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Austal Land Design Study Contract for the Navy Supply Vessels Program

Austal USA has been awarded a $ 2 million contract to perform design studies on a new class of supply vessel for the US Navy.

The contract is for the Navy’s Next Generation Logistics Vessel (NGLS) program. The Congressional Research Service describes the creation of a “new class of mid-size offshore supply vessels” as the goal of the program. They fit into a general concept of the Navy’s fleet that requires it to depend less on large ships and more on a network of smaller ships: with a capacity spread across multiple ships, it is more difficult for an enemy to win by eliminating a few high value ships. targets.

The program is still in an exploratory phase, according to the Congressional Research Service. Details such as the expected capabilities of the vessels, whether the program will include several design variations and how many will be needed are still being worked out. Ships can be “commercial vessel designs designed for military applications,” depending on the service.

Industry watchers expected the Navy to award design study contracts to several shipbuilders. Austal USA, based in Mobile, is the first to reveal that he received such a contract. Design study work from Austal and other shipyards will help the Navy decide exactly what it needs from an NGLS. It will take at least 2023 before the contract to build the first ship in the class is awarded.

For Austal, this award is another sign that its transition to steel shipbuilding will help it compete for a wider variety of jobs.

“Austal is delighted to begin work on another US Navy steel shipbuilding program,” said Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh. “This contract, combined with our recent T-ATS vessel construction contract and the concept studies we are carrying out on the LAW [Light Amphibious Warship] program, demonstrate our commitment to bringing steel vessels the same state-of-the-art quality that we have provided to aluminum vessels.

In other recent developments for Austal USA, the company said it has finalized an agreement to establish a repair facility in the Port of San Diego and that it has ordered a new dry dock for this yard. Among the ships served will be the Independence class Littoral combat ships built by Austal; the company had previously won a contract for the repair, maintenance and modernization of the LCS based on the west coast.