Austal USA awarded two more Littoral Combat Ship contracts
The news keeps getting better for Austal USA, which builds its Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships in Mobile.
After delivering an already historic three LCS this year, Austal was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy on Monday to build two additional LCS for the nation’s fleet. The new contract brings the total to four LCS awarded to Austal USA in 2018 alone.
A press release from the company confirmed that the specific value of each contract is under the congressional cost cap of $584 million per ship.
“To be awarded two more LCS contracts before the end of the year is beyond exciting,” Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said. “This contract directly reflects the confidence the U.S. Navy has in Austal USA and our supplier base of over 10,000 nationwide and our ability to build highly capable ships at an affordable cost.”
With eight delivered, six under construction and three awaiting start of construction, these two newly awarded ships (LCS-36 and LCS-38) represent Austal USA’s 18th and 19th ships in the class.
“The skill, hard work, and dedication of our employees is second to none and strengthens as we continue to play an important role in helping build the Navy’s 355-ship fleet,” Perciavalle added.
The company emphasized that as the Littoral Combat Ship’s role continues to take shape as a key component to the Navy’s ability to gain sea control through distributed lethality, Austal USA continues to deliver ships on-time and on-budget to support the needs of the fleet.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) celebrated the news of the contracts on Monday.
The @USNavy has awarded @Austal_USA in #Mobile a contract to build two of the three additional Littoral Combat Ships appropriated for #FY2019. Another significant win for #Austal & further highlights our state’s outstanding defense capabilities. #LCS
— Richard Shelby (@SenShelby) December 17, 2018
“This is yet another huge development for @Austal_USA and shows that they continue to meet the expectations and needs of the @USNavy,” Byrne tweeted.
The Independence-variant LCS, along with Austal USA’s highly-successful Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), are designed, constructed and well positioned to meet the needs of the fleet today and into the future. The flexibility and capacity of the company’s Mobile shipyard, the Independence-variant LCS and the EPF are well suited to rapidly and efficiently support the Navy’s desired fleet of 355 ships with affordable solutions.
Lockheed Martin manufactures the Freedom-variant LCS, which is the competitor to Austal USA’s variant. US Naval Institute News noted that “Austal has in recent years been churning out its ships faster and for a lower cost,” explaining the company being preferred for contracts.
USNI News further outlined, “Just one ship remains to be awarded before the Navy transitions from the LCS to the frigate – either LCS-31 or LCS-40, depending on which company is awarded the contract – and negotiations between the Navy and industry are ongoing.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn