Austal has received an award totalling over US$23 million (~A$34million) for support activities, including dry docking, on the U.S. Navy Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS-16).
The award of the Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) service contract for the USS Tulsa is in addition to the US$21 million contract Austal was awarded in January 2019 for the USS Manchester (LCS 14). Both are Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships manufactured by Austal.
The USS Tulsa PSA contract will the second contract where Austal is Prime Contractor for work of this nature. The USS Manchester PSA contract was the first.
“Austal’s sustainment business is continuing to expand as more Austal-designed and constructed naval vessels are delivered into service,” Austal CEO David Singleton said. “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.
“Austal has significantly expanded its operations in the United States and globally to meet continuing sustainment requirements of naval customers.”
To date Austal has delivered 10 LCS vessels with a further nine vessels on order, all of which will undergo regular maintenance and dry docking activities to maintain fleet availability during the life of the ship class. Austal USA’s west coast operations, headquartered in San Diego, California, has grown significantly this year to include expanded service capacity to support the San Diego home-based Independent-variant LCS. Austal has expanded its global services capacity in support of US programs including increased capacity in Mobile, Alabama, and at its Singapore service centre.
The Independence-variant LCS is a 127m, frigate-sized vessel, built at Austal facilities in Mobile, Alabama. The program is in a full rate of production with several ships under construction simultaneously. The future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) and the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) are both preparing for trials. Final assembly is well underway for the future USS Mobile (LCS 26) and has just recently begun for the future USS Canberra (LCS 30).