Trimaran shipbuilder grows ongoing US operations

Australian ship manufacturer, Austal, has signed a contract worth $34 million to sustain the life of another ship built for the US Department of Defense.

The contract includes the dry docking of the USS Tulsa, as well as the USS Manchester, which was announced in January 2019 and worth $21m. Both of these ships are littoral combat ships (LCS) manufactured by Austal, known for their trimaran designs.

This kind of contract extends the work for the Australian company and its US subsidiary beyond the design and manufacture of the vessels.

“Austal’s sustainment business is continuing to expand as more Austal-designed and constructed naval vessels are delivered into service,” said Austal CEO, David Singleton. “And there’s a solid pipeline of vessels still under construction.”

“Construction of a ship takes about two years, whereas sustainment can provide continuing work and regular earnings for Austal for many years, even decades,” said Singleton.

The USS Tulsa and the USS Manchester are two of the 10 LCS ships that Austal has produced for the US Department of Defense. Nine more are on order. The ships are built in Austal’s shipbuilding operations in Mobile, Alabama. The site allows for the production of multiple veseels simultaneously. Currently being assembled are the USS Mobile and the USS Canberra. The USS Kansas City and the USS Oakland are currently undergoing a trial process.

The maintenance of the ships will be carried out at the US subsidiary of Austal, located in San Diego, California. These contracts with the US Department of Defence has seen the Henderson, WA headquartered shipbuilder expand its US footprint, with added service capacity in both Mobile, Alabama and in Singapore.

The ASX-listed Austal has produced vessels for more than 30 years for 100 operators in 54 countries, across defence and commercial markets. The shipbuilder produces the world’s largest trimaran ferry.