|US Navy orders second Austal LCS|
|Monday, 04 May 2009 12:59|
The US Navy has announced a contract for the construction of a second Austal-designed and built Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).
Awarded to prime contractor Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company, the second Austal-built LCS will be similar to the 127-metre ‘Independence’ (LCS 2), which is currently at an advanced stage of construction at Austal’s US shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
The announcement follows Austal’s recent selection as prime contractor for the US Navy’s joint high speed vessel (JHSV) programme, potentially valued at more than US$1.6 billion.
The General Dynamics LCS Team platform utilises Austal’s high-speed trimaran hull-form to provide enhanced seakeeping, low resistance, superior aviation facilities, and large payload volume capacity. These next-generation warships will carry out a range of operations including mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and the prosecution of surface attack craft in the near-shore (littoral) environment.
Construction of Austal’s second LCS will commence immediately at its American shipyard in Mobile, where work is also well underway on the first phase of a new state-of-the-art modular manufacturing facility (MMF). The facility will allow quicker and more cost-effective construction of the ship components, or modules, which will then be transported to the existing assembly bays along the waterfront for erection and launch. Once completed, the 70,000-square-metre MMF, will allow the delivery of multiple JHSV or LCS platforms per year.
In other news, sea trials of Austal’s first LCS, ‘Independence’, are scheduled for mid-2009, with delivery expected later in the year.
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