Global defence contractor Austal has announced that the US Navy has funded the construction of one additional Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).
Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said LCS 26 will be the eleventh Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship built by the company as prime contractor.
He said funding for LCS 26 has been confirmed by the US Navy as not to exceed the congressional cost cap of US$564 million increasing Austal’s order book to approximately A$3 billion.
“It is pleasing to see the Navy’s ongoing confidence in Austal’s ability to produce these high quality vessels,” Mr Bellamy said.
“We are working hard to increase production efficiencies and reduce costs as the program matures and look forward to constructing the newly funded ship, which secures work at our US shipyard through to CY2021.”
Austal is currently building seven LCSs at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, under a 10 vessel, US$3.5 billion contract the US Navy awarded to Austal in 2010.
“With the US Navy also exercising its option to fund LCS 26, the total Independence-variant LCS constructed by Austal will be 13 ships; 2 as subcontractor (LCS 2 and LCS 4) and 11 as the prime contractor (LCS 6 onwards). Three LCS have been delivered,” the company said in a press release.
“Meanwhile, Austal is also progressing well under its $1.6 billion contract to construct ten 103-metre Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessels for the US Navy. Six EPF have been delivered, with the remaining vessels under construction at Austal’s US shipyard. Austal is also procuring long-lead materials for EPF 11 under an additional contract with the US Navy.”