2024 and a portfolio of opportunities we have been developing for some time, including EPF variants and unmanned vessels, which are the future of naval warfare,” Singleton said.

“Importantly, Austal USA has excellent shipbuilding facilities and a professional workforce which builds highly capable and cost effective ships.

“In addition, we had made the building of our support business a strategic focus, which will provide revenue and opportunities for many years to come.”

Austal USA has delivered 11 Independence-variant LCS with six more under construction and two awaiting start of construction. The company has also delivered 11 Expeditionary Fast Transports with two more under construction and one awaiting start of construction. With 22 Austal ships delivered, the company’s global services division is growing as it supports supporting the U.S. Navy’s fleet maintenance and modernization.

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